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Ellijay School of Massage Hosts “Touch of Thanks Day” for Local Heroes

PRESS RELEASE:  Cohutta Healing Arts Institute (CHAI) School of Massage in downtown Ellijay is reaching out to the caring people who touch and improve our lives every day by hosting Touch of Thanks Day of Appreciation events at the massage school.

The first Day of Appreciation was held June 6, 2015. In honor of National Safety Month, the school hosted Gilmer County, City of Ellijay and East Ellijay Public Safety and Emergency Services Personnel for a Touch of Thanks day of massage. Local firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel enjoyed free student massages throughout the day.

“We were looking for a way to say ‘Thank You’ to the community,” said school co-founder and Director of Education, Jennifer Houle. “We believe that giving back is important to becoming part of the community. We suggested that the students give of their time and energy to a deserving group, and they were all very excited to do so. As with all appointments, each student massage session is personalized to the needs of the client. This gives our student massage therapists an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned and to develop clientele.”

Scott Stephens, Deputy EMS Director said the gift of a free massage was: “a big hit with everyone who participated. Back and shoulder issues are a real problem for many of our firefighters. Having a chance to relax and be treated to a massage was great. We appreciate what the school is doing and hope other groups will participate.”


Pictured with fellow students and massage recipients, Kelly Buddenhagen, is not only a student massage therapist, she is also an EMS professional. According to Kelly: “The emotional and mental toll that emergency work takes on an individual also tends to manifest in muscle stiffness, soreness and fatigue. The “Touch of Thanks” day was special to me. With gratitude and humility, our day was filled with giving back to folks that serve day in and day out with great attitudes, honor and courage. I am grateful to attend a school that has exemplary students and leaders who made the day possible.”

CHAI School of Massage has plans for additional “Touch of Thanks” days. The school’s Director of Administration, Patricia Babin added, “As each class begins their clinical portion of the massage certification program, the students will select a deserving population to serve for one day. Our regularly scheduled Student Clinic hours may also be booked by local businesses and organizations who would like to sponsor a block of sessions for their special group. Individual student massages are $25 each.” For more details contact Patricia Babin at or 855-515-2424 x 802

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Cohutta Healing Arts Institute School of Massage is located in historic downtown Ellijay, GA and offers evening and day classes. The Masssage Therapy Certification program, which takes approximately one year to complete, prepares students for the national licensing exam and equips them with the skills needed for a career in massage. More details can be found at or by calling 855-515-2424.

Front row l-r: Student Massage Therapists Danielle Moody, Kaleigh Madison, Chase Quattlebaum, Olivia Fasola, Kelly Buddenhagen. Back row l-r: James Knight, Randy Beavers, Josh Chancey, Michael Sales.