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About the Health and Recreation Complex

Massage Therapy

Treat yourself to a relaxing and therapeutic massage at the Health and Recreation Complex! Our experienced massage therapists specialize in therapeutic, sports, stress-relief, and Thai yoga massage therapy. The massage room is located on the lower level of the HRC next to the elevator.

Prices, Payments, and Cancellations

  • Payment is made directly to the therapists with cash, check, or credit card.
    • If paying with credit card a service fee of 3% will be added to the transaction.
  • Cancellations must be made 24 hours prior to appointment or the full price of service will be charged.
  • Gratuity is not included in the prices listed below.
Table Massage

60-Minute Session

Student Cost: $50
HRC Member Cost: $55
Non-Member Cost: $65

Chair Massage

There are many options for incorporating on-site chair massage into your workplace, but the most common are:  as a break during long training sessions or meetings; as a reward for good work, reaching goals or completing projects; in times of special stress such as near deadlines or peak work periods; and for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

Cost: $65/hour with 2-hour minimum

Educational Presentation

Cost: $65/hour with 1-hour minimum



How to Schedule an Appointment

Contact the therapist directly to schedule your appointment
Appointment Times
  • Appointments must be made during HRC operating hours; note the HRC hours differ during University breaks.
  • Same-day appointments sometimes can be accommodated, but include a $10 additional charge.

Meet Our Massage Therapists

James Jafari

Call 317-590-4048 

James Jafari has been serving the Butler University campus since the HRC opened its doors in August 2006. James is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, professionally trained and engaged in full-time private massage practice since 1999. He specializes in Advanced Kinetic Sports Therapy (A.K.S.T.), Deep Tissue Therapeutic massage and Myofascial Release. James utilizes the best of these and other modalities as well such as Swedish, Thai, and Hot Stone techniques for his clients, tracks their progress and makes adjustments based on their feedback. Whether his clients are athletes intent upon improved performance or recovering from an injury or individuals who simply realize that the benefits of massage include stress-relief, pain reduction and increased health and well-being, James always devotes his utmost toward the goal of each client's wellness. He is also a dedicated father, outdoorsman and martial artist and has never met a stranger!

Lara Pearson 

Call/text 317-441-3824 or email

Lara is a Nationally Board Certified Massage & Bodywork Therapist and graduate of the Midwest Academy of Healing Arts.  She established her own private massage practice in 2010 and has contracted with Butler since 2011.

Lara offers Therapeutic Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Sports Massage using a trigger point-based approach, and for an additional charge, she also offers Cupping Therapy.

Lara is available for table massage at the HRC, as well as on-site chair and table massage at other locations across campus.  Also with advanced scheduling, Lara offers short guest lectures as a means to educate students, athletes, coaches, and other staff members regarding the benefits and advantages of incorporating massage and bodywork therapy into your self-care routine.

Text, call 317.441.3824, or  email at for information or to schedule an appointment.

Massage Therapist - Ellie Varnau
Ellie Garvey

Call/text 248-672-1532 or email - currently on maternity leave (7/15/19)

Ellie is a Licensed Massage Therapist who studied massage at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. She is committed to the notion that therapeutic touch is the missing link in modern, mainstream healthcare. Ellie's bodywork tends toward deep tissue, with a Trigger Point Therapy-based approach to identifying and treating the problem areas that keep you in pain. A session with Ellie promises to address your structural issues and offer a proposed treatment plan to master your chronic pain, all while incorporating the deeply relaxing modalities of Swedish Massage and Craniosacral Therapy. Clients can also expect to gain flexibility and increase joint mobility through active and passive stretching, range-of-motion techniques, and suggested homework. For a performance-enhancing, deeply restorative, "show those knots who's boss" massage, look no further! If you just need to unwind, try her Tropical Swedish and see how Costa Rica influenced Ellie's idea of deep relaxation. 

Massage Therapist - Will Hodges
Will Hodges

Call/text 317-554-9778 or email

Will graduated in 2003 from the Emerald Coast Massage School in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and has been doing what he can to help people feel better ever since. From day one, his focus has been on helping people get to where they want to be in their physical well-being. He has worked with the Purdue University Swim and Dive team, the Indiana Fever WNBA team (including the 2012 championship team), 10 years with the Naptown Rollergirls, several Olympic medalists, and a former world-record holder. When not working as a massage therapist, he is a standup comic, Chaplains Assistant for the Indiana Air National Guard, and stay-at-home dad to a lovely baby girl.





Tracy Stoner

Call/text 317--694-2745 or email

Tracy has been practicing and teaching yoga since 2004.  She has been a certified yoga teacher since 2009.  She was introduced to Thai Yoga Massage by one of her teachers in 2013.  The practice was a natural extension of her passion for yoga and Metta (spirit of loving kindness and meditation).  She began studies with several teachers in Indianapolis and continues with Still Light Center in Toronto.  She greatly appreciates this ancient healing art form and is eager to share this to her clients.

Massage Technique Descriptions

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage is a form of bodywork that focuses primarily on the deeper layers of muscles and fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles).  This technique uses slow, deep guided strokes and firm pressure, and usually focuses on a specific problem. Over time, Deep Tissue Massage helps to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.    The benefits of Deep Tissue Massage include release of muscle tension and stiffness, pain relief, pain management, increased flexibility, improved mobility, and faster and more efficient recovery from injury and surgery. 



Cupping is based on traditional, century-old, Asian medicine that allows one to grip and elevate skin and fascia with use of suction cups, a type of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. This allows for the release of scar tissue/fascial adhesions (connective tissue overlying muscle), managing trigger points, boost circulation, alleviate pain, and improve muscle and joint mobility.

Cupping begins with the fascia.  Fascia is connective tissue, under the skin, that surrounds, connects, and gives strength to all structures of the human body.  There are many different reasons to causing fascial adhesions, including:  muscle strains, ligament sprains, repetitive motions creating muscle trigger points or increased muscle tightness, poor posturing, improper workstation setup/ergonomics, nerve compression, and a sedentary lifestyle, to name a few.


Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a combination of massage techniques used to treat the muscles and muscle-tendon junctures for an athlete pre-event, post-event, during injury recover, or during a maintenance phase.  It often targets an area of the body used in a specific sport, prone to overuse, or an injured area.


Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is known for its ability to create a general sense of relaxation through better blood and oxygen circulation, easing of muscular aches and tension, and improving mind alertness and body flexibility.  This technique uses five basic strokes and steady manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues.  It is designed to interrupt the cycle of stress and internalized muscle tension by stimulating the nervous system and increasing circulation.  The goal of Swedish Massage is relaxation, rehabilitation, and a sense of well-being and inner peace.  


Trigger Point Massage

Trigger Point Massage focuses on releasing trigger points, which are small, tight knots that develop in muscles that may even cause pain in other areas of the body (an effect known as “referral pain”).  Trigger point massage involves a more targeted approach with direct pressure being applied to the trigger point(s).  Each point may be pressed, massaged, and stretched, sometimes requiring the client to actively participate in stretching or other movements.  Trigger point massages release the tightest areas of your body, helping to improve range of motion, posture, and alignment.