Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

The Chiropractor in Trafalgar Square

By Maria DiDanieli in conversation with Melissa Tancredi   

Features Leadership Profession

It’s been said, “Work at something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

It’s been said, “Work at something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Melissa Tancredi is an athlete and a chiropractic student who has been able to align two of her passions to build a career that will allow her to support many in attaining health and wellness while helping athletes, both competitive and recreational, to reach their goals in sport. Tancredi is a soccer player on the Canadian women’s team and a student at Logan College of Chiropractic – as she looks ahead to a career as a chiropractor, she knows that she will not so much be working as developing her skills and knowledge in two “somethings” that she loves.

Melissa Tancredi played for the Canadian National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. She is also a chiropractic student.  


Tancredi is from Hamilton, Ontario. She began playing soccer at four years of age and played in the Ancaster House League until she was 13 years old. She was then called by the neighbouring city of Burlington to play on its Rep Team. Over time, she matured into a formidable player, and was eventually offered a scholarship from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. In 2004, she was called for the Canadian national team where she has experienced several victories, including two World Cups and the team’s most recent achievement, a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

At Notre Dame, she was involved in pre-medical studies and was intent on entering the medical field. However, while at school, she began to be treated by a chiropractor. She was impressed with the effects of chiropractic on her body and began asking her DC questions about chiropractic and the profession in general. His answers piqued her interest in the field and, eventually, she found herself writing her final pre-med thesis on chiropractic. The next step seemed logical – she applied to a chiropractic training program and began to study to enter the profession as a DC herself.

“The appeal,” Tancredi tells Canadian Chiropractor, “was the philosophy of wellness that chiropractic offered.”

An Interview with Melissa Tancredi
Throughout her chiropractic training, Tancredi had never stopped playing soccer and, before long, she found herself juggling a challenging educational program with elite competitive sport. The purpose of this interview – which she graciously agreed to, while taking a post-Olympics break this past summer – is primarily to explore how the symbiosis between chiropractic and athletic competition enhances her experience and performance in both. But the interview is also to celebrate the impressive victory experienced by a member of the chiropractic community and to find out what’s next for this dynamic individual.

Canadian Chiropractor: How does your chiropractic training inform your performance as an athlete?

Melissa Tancredi: My training in chiropractic has educated me to understand how the body works and how it needs to be kept working in order to keep all cylinders firing. I’m 30 now – on the older end of the spectrum to be playing in my sport, and yet, I’m still here. Chiropractic also taught me to understand injuries, and how to manage them, in order to prolong my career as a soccer player.

As well, I have learned that it’s not only about the body, but what you put into it. The things I have learned about nutrition and supplementation have really helped my performance as an athlete.

I first began to be adjusted before games when I was playing semi-pro soccer, while still an undergrad student in college. I found it really helped my performance on the field and felt that everything in my body was in tune. I was able to move on the field without any “kinks” – to this day, I find the adjustments freeing. They help me to perform at my best and enhance my endurance.

CC: Will your experience of having been a high-performance athlete impact how you treat patients when you begin to practise?

MT: Yes, I think it absolutely will. I have had an experience that not many can attain. I have competed for several years at the highest level and I have seen many injuries, I’ve also seen players careers prematurely ended due to incorrect treatment and rehabilitation. I think this has taught me what to do, what not to do, what really works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, I know what it takes to compete. Whatever the level of competition, an athlete wants to be able to perform in the most efficient way possible, and my job as a chiropractor would be to help them fulfill this need.”

CC: Drawing from your experiences as an athlete and as a chiropractic student, is there anything you’d like chiropractors to know?

MT: I would like to emphasize that chiropractic is highly respected and has a very strong impact on athletes in every level of sports. I’m pursuing this field because I believe it is a true honour to be able to positively effect the lives of people through the implementation of a balanced drug-free healthy lifestyle.”

CC: Do you have any plans to become involved in chiropractic research?

MT: “I had the privilege of working with a great strength-and-conditioning coach who brought a level of evidence-informed practice to his work that really got me interested in doing research – I have to say I hadn’t had much interest in the idea, previously, but working with this individual has made me want to get involved in conducting studies and to be the one to discover answers that could impact the way an athlete performs with treatments.”

CC: What’s next for you as a chiropractor? Where would you like to practise, when you graduate, and what type of practice would you like to establish?

MT: I’m taking some time away from my soccer career to finish my studies at Logan and finally graduate. I see myself treating different types of patients, but I do want to specialize in working with athletes. I would like to come back to Canada – perhaps look into building a practice in Vancouver. The BCCA has been very helpful to me, in the past, and some of its members have worked with my National Team, so I have had the opportunity to meet some chiropractors from B.C.

Chiropractic is a great model for life and for wellness, whether one is an athlete or not. I look forward to my future in this profession and, specifically, to working with athletes as a chiropractor.

Melissa Tancredi has embarked on her sixth trimester at Logan College – this marks her entry into her last year before she matriculates into practice where she plans on continuing, and enhancing, the role of chiropractic in high-end competitive sport. Canadian Chiropractor congratulates Tancredi and the Canadian women’s soccer team for surmounting some intimidating odds to win bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and wishes her well in completing her studies, and in her future endeavours.

Print this page


Stories continue below