Healthy Tuesday: Run as a collective by three physical therapists, Fit for Life in Nevada City is expanding |

Healthy Tuesday: Run as a collective by three physical therapists, Fit for Life in Nevada City is expanding

Physical therapist Steve Crandall works with a client at Fit for Life in Nevada City. Crandall is part a team of physical therapists who specialize in manual therapy.
Submitted by Ingo Zirpins |

Fit for Life Physical Therapy

569 Searls Ave., Nevada City

Phone: 530-478-1933

Hours: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed for lunch).


While big changes are in the works regarding the future of the now-closed South Yuba Club property in Nevada City, the owners of nearby Fit For Life Physical Therapy are eager to spread the word that they’re not going anywhere.

Since three physical therapists purchased the business in January of 2017 and now run it as a collective, the facility has expanded to include six therapists and a broader range of equipment and treatment options.

Therapist Ingo Zirpins, who co-owns Fit for Life with therapists Corey Vanderwouw and Margaret “Mags” Matthews, said their team has more than 100 years of professional experience combined, with a mission to provide skilled, one-on-one, patient-centered care with a focus on education, injury prevention and rehabilitation in a “fun and active environment.”

Located on Searls Avenue in the Seven Hills Business District, Fit for Life opened in 2006 and transitioned from a single owner to a therapist-owned collective a year ago. The professional team offers rehabilitation and pain relief for muscle, joint, and nerve injuries, as well as orthopedic conditions, repetitive stress injuries, work and sports injuries. Treatment options also include pre-surgical strengthening and post-surgical care, treatment for pelvic pain and pelvic conditions for men and women. They specialize in vestibular and vertigo treatments, and provide neurological rehabilitation.

Initially discouraged when the staff learned they would lose access to the adjacent gym’s pool for their aquatic therapy sessions, Zirpins said their clients are now able to

transition post-rehab to the 92-degree Bowman-Solinsky Pool on Hoover Lane several blocks away. Negotiations for the use of other aquatic facilities to continue the aquatic therapy program are also in the works, said Zirpins.

With Fit For Life located in the same complex as the former gym, Nevada City recently gave a dispensary and a medical marijuana manufacturing business the green light to operate in separate suites adjacent to Fit for Life. But staffers say they are confident the incoming businesses will be carefully-regulated and monitored, and will not impact their daily operations.

On staff at Fit for Life are two pelvic floor specialists, both of whom have more than 10 years of experience in their specialty. Free consultations with all therapists are available to those who are eager to gain insight regarding their injuries. Soon the staff also plans to offer educational workshops that will be open to the community.

“In addition to manual therapy, we use a combination of techniques, including specialized exercises, patient education, neuromuscular training, and Pilates core stabilization,” said Zirpins. “We also use electrical stimulation, pelvic biofeedback and joint mobilization. We provide sports and activity-specific training, bracing and taping support to both treat and prevent injury.”

In addition to the three owners, the Fit for Life staff includes physical therapists Chantelle Vaughan, Steve Crandall and Denise Kelley, who was Fit for Life’s original owner. Support staff includes KC Clayson, Alexa Golembeski and Miranda Smith.

“When it came to buying this place, we basically hand-picked each other,” said Vanderwouw. “It’s been so nice to do this together. We all have children — we’re very family oriented and wanted to create an environment that works for us. We all feel strongly when it comes to advocating for our patients.”

“We’ve created a network with other community healers such as nutritionists, acupuncturists and Ayurvedic practitioners,” said Zirpins. “We want to our patients to embrace healing as a whole. Our town really is a holistic Mecca.”

Vanderwouw and Matthews, who each came into the collective from independent practices, said they now enjoy the collaboration that takes place among therapists, each of whom brings a different approach and area of expertise.

“This allows us all to learn from one another and become the best we can be,” said Matthews. “Our patients definitely benefit from this. It’s exciting to be a part of transforming people’s lives — to seeing someone go from being stuck at home to going out dancing with their grandkids.”

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at

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