The Founder

The Founder

Scientific Experience

Cynthia Bartolo has always had an enquiring mind. When her daughter experienced digestive issues related to food intolerances, as well as significant learning difficulties, she applied her 15 years of experience in the food industry as a scientist to researching the gut and how it impacts mood, behaviour, memory and learning via the Gut-Brain Axis.

After her years as a Food Scientist and Quality Assurance Specialist working for small businesses and large multi-national companies, she gained a position on a research team 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 Gut-Brain Nutrition program, Cynthia’s aim is to guide and support people to make informed choices to improve their gut health and overall wellbeing. She is also passionate about using her skills to implement systems across different departments to provide a unique nutrition service to schools and other organisations. 

Cynthia has also undertaken training in Neuroscience and Sensory Processing which inspired her to create the calming experience within The Sacred Nest. She also applies this knowledge into all of her programs and services. More recently, Cynthia has completed training to provide two Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) programs developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr Ron Minson. The Safe and Sound Protocol (Porges) is a 5- hour acoustic/sound therapy that activates the Vagus Nerve to restore calm and safety to the nervous system and improve digestion. The ILS Focus Series (Minson) is a follow-on program which integrates the body and brain using a multi-sensory approach via sound, bone conduction and accompanying exercise programs.

Stillness Experience

Cynthia has discovered the value of Stillness Meditation combined with Therapeutic Touch from personal experience. She says, 

“As a scientist with an analytical mind and in my role as a mother and carer of children with additional needs, the regular practice of these two modalities have given me the ability to calm down and to bring my nervous system back into balance. This has had a positive flow on effect to my children. I have no doubt that my ability to remain resilient and positive in my role as a carer is attributed to my experiences with Therapeutic Touch and Stillness Meditation Therapy.”

The Sacred Nest supports the whole person. This is achieved through my varied programs designed to harness each of the 7 senses through which we experience ourselves, our relationships, the environment and the world.  I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience to help you and your family, or the people that you care for, to live healthier and more enriching lives.“

Read more about Cynthia’s story in her blog.

  • Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition, Deakin University, 2019 – 2020
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Science & Technology), RMIT University, 1991 – 1994
  • Certified Gut & Psychology Syndrome(GAPS) Practitioner, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, 2017 & 2018
  • Quality Assurance Specialist, various Food Industries, 1995 – 2013
  • ‘Healthy Bowels Study’, (MCRI) Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, 2013 – 2015
  • ILS Safe and Sound Protocol Training, Integrated Listening Systems (ILS-Unyte), 2021
  • ILS Focus Series Training, Integrated Listening Systems (ILS-Unyte), 2021
  • Neurophysiology (single unit), University of Melbourne, 2015
  • NeuroPhysics Therapy (principles), Robina, QLD, 2015
  • Neural Engagement Therapy & Training (NETT Foundations), Robina QLD, 2017
  • Stillness Meditation Therapy (SMT) Teacher Training, Pauline McKinnon, SMT Centre, Kew 2018 – 2020
  • Therapeutic Touch Foundations, Intermediate & Mentorship Training, (TTAA) Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia, 2015 – 2019
  • Radiation Assessment and Shielding, Geovital Academy, 2016


  • Full member of Nutrition Australia
  • Full member of CGP Grads (for certified GAPS Practitioners)
  • Full member of The Meditation Association of Australia
  • Full member of (SMT) Stillness Meditation Therapy Australia
  • Full member and QTTPA – (TTAA) Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia
  • Committee Member(General) of the (TTAA) Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia