People often have the misconception that their physical limitations are simply a part of "getting old".
Although aging is undoubtedly a contributing factor, by allowing the body to move the way it was meant to, age does not have to be your limiting factor. Physical therapy should safely maximize your current capabilities, while minimizing your symptoms. Continued efforts will builds towards alleviation and eventually prevention of injuries (and who says you can't have some fun in the meantime?!). Hopefully you are able to experience the essence of physical therapy, while returning to what you love or possibly regaining capabilities you thought were no longer possible.
About Prime Physical Therapy Hawaii
Kai Morigawara, President, pt, dpt
Doctor of physical therapy
I was first introduced to and fell in love with physical therapy through my volunteering experiences where I was exposed to the fruitful interactions of helping people improve how they feel and move.
I fondly recall helping with a local military Aunty who was in therapy for her recent knee surgery. From her military connections, she was highly diligent and always put in extra work for whatever was asked of her. When I asked her why she would do this, she simply said: “I know it will help me”. This left a deep impact on my because this mindset allowed her to get astronomical results in a fraction of the time compared to anyone with the same surgery.
From this example, I learned the impact of giving people the knowledge to make physical therapy meaningful and a worthwhile investment of their time. This motivation was fine-tuned through schooling for my doctorate at the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, in conjunction with advice from many mentors in the field along the way. Assisting people eliminating their pain while improving their functional capabilities has developed into a career I will enjoy for the rest of my life.
My friendly, yet professional demeanor allows me to readily relate to patients. This mannerism stems from my mother, who was the ultimate giver. She readily sacrificed herself for the betterment of those around her, even if they were complete strangers. One of my fondest memories of her was when, as a child, I played under her computer desk at home while she worked on the thesis for her master’s degree. Although I would not realize the significance of this memory until much later, she graduated with honors while continuing her work full-time (she only took classes during her lunch break) and still taking care of the entire family. When I say “taking care of the entire family” she literally did everything from scratch cooking almost every night, and essentially doing all the chores (my sister – a young teenager, and me – just a little kid – will only assist in chores so much), to all the other daily hassles of life. Never did she raise a word of complaint. I will readily admit it took me a long time for me to mature enough to understand and eventually implement a bit of this in my own life, but mom ensured that I was raised with her work ethic and moral values in mind.
This is especially crucial in order to build trusting patient-therapist relationships. People are very observant of their therapists and truly appreciate dedication and kindness. My sincerity allows me to connect with patients and convey my desire to improve their quality of life. This is in conjunction with a unique treatment perspective promoting accelerated rehabilitation and injury prevention allows for optimal patient care where every session should produce immediate and noticeable improvements.
Part of my unique perspective and methodology comes from my mentor at Hawaii Sports and Balance Center (Kauai), where 40% of our clientele consisted of people with various vestibular deficits. Treatments for dizziness and imbalance require an attention to detail and sensitivity to minute changes. This skill set is universally applicable to the entire field of physical therapy in that it allows for the root of an individual’s problem to be located and directly addressed. This is apparent through treatment regimens specific to their individualistic needs whether they are young children, frail elderly adults, or even professional athletes.