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

My PRI Path


Postural Restoration Institute and F&L

This past June, F&L held a private Myokinematic Restoration course from the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI). The course was limited to F&L clinicians to introduce PRI’s philosophy to our organization and was instructed by James Anderson, MPT, PRC, who is one of the primary instructors for PRI as well as the Director of Affiliate Courses.


I first met James back in April of this year when I traveled to San Francisco for the same course. I found the content in the Myokinematic Restoration challenged many of the traditional teachings of my profession, yet provided evidenced based results that supported it’s philosophy. I enjoyed James’ energy and passion for teaching and thought his style kept me engaged throughout the weekend course. I left excited to apply what I learned to my patients.






mike cantrell postural restoration institute

Ron Hruska





I got mixed results, so I knew my skill and knowledge of PRI needed to improve. I signed up for another PRI primary class in Boston called Postural Respiration, hosted by Northeastern University. It was the perfect location for me to visit as we have a great relationship with NU’s Cooperative Program. The course was taught by Mike Cantrell, MPT, PRC, who also brought great passion to PRI’s teachings.

Both courses gave me a better understanding of PRI and its development of an innovative treatment approach that explains the primary contributors of postural kinetic and kinematic movement dysfunction.  PRI’s founder, Ron Hruska, MPA, PT, recognized patterns with polyarticular chains that create asymmetry and adaptations to function. It’s these chains that create tone or inhibition of muscles that are addressed with PRI techniques. Recognition of these patterns and how they create dysfunction are critical in a clinician’s ability to apply PRI’s unique approach.



PRI concentrates on the respiration and gait patterns that we all use to function on a daily basis. The use of the diaphragm and the specific exercises designed for PRI are unique for traditional orthopedic approaches. I found myself blowing into a balloon to improve my ribcage mobility and pelvic symmetry, which seemed comical at first. But as I continued down the path of PRI exercises and respiration techniques, I found that its unorthodox methods produce some significant changes in not only my patients, but in my own body and function.





As for the Myokinematic Restoration course at F&L, it was a huge success for both our organization and myself. Hearing James a second time and now being equipped with two primary courses, I felt confident in my ability to apply PRI techniques with greater effectiveness. Our therapists have gained a terrific introduction to PRI and valuable knowledge that kept inline with our current practice methods.


It’s my hope that we continue down this path with PRI. It’s still early in our relationship with James and PRI but it has already produced great outcomes for our patients.

For more information regarding PRI, visit their website or contact our organization to schedule a visit.