By Deb Matsuura

A Reflection on the Co-Op Experience

Ariane shares some highlights from her Co-op experience with F&L.

Highlights in and outside the clinic?

Inside the clinic

The amazing welcome I received from the Fukuji & Lum family truly highlighted my 6 month co-op experience. The environment created by the staff and patients was all-embracing.

I'm not sure why, but a time that stood out to me, that I still think about, was watching the first patient I saw getting discharged. Watching him express his gratitude -it was a pure and genuine appreciation for both PT and PTA - was such a beautiful thing to witness, and yes I did get emotional. It just proved to me what an incredible impact therapists can have in patients' lives. The coolest thing was that I saw this appreciation expressed by patients throughout the clinic. The respect they had for the HNL crew -being on time to appointments, the generous goodies brought to the clinic, willingness to try all sorts of approaches and interventions- was moving and left me with an even greater respect for the profession.

Outside of the clinic

I would say being able to be outdoors so much, immersed in the natural beauty of Hawaii with my peers was like nothing else.  Moving across the country with my other classmates, where none of us knew each other too well beforehand and experiencing this chapter of our lives together  was incredible. Through laughs and tears, those 6 months are something we will always share. Grateful for life long friendships formed.

Who had the most impact on you during your time here?

It’s hard to isolate just one person who had the most impact on me during my time at Fukuji & Lum. I got to work alongside the greatest people I could have imagined. However, there was one person in particular who really stood out, and that was Blayse, my supervisor at the Honolulu Clinic. One of the first things I was asked on day one of work was, what kind of a learner I was… and although this may not seem like the most pertinent question when first training a new employee, it was utilized in every sense of the word. I don't even know how, but managing a whole clinic, all the PTs, PTAs, and patients needs requires time and passion… not to mention also having to figure out how to fit a co-op into the mix while not disrupting the flow of the clinic.

Blayse does it all though, and I am forever grateful to have been able to learn and grow under him. Not to mention the rest of the honolulu family, who shared with me their passion and knowledge of the field. Their genuine care and love for their patients never went unnoticed. Being a part of this was a phenomenal experience.

 From this experience, what intentions will you have going forward with your career?

Full body approach!!! From my experience at Fukuji & Lum I continuously saw the importance of ‘zooming out’ and considering the body as a whole system, not just pieces. Our entire body works together to create a whole.

Going forward with my career I will also look for opportunities to take continuing education courses. Throughout my 6 months, the numerous courses I saw people taking, to learn new techniques, gain a better understanding of something and just broaden their ability to help patients, was inspiring.


Thank you and rock on,
By Deb Matsuura

A Reflection on the Co-Op Experience


Alice shares a few highlights from her 6-month experience working with us at F&L.

What was the one experience that you think was the highlight of the experience?

Two experiences outside of the clinic that were highlights of my time in Hawaii were skydiving, as well as learning to surf. I never thought I would actually skydive but as our landlord Wendy said when we arrived, “Never say no in Hawaii”. There is something about the islands that truly gave me a sense of adventure and I did not want to leave any place unexplored. I was tremendously pushed out of my comfort zone during these six months in so many ways and skydiving was the perfect example. Surfing was the activity that filled my void since retiring from competitive figure skating during the pandemic. I loved how I quickly saw my return on investment from practice to skill execution. The biggest difference between surfing and skating is that frozen water is predictable except for when it's slippery. But waves in the open ocean are the most unpredictable thing I have ever dealt with, plus you can track them on apps and think you know what you're getting into but you never truly know until you're in it. I feel like this is a very good metaphor for life and a lesson that I needed to learn outside of competitive sport.

One highlight from my experiences in the clinic was truly the people. It may sound cliche but the clinic really became my 'ohana. And I'm not a crier but I cried on my last day because I was just so emotional about how I truly found people who were as committed to learning throughout their career as I feel like I want to be. No matter what was going on they were there day in and day out to show up for you as a person as well as a therapist for their profession and career. I will never forget my time at Fukuji and Lum and I hope to be back at some point.


What was the most surprising thing that you did not expect to learn?

The most surprising thing that I learned that I did not expect to was how integral interpersonal skills are two physical therapy and the level of complexity that the human body can offer. Often in school interpersonal skills and psychosocial aspects of health can be viewed as fluff classes however I now view them very differently. All of the therapists are very knowledgeable and were always willing to share their perspective and answer questions regarding this.

If you had to choose one word about your experience, what word would you choose?


From this experience, what intentions will you have going forward with your career?

Moving forward in my career my intensions will be to always do my best to listen to my patients and treat them as I would want to be treated. There is much more to a person than just their injury. Creating relationships based on respect with patients I believe can lend to higher satisfaction and their life long commitment to wellness for themselves.

By Mark Yanai

Finding Teagan: A New Home


Teagan Ferguson’s Co-Op Experience

When I think about Teagan, I get a little misty eyed. I first interviewed her for a co-op position a year before she arrived on Oahu. She was very quiet and reserved. Honestly, I was concerned that she wasn’t ready for the experience of being so far from home so I recommended that she apply again the following year. She ended up traveling to Hawaii with her family and visited our facilities. She contacted me and again expressed her desire to join us. Her determination to join us was evident and I offered her the position gladly.

Throughout Teagan’s six-month employment with us, her skills, along with her confidence, grew immensely as she worked closely with our patients and staff therapists. What amazed me the most about Teagan, was her ability to adapt. Due to multiple unexpected changes, she was asked to deal with changes to her schedule, including moving locations, and working with different programs. She definitely displayed a level of maturity that impressed us all and became one of our most versatile, multi-skilled clinicians that patients embraced as their own.

Here’s what she wrote about that experience.


I’ve traveled my whole life and never lived anywhere very long. I’m honestly not one to jump at a chance to travel more, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to revisit the place where I was born. After my co-op with Fukuji and Lum I was really glad I had taken the trip to work with them. F &L is truly a family, one that includes the patients that we cared for. I was able to work at Lower Atherton’s Outpatient Clinic and in Aquatic Therapy at the pool.


With the F&L family I was able to solidify my skills in the outpatient clinic and learn a lot about clinical decisions from Jamie, whom I worked closely with. It was great to see things from her perspective as a newer PT and learn some tips along the way.


Down at the pool I had the ever-amazing Rachael Hyland to guide my learning. She helped me grow from a nervous student to someone who was ready to take on clinical education with confidence.

It was amazing to see how much could be done in an aquatic setting, from ROM to conditioning and balance, and how creative the field could be. I was grateful that I could have such a positive experience in the field I’d like to specialize into. 

The things I’ve learned as a co-op student aren’t the only things I’m thankful for either. Everyone shared their part of Hawaii, whether it was food from our lovely patients, Colleen opening her doors to house us or Ryan and Talon showing us the social life. The staff went out of their way to really make this a wonderful experience for all of us. 
Being back in classes definitely isn’t the same as being on an island but after this experience I’m much more motivated and have valuable insight. I look forward to a chance to return to Oahu and hopefully make it a more permanent accommodation. 
IMG_3011 Mahalo, 
Teagan Ferguson

By Deb Matsuura

October is Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month and the clinics of Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy are having a “Spread the Aloha” drive, collecting various donation items each week to support local charities. For our staff at F&L, this drive gives us the opportunity to provide services to those less fortunate in ways other than direct clinical care. We want them to have footwear, clothing, toiletries and other necessities that will help them to be healthier, more active and improve their overall quality of life.

If you are near one of our four locations on Oahu, please fell free to stop by and make a donation.  You can also enter our drawing for a FREE one-hour massage for any weekly donation you make.

Donation Schedule: Items must be gently-used or unused…Thank you in advance for your donations.

Week 1 Oct 1st – Oct 5th Donate SOCKS/SHOES/SLIPPERS

Week 2 Oct 7th – Oct 12th Donate CLOTHES/ACCESSORIES

Week 3 Oct 14th – Oct 19th Donate BED & BATH ITEMS (Linen and toiletries)

Week 4 Oct 21th – Oct 26th Donate BOOKS/TOYS/DVDS/GAMES

Week 5 Oct 28th – Oct 31st Donate SPORTS AND FITNESS GEAR/EQUIPMENT



By Deb Matsuura

CPB Health Fair September 2013

Fukuji & Lum visited Central Pacific Bank for their annual Health and Wellness Fair in September. The F&L staff enjoyed talking with CPB employees  about “What is Physical Therapy” and how they could benefit from our services. Our main focus was to discuss with employees how they could ergonomically correct their work space to prevent pain and future injury. We also had the opportunity to answer questions and perform physical assessments.

CPB Fair