Derek and Ephraim Oliver

Education is the key to success for this father-son duo

By Brandon Twyford
[ABMP Member Profile]

When Ephraim Oliver started working in his father’s massage therapy practice in 2006, his father’s background in the business both helped him and hindered him. “I benefited from his wealth of experience, but his experience was also the biggest con I had, especially when I was first starting out, because some individuals viewed me as a lesser therapist. Since my father (Derek) had already been established as a therapist in our area, it was necessary for me to distance myself somewhat and establish myself as a quality therapist in my own right.”  
For Ephraim, that meant building his skills so he could stand on his own merits. Choosing a couple areas of specialization helped him make a name for himself in their East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvia, community. “Focusing exclusively on therapeutic and sports massage allows me to build up expertise in these areas,” he says.    
While Ephraim was developing his client list, the senior Oliver sought out more opportunities to fortify his practice. Derek says what sets him apart is his education, the resulting knowledge base, and his philosophy to never stop learning.
“At this late date in life, I continue to grow,” the 66-year-old says. “The more you know about the body, the better you’ll use your technique.”  
These days, Derek and Ephraim take classes together and share techniques, while continuing to focus on their own areas of expertise. “I thoroughly enjoy working with my son,” Derek says. “I like seeing him grow and develop his skills.”

Ephraim’s favorite movie: I love the classics. To Have and Have Not is a great one. 

Ephraim’s favorite music: I really love some good jazz, but my tastes tend to be pretty eclectic.

Ephraim’s favorite food: I like trying food from various cultures. 

Derek’s favorite TV show: Blue Bloods and Star Trek: The Next Generation

Derek’s favorite band/artist: Fourplay or Stevie Wonder

Derek’s favorite food: Chicken, smoothies  

Derek’s favorite book: The Bible

Derek’s favorite quote: “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.” —(Hebrews 11:1)