What Ails You?: Tokyo Physio Can Fix You

Where to receive quality physiotherapy in English

There’s no question that staying healthy requires a certain amount of work and determination. We’re constantly told to eat in moderation, sleep well, and exercise regularly – and if you’re reading this, you also know about all the fancy gadgets, strange substances, and shady resources that will allegedly cure you of your ailments.

When was the last time you went to the physiotherapist?

Physio group in front of temple and Tokyo Tower
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a former college track star, have chronic pains or stay relatively free of injury, our bodies demand a certain amount of TLC. Though most of us aren’t elite athletes, the fact is that our functional fitness and mobility rely on our efforts to take care of our bodies. We sat down with Bevan Colless, co-founder of Tokyo Physio to discuss the role of physiotherapists and the importance of regularly maintaining our bodies.

Who is Tokyo Physio? Introduce yourself to us.

I’m Bevan and together with my wife Vanessa, we established Tokyo Physio in 2002. We’re originally from Australia and we met when we were in Sydney studying physiotherapy. During uni in the late 90s, we often traveled to Japan to ski and even spent some time at the ski resorts as part of a working holiday. Vanessa and I married a year after graduating; and a couple of years later in 2002, we decided to set up Tokyo Physio.

In the mid-2000’s, Vanessa and I were bitten by the triathlon bug. I did my first triathlon in Phuket in 2006 and had such an awesome time that I registered Vanessa for the following years event, without her knowledge! Since then, we have both completed about 20 Ironmans each, including Kona (3 times for Vanessa and twice for me).

In 2013, we moved to Singapore to set up Singapore Physio and I shuttle back and forth to keep the businesses running. Last summer, we welcomed a new member to our family and while Singapore has been great, we plan on moving back to Japan sometime next year.

Physio working on patient's knee

What exactly is a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to try and improve the physical well-being of the body. Broadly speaking, there are three types of physiotherapists:

(1) musculoskeletal (primarily sports injuries and rehabilitation);
(2) cardiovascular & pulmonary (for those requiring management of cardiopulmonary disorders and respiratory illnesses)
(3) neurological (focuses on individuals with neurological disorders or diseases).

At Tokyo Physio, we specialize in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and more specifically, sports and spinal-related conditions. All of our physios are trained and licensed to treat everything from general sports injuries to post-operation rehabilitation. We always start by gaining a clear understanding of your past and current injuries or limitations. To find the underlying root of a problem, we’ll then perform a physical assessment centered on flexibility, strength, and balance.

At that point, we utilize our clinical reasoning to diagnose the issue(s) and begin formulating a plan to improve the factors that were identified in the assessment. Treatments we recommend might include massage, joint mobilizations, exercises, and advice on fitness techniques or regarding home/office setups. There are no injections, drugs, or operations involved. We’re focused on recovery and your return to active fitness, and we also care about future prevention. We can also provide advanced strengthening and maintenance with our pilates and massage studio.

Who should visit Tokyo Physio?

Everyone! Especially runners, triathletes, and endurance athletes, but no athletes are a big part of our caseload too. Since we speak English and our physios are all licensed in Australia, a large part of our clientele are foreign professionals. We also make an effort to have a team of physios who keep active and have a personal background in fitness so that they might better understand our clients.

Beyond treatment and rehabilitation, we also offer a wide range of relevant services, including digitized running assessments and bike fits. Whatever it is that you seek, we require appointments to be booked in advance on our website or by email – or just give us a ring. Each appointment typically lasts from 45 minutes to an hour.

Besides Tokyo Physio, we are also located in other parts of Japan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Our note-taking system is centralized so the handover of information is smooth and our physiotherapists stay fully informed of your records. That means if you’re receiving treatment from any of our physiotherapists, you won’t have to start fresh each time.

Physio treating patient
Male physio smiling

Anything else to add?

An increasing number of patients cite issues related to working long hours, staring at a screen, and being desk-bound. We encourage people to get outdoors and move around more, or and be active for at least 30 minutes every day.

Finally, we encourage people to see a physiotherapist before problems become too advanced. We find it much easier to rectify injuries if we see them earlier rather than after they have been lingering for a long time.


Learn more about Tokyo Physio