Dr. Toshi Odaira, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Toshi earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the City University of New York’s Hunter College in Manhattan. She also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Bates College in Maine. Toshi is a manual orthopedic physical therapist experienced in Functional Dry Needling. Toshi is also a Women’s Health Therapist experienced with pelvic floor rehabilitation and able help women with a variety of pelvic health issues as well as prenatal and postpartum needs. 

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Licensed Physical Therapist by the State of Illinois
  • APTA/IPTA Member
  • Women’s Health Therapist

Institute of Physical Art:

  • CoreFirst® Strategies
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation 1
  • Functional Mobilization 1
  • Functional Mobilization 2
  • Functional Mobilization of the Upper Quadrant
  • Functional Mobilization of the Lower quadrant 

KinetaCore:

  • Functional Dry Needling Level 1
  • Functional Therapeutics

City University of New York, Hunter College

  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2014

Bates College

  • Bachelor of Biology, 2006

What Toshi Has to Say

What sparked your interest in physical therapy?

I was working in a tuberculosis research lab at Weill Cornell Medical College in my first career and realized that I didn’t enjoy the fact that I didn’t get to meet face to face with patients. Through competitive ballroom dancing, I developed a love for analyzing movement and found physical therapy is a great way to combine that with direct clinical care.

What aspect of physical therapy do you find the most fascinating?

The patients are at the center of making healing happen. They put in the work of self-discovery, learning, and doing their home exercises to ultimately heal themselves. PTs are just what I like to call the “cheerleaders with the pompoms.” Regardless of the dysfunctions present, our bodies always have the potential to respond to positive intentions, to let go of faulty movement patterns, and return to a pain-free life. 

Tell me about your PT school experience.

It was a real treat – I loved being back in school. Going to the City University of New York Graduate Center was an amazing experience – it was public education at its best. I learned a lot from my classmates who came from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds.

What certification are you currently working towards?

I am preparing to sit for my Certified Functional Manual Therapist exam through the Institute of Physical Art in 2019.

Why do you work for Body Gears?

Body Gears has a distinct approach, with constant collaborative effort and the drive to implement the best patient care. We’re committed to being the best therapists we can be and we’re always aspiring to be our best for our patients.

How do you stay active?

I’m part of a salsa dance team, I teach salsa classes, and I run 5Ks. 

What are your hobbies?

I’m learning Spanish right now. I’ve always loved listening to salsa music, so I wanted to learn the language.

What Patients Have to Say About Toshi

I just recently completed a course of therapy for persistent leg pain that seems to have been related to sciatic nerve impingement. About a year and a half ago, my wife had therapy at Body Gears (Oak Park and Oakbrook) for her hip replacement. Both of us had extremely positive experiences. We both had Toshi as our therapist and both were tremendously impressed by both her skills and how well she listened and observed. It felt like she came to each session with a plan in mind – but then was continuously adjusting the therapy based on both the feedback we provided and the observations she made as she treated. As a retired registered nurse who worked in the rehabilitation field most of my career, I have seen a lot of physical therapists at work and Toshi is one of the best I have seen. I also am a big fan of the functional manual therapy approach which integrates focused massage and muscle release techniques into the therapy – those techniques very clearly enhanced the exercises I was being taken through.

For what it’s worth, the reason we chose Body Gears in the first place was due to the recommendation of a friend who had been to Body Gears in the city. He had a severe spinal injury as a child, with resultant big problems with pain and maintaining posture and function. He has received physical therapy on and off from various places for over forty years; he told us he had never been to a place as effective as Body Gears. So that’s three excellent recommendations for Body Gears! 

 

– Charles G. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Toshi

“I am female and 54 years old. I tore my calf muscle the day before I had to go back to school. I work in an elementary school office as a Health Assistant. Thanks to my physical therapist, Toshi Odaira, I was able to continue working without missing a day. She not only figured out that there were many old issues (injuries) that were never really resolved that are still affecting me and affecting my new injury. Her hands-on approach and amazing exercises led me to be pain-free and strong. When I walked into Body Gears, I was afraid that this injury would happen again. Today, I do not feel like that. I highly recommend Toshi. Please give her a call for all your therapy needs. She is extremely professional, caring, warm and has a great sense of humor. 

 

– Alina S. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Toshi

Three generations of my family have had a great experience with Body Gears! My 11-year-old daughter had ongoing back pain that we had struggled to solve. Toshi was amazing with her, both in terms of helping to solve the back pain but also in caring for a sometimes insecure 11-year-old. Months later I came in with achilles pain that has lingered for 15 years off and on. I am more confident about ongoing health than ever before because of the full body comprehensive way that Melissa attacked this problem. My mom came in from out of town and without even knowing of our Body Gears connection she looked up “Dry Needling” as she was experiencing debilitating back pain and needed quicker relief. She ended up at Body Gears too! I am grateful for the knowledgeable and personable staff… At first, I was not sure about the long appointments that involved working with the exercise tech after working with the PT but I grew to love how this ensured that I was doing my exercises correctly giving me a new hope for my biomechanics.

Thanks, Body Gears and Toshi! 

 

– Jon H. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Toshi

“This is hands down the best physical therapy center I have been to. Toshi is particular the most thorough, persistent and compassionate therapist I have worked with – and I have seen 8 therapists in 3 different places over the last 3 years! I have had chronic pain issues and was basically written off by doctors, therapists and the medical community- but she didn’t give up and it took a while, but she managed to turn my body and the pain around.

I can’t recommend body gears enough. They literally saved me from a pain-filled depressed existence. 

 

– Kartik K. (Body Gears Graduate)

What Patients Have to Say About Toshi

“I have been seeing Toshi at the Oak Park location. I was impressed even at my free injury eval! Her ability to quickly identify the root(s) of the problem instead of just putting a band-aid on where I was hurting was what reeled me in. As a fellow orthopedic health care provider, she meets me on my level of knowledge and blows me away with her depth and breadth of expertise. Her assessments are thorough and accurate and help you identify movement patterns that are causing your issues and gives you solutions to them. Not to mention, I am paying out of pocket to see Toshi and firmly believe it is worth every penny. She understands my goals and is helping me get there! As a CrossFit athlete, I was impressed with her knowledge of certain movements and things we do without being a CrossFitter herself. I could NOT be more impressed. Highly, highly recommend Toshi! 

 

– Molly K. (Body Gears Graduate)