William Garrison, LMT


I’m the owner of Jolly Buddha Massage in downtown Ithaca, and a graduate of Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca. I help people to get out chronic and persistent pain. I also help people get relief from the effects of chronic stress.


My massage style is based in classic Swedish massage, which uses long gliding strokes, kneading, wringing, pushing & pulling on the skin and underlying tissues to induce a state of profound relaxation. I use primarily classic massage techniques in sessions for relaxation & chronic stress.

Chronic pain

When working with chronic pain, I focus the session specifically around the area of pain. I use a variety of deep tissue techniques, mostly gentle sustained stretches of the muscle tissues combined with deliberately slow gliding strokes. Deep tissue massage doesn’t mean deep painful pressure: you decide what level of pressure feels therapeutic without bringing intense discomfort.

Pain and the brain

Current findings in pain science research show that the brain and nervous system are at the center of the experience of chronic pain.

The brain registers that there should be pain in a particular area of the body, especially as a defensive response to an injury. This pain serves as a warning that you should protect the injured area. Sometimes, though, this pain response of the brain lingers long after any real injury has healed. The pain should have gone away, but it doesn’t.

Using particular massage techniques and the sense receptors in your skin, I interact with your brain & nervous system to nudge the brain away from generating pain signals.

By feeding your nervous system with calming and novel sensations around the area where you hurt, we can interrupt the pain association that the brain has learned, and give it a chance to learn a new response: no pain.

No torturous pain

You can get effective pain relief with massage therapy through thoughtful and compassionate touch. I apply all of my massage techniques gently, even when they involve deeper pressure.

I can help you work out knots without beating you up, or subjecting you to torturous pain. I will not ask you to bear with it or breathe through it, or tell you that it needs to hurt in order to get better; it doesn’t.


I’ve continued my massage education with a focus on pain relief. Here’s a sampling of the training I’ve taken.

  • Deep Tissue Massage of the Neck and Jaw, April 2015 with Tammi Sweet, LMT.
  • Advanced Certification in Prenatal Massage, October 2015 with Danielle Guillet, LMT.
  • Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar: The Upper Body, August 2016 with Walt Fritz, PT.
  • Advanced Techniques for the Head and Neck, April 2017 with Eric Stephenson, LMT.
  • Freeing the Neck: A 3D Approach, April 2017 with Dr. George Russell, DC.
  • Spinning the Hip, April 2017 with Dr. George Russell, DC.
  • Techniques to Work the Psoas, April 2017 with Dr. Joe Muscolino, DC.
  • Precision Neuromuscular Therapy: Arm, Hand & Knee, May 2018 with Doug Nelson, LMT.
  • A Deeper Understanding of Whiplash, May 2018 with Doug Nelson, LMT.

The office

Reception & Lounge Massage Room Reception & Lounge Massage Room
A look inside the office. Photo credits: Cyndi Maxwell.