Traditional Japanese Exercise Improves Residents Lives


In October of last year, an handful of Hale Makua employees became the first instructors certified to teach Fumanet, a traditional Japanese exercise known to improve cognitive ability, attention, concentration, movement and memory. In February, Dr. Kazutoshi Kitazawa, there creator of Fumanet, visited Hale Makua Health Services from Japan to check in on some of his first students in the United States. Fumanet instructor and Hale Makua Kahului Activities Director, Teresa Lopes, has been diligently teaching residents Fumanet, and has seen incredible improvements in their mobility and memory. 

Among the residents partaking in the exercise, is Mitsuo Tomita, pictured here with Dr. Kitazawa (right), Activities Assistant Youpha Giovannoni (left) and Activities Director Teresa Lopes (back). Our Activities team has been tracking the progress of each resident while they go through the eight week program. They noticed that Mr. Tomita has done very well. He has completed two-eight week sessions of the exercise and his concentration, strength and memory have all improved.

The time to complete one round on the Fumanet net is measured from the moment an individual stands up to start, to the moment they sit down when they have completed. The walk is a total distance of 24 feet. When he first started in October 2016, Mr. Tomita used a front wheel walker and it took him one minute and 38 seconds to complete his round. His most recent round, which he completed on March 9th, took him an astounding 25 seconds to complete! He walked through the net without a walker and was assisted by one person using a gait belt.

We have been incredibly impressed with the progress of all residents who have been participating, and can’t believe that this exercise has the ability to improve so much more than just strength in our elder’s lives. To see photos from Dr. Kitazawa's visit click here. Many thanks to Dr. Kitazawa for sharing new techniques to help Hale Makua residents gain confidence and strive to improve the of well-being of Maui’s kupuna.

Tags: Meaningful Activity, Eden Alternative