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Meet Our Staff – Exercise Physiologist Amber!

Every month or so, we hope to highlight one of our amazing employees. The folks who work at OrthoSport Hawaii come from many different backgrounds, have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, and love staying active while helping others improve their health and fitness. To schedule an appointment or get more information please call (808) 373.1114. 

Amber is currently the Medical Fitness Manager at OrthoSport. She is a Certified Exercise Physiologist with a degree in Exercise Science and minors in both Health and Gerontology. In addition, Amber is a certified personal trainer and TRX suspension training certified. Amber specializes in gerontology, special populations, Parkinson’s fitness, functional and balance training. In her spare time, you may find her hiking or kayaking around the island. Her ultimate goal is to help her clients progress properly and safely through a program based on their needs or condition, and help them reach and hopefully exceed their goals.


Announcing OrthoSport Hawaii’s T-shirt Raffle Contest!

As a way to thank our patients and clients AND support the local economy, OrthoSport Hawaii would like to announce our monthly T-shirt Logo Raffle.  Here are the rules:

  • All patients / clients  will receive a beautiful men’s or women’s cut OrthoSport T-shirt at end of their first visit (or next visit if already in therapy.) You also have the option to buy other OrthoSport Logowear  (when available) such as tank tops, hats, etc.
  • Each time you wear your OrthoSport shirt to your appointment, the front desk staff will add your name into the raffle jar.
  • If you leave us a Google review  ( you will receive another entry into the raffle!
  • At the end of the month, one lucky winner will be drawn, and receive a $25 gift card, or similar to a local eatery or business.
  • Keep wearing your shirt to be entered into the next month’s drawing!

Questions? Call 808.373.3555 for more information. And thank you for your support!

Should You Wear a Face Mask during COVID-19?

Update 4/8/2020:

With new research affecting policy on a daily or weekly basis, it’s critical to stay on top of changing recommendations.  Cloth or home-made face covers are now recommended when out in public. Surgical and N95 masks are not recommended, as they should be reserved for health-care workers treating sick patients and are in short supply. According to the CDC website:

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.


Should you wear a face mask to your PT or other medical appointments? In the community? According to current guidelines from the CDC:

“Wear a facemask if YOU are sick.

If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a surgical or N95 facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.”

The N95 mask with face shield or goggles should be reserved for hospital workers actively engaged in the care of patients with COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses. These masks must be fitted to your face and require instruction on how to donn (put on) or doff (remove) with gloves and gown. If you have extra of these masks it is recommended you donate them to first responders and hospital staff. An N95 mask worn without eye protection and used incorrectly, is worthless and a waste of valuable resources.

The surgical mask is designed to protect others from YOU. So if you are sick you should wear a mask to avoid coughing or sneezing on others. They will NOT protect you from microscopic viruses (note how loosely they fit). However due to panic buying, even these masks are in short supply. If you have extras that you don’t need, you may want to donate those as well.

Bandanas, scarfs etc. These items worn covering the face may remind you not to touch your face. Along with hand washing or sanitizing this is one of the ways you can avoid infection from contaminated surfaces. Just remember that if you touch the outside of the scarf, you have possibly contaminated your hand and should wash or sanitize immediately.

The important thing to realize is that there are appropriate uses for various types of masks and face coverings. Wearing a mask incorrectly may give you a false sense of safety which could lead you to engage in risky behaviors, such as forgetting to wash your hands, getting into an elevator, or attending unnecessary activities in the community — all of which could INCREASE your risk of infection.

Alphabet Soup – What are all those initials after your names?

If you look at the OrthoSport Hawaii website under About Us/Staff  you will see quite a wide variety of initials after the names of our team members. These initials represent extensive education and training on medical and fitness topics which is why we have some of the most experienced physical therapists and medical fitness trainers in the state. In addition, most of these certifications require yearly continuing education. We are always updating our treatments and protocols to match the current evidence-based science in our fields. 

PT  – Licensed Physical Therapist – all Physical Therapy school graduates must pass a rigorous licensing exam after completing their clinical rotations in various medical settings.

DPT – Doctor of Physical Therapy – All PT graduate programs are now doctorate level and include courses on pharmacology, differential diagnosis, radiography/imaging, psychology, wound care, as well as the expected musculo-skeletal, cardiopulmonary, and nervous systems education.

MPT – Master of Physical Therapy

MPH – Master of Public Health

MEd – Master of Education

OCS – Orthopedic Clinical Specialist – a PT who completed a residency or OCS coursework and passed their exam to become board-certified in Orthopedics.

MTC – Manual Therapy Certified – a PT who completed a post-graduate training program in osteopathic manual therapy.

FAAOMPT – Whoo! This one means a PT is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. A “Fellow” is a physical therapist who has demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic disorders and is internationally recognized for their competence and expertise in the practice of manual physical therapy.

LMT – Licensed Massage Therapist – in the state of Hawai’i massage therapy students complete 500 hours of study and hands-on training then sit for their state license exam.

ATRIC – Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute Certification indicates someone has specialized training and has passed an exam to become a certified Aquatic Therapist.

CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist – Fitness professionals with at least a Bachelor’s degree must pass a certification exam through the National Conditioning and Strength Association. They apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. The CSCS is one of the most respected strength coaching certifications.

CPT – Certified Personal Trainer – our staff are certified through a variety of recognized organizations including the American Council on Exercise, the Athletic Certification Training Commission, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

CPT – also stands for Certified Pilates Teacher via the STOTT Pilates method which requires months or years of training and apprenticeship as well as written and practical exams. 

CES – Corrective Exercise Specialist – a designation in the NASM for those who have taken special training to address movement and postural imbalances.

ATC – Certified Athletic Trainer – requires Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited athletic training program and passing a comprehensive licensing exam. 

CWHC – Certified Wellness Health Coach through nutritional supplement and weight loss company, Optavia.

PN – Precision Nutrition Certification.

RD – Registered Dietician –  requires a Bachelor’s degree, internship, and national license exam.


Whether you are looking to decrease pain and stiffness, improve performance, lose weight, or recover from an injury, we have the professionals to get you to your goal. Call 808.373.3555 for more information.


Discover Nine Secrets for Longevity from Around the World

This informative article was submitted by Niu Valley clinic PT , Johanna Anagaran. Thanks Johanna for your contribution!


Keys to Longevity

Carrots and more

It’s a question that remains as relevant as it is ancient: What are the keys to longevity? How can we live longer and happier lives?

Life expectancy in the USA has been declining for the last three years. The top ten causes of death are largely chronic diseases, and consist of heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury (including drug overdose), chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.  Given the increasing prevalence of chronic disease, it’s no surprise that many people fear that although they may live longer, it will be with a radically reduced quality of life. This fear may be fueling the global wellness industry, which was a $4.2 trillion market in 2017.

However, increased spending on wellness does not necessarily mean improvements in health and longevity. How do we know what to invest in, and what are the most important factors for living better and longer?

The Blue Zones Project®

Blue Zone” is a non-scientific term given to geographic regions around the world that are home to some of the world’s oldest and healthiest people. The five blue zones are:

  • The Italian island of Sardinia
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Icaria, Greece,
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica.

What, if anything, do these areas have in common? A team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists uncovered what they termed “The Power 9” and turned the Blue Zones Project into a community well-being initiative. The Power 9 transform individuals and communities by encouraging behavioral and policy changes. For example, school programs teach children to grow vegetables and cook healthy meals. Honolulu’s Complete Streets design law accommodates people traveling by foot, bicycle, transit, or car, and of all ages and abilities. This not only helps people live longer and better, but also lowers community “healthcare costs, improve productivity, and boost national recognition as a great place to live, work, and play. “ 

How Do You Use the Power 9?

Here are the nine common characteristics of the Blue Zones that contribute to their residents’ amazing longevity and health. The best thing is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to live and age well without sacrificing quality of life!

Girl moon birds at night

1.) Move naturally – Find ways to move more! You’ll burn calories without thinking about it. In addition to the obvious things like taking the stairs and parking the car farther from the store, you can also:

    • Start a garden
    • Volunteer to walk dogs at the animal shelter
    • Shop at the farmer’s market
    • Bike to work
    • Join a hiking club
    • Learn to swim
    • Take up birdwatching or star gazing

2.) Know your purpose – “Why I wake up in the morning” is the essential idea. People who have a sense of their gifts and strengths and use them daily have increased well-being. This could involve work or volunteering. Feeling needed and having a purpose-filled lifestyle can add up to seven years to your life! 

3.) Downshift – Reverse chronic inflammation and disease by finding stress-relieving strategies that work for you. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians enjoy their happy hour. How can you get yourself in the slow lane?

    • Regular napping (30min, 3x/week may reduce stress hormones and can decrease a person’s risk for coronary heart disease.)
    • Pet your dog or someone else’s (maybe after you took them for a walk!)
    • Watch a funny show and laugh until your belly hurts.
    • Read a novel, sing in the car, dance whenever you can.
    • Learn a new hobby or sport.
    • Set up a regular happy hour, lunch date, or game night with your pals.
    • Arrive 15 min early to every appointment to avoid rushing.
    • Learn to meditate or breathe deeply for 5 min.
    • Soak in the tub with your favorite bubbles (or friend.)

4.) 80% Rule – Eat mindfully until 80% full and this might be just enough to lose that extra weight. It’s about moderation and portion control. Blue Zone residents eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon/early evening.

5.) Plant Slant – Put more fruits and veggies on your plate, less meat & avoid processed food. The cornerstone of centenarian diets are beans, including fava, black, soy, and lentils. Meat is eaten on average only 5 times per month, with a serving size of 3-4 oz (about the size of a deck of cards.)

6.) Wine@ 5 – If you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, enjoy a glass of wine with good friends each day. People in all blue zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day, with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 drinks on Saturday.

7.) Family first – Loved ones should be first. Investing time in family can add up to six years to your life. Keep aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home, along with children. It lowers disease and mortality rates of children too.

8.) Belong – Connect/Re-connect with spirituality. Belonging to a faith-based community and attending services regularly can add 4-14 years to your life expectancy. Denomination did not seem to matter.

9.) Right Tribe – Surround yourself with people who support positive behaviors- and who support you. Create a healthy social network. The world’s longest-lived people chose or were born into social circles that support healthy behaviors. Okinawans create “moais”- groups of five friends that commit to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Study shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious.

How OrthoSport Hawai’i Can Help

From previous studies (e.g. the Danish Twin study), we know that genes determine only about 20% of what our life has in store for us. This means that we can influence our life and health significantly by choices we routinely make. It’s time to take control!

Man doing pullup

We at OrthoSport Hawai’i would love to be on your team and help you make healthy behaviors happen. We can offer support in the following areas:

  • Downshift with us by coming in for a relaxing massage and giving yourself a well-deserved time-out for your body.
  • Move more! Join a virtual group class via the Medical Fitness center or work with a Personal Trainer; sweat, laugh, and make new friends.
  • Get guidance on your body’s nutritional demands by making an appointment with our Dietitian or Health Coaches.
  • Come in to see our Physical Therapists if you experience any injuries so we can help you return to doing the things you love.

For more information, please visit:

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