Our Staff

James Thongkham

Physical Therapy Aide


My early childhood started in Mesa, Arizona before moving to Southern California at age 10. I went to school in the Diamond Bar area and went to college at the University of California, Riverside where I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry with a Medical Emphasis. I have a wide array of healthcare experiences ranging from interning/volunteering at dental offices, medical outreaches, and free clinics to working in the emergency department, doctor’s offices, and urgent care. Some of my credentials and experiences include: Emergency Department Medical Scribe, Urgent Care Medical Assistant, Primary Care Office Medical Assistant, High School Athletic Trainer, and Assistant Basketball Coach

Earn Respect, Gain Trust, Go to bed leaving the world a better place than when you woke up, Strive for perfection, Settle for happiness

“Things happen, what are you going to do about it?”
-helps quickly analyze the issue at hand and adapt to problem solve and prepare for future predicaments

At Empower, I am responsible for demonstrating, explaining, and integrating exercises to patients in their journey of physical recovery and wellness. Listening to patients’ frustrations with rehab and providing personalized solutions to help them persevere. Maintaining a pristine and well-stocked clinic to maximize efficiency and patient well-being.

One of things I want to help patients with is the mental hurdles of physical therapy. The more you know about the ailment the more stressful it can be. Something I want to help adjust is the utilization of that knowledge to better understand and then focus and hone in on treatment increasing progress and motivation.

I enjoy working here because of the Empower Team. Everyone is understanding and looking out for each other professionally and personally. There is a unified goal as well to not treat the symptoms, but to treat the people.

What is James Reading, Watching or Listening To? 

  • TENET (Movie)
  • Community (TV Show)
  • No Dunks (Podcast)
  • In Cold Blood (Book)
  • Steins; Gate (Anime)

When not working I enjoy time to myself at home – exercising, lounging, cleaning, cooking, watching basketball and falling down youtube rabbit-holes.

Patient Testimonials

I just finished my last physical therapy session at Empower and, after 10 weeks, I’m doing so much better! I initially came in for wrist pain after being referred by my doctor. I had been experiencing pain almost constantly for 3 months before getting it looked at and wasn’t able to do normal daily activities or even sleep without pain. I was in a brace around the clock and was extremely discouraged that I would never feel good again. Dr. Justin Carrido and the staff at Empower Physical Therapy changed all that! They’re so easy and fun to work with and everyone is so encouraging. I had never been to physical therapy before and wasn’t sure what to expect but it was like having a friend/coach/personal trainer all in one but without the gym intimidation. Dr. Justin has an amazing bedside manner and tried absolutely everything so I could start seeing results and feel hopeful again. Obviously, I had to put in the work both in and out of the office but Dr. Justin (as well as Dr. Anthony, Rebeca, James, and the other aides) really dedicated his/their time to helping me find pain relief and physical mobility again and I am beyond grateful. I can now do daily activities as well as planks, push-ups, and yoga flows! Also, the initial referral and paperwork process was super smooth thanks to Allison, the front office manager. Empower PT was amazing all around!


– Danielle Gunderson