The Full Story

About 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!





Hygge is a Danish term used to describe feeling relaxed and connected.  It's the cozy feeling you enjoy when you're sitting by a warm fireplace with a soft, fuzzy blanket sipping a hot drink. Hygge boosts your mood and overall well being.

Therapist Deborah Wirzburger has a thirst for knowledge, a Finnish ancestry, a love of the outdoors and learned to sauna at the age of four as a an integral part of her family heritage.  With an extensive career history in the Cape Cod area, 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 Licensed Yoga Teacher who is certified in Thai, Medical, and Oncology massage as well as Reiki, Craniosacral, Lymphatic Drainage, and Myofascial Release therapies. Currently, she is in the Wim Hof Method Teacher's Training program. She is additionally trained in aromatherapy, breath work, reflexology, acupressure, cupping, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and as a certified Dr. Berg Health Coach. She is passionate about creating an atmosphere of acceptance and helping clients rediscover the joy of pain-free living and health through her transformative work.


As a practitioner, Deborah believes kind and honest communication is key in accurately understanding the root cause of discomfort and dysfunction.  She embarked on a journey to discover ancient traditions and valuable resources for her personal healing journey.  Fueled by her success, and Finnish sisu (grit and strength of will), Deborah has developed self-care protocols based on biochemistry and mindfulness. Since earning her degree and certifications, Deborah’s unique therapeutic bodywork techniques have continued to evolve, treating clients from Boston to the South Shore, the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard for over two decades.


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 6 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, pain relief and weight management.

Deborah has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a LMT (licensed massage therapist) certification from Spa Tech in Plymouth, MA.

“Bio-energetic synchronization, gut-brain communication, and homeostasis of the endocrine system all contribute to creating an environment that fosters balance and enhances 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 an 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.

She is a licensed Massage Therapist (since 2004), Usui Reiki Master and Teacher (since 1997), has training in NADA (Acu-Detox) and Zero Balancing and is currently in the Wim Hof Method's Teacher's Training program.  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,