Meet the Team: West End AC Welcomes Chris Xuereb and Melissa Karagianis to their New Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic

Faded in the background of the West End Athletic Club logo is a person’s chest area wearing athletic gear who is taping their hands.

Pre or Post-injury, the West End AC Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic is ready to support your overall well-being.

New Year, new clinic, new Team Members. The mission at West End Athletic Club has always been to help our members, staff, and community improve their health and well-being physically, mentally, and emotionally. In partnering with Chris Xuereb, Registered Massage Therapist, and Melissa Karagianis, Certified Manual Osteopath, our goal is to provide support beyond the boxing ring, weights, and cardio machines.

An Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic is a healthcare facility that takes an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to healthcare. It combines conventional medicine with complementary and alternative therapies to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an individual’s well-being. West End AC believes in promoting overall health, preventing injuries, and treating the root causes of health issues rather than just the symptoms.

Opening an Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic was inspired by the work of Dr. Mark Hyman, a guru in preventative medicine, and Dr. Daniel Amen, who focuses on functional health. It became our prerogative to find practitioners with the credentials and experience to provide exceptional treatment in our clinic.

Connecting with Chris Xuereb, Registered Massage Therapist

One of the biggest setbacks an athlete can experience is having to deal with an injury. At the time, in the late 90’s, Chris Xuereb was competing at the national level for kickboxing and was a trained mechanic. Working on cars was never his passion, and when a shoulder injury in 2000 sidelined his athletic career, he didn’t realize at the time how much that injury would help define his future.

When given the option of surgery or strength training for his shoulder, Chris chose the latter, and this was the beginning of his journey with an integrative approach to treating pain and injuries. “I trained with an Olympic gold medalist and, over time, spent so much time there that I found myself helping out wherever I could. I hung out with the therapists and chiropractors and eventually travelled with some of them to help work on their athletes. I learned all that I could. I wasn’t much of a bookworm, but when they spoke, I listened and just soaked it all in.”

Chris wanted to work on people, to help them heal and feel stronger so they can live an active and healthy lifestyle. He began getting certifications, which led to him earning his credentials as a Registered Massage Therapist.

Chris Xuereb is standing over a client who is face down on the table doing a shockwave treatment on their back.

Chris’s vast knowledge and experience help guide him in developing individualized treatment plans.

Chris Xuereb Connecting with West End AC and Their New Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic

From his days competing as a kickboxer and some MMA, Chris knew the martial arts community and was asked by the father of an old training partner to help with the strength and conditioning of one of their athletes. Word spread slowly, and Chris shifted from working with elite track athletes to UFC fighters and professional boxers. This connection introduced Chris to Coach Stevie Bailey, who suggested that Chris connect with the owner of West End AC. Chris learned West End AC has the space and vision to open an integrative health and wellness clinic but needs practitioners.

One meeting led to another, and the West End Athletic Club’s Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic came to fruition. The clinic’s goal is to treat not only elite athletes but also individuals looking for ways to prevent injuries and pain and who want to lead stronger and healthier lives.

Chris offers treatment in:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Cupping
  • Acupuncture
  • ART (Active Release Therapy)
  • Graston Technique

The Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic at West End AC supports its employees, members, athletes, and the community. It is home to world-class trainers, athletes, equipment, and now a world-class treatment clinic. Chris Xuereb, along with Melissa Karagianis, have experience from around the world and offer the most up-to-date treatments to support the needs of their clients. They are focused on caring for the whole body and, as former athletes, understand what it feels like to live with pain, discomfort, and injuries. The goal of West End Athletic Club’s Wellness Clinic is to offer preventative measures for the body and, when injuries or pain do occur, support for healing of the body, mind, and soul.

Three tips that Chris would suggest for injury prevention and physical wellness are:

  1. Hydrate, ensure your body gets enough water for your age, activity level, climate, and individual health conditions. It is crucial to overall health.
  2. Maintaining flexibility and strength in your tissue for injury prevention, overall physical function, and supporting long-term health.
  3. Practice self-care and seek treatment when necessary.

Partnering with Melissa Karagianis at West End AC’s Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic

Competing and winning numerous Muay Thai and MMA competitions, Melissa Karagianis has always known the importance of caring for your body to maximize and capitalize on results.

Melissa Karagianis holding her hands up in victory, wearing her championship belt.

Melissa Karagianis holding her hands up in victory, wearing her championship belt.

As a former professional fighter who competed internationally, in places such as Japan, Thailand, the Caribbean, and the United States of America, winning numerous titles, including King of the Cage World and the Atomweight Title. Melissa dedicated almost twelve years to the sport but stopped competing due to injury. “I knew I had to change my life, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wanted to find something fulfilling, something that allowed me to help people.” 

Being mentored and starting as an assistant to a Physiotherapist and Chiropractor, Melissa took courses in fascial stretch therapy and slowly added to her skill set. She knew she had found her passion and enrolled to become a licensed Manual Osteopath, and only wanted to continue growing and learning to hone her practice.

Osteopathy is a holistic approach to pain, injuries, and injury prevention. It looks to treat the root cause of the problem and offers an alternative to surgery or medication. The best part for Melissa? “I get to make a difference in people’s lives by making them feel better, it’s very rewarding.”

Melissa offers treatment in:

  1. Manual Osteopathy
  2. Fascial stretching
  3. Concussion treatment

Melissa has noticed a trend with her clients regarding how often they should receive treatment because they feel relief and experience a higher quality of living. “But each client is different, and I need to evaluate why they’re coming to see me and come up with short and long-term plans and goals. In most cases, I recommend that clients come 1-2 times a week to start, and then we taper off to more of a maintenance plan.”

Melissa Karagianis is treating a client lying on a table with her arms crossed over her chest while Melissa reaches behind her shoulder.

Melissa Karagianis will customize your treatment plan to relieve pain and meet your health and wellness goals.

Three tips that Melissa would suggest for injury prevention and physical wellness are:

  1. Consistency is key. Whether it’s a daily 10-minute stretch or a healthy breakfast, consistently incorporating positive habits into your daily routine will provide your body with the best possible opportunity to thrive. 
  2. Maintenance is important for avoiding injuries and long-term complications. As a skilled Manual Osteopath, I can help spot and correct imbalances throughout the body. This can help prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
  3. Invest in your body. You only have one, so take care of it; a healthy body starts from the inside.  

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. By integrating diverse therapeutic approaches and considering the whole person, there is more comprehensive and effective care, emphasizing prevention and lifestyle modifications.

The Integrative Health and Wellness Clinic at West End AC continues to take a team approach, where Melissa and Chris prioritize individualized client care. Their skill sets balance one another, and they value getting treatment to perform at their best in life and sports. To book an appointment or for additional information, visit our contact page: https://westendac.com/contact/