Get to know: Rafki Thahir, Musculoskeletal Physio


Rafki Thahir is a Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor with a special interest in treating complex, chronic conditions. His treatment approach is heavily shaped by years of training with Connect Therapy during his career. He focuses on a holistic approach in treating the cause of pain and optimises body movements with neuroplasticity and retraining techniques for his patients.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’ve always been fascinated as to why people move differently. Growing up in Miranda, I played soccer and basketball, so I was seeing people move in a variety of ways. As I got older, I wanted to seek knowledge to move better and feel better, which ultimately led to my career in Clinical Movement and Physiotherapy. I still enjoy staying active, picking up martial arts in 2015. I enjoy the technical side of the arts – finding the best way to tackle an opponent and leverage strength.

I’m also a family man – I’m kept very busy with my 2-year-old son and have another on the way. Since my wife and I bought our first home, I developed an interest in DIY, starting with floating shelves and mounting the T.V – my next project is to take on the garden!

Rafki Thahir, MPhty (WSU), APAM Master of Physiotherapy (Western Sydney University) Bachelor of Health Sciences/ Medical Science (Western Sydney University) Myofascial Massage (Endeavor College of Natural Health) Member of Australian Physiotherapy Association Comprehensive rehabilitation /Studio Pilates (Polestar Pilates)

What motivated you to become a Physiotherapist, and what do you love about your work and this industry?

My path to Physiotherapy started with curiosity around Biomechanics but soon developed into a love of helping people physically get better without prescribing any medication – just my own hands and knowledge. I have great relationships with my patients, which makes helping their condition improve even more rewarding.

Prior to becoming a Physio, I was working as a Clinical Movement Coach, rehabilitating patients using Pilates for 3 years. It was here that I learnt about Connect Therapy – an approach based on the connectivity of everything in our bodies – which has heavily shaped how I treat my patients: using a holistic approach to identify the root of their issue.

What do you do at Movement Laboratory?

Physiotherapy consultations, clinical conditioning classes, developing classes of osteoarthritis and seeing chronic pain patients.

I love treating chronic conditions that may not have been relieved from other forms of physio. Using Connect Therapy, I am able to treat the whole person and the cause of pain, not just the symptoms.

What are your special areas of interests? What interests you most about these areas?

I look after a lot of the neck, rib cage, spine, pelvis and chronic pain conditions in the clinic. These areas are incredibly complex – for instance, if I am treating a neck, it’s never just about the neck – I find the source of the issue itself, which is very satisfying for the patient. Sometimes we see patients who have been in pain for years and we are able to treat it in a day by finding the source of the pain. That’s what it’s all about!

What is your philosophy on physiotherapy and movement?

Identifying the root cause of the problem, not just treating the symptoms.

What do you like to do outside of the clinic?

I love spending time with my family, bonding with my son and going on adventures.

What/who inspires you?

I like audiobooks – particularly ‘self-help’ books by authors such as Tony Robbins. I like finding a message that resonates with me and implementing it into my life.

Clients, friends and family always inspire me – everyone has unique gifts within themselves that inspires me.

What’s your career goal for Physiotherapy?

To have a great reputation in the physiotherapy world and help people move well.

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