By Deb Matsuura

My Co-op Experience in Hawaii – Ashley

Guest Blogger: Ashley – Former Co-op student from Northeastern University

My months in Hawaii were some of the best months of my life. While there I was able to meet extraordinary people, try things I’ve always wanted to, and learn so much. Working at Fukuji and Lum in particular was life changing. The co-workers and patients, and even my fellow co-ops, are all amazing people, and I am a better person for having met them.

My experience working at the front office showed me how to be patient (it’s a pun, get it?) and showed me another side of the job, however, working one on one with patients was the best part. I loved getting to know all of the patients and their stories.

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It was about more than just getting them better, I was able to form bonds with each and every one of them. I worked with all sorts of populations from geriatric, to work injuries, to post stroke patients. The variety of people I got to meet was incredible and taught me so much. I got really close to some patients and I didn’t know the bonds that I could have with some of these people, which made leaving so hard. From having a patient cook me Portuguese bean soup, to hearing all about someone’s strife and triumph, I am a better person for having met each and everyone one of them.ash blog4

Working at Fukuji and Lum was like no other job I ever had. Never had I experienced such love and respect from co-workers. I feel as though I got to know every single person, from the pool to the WORC and LA clinics. My co-workers were one of the best parts of my experience. Who else’s bosses would take them a half mile into the clouds at 2 in the morning? Being invited over for holidays to the island Hyland’s house really showed me the kind of people I now had in my life and I am forever grateful for that. Jocelyn even cooked animal carcass because she loves us so much! It was like having a home away from home. Even now I still get texts and surprise packages with Hawaiian goodies from Rachel, wondering how I am doing or just because she is so thoughtful.

Janie was like my Hawaiian mom who always knew how to make me laugh and always had something cool to show me about PT. Janie, if you’re reading this thanks for the massage by the way, it was the best hour of my life. The love and care Jocelyn, Rachel, Jaime, Janie, Jesse, Tasha, Mark, Stephanie and Nicole (to name a few!) gave to their patients every day at work showed me what patient care was supposed to be like, and I strive to use what I learned here every day. I miss seeing their smiling faces and all the laughs they brought me.

Another one of my favorite parts about Hawaii was the island itself. I love beaches and weather above 30 degrees, so when I saw Hawaii as an option for my co-op I was ecstatic, and knew right away this was a once in a lifetime experience that I didn’t want to miss out on. Having my three amigos with me made the experience even better. I have no idea how I would have found not one, but two beaters, learned to hula dance(ish), find our missing dog a million times, or possibly have so much fun at Costco, without them. There aren’t three other people I rather have been with except maybe Jesus, my grandma, and John Lennon, if were playing that game.

It was heartbreaking to leave paradise: the ocean, the palm trees, the sting of Kailua’s fine sand pelting you in the face as you tried to soak up the sun, but it was even harder to leave all the incredible people that changed my life. That certainly wasn’t the last time I’ll be in Hawaii so for now I’ll say, A Hui Ho!

By Mark Yanai

Justin S: A Hui Hou

coop 2016

In this week’s blog, Justin reflects on his new experiences at F&L while living and learning about the Hawaiian culture.

Reflections of a Co-Op

by Justin S.

To say I enjoyed my 6 months in Hawaii would be an understatement. I worked with amazing patients and coworkers, learned more than I could have ever expected, and thoroughly enjoyed living in the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
Justin S hike

I felt like a valuable part of a team while working at Fukuji & Lum. Even though it was my first time working in a physical therapy setting, I was trusted and given many responsibilities. It was an incredibly welcoming place to work. While searching for a co-op, the biggest thing I took from the Fukuji & Lum website was being part of their ohana. Family day, potlucks, and the Christmas party were great ways to get to know everybody. I think Art and I combined for about 10 plates of crab legs. Rachel happily invited the co-ops to her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was such a kind gesture and we had a very fun time! This is just one example, but everybody that I worked with went out of their way to make sure my experience was fun and educational.

Justin S pool

The patients I worked with were fantastic. They taught me a lot about life in Hawaii, looked to me for help with exercises, and were great to talk story with. I will always remember these relationships that helped make my experience so great. I was so fortunate to be presented with t-shirts, poke bowls, and homemade foods from these great people.
Justin S Tri

There were many firsts for me in Hawaii. I completed my first triathlon in September. It was a lot of fun and I couldn’t have done it without the swimming help from my coworkers at the pool. I had my first poke bowl my first day on Oahu, and it became a staple in my diet ever since. When working in Kailua, I would always pop over to Foodland for lunch to grab a spicy ahi bowl. I still crave them every day. I surfed for the first time in Waikiki about a week into my stay. Thereafter, I practiced when I could and steadily improved over the 6 months. I’m no Kelly Slater, but I have a lot of fun trying.
Justin S surfing

Everyone always asked if the four co-ops knew each other before arriving in Hawaii. We met up for dinner once, but honestly had no clue who the other three were. Within a week, we bought a car together and were hanging out at the beach and watching Hawaii Five-O every day. Every weekend was filled with fun trips to town, Hawaii Kai, or the North Shore. It made all of us happy to hear that we were the closest group of co-ops that has come through. Ashley, Colby, Leila and I will always have oodles of awesome memories together that we will never forget. Even with our busy schedules, we are still able to see each other occasionally, most recently with a trip to Pokeworks, Boston’s attempt at replicating the divine Hawaiian dish. It wasn’t as good as the ones made in Hawaii, and it was really cold outside, but we still had fun.
Justin S boston

I will always be grateful for this experience, which has undoubtedly been the best 6 months of my life. Mahalo nui loa to everyone who made this experience so awesome.


A hui hou,


By Deb Matsuura

To Dream the Impossible Dream: My Journey to Japan

Lifelong Learning Hawaii-Japan Oct 2016

Guest Blogger: Art Lum, P.T., co-owner of Fukuji & Lum




[two_third_last] Lifelong Learning Hawaii-Japan logo: The symbol marking the beginning of this Hawaii-Japan relationship was the Enso – a hand drawn open circle allowing for movement and development. [/two_third_last]

The recent historic visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with President Barack Obama to Pearl Harbor on December 27, 2016 brought back memories of an extraordinary work experience I had in Japan. Following three years of planning, the Fukuji & Lum team and fellow physical therapy colleagues from Japan created a series of courses titled ‘Best Physical Therapy Practice’.

The first of a four part series of courses was conducted, on October 22nd and 23rd, 2016 at Kuwana East Medical Center, Mie prefecture, Japan. The course introduced an integration of the respiratory, neurological, and musculoskeletal systems for lifelong physical therapy care.

On October 22nd, at 9 a.m., my heart beat began to rise as the first slide presented the Hawaiian flag alongside the Japan flag – the Rising Sun. Pictures of my professional membership cards, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Hawaii Physical Therapy Association (HAPTA) were shared along with my Master of Arts degree diploma in Physical Therapy from Stanford University ’84. The journey had begun.

The objectives of the course were:

  1. To introduce the Annual Musculoskeletal Examination
  2. To teach manual assessment and treatment techniques integrating the system approach
  3. To teach postural and neuromuscular rehabilitation techniques
  4. To introduce a unique physical therapy model
  5. To build a relationship between physical therapists from Hawaii and Japan

[one_half] Bringing unity to this special grouping was the donning of the lime-green colored class t-shirt. The made-only-in-Hawaii sky blue colored wording and the white-brushed Enso brought smiles, enthusiasm, and cheer. We were now ready to begin our journey together, open for learning and sharing; as professionals, classmates, and friends. [/one_half]




There were two staff therapists from the Kuwana East Medical Center who played a pivotal role in making the course a tremendous success. Rie Takakura, P.T., who works part time at the medical center and is on-call with us at Fukuji & Lum was instrumental in ‘making it happen’. She designed the manual, translating every page and served as the course assistant. Her dream of advancing physical therapy in her hometown and community in Japan had begun and was now in process.

Takashi Maruyama, P.T., Manager of the Rehabilitation Department at the Kuwana East Medical Center was a gracious host and facilitator. Takashi-san went beyond the call to create an optimal learning environment. Arranging the manpower for setup and take down and taking the leadership in accommodating the group needs and wants. He monitored the pulse of the class and acknowledged we were on the right pace. His hospitality went beyond the call in driving the F&L contingent to a nearby famous Garden saving time and ‘stress’ in confronting bus and train schedules.

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The class was made up of a diverse group of professionals. Recent graduates, a professor of Biomechanics, and veteran PTs. Several had been trained in the U.S.A. and were familiar with the Paris and Sahrmann System. The majority enjoyed the ‘active’ learning atmosphere, hands-on manual therapy skill training, and patient demonstrations.IMG_3589

The introduction of the Annual Musculoskeletal Examination served as the blueprint, outlining strategies for clinical decision making in addressing the six major areas:

  1. Breathing – respiratory system.
  2. Posture – attaining a position that allows optimal performance, both static and dynamic. Adding efficiency, balance, and preparedness in anticipation for integrating a purposeful movement.
  3. Locomotion. From walking to striding.
  4. Reaching. The optimal use of the upper quarter, grounded and energized by the lower quarter and trunk, for daily function.
  5. Spine mobility. Turning on the transverse plane; head, neck, torso, pelvis, and hip for safety and energy transfer.
  6. Fulfillment in life. Doing things that you have always enjoyed doing (traveling, gardening, taking long walks, skiing, yoga etc.).

The unique physical therapy model (UPTM) which was also introduced to the group has evolved over my past 32 years in practice, as a clinician. I am grateful for my colleagues and indebted to my mentors. My deceased father, Chew Mung Lum, embraced his physician career of 50 years.  My elder brothers, Steven Lum, MD and David Lum, Esq., and brother-in-law Robert Wo, Jr, are exemplary role models; as business owners serving their respective communities. The faculty members of the Stanford PT School, Professor David Auxter, and Erl Pettman, PT,MCSP,MCPA,FCAMT, one of four founding members of NAIOMT, most influenced my clinician hat, passion for teaching, and lifelong learning.

Referring to the historic visit; Governor David Ige writes, “Hawaii’s relationship with Japan is more than business, more than friendship. It is about family”. Words cannot describe the emotions exchanged at our first meeting on those two days in October of 2016. Rie, Takashi and I believe that we have planted the seed to growing our Hawaii-Japan relationship, building a connection that will help the world of physical therapy prosper. Together, we are committed to lifelong learning; for the goodness and well being of our patients and the lifelong care of our communities.

In awesome wonder and gratitude, I look forward to what’s ahead in 2017. Part Two: Best Physical Therapy Practice. April 15, 16. Osaka Rehabilitation University, Japan.


By Mark Yanai

Meet Jocelyn

Pediatrics and Pool Time with Jocelyn


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[image title=”Jocelyn Shiro, P.T., PAq” caption=”Jocelyn Shiro, P.T., PAq”][/image]

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Jocelyn Shiro, MSPT, PAq has been a licensed and practicing physical therapist for the past 30 years in California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Twenty­-eight of those years have been in pediatric rehab, working with clients of various ages, ranging from birth to young adulthood. She has worked in neuro-rehabilitation, public schools, birth to three early intervention and private pediatric clinic settings.


Jocelyn has experience with aquatic physical therapy, developmental assessments, sensory integration treatment, evaluation and treatment of children with global and motor developmental delays, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Spina Bifida, lower extremity amputation from disease, trauma, and birth defects, Failure to Thrive, FAS, seizure disorders, Brittle Bone Disease, and orthopedic anomalies.

In August 2016, Jocelyn became a certified Pediatric Aquaticist through the Aquatic Therapy University in Minneapolis. She currently works for Fukuji and Lum as a full time aquatic physical therapist, and for the Waianae Coast Early Childhood Services Parent Child Development Center.

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Jocelyn joined us a year ago and has been busy at our Kokokahi location working daily in the pool. Her certification in Pediatric Aquatics brings us closer to providing lifelong care for our patients.

What makes you so drawn to working in pediatrics?
I have always had a soft spot for babies and children.  No matter what deficit or diagnosis they have, no matter how high or low functioning they are, they just want to have fun and feel happy.  If they are in pain or are unhappy, hugs tend to work much better than pills. They are also smaller than me, and being a rather small adult, it makes being a physical therapist much easier!

Who is your greatest influence in physical therapy?
My clients, both young and old are my greatest influences.  I am often inspired by those who are overcoming pain, suffering and disability, and I strive to be a better therapist, so that I can better help them.

What is the most interesting thing or most rewarding thing in working with children?
Children’s bodies and nervous systems tend to be more plastic or resilient, because they are young and still developing.  They tend to improve or recover relatively quickly, which makes working with them very rewarding.  I also enjoy working with parents or other caregivers, educating them and empowering them to be their child’s best advocate and “therapist”.


You moved from Alaska to work in Hawaii. What drew you to Hawaii? 
I was tired of the cold, dark winters of Alaska and was ready for a change. I felt like I had made an impact and contribution to my small town in Alaska through teaching dance and being a PT for the hospital, public schools, and the birth to three early intervention organization.  I wanted try making a new contribution to a new community, with the same feeling of “Ohana” if I could.


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What do you see in F&L that’s so different than other PT organizations?
The owners and clinic directors treat, make investments in, and take care of their employees like family.  I am starting to really feel a part of it just after a year. I’ve worked many years in different settings, and it’s rare to find that special closeness between the different staff levels.  Everyone is important and valued, regardless of title. When people feel invested like that, the company can run more smoothly and respectfully. I truly appreciate that and feel blessed to be a part of Fukuji and Lum Ohana.


How have you adapted to life on the islands?
Haha, I think I have adapted very quickly and comfortably.  I feel very at home here and have enjoyed getting to know a wide variety of people, both local and not local, and have involved myself in the medical, yoga, and dance communities this past year.  And my son serendipitously ended up at the University of Hawai’i Manoa, which we both love (that was NOT planned, but he says I followed him).



By Mark Yanai

The Awesome Experience of Finding Yourself


One of the rewards of working with physical therapy students is being able to witness their amazing growth during their time with us. At the end of their internship, students normally see the success they accomplished with their work and have the realization of a learned skill. But with the Northeastern Co-Op students, it’s often a lot more than what happens in the clinical setting. They end up discovering their identity of who they really are and want to be in life.

While the experience of being in Hawaii for six months seems like an extended vacation, it is often much more than that. There’s a saying “You never leave a place you love, you take a part of it with you, leaving a part of you behind.” I find this is true for many of the Co-Ops, but much more so with Kara, one of our 5 Co-ops this past semester. When I first posted a blog introducing her back in Febuary, she wrote about her hopes to finding out what kind of therapist she could be. Six months went by fast and I could describe her tremendous growth in my words, but it’s more clear when you hear it from her.

My Co-Op Experience: Kara

So I guess now that I’m done with my first semester back I have no more excuses to not write this blog. It’s a big undertaking, however, because I am not particularly adept at putting my feelings and experiences into coherent thoughts. My usual encounter with anyone asking me how my 6-month co-op was in Hawaii might be something like this:

“So how was Hawaii?” Internal dialogue: ‘Ohmygosh it was so great I had so much fun I learned so much Fukuji and Lum is awesome they actually care so much about the co-ops and that we are having a good/educational time and the islands were great/magical/more than I ever imagined and I made friends and swam in the ocean with cute sea creatures and almost fell off a few mountains and ohmygosh I got so fit biking to work every day but it was scary in the rain and everyone was always so concerned and supportive of everything that we did and looked out for us like family wait what was I saying? What I actually say: “uhhhh…. Awesome?!?!”



I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear me babble on like that, but that’s pretty much still all I can do.  I cannot describe what a great experience working for Fukuji & Lum was, or how much all of my amazing coworkers mean to me. It wasn’t just 6 months of sun and fun in a tropical paradise, although there was plenty of that, I was welcomed into the F&L family as a long-lost relative. The Hawaiian concept of Ohana is now engrained in me, not by being told the definition over and over, but by being shown over and over in the kindness and love of everyone I encountered.





The experience I gained in the different clinics will shape the type of therapist I become. Up till now, being a physical therapist was a VERY distant dream. Being back from Fukuji and Lum and taking classes this summer, this is the first time I have actually felt this dream was attainable. Working as a therapist was something I wanted to do, but honestly up till now it was something I never actually felt I was capable of doing. I continued semester after semester with the growing feeling that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t smart enough. The people at Fukuji and Lum have been great mentors, and the confidence they have shown in me has in turn made me more confident. Since returning from Hawaii I find I have been able to accept the fact that no, I don’t know everything, but that’s ok, that’s what the rest of my education is for.

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I am grateful for everything I came away from Hawaii having learnt and seen. In those magical 6 months I made lifelong friends, ate strange and delicious foods (does anyone want to send me some haupia?? no??), collected a hodgepodge of the culture and language, explored, learned much about myself, and fell in love…. with the Islands! So from the bottom of my heart, Mahalo Nui Loa!

By Mark Yanai

The Hi Life of the Supposed



This past semester, Natalia, one of the five Northeastern University Co-ops worked with me at our W.O.R.C. site and with Randy at our Kailua clinic. She was one of the PT students that was exposed to and later immersed in Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) techniques, something exciting and new to F&L. Natalia has since returned to Boston to resume classes and continue her pursuit of her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.

She spent her last weekend in Hawaii attending F&L’s closed course on PRI, which I wrote about in my last blog. I had just returned from my trip to Boston where I commented to everyone that “no one has heard of any student named Natalia”.  She was then given the name “Supposed” by James Anderson, our course instructor.

I don’t always get to work closely with the Co-Ops as they are assigned to our various clinics, but when I do, I get very attached to them. Natalia was no different and we got to know each other well. She was a terrific student of the craft and I know she’ll become an excellent clinician. We will definitely miss her presence at the clinics and wish her the best in her future endeavors. We are so grateful to Natalia for writing about her experience working with F&L and the fun she had living on the island for six months.


My Co-Op Experience: Natalia

Upon my return to Boston, I’ve heard the same question over and over from my classmates and friends: “How was Hawaii?” This is a surprisingly difficult question for me. I usually answer with some variation on the words “spectacular”, “completely amazing”, or perhaps a succinct “epic”, but no matter what I say, the words seem lacking to describe how much the experience truly meant to me.

Living in Kailua and working at Fukuji & Lum has without a doubt been the best six months of my life to date. I got to work with such amazing, compassionate, intelligent people who provided me a real life example of what culture- and value-oriented health care is all about. I got to learn from uniquely skilled, experienced, and dedicated physical therapists who were incredibly generous in sharing their knowledge and went out of their way to give me an educational experience I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else. I got to become familiar with types of treatments not all practitioners learn even after graduation, such as PRI, Strain-Counterstrain, and NAIOMT.


Over the past six months, I have grown so much and become more confident in myself as an individual, a healthcare professional, and a future physical therapist. And of course, I got to do all this in between weekends spent exploring sheer clifftops, cascading waterfalls, colorful pillboxes, jungle forests, ancient ruins, hidden treehouses, vibrant reefs, and white-sand beaches; eating amazingly ono grinds from all around the island, from the food trucks in Haleiwa to ramen in Honolulu; and visiting unique cultural places like the city graffiti of Kaka’ako or the tranquil beauty of the Byodo-in Temple, among so many others.

Along the way, I got to forge incredible friendships with my coworkers, roommates, patients and more. Living in Hawaii taught me to open up so much more than I ever used to and showed me just how easy it is to make friends, be it with someone I met on the top of the Makapu’u lighthouse hike, in downtown Honolulu, at the beach playing volleyball, or even in the clinic. I’m so grateful that I got to share some pretty awesome island experiences with such a large variety of people. No matter where I was or how much of a stranger I felt at first, I was always welcomed and treated like ohana. From my experience, the “aloha spirit” is very much a real and tangible thing; the islands really bring people together.

One of the things I’m really glad I did was visiting Kauai to take in the views along the steep Na Pali Coast hike and from the top of Waimea Canyon. Each island is so different and offers so many unique experiences, which I didn’t realize until after I had gone to Kauai. I hope to come back to Hawaii and experience more of the adventures each island has to offer. And despite all the hikes and adventures I managed to fit in, there are still things on my Oahu bucket list I have yet to do!


As I return to classes and adjust back to life in Boston (which, right now, is far hotter and stickier than Hawaii was, unfortunately), I am constantly reminded about how lucky and blessed I was to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches, mountains, bays and waterfalls in the world, all within such close reach. I deeply treasure all of the connections and ongoing relationships I made there, and it’s hard to be so far away; the island life already seems so distant. I think warmly of the patients I helped to treat and the amazing people I worked with, and I’m trying to bring some of that aloha spirit they showed me along with me back to Boston. If I’m being honest, I wish I could still be working at Fukuji & Lum – six months seemed too short! But I know that the rest of my education lies in front of me, and the island will always be there to welcome me back. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle to listening to Kolohe Kai and Jack Johnson while studying for midterms in the library, dreaming of Lanikai beaches.

Mahalo and aloha oe to everyone in Fukuji & Lum and anyone who’s touched my life in Hawaii in someway. I hope to be back to say aloha again some day.




By Mark Yanai

Introducing Natalia


We continue with the introductions of our most recent Co-ops. Meet Natalia, our newest addition to the Kailua clinic. Read about how her detour from the mainland to Hawaii for her next Co-op experience came about in our Q&A session below.
IMG_9242– What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I went to Jesuit High School in Portland, OR and moved to Boston for Northeastern University‘s six year DPT program.

Jesuit HS Logo      jesuiths01

– What drew you to physical therapy?
I’ve always known I wanted to be in the health profession, so in high school I did a lot of research and talked to a bunch of people from different careers. What struck me the most was how much physical therapists enjoyed their jobs and felt that their work was deeply rewarding and meaningful. I shadowed at an outpatient clinic and it was very inspirational to see the strong rapport PTs have with their patients and how hard they work to help their patients improve.


– Why did you want to do your Co-op in Hawaii?

I really enjoyed my last outpatient Co-op because I appreciated the depth of a relationship that can be built over a longer timeframe with patients seen in an outpatient clinic as opposed to a hospital setting. I decided the Hawaii Co-op would give me a new take on an environment that I’ve already had some experience with and plan to go in the future, as well as provide me the opportunity to learn fresh techniques, perspectives, and cultural values which will shape my practice down the line.

– What has been your experience like so far?
It’s been incredible! Honestly, everyone is so friendly and chill. I thought it would be hard to transition to a completely different culture and surroundings than what I’m used to, but I already never want to leave! I have never felt so stress-free and so physically and mentally healthy! I can tell these six months are going to fly by.





– What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
I would probably say the strawberry guava that we picked off the side of a trail during a hike in Temple Valley. It was delicious and not as strange of a texture as lilikoi, but just the fact that I could pick tasty, edible fruit to munch in the middle of our hike totally blew my mind! I also couldn’t figure out if I should eat the small seeds or spit them out!

– What is on your to do list while here?
My to do list mainly revolves around being fully immersed in the culture and experiences while I’m here and to take advantage of every moment. I am going to try and be outside as much as possible by swimming, biking, running and hiking O’ahu’s beautiful landscapes. My other main goal is to learn as much as I can from the unique culture and clinic opportunities, making sure I come away with an unforgettable educational experience.

– What are your outside interests?
I’m very into tea and I love to cook healthy and try new recipes. I bike everywhere back in Boston and enjoy reading outdoors whenever I get a chance. I really like petting people’s dogs and taking advantage of community volunteer opportunities.

Natalia Cover
– What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be the kind of therapist who is constantly learning and bettering herself in order to best help other people, putting the well-being of my patients above all else. I really value education and continual learning which I believe is crucial for providing the best possible health care.

– Who is your greatest influence in your life?
That’s hard to say, because everyone I’m close to has influenced me in some way — my family, friends, teachers, peers, and coworkers alike. If I had to choose one person, I would say my sister. She’s the one who’s given me my love of outdoor adventure, shaped my taste in music and literature, and honed my skills in vegetarian cooking. She has showed me what it means to be a compassionate and altruistic individual. She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and has been there whenever I’ve had to make tough decisions. She definitely is likely the reason why I chose a career in physical therapy.


By Mark Yanai

2015 UH Coaches Strength Clinic


Last month I attended the University of Hawaii‘s 2015 UH Coaches Strength Clinic on April 24-25th. After gaining valuable knowledge from last year’s clinic, I was excited to hear and learn new things from this year’s speakers, especially Tommy Heffernan, who heads the Strength and Conditioning Program at the University of Hawaii

Tommy Heffernan

Heffernan played for the UH football and baseball teams from 1988 to ’91 and has been affiliated with the Rainbow Warrior football program ever since. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian history from UH in 1991, Heffernan taught at Kahuku where he also coached football and baseball.  In 1995, he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at UH and then became the head coordinator four years later.

For the past six years, Heffernan has organized the Coaches Strength Clinic. He invites local speakers from Hawaii as well as from the mainland, each bringing great insight into various areas of strength and conditioning for athletes. Attendees were given hands on instruction on improving mobility, speed and quickness, and of course, strength training. It was interesting that the speakers had such different and unique perspectives on strength and conditioning, depending on their specialty and area of expertise which ranged from the armed forces and college athletics to specific sports like rugby and weightlifting.

One of the best moments of the two-day clinic, in my opinion, occurred when Heffernan presented the first Coach’s Recognition Award to one of his childhood coaches, Philip Chun. Heffernan talked about Chun’s influence on him as a young athlete and realized, as he grew older that all of the athletic knowledge he gained from Chun wasn’t as significant as the relationship he built over the years with Chun. He spoke highly of the nurturing relationship that coaches have with young athletes and how it sometimes isn’t realized until much later in life. The emotion in which the speech was given was moving and memorable. It was a sentiment that I’m sure all of the coaches (in attendance) experience with their athletes and it drives them to attend these types of clinics.

As a representative of F&L, I will continue to attend and support the Hawaii Strength Clinic as it brings great value to us in knowledge, community involvement, and connection with other health providers. I look forward to sharing what i learned from the clinic with my staff and patients at our therapy clinics. I expect to attend next year’s clinic which is expected to be held on January 29-30th.

Look for a future blog about my experience with one of the speakers, Leo Totten. I attended his certification for Olympic Lifting that he offered to attendees of the clinic.

Speakers included:


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Leo Totten, a Level 5 Senior International Weightlifting Coach and owner of Totten Training Systems



Elizabeth Ignacio   



Elizabeth Ignacio, MD and Rachel Coel, MD,
IMUA and Queen’s Center for Sports Medicine



Brian Norwood  charlie-weingroff



Brian Norwood, Defensive Coordinator University of Tulsa

Charlie Weingroff, D.P.T., Certified Athletic Trainer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist



Steve Englehart Scott Swanson



Steve EnglehartStrength and Conditioning Coach and Assistant Director of Sports Performance for Colorado University

Scott Swanson, Director of Strength and Conditioning for the Army at West Point



Charlie Melton  McDonald_Hank14_2327.jpg



Charlie Melton, Director of Basketball Men’s Athletic Development, Baylor University

Hank McDonald, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for the University of Hawaii



David Tuinauvai



David Tuinauvai, owner of Conquest Fitness and Rugby Union League Strength & Conditioning Coach


Bronson and Dane Sardinha, Pacesetters Baseball Academy
Tommy Heffernan is a member of the International Sports Science Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and has been designated Master Strength and Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He resides in Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu.

By Mark Yanai

Selective Functional Movement Assessment



On June 20-21st, I attended a SFMA workshop at Queen’s Medical Center. SFMA stands for Selective Functional Movement Assessment, which is a comprehensive system used to classify movement patterns and direct manual therapy and therapeutic exercise interventions. The class was taught by Dr. Michael Voight, PT, and Brandon Gilliam, DPT, from the North American Sports Medicine Institute.

michaelvoight brandon Gilliam

The SFMA helps rehabilitation professionals incorporate a movement pattern baseline into the musculoskeletal examination. It creates a pattern-specific perspective of how the patient moves in relationship to his/her anatomical information and medical diagnosis. I became interested in SFMA after reading Gray Cook’s book called MOVEMENT.

The class was well taught and interactive. The practical portion was excellent as Brandon gave the attendees an exercise progression to address dysfunctional movement patterns that the assessment system targets. Watch this video as Brandon shows a basic exercise for Rolling.

A big part of F&L’s company culture is ‘To Embrace Change’, a key value which we strive to live by each day. With SFMA being a new system, I am excited to incorporate it into our practice methods as it will greatly assist our physical therapists in assessing and treating patients. So when you come in to see one of our therapists, don’t be surprised if they take you through an assessment that looks at movement patterns of your entire body.