Our Team

Arri,Physiotherapist and owner

 Arri McWatt, physiotherapist, owner

Arri graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 2010 from the University of Alberta. Prior to his Masters, he completed Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology from the University of Victoria in 2007. Arri grew up in small Northern Alberta town of Fairview where he was involved in many sports in Fairview and Grande Prairie. He played hockey, volleyball, golf, soccer, and squash. Currently, he stays busy by being involved in hockey, golf, CrossFit, running, biking and squash. He is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and coaches at a local gym in west Edmonton. Arri has taken part in several charity and adventure sporting events year after year such as the Canadian Death Race, Run for the Cure, City Chase, Down and Dirty Mud Race, Med Cup Hockey Tournament, as well as the CrossFit Open and small local CrossFit events.

Arri has extensive experience working with patients from all ages ranging from 5 to 95 and all levels of mobility and function. His passion for physiotherapy is driven by a variety and challenging himself to create unique treatment plans to optimize outcomes for each individual.

Physiotherapy Credentials:

  • Voted YEG Fitness Physiotherapist of the Year 2017
  • Certificate in Medical Acupuncture by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute
  • Certified in Spinal Manipulation (Jim Meadows) with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta
  • Level 1 and Level 2 components of the Advanced Orthopaedic and Manual ManipulativePhysiotherapy program offered through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Muscle Mobilization and Deep Tissue Massage
  • Mulligan Mobilization with Movement
  • Fascial Movement Taping (RockTape/K-Tape)
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Certified
  • Selective Functional Movement Assessment Level 1
  • Finalist for YEG Fitness Physiotherapist of the Year 2016
  • Certified in SIGVARIS compression clothing fitting
  • Physiotherapist for CrossFit Armoury athletes at Western Regionals 2014, 2015 and 2017

 

Aaron, Physiotherapist and owner

Aaron Norris, physiotherapist, owner

Aaron graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. Prior to completing his Physical Therapy Degree, he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with Honors from Memorial University in his hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Aaron has been involved in athletics his entire life with many years of experience in baseball, hockey, basketball, volleyball, cycling, golf, and rowing at the high school and amateur level. He has been highly involved in CrossFit for the past 5 years and was fortunate enough to attend the 2013 Canada West Regional as a member of the CrossFit Armoury Team. He is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and coaches at a local gym in Edmonton part-time. 

Aaron has a great deal of experience working with patients of all age groups. He has a passion for physiotherapy, which is clearly evident in his positive attitude and energy that is brought to the clinic every day.

Physiotherapy Credentials:

  • Voted YEG Fitness Physiotherapist of the Year 2016
  • Level 1 and Level 2 components of the Advanced Orthopaedic and Manual Manipulative Physiotherapy program offered through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Certified in Spinal Manipulation (Jim Meadows) with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta
  • Muscle Mobilization and Deep Tissue Massage
  • Fascial Movement Taping (RockTape/K-Tape)
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Selective Functional Movement Assessment Level 1
  • Physiotherapist on the rehab team of the Edmonton Rush Lacrosse Club of the NLL from 2011-2013

 

Marissa, Physiotherapist

Marissa Poon, physiotherapist

Marissa graduated from the University of Alberta with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 2017. Prior to that, she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Alberta in 2015. Marissa is passionate about sports and believes that exercise, whether it is recreational or competitive, is beneficial to many aspects of life. Her goal is to help people of all ages recover from injury and return to the sports and activities that they enjoy most.

Marissa is an avid soccer player and has a special interest in the role that physical therapy can play in the rehabilitation process for soccer players. She also enjoys playing volleyball (especially on a beach) and is always looking for an opportunity to try new sports. When she is not at work, Marissa loves hanging out with her friends and supporting her favorite hockey team.

Marissa loves being a part of the Optimize team because there is a positive culture created by exercise and teamwork. Marissa hopes to optimize patient care in order to achieve her patients’ goals!

Physiotherapy Credentials

  • Level 1 Advanced Orthopedic and Manual Manipulative Physiotherapy program offered through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Level 1 KinetaCore Functional Dry Needling
  • Modern MSK Cervico-Thoracic Spinal Manipulation
  • Modern MSK Lumbar-Sacral Manipulation
physiotherapist

Courtney von Wackerbarth, physiotherapist

Courtney graduated from the University of Alberta with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 2018. Prior to that, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from
the University of Alberta in 2015.

Courtney has a passion for physiotherapy that originates from overcoming some health issues of her own just a few years ago. After bouncing around the healthcare system without any answers, a physiotherapist was able to properly diagnose her with a rare form of arthritis. The treatment she received from this therapist ultimately led her to pursue a career in physiotherapy, with the goal to help others with the same level of passion and care that she had received. Courtney thrives on her ability to spend time with her patients, to listen to their concerns, and to collaborate with them to develop a treatment plan that is both functional and effective.

Courtney grew up figure skating and dancing competitively, but has played almost every sport under the sun recreationally. Courtney continues to stay active with running, weight lifting, and HIIT classes, but loves to try out new fitness classes, styles, and studios. Outside of staying active, Courtney loves learning! She enjoys staying up to date with all of the latest fitness trends and using her degree to parse out the useful from the trendy. If you are ever curious to feel free to reach out and chat with her on any topic of health and fitness and she will surely provide a wealth of information and guidance!
 
She looks forward to helping others feel better and continuing her journey of lifelong learning
with the Optimize team!

Physiotherapy Credentials:

  • Level 1 Advanced Orthopedic and Manual Manipulative Physiotherapy program offered through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • On Point Needling: Lower Quadrant Dry Needling

 

 
 

Mélissa Hambrook, Manual Osteopath

Mélissa graduated from the National Academy of Osteopathy in Toronto with a Diploma in Manual Osteopathy. Prior to her professional education, she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Mobile in Alabama and graduated with the title Magna Cum Laude, meaning "with great honor". Mélissa has been involved in sports since a young age playing volleyball, tennis, running track and her main focus being soccer. Originally from Drummond, New Brunswick, her passion for soccer is what brought her to the southern states on an athletic scholarship. Sticking with her love of sports Mélissa volunteered as a soccer coach for many teams in her community, coached an ultimate frisbee team, volunteered at a local Special Olympics event, and held soccer summer camos to develop youth players. 

As an athlete and student, Mélissa has always been very intrigued by how the human body works and moves. She chose manual osteopathy as a career because of its holistic physiology, taking a whole-body approach on treating pain for long-term relief by targeting the root cause. She enjoys the concept of helping the body move to ultimately find health and balance. 

Mélissa is very excited to be joining the Optimize team as they provide a very comfortable and fun work environment while being hard workers doing what they love. She is ecstatic to work with a team that has the same mindset that movement and exercise are the best medicine. 

Mélissa peut aussi vous servir en français!

Jenny Brown, Registered Dietitian, Founder of FoodMed Inc.

Born and raised in Alberta, Jenny started learning from an early age about the effects of diet on your health. Her father was a family doctor and so naturally had a very graphic description of how foods influenced our physiology. Her mother was an excellent cook and gardener and prepared healthy, home-grown meals every day for a family of six. She educated her children of all of the important vitamins and minerals in the foods she prepared. But with her British accent, the word ‘vitamins’ was pronounced a bit differently!

Once she eventually discovered my calling to be a dietitian, she earned her degree at the University of Alberta and became registered with the College of Dietitians of Alberta. She has since gained experience in a wide variety of clinical nutrition areas at several Alberta hospitals. Her desire to counsel and guide others in nutrition for everyday life inspired me to start up her own business to serve clients in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

On her own time, she enjoys learning about sustainable living practices, such as permaculture and urban farming. She likes to keep active with yoga, wall climbing, hiking, and skiing. And to relax, she can usually be found with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other…or seen dancing at one of Edmonton’s live music venues!

Jenny's approach to determining nutrition plans is based on each individual's personal goals and lifestyle. She believes in looking at the big picture to help promote a positive relationship with food and healthy behaviors for life.

positive relationship with food means not seeing certain foods or food groups as the enemy. The ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality, the severe calorie restricting regimes and the idea of ‘the perfect diet’ are thankfully becoming trends of the past. Current dietetic practices are promoting mindful eating, where the focus is listening to your body and enjoying a variety of foods every day.

Make an appointment with Jenny and you can work together to set some realistic goals and make some sustainable changes.

Visit Jenny's Website at http://foodmed.ca/services/

Brittany Bouma, Registered Massage Therapist

Brittany graduated in 2013 from Makami College with a diploma of 3000 hrs in Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy. She is registered with the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC). 
 
After completing her massage diploma she went on to receive both a diploma in Physiotherapy Assistance and a Bachelors Degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. 
Brittany is extremely passionate about helping others reach their fullest potential and reduce any pain they may be experiencing. She has been avidly involved in many sports with her favourite being competitive swimming. She swam for 15 years and coached for 3. Within this time she gained a wealth of knowledge about the human body and how it works. Brittany is currently continuing her education at Grant MacEwan University working towards becoming a Registered Acupuncturist.
 
She is looking forward to tailoring her massage treatments for each individual client in order to help them reach their fullest potential! 
 

Massage Credentials:

  • Deep Tissue Massage 
  • Sports Massage
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Myofascial Massage
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Hot Stone Massage

Casey MacLeod, registered massage therapist

Casey graduated Grant MacEwan in 2009 with a diploma in Massage Therapy and is currently registered with NHPC. Casey continued to expand her knowledge in the health and fitness industry and in 2012 graduated from NAIT with a diploma in Personal Fitness Training and a certificate in Corrective Exercise.

Growing up in Calgary, Casey played a variety of sports. She was competitive in basketball, volleyball, cross country/track and field, wrestling, swimming and finally settled on squash as my main sport in high school. She continued to play squash and compete at high levels after high school as she played ladies level 1 and men’s level 4 and currently she is getting back into it when she can find the time! Her main activity now is CrossFit and she has been crushing it at local competitions!

Casey has 2 young boys who keep her and her husband, Ben very busy. If she ever has downtime and she’s done her workout for the day she thoroughly enjoys board games and puzzles to rest her body and mind.

Casey loves working at Optimize for the like-minded people and relaxed atmosphere which allows everyone to do their best work!

Massage Credentials:

  • Dynamic Cupping
  • Orthopaedic Massage 
  • K-taping - Pro Course
  • Therapeutic Massage 
  • Relaxation Massage
  • Sports Massage 
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Myofascial Release
 
 
Daniella, Physiotherapist experinced with pediatric patients

Lisa Halipchuk, Registered Massage Therapist

Lisa obtained her Diploma in Massage Therapy from MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy, graduating with honors from their 2200-hour program in June 2018. Lisa is a member in good standing with the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA).

Prior to massage therapy, Lisa graduated with distinction from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management degree.  She had a very successful career in the corporate world for ten years, before her passion for helping people and interest in health and wellness lead her to massage therapy.

Lisa’s priority when addressing a client’s chief complaint is finding the root cause of their discomfort.  Her mission is to help others feel their best so that they can be their best!  Lisa believes in equipping clients with tools to help them in their wellness journey, including postural education and a tailored homecare plan, with stretch and strengthen exercises to help improve muscles imbalances. Lisa has played a variety of sports throughout her life, mainly volleyball, basketball, badminton, fastball/slo-pitch, and most recently, golf, which has given her an appreciation for how regular massage therapy helps to relieve aches and pains, as well as maintaining and improving range of motion.

Lisa is married with two small children, whom she is chasing after when not at work! They love to visit Farmer’s Markets in the summer, cheer on the Oilers in the winter, and travel as much as possible.  She is very excited to be a part of the Optimize Team and looks forward to working in a team environment to help clients achieve their optimal health.

Massage Credentials:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Swedish/Relaxation Massage
  • Myofascial Massage
  • Sports Massage
  • Trigger Point Release
  • Prenatal Massage
  • TMJD Treatments 

Steven Canduro, kinesiologist, director of strength and performance

Steven graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta in 2019 with a Bachelor of
Kinesiology. While working through his Kinesiology degree, Steven chose to major in Sport
Performance because sport and physical activity have played such a large part in his upbringing
and future career aspirations. While Steven played many sports growing up, he grew to love
hockey and baseball in particular and still participates in these activities along with enjoying
beating his friends in the occasional squash match.

Currently, Steven is working on pursuing a career in physical therapy because he believes
greatly in the benefits of exercise and movement when it comes to injuries. He enjoys working
at Optimize because of the relationships he gets to form with the diverse population of
patients, therapists, and all others that are part of the Optimize community.

Steven grew up in a family of 4 with his older brother, Ryan, who was born with many special
needs. The two brothers were inseparable when younger and could always be found playing
various sports together. Steven believes his brother is the reason he wants to follow a career in
helping others.

Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Kinesiology, Major in Sport Performance

 

Seth Waselenchuk, kinesiologist, director of strength and performance

Seth’s love for health and fitness began through playing both competitive hockey and football. This led him to gain valuable training experience as he continued playing football at the varsity level for the University of Alberta, where he was exposed to the effects that high-level training had on his performance as well as his overall health. 

While playing football at the U of A, Seth also began his studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology with a major in Sports Performance. This furthered his passion for fitness while providing the essential tools needed to translate his learning to others. While completing school he was fortunate enough to complete his practicum at Optimize Physiotherapy as an exercise specialist, eventually turning this position into his current role as the Director of Strength and Performance. This combination of sport, school, and work has provided Seth with a broad and in-depth knowledge of exercise principles while exemplifying the importance fitness has in maintaining and improving an individual’s quality of life. 

Seth’s philosophy begins with the idea of being intentional with every movement. In order to strengthen our bodies, we must create a foundation of physical literacy that allows us to feel comfortable and healthy performing all activities in all settings. Moreover, in order to recover most effectively from injury, we must find the unique exercise process that works for every individual, allowing us to OPTIMIZE the recovery process.

Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Kinesiology, Major in Sport Performance
  • Certified Personal Trainer - Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology
 
 

Ashley Potter, Clinic Manager

Ashley has been working in a Physiotherapy clinic for the past 6 and 1/2 years. She has been the Clinic Manager at Optimize since day one. Prior to working in a Physiotherapy clinic, she worked as an Interior Design Technologist designing kitchens. Ashley enjoys working in an atmosphere with a close group of like-minded people. She values the support that is given to her by Arri and Aaron, whether it’s work-related or personal. She is currently working towards getting her Elementary Education Degree. Ashley plans to contribute to the growth and development of Optimize as she finishes her degree. Once her degree is completed she hopes to begin a career as an Elementary School Teacher. In Ashley's spare time she plays slo-pitch, hockey and she recently has begun playing ringette again.

Meaghan Jenner, Clinic Assistant

Meaghan really enjoys being apart of the Optimize team. She loves getting to help people and values getting to know each client. Meaghan, like the rest of the team, is a huge dog lover. Meaghan and her husband have 3 dogs of their own. She is an open book and finds working with the Optimize team is so easy and enjoyable. Meaghan also likes to spend her summers camping, playing ringette or you may even find her getting crafty. Meaghan is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, be sure to say hello to her the next time you are in the clinic.

Ashley Aupperle, Marketing Manager

Ashley is mostly behind the scenes but does her best to keep you entertained through social media and marketing. Ashley has a passion for photography and creating content and is very much enjoying being able to share that with you and be apart of the Optimize marketing team. She has a background in kinesiology, health, and wellness, working in a clinic setting for the past 8 years. When Ashley is not at her computer you can find her being active with her family. Ashley and her family love to camp, golf, and be adventurous in the summer and in the winter you can find them on the mountain snowboarding or traveling! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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