- Bachelor of Education (Uni of Tas), 1988
- Diploma of Applied Science (Natural and Cultural Resources), 1999
- Certificate of Crystal Sound Therapy, Susie Nelson Smith, 2006
- Diploma of Remedial Massage, Island Health College, 2009
- Bodytalk Access, Bodytalk and Eastern Medicine for Bodytalk, 2008-2014
- Visionary Craniosacral, Hugh Milne, 2010
- Heartworks Lomi Lomi I, II and for Couples, 2006-2013
- Kahuna Massage, Mettes Institute, Level 1/2 in 2013 up to Level 7 in 2016
- Arivigo® Techniques of Abdominal Therapy – Self Care and Practitioners Level, 2015-2016
- Gentling Way Work with Heather Bruce from 2018
- Self Care – as Assistant, Feb 2018
- Healing The Wounded Healer, Feb 2018
- Living Ligaments II, Dec 2018
- Reconnecting the Bao Mai as Assistant, July 2019 and online refresher Nov 2020
- Living Ligaments I as Assistant, February 2020 and online refresher Nov 2020
Hi, and welcome to my story, my life and my work!
I’m Vanessa and often known as Nessa, I was conceived on Bruny Island in Tasmania, the first child of my parents Heather and Charles, who went on to have another three children. We grew up in an old convict built hotel on ¾ acre in Longford, Tasmania, with a paddock next door for chooks, horses, goats and some blackberry bushes! Mum and Dad grew some of our vegies and we had an apple orchard, so I grew up in a fairly holistic way. When I was 13 my youngest sister was diagnosed (after much trauma) as being allergic to the 20th Century. We had to strip our house of 24 rooms of all synthetics, perfumes etc. What a shock to teenagers!
By the time I reached year 11 I started to discover a few complications with my own health. I began to notice, as the stress levels went up at school, that I got migraines from milk, eggs, sugar, yeast and wheat for starters. I soon realised that if I felt a symptom in my physical body that I needed to notice what had been happening in the hour or so beforehand, and could usually diagnose the culprit. I made my way through years 11 and 12 plus 4 years at University being incredibly careful, I could not sit next to anyone with perfume or strong deodorant in lectures or I would start sneezing! After Uni, the stresses eased and I went overseas travelling, sensitivities were less of an issue.
I decided to follow my passion for outdoor adventures rather than teaching in classrooms and ended up coming back from Europe to work at Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania, where I spent six years as Manager of Guest/Outdoor and Conference Activities. I loved this work with a passion, I could work with people outdoors and was generally safe from toxic exposure. Working outdoors in a pristine environment suited me perfectly, I walked kilometres each day, breathing clear mountain air and drinking fresh mountain water. I left this work in 1994 due to pregnancy and intense morning sickness. I was sad to leave but could not see myself lugging a baby up and down mountains, abseiling and canoeing!
I had been diagnosed with hearing issues as a teen but did not want hearing aids so I ignored it. This was a progressive nerve deafness, diagnosed finally when I was 21. I signed up for a hearing aid at 21 to hear the birds again, then at 40 had a Cochlear Implant so that I could hear small children’s voices again. This has changed my life incredibly and I now hear birds I haven’t heard since childhood.
Life served me some interesting experiences, the first pregnancy ended in a Blighted Ovum and I happily went off teaching Outdoor Ed Camps in the Mountains then on to Guiding Expeditions of Bushwalking Rafting and Cycling until my second pregnancy slowed me down!
I was determined to give my baby a Toxic Free Pregnancy, I did everything possible to keep to natural products and even lined up for my own sheets, towels etc to go in to the hospital for the birth! There were complications which led me on a merry journey, which really has continued from the birth of my son Douglas on 29th April 1997 until present. It has been the constant search for answers to a string of complications and issues that has led me on a path of healing my body one step at a time, constantly looking for teachers or healers that may understand or connect with the type of complications I had encountered and help answer my questions. I have been fortunate that there have been opportunities to follow this natural train of healing and have experienced much in the way of healing modalities, many of which I have taken courses in order to understand better.
The curiosity about abdominal massage called to me from the very first Heartworks Lomi Lomi course in 2006, when a morning of belly dancing and abdominal work sent me to the bathrooms to empty the contents of my stomach four times in a couple of hours. This was the beginning of unlocking the layers of stuff that were stopping my body from functioning properly.
From then to now (2020), it has been 14 years of one thing after another, and only last weekend on our course did I finally realise that there was a car accident at 18 years of age which most likely caused the torsion injury that affected my uterus and subsequently bladder to the point of severe complications. Wow, the depths of this work!
So Heather Bruce walked into my life part way through the journey of healing the pelvic trauma, and it has been through her work that I have fully come to understand the pathway to healing the body the Gentling Way, and using these methods to heal the body one step at a time, often in intensives. I have travelled to New Zealand, Brisbane and Melbourne to catch up with Heather as she has presented courses and have been fortunate enough to be able to assist with some of those courses and support others in learning this work as well. It truly is incredible to see clients come in and find relief from issues that have prevailed for years, with no one able to help until now.
I live in the Grampians, Victoria, with a husband, adult son and two fun little Griffons (dogs). My eldest son lives in Ballarat and my family live in Tasmania, which is my souls’ home! I have an Island property on Bruny Island, Southern Tasmania where I love to spend time when I am able. Our property in the Grampians is home to a Camping Ground which was set up by my father in law in the late 1980’s with us taking over in 2012. We have bushland, big old trees, mountain views, wetlands and are fortunate enough to have a beautiful lake right outside our house. My studio is tucked away in the Campground and I see clients by appointment for massages, steaming sessions and healing intensives as well as holding Qigong by the Lake and Sound Spas with my Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls plus occasional workshops.
During the Covid lockdown of 2020 I was fortunate enough to join a group of rather incredible individuals learning some new skills under the banner of ‘Warriors of Love’ Apprenticeship and through the subsequent ‘Ravishing Results’ program I have birthed my Innerji Soap officially (after three years of playing around with soap experiments to see if I could make safe soap for my family). I have been selling pure soap made from both plant and tallow based recipes, infused with natural plant matter from organic and known sources. I have been getting great feedback from those who are purchasing the soap, and really am feeling that it is achieving the goal of ‘improving peoples lives’ through feeding their skin with only the best ingredients.
The soap is available by mail order as well as on site sales, and I enjoy making dedicated batches of soap for specific purposes. It is at those times that I feel the vibrational energy of my work, my ancestors, my Mum, who grew up assisting her chemist Dad, and later branched into healing with herbs, and my Indigenous ancestors, with whom I feel a strong connection through the land.
I have deep respect for the Earth and for the people who share this planet, I try to use earth friendly products as much as possible and avoid perfumes or chemical products.
I welcome questions, enquiries and look forward to supporting you on your healing journey.