Where we started
Australian Physiotherapists Glenn and Elisa Withers founded APPI in 2002 – seeing a need for an integrated Physio and Pilates service with welcoming clinics, the best equipment, beautiful studios and expert clinicians.
Our business has provided us with the most unexpected and rewarding journey – one that has organically evolved considerably since its quite unplanned and humble beginnings.
We’re both Aussies – and having just arrived in England from Melbourne as boyfriend and girlfriend, we were thrilled to land jobs as locum Physiotherapists in the NHS. We enjoyed the unwavering commitment and dedication of our colleagues, as well as working for this great national institution. But from our early days, our colleagues started eagerly jumping on us to teach them all about this ‘Pilates’ we were using to rehabilitate our patients.
Back peddling a bit, before leaving Melbourne we’d been awarded a scholarship to investigate the effectiveness of a modified form of Pilates we had devised – aiming to provide better movement outcomes for patients with back pain. It was this modified Pilates approach that was proving effective and drawing keen interest from our colleagues.
Our first teaching modules were planned together on the kitchen table and soon our Nokia brick mobile phones were ringing off the hook. And so the APPI was born – the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute. We began hosting APPI Pilates courses around the country, and to our great astonishment and excitement, we began teaching abroad too.
Around this time, we started receiving a growing number of enquiries and referrals for us to use our approach to treat patients. So we took a giant leap of faith – resigned from our NHS posts, moved to London, took out a massive bank loan and signed a huge lease for our beautiful studio in Hampstead. Neighbours were encouragingly curious as we refurbed, new clients trickled in when we opened and soon word was spreading that we were the place to come for Physio and Pilates.
Fast forward to 2020, we’re 18 years married with five(!) gorgeous babies. Our little ‘APPI baby’ has also grown into two London clinics with a team of over 40 truly exceptional people – and the largest Pilates teaching institute for Physiotherapists in the UK. We continue to teach our APPI Pilates courses in many, often surprising and far reaching corners of the world, and we’ve even travelled full circle back to our Aussie roots where we continue to teach across the land down under.
Our clinics in London are welcoming centres for Physio and Pilates. We have our own APPI Method of Pilates – a now worldwide form of exercise rehabilitation to help you achieve your movement potential.
Life at APPI
We handpick our extraordinary team to provide expertise, passion and positivity to our clients. Here’s what life is like on the APPI team and how we train our practitioners.