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By Mike Baker
When Irina Sorokina first brought the PhysioMed brand to Orangeville back in 2012, she had no idea what the local clinic, turned gym would go on to become.
Speaking with the Citizen earlier this month, Ms. Sorokina painted a picture of the organization's eight-year evolution, which has seen two new partners bring their own, unique fitness initiatives to life at the local facility. Located along Lakeview Boulevard, PhysioMed as it stands today is more than simply a clinic, and more than simply a gym – it's a haven for local residents who are looking to transform their body and drastically improve their overall health.
“We've been in this community for eight years now, and there have been a lot of changes along the way. We incorporate different goals according to the time and the needs of the community,” Ms. Sorokina said.
That first big transition came in 2018 when Shelburne resident Anthony Oragunye brought his TrainerGames ideology to Orangeville. With 20 years of experience in the Fitness industry, Anthony was looking to expand his reach in Dufferin County after opening his own gym in Shelburne in 2017.
In explaining what, exactly, TrainerGames brings to the PhysioMed family, Anthony noted his expertise in Weightloss, Strength & Conditioning and nutrition, adding that he and his team offer approximately 15 programs to members of the local facility.
The transition at PhysioMed felt like a natural one for Anthony. He is a long-time acquaintance of Dr. Scott Wilson, founder and president of PhysioMed. Upon meeting Irina, who just so happens to be Scott's partner, when this opportunity was first brought to him, Anthony felt it was one that was just too good to pass up.
“After that first meeting with Irina, I could see right away what could be, and I could see that Irina had the same vision too. That's what attracted me to jump on board,” Mr. Oragunye said.
It wasn't all smooth sailing though, Anthony recalls. He initially had difficulty building his clientele in Orangeville, but, with the support of Irina and the rest of his team, he quickly started to gain traction in the community. Now, collectively, TrainerGames Fitness and PhysioMed Health Clinic boasts 512 members, while classes and boot camps are regularly full.
The facility held an open house in mid-January as a way of welcoming their newest addition. Monica Plewes has recently brought her renowned Pilates Kollektive business to Orangeville. While Monica was initially looking for a standalone facility of her own, after years of operating pilates programs in Toronto and Bolton, one meeting with Irina towards the end of 2019 changed everything.
“With the potential for three different components here at PhysioMed – that being physio, pilates and TrainerGames Fitness, I saw the potential for something special. It sort of works like a triage. Already, Anthony had a few programs in place for pilates and yoga, which has really helped me as I've come on board,” Monica said. “It's been a really quick transition – we renovated my studio over a few weeks from December to January, and we're already offering full programming.”
Disclosing the wide variety of classes offered through Pilates Kollektive, Monica teaches reformer, barre and mat pilates and also offers both private sessions and teacher training.
That last part is particularly unique. Monica is one of only a handful of people across the globe who works alongside Power Pilates, a teacher training organization for people who want to gain accreditation and form a career in pilates. Based in New York, the organization is considered the gold standard for pilates certification.
And so, three entirely different people from three entirely different worlds have come together here in Orangeville to collectively offer a range of services and programs you'd typically be hard pressed to find in one community, never mind under the same roof.
Paul Wnuk leads the physiotherapy side of the business. Born and raised in Ontario, Paul received his accreditation, namely a doctorate in physiotherapy, in the United States, completing his education in Buffalo before launching practices in Florida and Texas. After spending several years specializing in spinal manipulation and intramuscular dry needling, Paul was enticed to bring his practice closer to home following a conversation with Dr. Wilson.
Now three years into his spell in charge of the Orangeville clinic, Paul has established a strong reputation in the community. Speaking with the Citizen, he described why his clinic, and practices, is perhaps a little different from other clinics in the area.
“One of the key things I like to tell patients is, if you come to me you're going to get one-on-one therapy. It's very intimate. You will be spending time, either with myself or with another clinician,” Mr. Wnuk said. “We do a lot of hands on exercises to stretch out muscles and increase the range of muscles.”
He added, “If there's something wrong with you, something not feeling quite right, as long as it's on your body we treat it. If you don't know whether we treat it – ask. I once had a lady email me and ask if we treat dizziness. It's a symptom of the body, so the answer is yes, we do. Anything you can think of, any kind of injury is treatable.”
One of the new things Paul has recently introduced at his clinic is shockwave treatment, a popular way to manage chronic pain.
“The idea with any kind of injury is to flood the area with blood. Blood is the gold that flows through our body. If you have a rotator cuff tear, or whiplash from a car crash, if I could just take a syringe and fill you with your own blood everywhere, you would heal super quickly. Shockwave therapy does just that, dry needling does that too,” Mr. Wnuk said. ““We are here to make people feel better, move better, and ultimately get them back to doing the things they love.”
More than 50 people work together to ensure the three entities – being PhysioMed, TrainerGames and Pilates Kollektive, run smoothly and successfully. So, what's next for this already unique facility in Orangeville?
“It would be cool to have a swimming pool!” Irina expressed with excitement. “In all seriousness, I think all angles are covered already now. When Anthony came in, he really gave a facelift to this place. Now that Monica has joined, we've gone from strength to strength.”
She added, “For me though, the big thing is that we've kept our personal touch. Everybody knows everybody at this facility. People don't have to sign out equipment, or wait in long lines to do what they want to do. When you come here, it's to make a positive change and we do everything we can to help each person along their own individual journey.”
Located at 170 Lakeview Court in Orangeville, PhysioMed is open to members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are multiple memberships individuals can sign up for. For more information, visit www.physiomed.ca/orangeville.
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