Individualized,
Goal-Driven
Programs



Physical therapy is both a science and an art. At Playa Physical Therapy we are committed to the latest scientific advances provided through high quality, individual, caring services. For this reason, we do not utilize aides or assistants. At each visit, every patient receives one-on-one treatment with the same Doctor of Physical Therapy for 45 minutes. This ensures continuity of care and maximizes the outcome of the treatments.

We believe that we provide the best physical therapy services in the West Los Angeles area. Here are a few reasons why:

  • One-on-one treatment sessions with a Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Same therapist consistency
  • Individualized, goal-driven programs
  • Convenient business hours
  • Same day referrals
  • Friendly, experienced staff
  • Individual treatment rooms
  • Emphasis on patient education
  • Location is easily accessible

We utilize our in-depth knowledge to examine and accurately determine the cause of the patient’s problem and then design a treatment plan to correct the problem. Common treatments used are myofascial release techniques, soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and most importantly, therapeutic exercises to help maintain the achieved improvements. We believe it is important to instruct and guide patients in understanding their injuries and learning how to prevent future occurrences. Thus, we customize therapy and exercises to complement ability level and lifestyle. Our ultimate goal is to provide treatment and education that enables our patients to perform at their highest level at home, in the office, or on the sports field.

Aaron Willis, DPT, ATC, Owner and founder of Playa Physical Therapy

Aaron Willis is a Santa Monica native who received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2000. Prior to that he completed his undergraduate work at UC Davis, earning a BS degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Biomechanics. While at Davis, he worked with the intercollegiate teams as a student athletic trainer, going on to become a Certified Athletic Trainer in 1996 before entering graduate school at USC.

He founded Playa Physical Therapy in 2004 with the goal of providing the highest quality Physical Therapy care for the community. As part of that commitment, he and his staff do not delegate the overseeing of patient care to aides and/or assistants, but instead only see patients personally, one on one, each and every visit throughout the course of care. He feels this maximizes the benefit possible at each visit by allowing the therapist to directly assess what is most necessary to do, whether it be hands on work, exercise, or other treatment modalities, to help patients achieve their goals. This has proven to be effective in reducing the number of visits required, building effective working relationships with patients, and earning the respect of local physicians for the consistently high quality of care.

One of the exciting advantages of this new and larger facility is that it offers him the opportunity to provide a wider array of services. Along with an expanded Pilates program, he is able to offer Massage as well as Individual and Group Fitness Training with some of the most experienced and talented professionals in the area.

Aaron, his wife Therese, and their two children, live in Redondo Beach.


Terry Chu, PT, DPT

Terry graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science with an emphasis in Physiology and Metabolism. His desire to pursue a career in the health profession and his interest in sports led him to the University of Southern California where he received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Terry utilizes his patient’s input to construct a treatment plan individualized to each patient for them to reach their goals. He also has experience treating orthopedic conditions for people with neurological conditions while working at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehab Center.

Terry is currently studying for his Strength and Conditioning certification and continues to advance himself through continuing education courses. His emphasis is in manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, exercises to stabilize the trunk and functional exercises to get the patient to return to their activity pain-free. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, hiking, swimming, snowboarding, weightlifting and traveling.


James Szalay, PT, DPT

James completed his undergraduate studies at Stetson University in DeLand, FL and earned his bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitative Studies. He started his undergrad education as a general biology major, with interest in pursuing a career in biomedical or genetic engineering. After an injury from a motorcycle accident, James changed his major from biology to rehabilitative studies and integrative health science, feeling right at home taking courses in anatomy & physiology, exercise science, clinical & sports nutrition, and biomechanics.

After undergrad, James was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles. He soon recognized his passion for orthopedics and research. James’ current career goals are to gain experience and expertise practicing as an orthopedic manual therapist in a private outpatient setting, with the intent to become a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.

In his spare time, James enjoys snowboarding, camping, playing guitar, working on his car, spending time with his two cats and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


Katie Wisniewski, DPT

Katie Wisniewski-Dubiel was born in Chicago, IL. She completed her undergraduate work in kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and then received her doctorate in Physical Therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago. During her time here, she assisted in implementing a senior wellness program at a local senior center with focus on balance, functional strengthening and cardiovascular health. Her first job out of school was at the Rehab Institute of Chicago where she treated patients with a variety of conditions including stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. For the last 5 years, she has been working in outpatient orthopedics specializing in Maitland manual therapy, vestibular rehab, and sports medicine. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, and all things Chicago Sports!

Amanda Jamieson, DPT

Amanda Jamieson was born in Seattle, Washington and she completed her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She later received her doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Florida. While there, Amanda was a teaching assistant for spinal evaluation and treatment courses, focused her studies on manual based interventions and participated in clinical integration—mentoring under physical therapists and professors. A member of the APTA, Amanda uses a combination of manual therapy, corrective exercise and patient education to help her patients reach their goals. She has taken continuing education courses in Lymphedema Management, Kinesiology Therapeutic Taping and Pelvic Floor Level I. In her spare time Amanda enjoys running, exploring Los Angeles, spending time with friends and family and rooting for her Seattle Seahawks!

Kendra Cornelius, DPT

A Northern California native, Kendra Cornelius headed south to attend Loyola Marymount University (LMU) where she earned her B.S. in Health and Human Sciences. While at LMU, she worked closely with the Wellness Manager & Ergonomics Specialist in LMU’s Human Resources Department; although she had personal experience with physical therapy from injuries during high school athletics, it was her time at LMU where she first cultivated her interest in rehabilitation and preventative care. Kendra later earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC). During her time at USC, she served as an advocacy chair for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), spent a semester serving the geriatric community with students from other health professions, and spent the majority of her clinical rotations in orthopedic settings that focused on holistic care. Additionally, Kendra has worked as a personal trainer for a range of populations and currently serves on the executive board for a California Non-Profit, Movement Alliance, Inc., that focuses on preventive care and education for youth coaches and athletes. Kendra is excited to begin her physical therapy career in a community she has long been a part of and believes that an inherent focus on preventative care and holistic health and wellness can improve the lives of many. You can often find Kendra on the sand in Santa Monica, where she spends her free time as an avid beach volleyball player. She also enjoys hiking with her husband, practicing yoga, and catching re-runs of Jeopardy.