Rising Sun Physical Therapy's Physical Therapists promote Optimal Health and Wellness through education, advanced manual therapy, and structured mobility and strengthening programs. Our therapists are dedicated to providing treatment that fits your individual needs that gets you back on your feet fast! That means we take into consideration the things that make you unique, such as your occupation, your lifestyle, even your budget. Keeping such factors in mind help your physical therapist determine the most effective way to treat you. Our therapists are licensed Doctors of Physical Therapy who believe in highly personalized care. We have been helping people find relief for their injuries through hands-on physical expertise and a caring attitude.
Natsuko Watanabe, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Natsuko was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan where she was an avid athlete, being team captain in both basketball and soccer. She is currently the only Japanese speaking physical therapist in Orange County. Her interest in sports led her to come to the United States where she earned her B.S in Kinesiology from Syracuse University. Her passion to help people with physical injuries lead her to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree at Chapman University in Orange California.
Her philosophy in physical therapy is the fusion of art and science enabling her to be creative with each treatment while understanding human anatomy and biomechanics. Blending the knowledge of Eastern and Western medicine allows her to individualize and optimize her patient’s outcomes through both an evidence-based and holistic approach. This allows her to treat each person as a whole, rather than just a list of symptoms or an injury. Her passion is finding the root cause of the patient’s problem so that she will not only temporarily fix the issue, but help the patient obtain their personal goals and to maximize their health outcomes.
In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, being active, and to workout; and on the outrigger canoe team, muay thai/kickboxing, jogging, snowboarding, playing basketball. She also loves to travel and spend time with her friends and dog, Luca.
Mike Russo, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Mike graduated in 2007 from Cal State Long Beach’s prestigious Physical Therapy program under the guidance of one of the best orthopedic and manual skills professors in the country. Mike has been a PT for over 10 years and has successfully managed 2 facilities in Southern California.
Mike is a skilled orthopedic physical therapist, specializing in sports injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, postural correction and pre- and post- operative injuries. He encompasses functional biomechanical, soft tissue and joint treatment techniques. Some of these specialized techniques he utilizes during his treatments include: Mulligan concepts , kinesio-taping, Janda approach and muscle release technique. Mike is also a credentialed clinical instructor by the American Physical Therapy Association.
Mike enjoys spending time outside with family and performing activities such as: hiking, boating, biking, running, camping, soccer, baseball, basketball, and surfing. Mike also loves to travel and currently lives in Long Beach.
Alex Zhidetskiy, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Alex was born in Ukraine and raised in Russia. When he moved to Long Beach, California at 7 years old, he remembers thinking how weird it was moving from a country that had all four seasons to California, where it seemed like it was summer year-round.
He spent his elementary, middle, and high school years in Long Beach and proceeded to achieve his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine (Zot Zot Zot!). While in his undergraduate years at UCI, Alex realized he wanted to go into PT after countless injuries that occurred while playing basketball and remaining active. He dislocated both his ankles playing basketball. Multiple visits (or years) of physical therapy peaked his interest in pursuing it as a career and led him to shadow PT’s, participate in volunteer work, and work as a physical therapist aid.
Realizing his newfound passion, he pursued to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Chapman University. His specialties include orthopedics, geriatrics, and neurology. He speaks English and Russian and seeing his patients progress on a daily basis and reach their functional potential keeps him motivated as a physical therapist.
In his free time, Alex enjoys working out, participating in Spartan races, hiking, cooking, and cosplay.
Brandon Ngo, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Brandon was born and raised in Southern California where he grew up playing baseball as a utility player. For 9 years up until high school, he excelled in the sport but eventually dislocated his right shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield. After going to physical therapy for his shoulder, he continued to compete in collegiate sports such as cross country and track. His main events were the 1,600-meter, 3,200-meter, and 3,000-meter steeplechase. Brandon's dedication to his sports led him to frequent the on-campus athletic trainer where he was treated for his injuries. It was during this time where he found his interest in the rehabilitation setting.
Brandon completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Fullerton receiving a B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Gerontology. He then worked in the preventative/rehabilitative field of geriatrics as a fitness trainer and physical therapy aide. Through these experiences, his passion for treating patients inspired him to pursue a career as a physical therapy assistant. Brandon is a recent graduate from Stanbridge University and is a licensed physical therapy assistant.
During his free time, Brandon enjoys playing the guitar/ukulele, slacklining, archery, photography, hiking, calisthenics, camping, and rock climbing.