Buela Physical Therapy Is Heralding the New Approach

With a third clinic in the works, CEO of Buela Physical Therapy Clinics Gerald Buela is close to fulfilling his dream of providing transformative care to Filipinos from all walks of life

It is a bright Tuesday afternoon, and licensed physiotherapist and CEO Gerald Buela is sitting at his desk at home, gesturing to the wall behind him. Where he is seated, natural light bounces off the white walls, illuminating the room.

“This particular painting is by Kiko Marquez,” Buela says now, completely immersed in the task of pointing his laptop camera at the artwork. “[It looks like it’s] covered in bubble wrap, but you’ll notice that the bubble wrap texture—it’s actually [created using] paint.”

Despite meeting the founder of Buela Physical Therapy Clinics through a digital platform, it feels up close and personal. Turning the camera around, he reveals the other side of the room where several paintings are neatly lined up. Just like the Marquez piece, they also blend traditional style with modern elements, such as the use of paint to create a packaging tape effect.

When asked why he is drawn to collecting art, he simply says, “It helps me maintain a balance in life. My interest in art allows me to explore different perspectives and cultures that inspire me and my personal and professional endeavors.” 

Horses—riding them and interacting with them—is also an anchor for Buela to support a work-life balance. “I’m passionate about horses,” he says, adding that being surrounded by nature and animals contributes to his overall sense of balance and well-being.

Balancing act

The clinic’s contemporary aesthetics exemplify its dedication to innovative and forward-thinking practices

Taking on the responsibility of elevating the physiotherapy landscape in the country is no easy feat. It requires a delicate balance, but speaking with Buela, one gets the impression that he handles it with ease. This is the result of years of perfecting his approach.

“Over time, I’ve developed various strategies that enable me to excel in multiple roles,” he explains. “Effective time management is crucial. I allocate specific hours for critical work, as well as dedicated time for administrative and strategic planning.”

This allows Buela to be fully present and focused on each aspect of his work. Additionally, delegation plays a significant part in balancing both of his roles. Regular communication with his team of physiotherapists ensures that Buela stays informed of their progress, while their collaborative approach fosters a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Clinic of the future

Buela is the clinic of the future, with a focus on both the quality of care and the aesthetics

Buela’s penchant for balance extends to the design of his clinic, too. As a pioneer in raising awareness about physical therapy in the Philippines, he has called on Headroom CDV Co., an architectural design firm based in Manila, to craft a minimalist and modern space that exudes a sense of calm and instills confidence in patients. The contemporary aesthetics also reflect the clinic’s dedication to innovation and forward-thinking practices, with state-of-the-art equipment from North America and Europe.

Unlike traditional hospital settings, Buela Physical Therapy Clinics is a departure from the norm, with a soothing environment more akin to a skincare clinic. His vision is for Buela to become the clinic of the future, with a focus on both the quality of care and the aesthetics. “We must look the part,” says Buela.

Elevating the experience

Gerald Buela stands at the forefront of the physiotherapy landscape in the Philippines

Creating an environment where patients feel valued is essential in providing exceptional care, according to Buela. “It’s really not a one-size-fits-all approach. We tailor each treatment to the patient’s specific needs, which fosters a welcoming atmosphere where patients can feel confident in our care,” he tells us. To achieve this, Buela focuses on cultivating his staff through advanced training and by elevating the practice experience.

“My number one priority is investing in staff training because I want them to feel legitimate in their practice. It’s not just learning from YouTube or elsewhere. They have certifications and licenses, and they can perform their tasks with confidence,” Buela shares.

“We provide trainings for free. [Our physiotherapists] don’t have to pay for anything. And just in case they would like to attend a seminar or conference on their own, we have seminar leaves,” he says, adding that they don’t have to apply for a vacation leave to do so. As a result, his staff feels empowered and enjoys their work, translating into better treatments for patients.

Outside of their clinic, Buela’s team actively engages with the community through initiatives such as raising awareness on the benefits of physical therapy and emphasizing the importance of early intervention and preventive care. “In doing so, Buela Physical Therapy Clinics arms Filipinos with the knowledge and resources they need to lead healthier and pain-free lives,” he states.

Meanwhile, in the digital space, Buela notes that there has been a shift in the way people perceive physical therapy. “What’s good nowadays is that the videos, those explanations are more accessible than previous years,” he says. “More and more people are being awakened on what true physical therapy is.”

Full circle

The CEO cultivates his team through advanced training and by elevating the practice experience

Buela Physical Therapy Clinics is expanding rapidly in the Philippines and will soon be expanding beyond the country’s borders. “I’m flying to Dubai soon to attend a conference, and to facilitate the construction of my branch there,” Buela shares. Currently, the CEO is in the process of constructing his third and largest clinic, which is also going to be the most advanced one yet in the Philippines. The establishment’s design will be led by Headroom CDV Co., an architectural design firm based in Manila.

Equipped with the latest technology and cutting-edge machines that are not even in the Philippine market yet, the clinic feels promising. One of the new machines being introduced is Visbody, an AI-powered technology that revolutionizes the assessment of patient concerns—a first in the Philippines. “This provides a more detailed analysis of our main focus which is posture,” Buela expounds. According to him, all posture and movement discrepancies will be analyzed and the results will be sent to a printer. The physiotherapist in charge will then receive the quantifiable values of the external body and an exact treatment plan can be created based on these results.

Buela started from the ground up himself, so he knows how to elevate the company’s standards. He aims to ensure that patients and physical therapists lead better and healthier lives through the services provided by his clinic.

He was inspired to bring world class medicare to the Philippines after seeing his own family suffer from chronic pain. This realization marked the beginning of his journey, and now, with plans to open a brand new branch, he feels as though he has come full circle.

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