February 17, 2021 | Spotlight

Spotlight: Matthew Gavzy, BCTMB

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

Matthew Gavzy, Fair Lawn, NJ.  Owner, Body Workings Massage Therapy, LLC and Staff Physical Therapist Assistant at Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Provide one fun fact about you.

I make homemade bacon

What are your hobbies?

Cooking, Exercising, Laughing and spending time with friends and family.

How did you discover the massage therapy profession?

I discovered massage as a profession while I was getting bodywork when I was training as a tournament tennis player and teaching professional.  I pursued massage as a career when I was working in Corporate America and got in an area with a very bad management system.  I became physically and mentally stressed to the point of having constant headaches.  My wife and I went on vacation and I had a chance to de-stress and we talked about me changing careers.  She was and still is incredibly supportive.

How did you develop your passion?

I developed my passion in massage school.  I was taught by Kitty Leer and she had a tremendous impact on me.  Her own passion for teaching and doing massage was contagious.  I was able to become a member of the AMTA National Sports Massage Team and that opened me up to being able to work the 1996 Olympics and Paralympics in Atlanta, GA.  I have also been very fortunate to do some work with the NY, Boston and Baltimore Marathons, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and the ATP and WTA tennis tours.  I also had the great fortune of working at the Pentagon and Ground Zero sites as the NJ State Massage Emergency Response Team Coordinator for the AMTA NJ Chapter.

How has your massage career evolved?

My career started to evolve when I began getting involved at the state chapter level in NJ early in my career.  The people I met and worked with poured so much of themselves into driving massage forward in the state and working towards licensure at that time.  I have been fortunate to meet so many therapists who have helped give me direction and support.  I am very lucky to be a teaching assistant with a very well-respected educator which has prepared me to broaden my horizons and write my own continuing education class. I am currently on the National Certification Board’s Specialty Certificate Committee and an Item Writer for the Board Certification Exam.  Beginning a new aspect of massage, getting into the educational side and giving back by volunteering at the national level is very exciting, and frightening, but in a good way.  I am blessed to have people who have taken an interest in me and my career who are helping me continue to evolve as a therapist and person.

When did you first become NCBTMB Certified?


Why did you elect to become NCBTMB Certified?

I originally became NCBTMB Certified to differentiate myself and my education from other massage therapists

Why have you maintained your NCBTMB Certification all these years?

I have maintained all these years because I believe the NCBTMB should be the driver for quality education in the industry and to move the industry forward as massage moves towards more “mainstream” healthcare.

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

My Certification has made me stay current on trends and new information in the industry as well as my continuing education.  It has allowed me to continue to meet and work with leaders in the industry and given my career direction.

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

If you are contemplating Board Certification, I would tell you to absolutely do it.  I believe in the National Certification Board, what it stands for and the direction it is moving in.

How has your practice and/or employment been affected by COVID-19?

Unfortunately, I had to close my massage practice and I was furloughed from my two physical therapy jobs.  But fortunately I was also blessed to be able to find physical therapy work in one of New Jersey’s pop-up Covid hospitals.

If you are not working or unable to work during the pandemic, what are you doing during this time to prepare yourself for future work?

I reworked my continuing education class to provide it via webinar and I wrote a couple of articles that I am hoping will get published.

What would you suggest a fellow massage therapist do during this time to prepare for future success?

This is a great time to re-evaluate the direction of your career.  Perhaps try that massage course or topic you’ve been contemplating or even prepare for the Board Certification exam!

To apply for Board Certification, click here.

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