Mike Teater and his physical therapy team at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Center of Camas have a mission — to be masters of balance.
Teater, the Camas center’s clinical director, recalled a story of his father who’d been struggling with a kind of vertigo. His doctors in Central Oregon hadn’t been able to resolve the problem.
“It’s a problem in your inner ear, where you have some debris floating around in what are called semicircular canals,” Teater recounted. “To resolve that, you have to know where the debris is at.”
It’s complicated. There are three canals in each ear. But using the equipment and training from FYZICAL, Teater is able to locate the debris.
His father made the several-hours drive up to Camas. Teater then put his father in the equipment, cleared his ear canal and cleared the problem with it.
“A lot of times with (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), it’s one shot and it’s fixed,” Teater said.
“That’s where we’re really able to help those people,” he added.
Teater graduated from physical therapy school at Pacific University in 2006 and then worked in the field in Bonney Lake and then Olympia. In 2013, he opened his own practice in Camas.
“We became interested in adding vestibular therapy to our practice,” Teater said. So he and his wife teamed up with FYZICAL, a franchiser based in Sarasota, Fla. The practice rebranded in 2019 and moved from its original 2,500-square-foot space to a nearly 4,000-square-foot center. The company has 11 employees with more coming on board in October.
Now, Teater has partnered up with Tom Cook, an executive at Pacific Bells and the new FYZICAL area representative.
“Mike keeps me as far away from the patients as possible,” joked Cook, a Purdue University finance graduate. “But we found that where he’s strong, I’m weak and where I’m strong, he’s weak.”
Working with FYZICAL has given Teater the infrastructure to take things off his plate.
“I can focus more on developing my staff, implementing the vestibular system and recruiting staff,” Teater said.
The company is also able to measure sway velocity and can test all of the different components of balance.
“We’re able to use that equipment to figure out what is specifically affecting that person, so that we can pair the right treatment with their problem,” Teater said.
He and Cook now own the development rights for the brand in the region. The pair hopes to have a FYZICAL in ever major city in Oregon, “so that people who have dizziness, have balance issues, are at risk for falls have access to the best solution,” Teater said.
“Together, we have formed this partnership to develop the brand in Southwest Washington and Oregon,” Cook added.
Cook said he expects to see more FYZICAL locations opening early next year, with likely five opening in total in 2023.
“We’ll continue to ramp that up in the coming years,” Cook said.