By Mark Yanai

Introducing Ashley

Embracing Change is one of F&L’s core values that we look for in each of our employees. Every six months we get a new set of students from Northeastern University and our entire organization embraces their presence and the responsibility to care for them. This fall semester we have four new students including Colby, which I wrote about in my last blog.

Since my first Co-op blog, I’ve always used the same format when questioning the students about themselves. In trying to keep things fresh and evolving, I gave each of the Co-ops the freedom to write whatever they wanted in introducing themselves as employees of F&L. Today, we get to meet Ashley. [one_third]


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Deciding to spend my first co-op in Hawaii is probably one of the better decisions I have made. From the first time I spotted the Hawaiian site for my Co-op I knew I wanted to apply to Fukuji & Lum. However, never in a million years did I think I would actually get the honor of working with such intelligent and caring people. Being a physical therapy major, there isn’t much time to travel during the six years that I am I student. I am truly lucky to have been given the chance to be able to move to Hawaii and immerse myself in its culture for six months. [/two_third_last]

Working at Fukuji & Lum has given me opportunities that I never imagined were possible. From getting grastoned to actually taking patients through their exercise programs, I have gained so much experience that will help me become a better therapist in the future. Every day I learn something new. The people I get to work with are the best in their field, always making sure they explain things to me and that I understand, and constantly improving themselves as well.

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Having the opportunity to work not only in a clinic, but a pool and front office, also gives me a chance to learn so many different aspects of therapy. Each job that I have is different and teaches me something new.


Working in the office has taught me a lot about the paperwork aspect of therapy. Before this experience, I never knew how complicated insurance was and I have gained a lot of respect for the people who do those jobs. Being in the pool was something that made me very excited to work here. The pool is a very unique setting for therapy and one I always found fascinating. While in the pool I have learned an alternative to land therapy and it has taught me to think out of the box when it comes to coming up with helpful exercises.

So far two months (one-third) of my Hawaiian adventure has gone by and I couldn’t be more shocked. It’s hard to believe I have already spent so long in this incredible place, at a job that makes me excited to wake up every morning. It also scares me that in a few short months I’ll be heading back to freezing cold Boston in the middle of January! At least I’ll have a nice tan… I am so thankful for this experience and can not wait to use all I learned and all I will learn at Fukuji & Lum as a physical therapist one day! [/two_third]



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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

F&L’s 4th Annual Free Car Wash

This past Saturday, F&L held it’s 4th Annual Free Car Wash at the Kokokahi YWCA. Each year, F&L offers a FREE car wash as a service to our Windward community. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for supporting our organization. This year is extra special, as we celebrate twenty years of providing physical therapy to our community.

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The car wash was the perfect event for our patients to watch us sweat as we washed their dirty cars. My favorite moment happened when one of my current patients enjoyed bossing me around by pointing out spots that I missed on her car so she could return the “favor” of working hard in therapy. She was determined to make us feel the wrath of her commands even though her truck was already spotless! We all had a great laugh!

Community events like the car wash are great ways for F&L to express our company values. F&L has always placed our values at the forefront of our commitments. Nurturing relationships is perhaps our greatest value and expressing gratitude toward those that we serve can be a powerful reminder of that value. Seeing our patients arrive at the car wash allowed us to interact with them in a different setting, which often brought on smiles and laughter.


We look forward to continuing our tradition of free car washes for many years to come. The feeling of declining to accept donations was fulfilling and continued to bring disbelief among patrons.  See you all next year with your dirty cars!

Please look for information for next year’s car wash on our website and Facebook page.

By Mark Yanai

The New PT Co-Ops are here! Meet Teagan (Part 2)


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[image title=”Teagan Ferguson, NEU Co-Op Student” caption=”Teagan Ferguson, NEU Co-Op Student”][/image][/fancy_images]
Teagan Ferguson is studying to become a physical therapist and is in her 4th year at Northeastern’s Physical Therapy program. She is returning to the islands to work for F&L as part of her school’s Co-Op program. Teagan is currently working at our Kaneohe Clinic and Aquatic Pool located at the Kokokahi YWCA.

Teagan told us about being in the physical therapy field and her experience in Hawaii these past few weeks.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Haddam Killingworth High School in Higganum CT before graduating and continuing my education at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?
In high school I really liked engineering but knew I wanted to go into the medical field. Physical therapy was a mix between the two worlds for me and has turned out to be a pretty good fit.

Why did you want to do your Northeastern Co-Op in Hawaii?
I knew I wanted to do my co-op in Hawaii because it’s a place I’d love to return to after school. I’ve never really had a home town since I’ve moved a lot but Hawaii was where I was born. Since part of my family returned to the island it seemed like a good time to come back and see how things have changed.

What has your experience been like so far?
My experience so far has been amazing. I love that I can work in both aquatic and land therapy here and the PTs and PTAs that I’m working with are great teachers. All of the patients I’ve worked with are very friendly and I’m excited to enjoy the rest of my co-op.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
The strangest thing I’ve eaten here is probably a Spam Musubi. It’s one thing I’d never had before and didn’t think I’d like.

What is on your to do list while here in the islands?
Visiting my family and taking my nephew to Hanama Bay are two big things on my to do list. I also plan on exploring more of the windward side of the island and spending some time by North Shore.

What are your interests outside of school and work?
Outside of work I enjoy taking photos of nature and animals as well as playing video games. Since being here I’ve really come to enjoy kayaking as well.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I would love to be an outpatient physical therapist and I’d like to do aquatic therapy at least part of the time.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My greatest influence is my mother as she’s always teaching us to both set big goals for ourselves and work out butts off to achieve them. She’s very supportive and let’s us make our own choices because she knows different people have different paths to being successful.

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Please give Teagana a warm Aloha when you see her at the pool or the Kaneohe clinic.
Next blog post: Meet Sarah!

By Deb Matsuura

Kaneohe Clinic now at Kokokahi YWCA

Our Clinic has moved!! 

But we’re still here in Kaneohe!


The Kaneohe Clinic has been a familiar sight as passersby have recognized the F&L sign on the corner of Kamehameha Hwy and Pua Inia Street for the past 16 years. Recently, the company had been looking into moving to a new location to better serve our patients and the community and was fortunate to find a space at the Kokokahi YWCA, just minutes away from the old clinic.
On June 30th, the new clinic opened it’s doors. It will provide the same therapy services as well as our W.O.R.C. and Aquatic programs, also located on the YWCA campus. We are extremely proud to call this clinic our “new home” as most of the renovations were done by the F&L staff. With many hands and hours put into the project, the staff worked hard to build a customized space that best fit the needs of our patients.

Come visit us Monday thru Friday, on the lower level of Atherton Hall at Kokokahi YWCA in Kaneohe. 

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By Deb Matsuura

Aquatic Physical Therapy For Arthritis

Did you know that Arthritis affects 1 out of 5 families in Hawaii? That’s about 79,000 adults and over 1200 keiki who suffer from some form of Arthritis here in the islands. Many of us are familiar with one of the more common forms of Arthritis called Osteoarthritis (OA), found mostly in knees, hips and hands. The Arthritis Foundation defines OA as, ” the breakdown of cartilage (the part of a joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement) and as it deteriorates, bones begin to rub against one another.”

Someone with OA may have difficulty making specific movements when using a joint as it can cause pain and stiffness.  When OA starts to affect one’s daily activities, Physical Therapy can play a vital role in decreasing pain and improving movement. Patients with OA can be prescribed therapy to treat their arthritic symptoms. F&L offers various types of therapy programs for patients with Arthritis, but the Aquatic Therapy program is especially designed to provide patients a comfortable setting where they can perform exercises in the water, resulting in less stress on the joints. Click Aquatic Therapy program for more information.

Let’s get you back to doing the things you love and enjoy doing!

Get the Facts on Arthritis:

Myth #1: Arthritis is just minor aches and pains associated with getting older.
Fact: Arthritis is actually a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that can affect people of all ages, races and genders.

Myth #2: Arthritis is not a serious health problem.
Fact: Arthritis places a growing burden on the health care and economic systems in this country.

Myth #3: People with arthritis should avoid exercising.
Fact: Exercise is a valuable tool in the fight against arthritis.

By Mark Yanai

What’s a WORC WOD?


It’s 6:00 am…the Kaneohe roosters are crowing, the sun still sleeping and it’s the perfect time for a workout. Your body is fully charged from a good night’s sleep and you can’t wait to get to W.O.R.C., not because you like to work but because you love W.O.R.C. (Windward Occupational Rehab Center) where every Thursday, a group of die hards meet before the crack of dawn to get in a WOD (Workout of the Day). It all started on New Year’s Eve of 2013 with a group of guys who wanted to get in one last workout before the end of the year. Since then, the group has evolved to whomever wants to show up at early in the morning and start the day with some good ‘ol sweat.

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The format of the WOD changes every week. You never know what you’ll end up doing when you walk through the door. It’s not crossfit, but a blend of functional exercises that include TRX, kettlebells, sandbags, sleds, pulleys, medicine balls, etc. The workouts are usually high intensity interval training (HIIT) with some form of competition. We always include the competitive part which usually gives everyone a little more motivation to push themselves.


The WOD means something different for everyone but the intent isn’t to lose weight or build muscle. The intent is to find out something about yourself. How do you control your emotions when you’re pushing yourself physically? How do you feel when you compete against others and especially, yourself? How much gratification do you get when you accomplish something as a team?

If you want to be a part of the WORC WOD, all you have to do is show up – Tuesdays, 6:00 am .  That’s the hardest part. Once you do, you’ll get to experience a great group of people who come together once a week and have a lot of fun.