The Full Story of The Nordic Mermaid
Deborah and Tonya have worked together as wellness therapists on Martha's Vineyard since 2018. In 2019, they traveled together to their ancestral lands, including Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland to discover what made the Scandinavians some of the happiest and healthiest people in the world. To their amazement, they found that each country embraces a rich culture of "being well" practices. These include massage therapy, nature therapy, and hydrotherapy with saunas and cold plunges.
Plus, they discovered that there was an emphasis on 'something more' - a balanced lifestyle (Lagom), self-care coziness (Hygge), relaxing daily breaks (Fika), social community time (Koselig), courageously embracing life (Sisu), faith that things will work out (Petta Reddast), and the benefit of doing nothing at all (Niksen)! Realizing that there was a need on The Vineyard for such time-honored wellness traditions, they passionately embarked on a journey to create The Nordic Mermaid!
This Finnish term means harnessing strength and perserverance especially when a task may seem almost hopeless to undertake.
Therapist Deborah Wirzburger has a thirst for knowledge, a love of the outdoors, a Finnish ancestry, and learned to sauna at the age of four as an integral part of her family heritage and their nurturing lifestyle. Her unique therapeutic bodywork techniques embody Hygge - a cornerstone of Danish living that fosters an atmosphere of comfort and acceptance through connection and improved overall well-being.
Deborah is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Yoga Instructor who practices Thai, Medical, and Oncology massage as well as Reiki, Craniosacral Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, and Myofascial Release. Deb is also a Certified Wim Hof Instructor. She has other breathwork training along with aromatherapy, reflexology, acupressure, cupping, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and as a certified Health Coach. She is passionate about creating an atmosphere of acceptance to assist clients in rediscovering the joy of pain-free living and health, through their own breath and lifestyle choices, and her transformative work.
As a practitioner, Deborah believes honest communication is key in accurately understanding the root cause of discomfort and dysfunction. She purposed to discover ancient traditions and valuable resources for her own personal healing journey. Fueled by her success, and Finnish sisu (grit and strength of will), Deborah has developed self-care protocols based on biochemistry, breath work and mindfulness. She continues treating clients from Boston to the South Shore, the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard as she has done for over two decades with her ever expanding techniques. As a teacher (at Spa Tech Institute), she is committed to investing in the training and development of future therapists ensuring the field continues to receive the highest respect for providing unsurpassed healing practitioners for the people of Massachusetts.
Deborah’s happiest moments are when she is kayaking, hiking, camping, or engaging in fire pit conversations. She enjoys dining out with her husband and spending time with her 7 adult children and their families. Now practicing on Martha’s Vineyard, she empowers clients from every walk of life with a specialized approach to stress management, hormesis, pain relief, gut and endocrine health.
Deborah has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a LMT certification from Spa Tech Institute in Plymouth, MA.
"Breathing, bio-energetic synchronization, gut-brain communication, homeostasis of the endocrine system all contributes to creating an environment that fosters balance and enhances vibrant longevity. In a nutshell, these practices can be summed up in my mantra: Breathe deeply, move freely, enjoy living in your body today.”
Therapist Tonya Rehder-Zarlengo has immense wanderlust and a strong Scandinavian ancestry! With a family tree rooted in the Baltic and North Seas and recent visits to the area, she has experienced first-hand the lifestyles and therapies that make Scandinavians some of the happiest people on earth. Her heritage and education represent every aspect of Friluftsliv - the Norwegian term describing a passion for nature and outdoor living.
Tonya is a Certified Wim Hof Instructor (2023), Certified Zero Balancer (2023), Licensed Massage Therapist (2004), Usui Reiki Master and Teacher (1997) and has received extensive training in Chinese Medicine, NADA-Acu Detox, Qigong, Reflexology and Shiatsu. She has extensive knowledge about aromatherapy, reflexology, cupping, tapping, shiatsu, acupressure, qigong, and ancient medicine therapies. She is passionate about how water plays a role in our bodies, our environment, our planet, and our healing.
After an enriching career in Radio News Broadcasting and Media Relations specializing in environmental issues, Tonya changed her focus to helping others become healthier and happier. She has practiced bodywork since the mid-1990’s and has been on a 25-year quest to unearth healthy traditions and modern practices that benefit everyone. She is passionate about bodywork that is rooted in the earth’s rhythms and seasons, and modalities that combine natural products such as essential oils, hot ocean stones, and sound bowls. Her interest in stress reduction has come from a quest for personal healing and from seeing the necessity for stress management practices in today’s world.
Tonya’s happiest moments are when she is close to water. Since birth near the Atlantic Ocean in Halifax, Canada, Tonya has lived, camped, and hiked near water. From Great Lakes and oceans to small keys in the southern U.S., to Rocky Mountains through downpours, drizzle, and fog; Tonya has embraced the healing nature of water in all its forms. Now, living on Martha’s Vineyard, Tonya is back to the waters of her birth after years of wandering and studying ancient healing traditions. She has learned that our lifeforce energy runs deep along our internal “waterways”, or meridians. Hydrating with good quality water is critical to our cells, just as it is to nature, for survival.
Tonya has a Master’s of Acupuncture in Classical Five Element Acupuncture (ITEA) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Waterloo University.
“I am dedicated to caring for our planet’s waters and the waters within us as well as Scandinavian lifestyles that lead to a healthier, more joyful existence. With training in ancient medicine that helps remind us to live in harmony with nature, I am practicing healing the waters in myself, others, and our planet.”
Literally translated as "open-air living", friluftsliv is all about nature. Often used to describe the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing.
An Icelandic view that everything will work out OK
- in some way - even if things look impossible!