Spotlight: Deborah Wood-Scearbo, BCTMB, LMT

Deborah Spotlight

Please provide your full name, current location, and current job title.

My name is Deborah Wood-Scearbo, my current location is Georgetown, Massachusetts. I am the proud owner and operator of Massage Experts, which employs two wonderfully talented therapists. I have been practicing massage for 25 years.

Provide one fun fact about you.

One fun fact about me is that I am an adult competitive figure skater who started skating from scratch at the age of 25! I have won gold medals in both singles and pairs at the US Adult National Championships, a dream come true for me.

What are your hobbies?

Of course, figure skating! Skating takes up a lot of my time, but I also enjoy working out, cooking for my family, bible study and working on my flower gardens in the summer.

How did you discover the massage therapy profession?  What motivated you to pursue massage therapy as a career?

I discovered the massage therapy profession through a personal trainer, who I went to high school with. I was working with him to help strengthen my core for skating. At the time I had a housecleaning business even though I went to college and graduated with a BS in Early Childhood Education. Back in the 80s a teacher’s pay was not very good and I found that I was making more money being self- employed rather than working in Education. I also enjoyed the freedom of setting my own hours which allowed me to skate more. But as I was skating more the work of cleaning houses was becoming more and more of a challenge physically.

I started thinking I would love to do something else that would allow me to stay self-employed and something I would enjoy doing. I have always loved anything to do with health and wellness and when Keith, my personal trainer, heard this, he told me I should go to school for massage therapy. He was  going to school at The Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts and he offered to help me get in as well.

I enrolled in The Muscular Therapy Institute, thanks to Keith, and the rest is history. I knew I had found a new passion in massage. What excited me the most was that I knew I could help people feel good. I also knew right away that massage would be super helpful for athletes both in helping them stay injury free from repetitive use of their bodies as well as enhancing their sports performance.

I was very interested in helping figure skaters because of my own passion for skating. I also couldn’t help but think massage would be great for keeping my own body finely tuned. In fact, I have always been my own best customer. But in all seriousness, you need to receive the work as much as give the work. It is crucial to having longevity in this business. This led me to pursue courses after I graduated that would teach me more than just basic relaxation massage.

I was very fortunate to have attended the Muscular Therapy Institute because it was owned by Ben Benjamin, a very well-respected teacher and mentor in the field of massage therapy. I was able to take many of his workshops on assessing and treating many common soft tissue injuries.

After massage school, I branched off into many other modalities of massage such as Neuromuscular Therapy work with Paul St. John, and Cranial Sacral and Lymph Drainage with John Upledger. I was very fortunate to have taken some cadaver workshops as well that really enhanced my understanding of anatomy to another level.

As my passion and thirst for knowledge as a body worker grew, I found myself very drawn to James Waslaski’s Orthopedic Massage. I took all of his workshops and became a Certified Orthopedic Massage Therapist. James’ work really brought together all my years of education in the field. His protocol makes complete sense when working with clients who have chronic muscle pain and tightness or soft tissue injuries.

Having this type of training helped earn me the opportunity to work at the Skating Club of Boston where I worked on many well-known elite skaters including a Women’s Olympic Silver Medalist and a Men’s World Gold Medalist who performed in the Skating Club of Boston’s annual ice show.

How did you develop your passion?

Because I am always seeking to be the best I can be for my clients, these days I find myself drawn to Eric Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques. His work is fascinating, and I find it works very well with my orthopedic training as he, like James, seeks to get to the root of the problem of postural imbalances and chronic muscle pain and tightness. My clients love that I keep learning to help them feel the best they can be and that excites and motivates me. I am currently working to become a Master Myoskeletal Therapist. Certification in this requires 210 hours of MAT training!

How has your massage career evolved?

I first became NCBTMB Certified right before I graduated massage school in 1992.I took the exam as soon as I could because all of my massage knowledge was fresh in my mind. I knew as time went on some of the things important to know on the test may not stay with me.

When did you first become NCBTMB Certified?

I elected to become NCBTMB Certified while I was in massage school because I already knew I wanted to be the best at what I do and I wanted to be respected in the field by my peers and others. The exam is not easy, and you have to put in the work studying to pass it. To put yourself through that when you don’t have to speaks volumes about a person’s character and dedication to their profession.

Why did you elect to become NCBTMB Certified?

I have chosen to maintain my NCBTMB Certification all these years because I am truly dedicated to maintaining a higher standard in the field.

Why have you maintained your NCBTMB Certification all these years?

NCBMTB Certification reflects the importance and dedication I give to my work, our profession and client well-being.

How has NCBTMB Certification elevated your career?  What doors did it open for you?

My NCBTMB Certification has helped elevate my career because of the knowledge required to pass the certification exam. And the continuing education units that have to be taken in order to maintain certification have helped me to grow and develop as a massage therapist.

It’s easy to become complacent and stale when nothing is pushing you to further your education in your field. Being NCBTMB Certified in the massage field helps show that you are seeking to be better than you have to be and that you are willing to continue to learn.

Being NCBTMB Certified has opened many doors for me. In 2014 I had the pleasure and honor of performing sports massage at the 2014 US National Figure Skating Championships and the 2016 Worlds Figure Skating Championships when they came to my hometown of Boston. I not only had the opportunity to work on the amazingly talented elite skaters but also the opportunity to work alongside world class doctors, nurses and physical therapists. It was experiences I’ll never forget.

What would you say to a fellow massage therapist contemplating Board Certification?

What I would say to a fellow massage therapist contemplating Board Certification is to do it if you want to be respected for setting a higher level of standards for yourself and continuing to grow and mature in the profession. It can help open many doors in ways you never imagined!

To apply for Board Certification, click here.

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