Our Story

Our Story

The Sacred Nest was founded in 2017 by principal practitioner, Cynthia Bartolo. Originally a Food Scientist, when her daughter experienced digestive issues and learning difficulties many years ago, she applied her knowledge of the food industry to researching the gut and how food quality can impact mood, behaviour, memory and learning via the Vagus Nerve and the Gut-Brain Axis.

Cynthia spent over 15 years working as a Quality Assurance Specialist for both small businesses and large multi-national companies. In 2013 she left the industry and gained a position on a research team at MCRI that gave her valuable insight into the research process. She learnt a great deal about the Enteric (gut) Nervous System and the Gut Microbiome (bacteria) and their impact on the health of not only the gut but the entire body. 

Since then her training has taken her to attain a post-graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition from Deakin University. She is also a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Practitioner.  Through her Food and Mood programs, Cynthia guides clients to make informed choices to improve their gut health and overall wellbeing. 

Cynthia has also undertaken training in neuroscience, sensory processing and Polyvagal Theory which inspired her to create the calming experience within The Sacred Nest. She is a qualified provider of both the Safe and Sound Protocol and the ILS Focus Program, which are two ‘bottom-up’ polyvagal programs that activate the Vagus Nerve and integrate the body and brain for improved digestion, emotional regulation, communication and learning.

Other Modalities

Over the last 10 years, Cynthia has undertaken training in other modalities that have helped her to build resilience in her demanding role as a carer. As an accredited teacher of Stillness Meditation Therapy, she guides participants in her Carer Wellbeing Circles to develop meditation skills for self-care. With an understanding approach and knowledge of neurodiversity, she supports carers and clients who find it especially difficult to rest the mind. 

Therapeutic Touch has also helped Cynthia immensely and she continues to offer this to her children and to clients to help balance their energy and nervous system. She is a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner (QTTPA) and offers all of her Carer Wellbeing Circle participants the opportunity to experience a session for themselves. Cynthia is working to get this evidence-based modality, as well as meditation practices, better recognised by the NDIS and Carer advocacy organisations.As 

NDIS Experience

Cynthia has valuable experience navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme(NDIS), as both a carer and also as an NDIS provider. Cynthia meets the requirements set by the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission for and is listed on the NDIS Worker Screening Database. Most of the services offered by The Sacred Nest can be fully claimed by self-managed and plan-managed participants.

  • Associate Nutritionist with Nutrition Society of Australia(NSA)
  • Full member of Nutrition Australia
  • Certified GAPS Practitioner(cGGP) with Gut and Psychology Syndrome(GAPS) Australia
  • Certified SSP and ILS Focus Provider – Integrated Listening Systems(ILS-Unyte)
  • Full member of The Meditation Association of Australia
  • Accredited SMT Teacher – Stillness Meditation Therapy Australia
  • Qualified TT Practitioner – Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia(TTAA)
  • NDIS Provider – NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission
  • Worker Screening Check – NDIS Worker Screening Database(NWSD)
  • Standard Mental Health First Aider – Mental Health First Aid Australia(MHFA)

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which The Sacred Nest now stands, and pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin Nation.