Heights clinic uses Budo in rehab and fitness

To clinic founder and physical therapist Bret Paulus, Synergy Rehab and Fitness is in the right place at the right time, and for the right reasons.

He opened the cozy studio and clinic last June, in a newly completed building at the corner of 12th and Pine streets (also home to the new Pine Street Bakery). Since then, clientele has grown steadily, his staff has increased and Budo (a Japanese term for martial art) classes like Aikido, Tai Chi, Jod, Yoga and Ukemi have been added to the clinic’s regular schedule.

For Paulus, a 30-year PT with the last 15 spent at Hood River Physical Therapy, Snyergy’s focus on alternative approaches to rehab and core fitness is a perfect fit for such an active and sports-minded community.

“There are elements of PT that can be fairly boring,” Paulus said. “What sets us apart is that we take the least-ridgid, cookbook approach to rehab and fitness. The five PT clinics in Hood River run the gamut of traditional to progressive; I like to think we are the most progressive.”

Synergy’s philosophy is to blend traditional rehab goals with creative, fun and lifestyle-specific activities and exercises.

“We create real-life simulation drills and exercises to simulate forces and movements that the body is going to be subjected to in people’s individual lifestyles,” Paulus said. “For Gorge athletes, that approach is particularly relevant for getting back into specific sports after an injury.”

Paulus’ treatment mindset is inspired by his personal background in swimming, surfing, windsurfing and telemark skiing. He says these sports embody “core movements,” which are integrated into many of Synergy’s therapy prescriptions.

To supplement the rehab and therapy side of the business, Synergy has added a schedule of regular classes designed to be active enough for anyone, but accommodating enough to be added to a patients’ recovery processes.

Classes include adult and kids’ Aikido — the only of its kind in Hood River — with sensei Neil Lofgren, who brings 15 years of teaching experience to the clinic’s newly named Gorge Budo Raji dojo. The name is in honor of Lofgren’s sensei, Jaff Raji. Lofgren also teaches Jodo, a classical martial art that stemmed from the concept of using a walking stick to defend against an attack from a sword, and Ukemi fitness, which use uses basic movements and concepts from traditional martial arts to help with flexibility, strength, balance and coordination.

The clinic also offers traditional and therapeutic yoga, tai chi yoga, tai chi, personal fitness classes and a blend of strength training and cardio interval workouts called T3 Fitness.

“Our staff is amazing and everyone we have is here for the right reasons,” Paulus said. “We all care deeply about what we do and about helping others live healthy and balanced lives.”


Synergy is located at 1120 Pine Street. For more information or class schedules see synergyrehabfitness.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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