Back2Basics Sober Living Staff Graduates With Doctorate

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Back2Basics long-term residential drug rehab congratulates its own martial arts instructor on his doctorate in physical therapy.

Back2Basics residents stretch during Qigong class.

Taken in martial arts class at Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures.

Because [Qigong] is so introspective, you have to be present and in the moment. It’s not like running on a treadmill while watching TV.

Ben Scharfenberger, Kung fu and Qigong instructor at Back2Basics long-term drug rehab and alcohol treatment program, recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a doctorate in physical therapy.

Scharfenberger has been mastering the practice of Kung fu and Qigong since age 19. Instead of pursuing a more traditional route in Chinese internal medicine for his education, he looked to the three-year doctorate program at NAU to move forward in his field and practice.

“It is an old custom of Chinese martial arts that you become a master in Chinese internal medicine,” said Scharfenberger. “Physical therapy was better suited for me and my family; I’ve had opportunities to combine martial arts with my studies [at NAU].”

Founder and CEO of Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures, Roy DuPrez was roommates with Scharfenberger in 2000. Years later, DuPrez came to him about his potential business endeavors -- a “back to basics” drug rehab and alcohol treatment center that married physical and psychological life-skill building exercises.

“He saw the character and physical benefits of Kung fu training through a mutual friend of ours that I was instructing,” said Scharfenberger. “The goal was to improve residents’ health and expose them to something different.”

Scharfenberger teaches Kung fu and Qigong daily, bright and early at Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures. By combining his expertise in martial arts and studies at NAU he is able to lead a class that simultaneously nurtures each resident’s physical abilities, while improving their mental state.

“Every group that has come through is different, which is a challenge for me,” he said. “I have to monitor their physical state in each class. That’s where my physical therapy schooling has come into play.”

The benefits of Kung fu and Qigong classes with Scharfenberger go beyond weight loss.

“My observations have been increased energy, improved mental state, patience and agility,” said Scharfenberger. “Because [Qigong] is so introspective, you have to be present and in the moment. It’s not like running on a treadmill while watching TV.”

Watch a class on the Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures YouTube channel here:

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Roy DuPrez

Roy DuPrez
Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures
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