Worldwide, practitioners within the profession use a range of titles – physiotherapist, physical therapist, kinesitherapeutes, kinezitherapist, fisioterapeute, fisoterapista, fysiotherapeutes and terapista fisico. Choosing a single, Top Level Domain (TLD) name to satisfactorily represent them all wasn’t easy. Ultimately, the prefix physio was selected because it is
- short and punchy,
- both a noun and a verb, and
- used by the greatest number of people and nations worldwide.
What is physio?
Physio is a health profession devoted to improving human function. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy, so physio’s help develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the entire lifespan. This encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. Physio’s generally work wherever movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors.
The earliest documented origins of physio as a profession date back to Per Henrik Ling, “Father of Swedish Gymnastics,” who founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813 for massage, manipulation and exercise. In 1887, physio’s were given official registration by Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare. Other countries soon followed, with the formation of the Royal Dutch Society for Physiotherapy in 1889, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in Great Britain in 1894 and the forerunner of the Australian Physiotherapy Association in 1904.
The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) was founded in 1951 by 11 member organisations from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, West Germany, Sweden and the United States of America. As the sole international voice for physio, WCPT now represents more than 350,000 physio’s worldwide through its 106 member organisations.
We recognise the WCPT member organisations as the peak representatives of the physio profession for each nation.
Who is a physio?
All physio’s undergo a tertiary-level program of education to gain entry into the profession; however entry requirements, length of the education program, institution type and the final qualification obtained varies within and across countries. Futhermore, after qualification many jurisdictions have extra requirements before granting a license to practice; so there also exists a broad range of professional and government registration standards. Suffice to say, despite the same core competencies there are a great variety of ways throughout the world to define who is a physio.
As it is inherent that registration of .physio domain names be restricted to the physio community, how do we adequately provide a global definition of who is eligible? In short, we can’t. So we let the profession in each country do it for itself. Simplistically, if a person is entitled to be member of their nation’s physio professional association then we consider them to be eligible to register a .physio domain name. And for organisations, if one of their primary purposes is to support, promote, service or support physio’s then they too are eligible to register a .physio domain name.
What is .physio?
The mission and purpose of the .physio TLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust, convenience and utility. .physio will serve the interests of members of the physio community, as well as internet users more generally.
.physio will provide an internet space for the profession through the creation of an online identity for individuals and affiliated persons and entities in connection with the profession. .physio will provide an authentic resource for members of the public in relation to physio, allowing for information and professional services to be accessed by end users in a simple, trusted manner.
.physio will create awareness and add legitimacy to the industry; instilling significant user confidence and trust. It will provide members of the physio community with greater networking, advocacy, education, fellowship and business enterprising opportunities, as well as an opportunity to communicate with its customers directly and effectively. Further, it is intended that the creation of an industry specific physio internet name space will increase the service levels, relevance and accuracy of information that is available to the broader community of internet users, thus contributing towards a more positive user experience.