How it started – early introductions
I first began my interest in Herbs when I was a child. Both my grandmothers had wonderful fruit and vegetable gardens with smatterings of herbs. I must have been about 5 years old when playing hide and seek with my cousins, I discovered an amazing patch of parsley by the tank at my grandmother’s house at the farm. At that age it seemed 2 meters square. Maybe it wasn’t, but I loved the smell and look of it, and playing in it. I often enjoyed exploring their gardens and discovering the plants.
At some point, maybe when I was 8 or 9, My grandmothers, and their neighbours, would give me cuttings of plants that I brought home, and started cultivating. Within a year or so, the patio was full of pot plant stands with my growing plants, and my mum was regularly putting them up for sale at the church street stall.
I still remember my first herb book that was given to me. I started writing notes about the plants and where they liked to grow, and what they were used for. I found that notebook not long ago. I also remember wandering around mums garden looking for any plants that might help with mosquito bites, rubbing the flowers or leaves on my skin to try them out. I wasn’t very successful, but I had fun trying.
The patio became full of plants, so I requested a shade house for birthday or Christmas. I grew up in Griffith NSW on a farm, so the shade house was great for cooling from the sun, and keeping the frost off. With this I began propagation in earnest, as well as designing and growing a herb garden around the outside. I started using methods from Esther Deane’s No Dig Book, and recipes from Rosemary Hemphill’s books, and anything else herbal I could lay my hands on. In year 7, one of the gardeners at school would chat with a group of us about plants in the greenhouse, and share seeds for me to try.
I aspired to having a herb farm, using the herbs, and often designed gardens on paper for a variety of locations.
Other Life Experiences
After High School, my life took a different path for a while. I worked part time in Fashion, while I was studying B.A. Communications at University in Canberra. Afterwards I was offered a number of manager positions in Retail. The next segment of the circle of my life was managing a variety of shops from Gifts to Lingerie to Fashion. Before too long the need for a garden rekindled, and I started creating gardens wherever I lived, including a no dig Mandala herb and vegetable garden when my first husband and I lived on a few acres just out of Queanbeyan.
Coming Full circle – coming home
For a number of years, an idea niggled at the back of my mind, to train in herbal medicine, but I kept thinking I couldn’t do it. Then a couple things came together that enabled me to take the step.
• Introduction to the Hierophant. I had lost a lot of blood when my daughter was born (May, 1996), and was still quite weak. A friend took me up to the Hierophant, (now the largest homoeopathic and herbal dispensing Shop in Australia) to see one of the practitioners and get some herbs. I was introduced to homoeopathics and rekindled my love of Herbs.
• Family Crisis. Less than a year later (April, 1997), my mother in law had a very severe stroke. I trained in Reiki (May, 1997), and started doing Reiki with her every day while she was in a coma. Three months later she came out of it, then we started the rehabilitation process. We also engaged the help of a local Homeopath Kim Dudley from the Hierophant.
Within a year, two other pieces of my puzzle fell into place.
• Introduction to Body Harmony. I met Duncan Hogg, an International Body Harmony Teacher in 1997, and had my first Body Harmony Session. Body Harmony opened my eyes to what is possible. I was amazed at the quality of bodywork that was achieved with such a conscious and gentle touch. I felt completely new and different after the session, and couldn’t stop telling my friends about it. I signed up immediately for the next course, and started training to be a practitioner.
• Back to Study. In 1998, I started studying Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy. I felt, and said I was coming full circle, back to my roots of herbs and natural healing.
Body Harmony in Practice,
In 2000 I took the huge step of leaving my job, managing Victoria Cooper Clothing, and stepping out to practice Body Harmony full time. I also started organising Body Harmony seminars so that other people could also learn Body Harmony. This started my internship and training towards becoming a Body Harmony Teacher in 2003
I have been in private practice since 2000, when I first qualified as a Body Harmony Practitioner.
From 2000 to 2005 I worked primarily at Integrated Natural Therapies (INT) in Queanbeyan. Clients came for Body Harmony, and often through referrals from other practitioners in the practice – chiropractors, massage therapists, psychologist and naturopaths. I worked with
- clients with physical restrictions, freeing up breath and movement,
- clients wanting a body and mind approach to their health,
- and was referred clients with emotional or trauma based issues, working with in conjunction with the psychologist.
During this time, I gained my Diploma of Natural Medicines from Kim Dudley College of Natural Therapies in 2002, and Diploma of Classical Herbal Medicine with famous Australian Herbalist, Dorothy Hall in 2003.
In 2003, Paul (my second husband) and I created Canberra Body Harmony school. From 2004 my private practice expanded, between having children, becoming my primary practice from 2005, and then again with the move to Callum Street in 2006, and more suitable premises, has continued to grow.
Throughout this time, I continued to expand my knowledge of Body Harmony, Herbal Medicine, Homoeopathy, Iridology and Biochemic Tissue Salts through further training, and gained broader experience through my clients.
I am a mother of 5 children, one from my first marriage, and 4 from my second marriage. I continue to learn from them, particularly my oldest daughter, who I admire greatly for her ability to engage with the younger children in creative and inspiring ways. I love developingmy garden, and slowly creating it, eating the food from it, growing different herbs, and creating food forage for the kids. I enjoy swimming, Pilates, yoga, reading, spending time with my friends, and my family.
I love what I do, and thoroughly enjoy seeing my clients move beyond their perceived limitations, and start creating their life as they envisage it. I would love to work with you to create the life you want to live.
I feel very blessed to have learnt from some of the most inspiring and knowledgeable teachers in my fields. It is with deep gratitude and respect that I acknowledge them for their contribution to my journey.
- Dorothy Hall
- Kim Dudley (1949-2009) – Herbalist, homoeopath, acupuncturist, Lecturer, creator of “The Hierophant” and The Matrix – a method of linking herbs and homoeopathics with Acupuncture points.
- Tim Thomas – Homeopath,Lecturer, co-creator of “The Hierophant”
- Don McFarland – founder of Body Harmony
- Duncan Hogg and Gina Carruthers – founding teachers of Body Harmony in Australia.
- BA Communications (Public Relations)
- Adv. Diploma Classical Herbal Medicine (Dorothy Hall)
- Dip. Natural Medicines (Herbs and Homeopathics)
- International Body Harmony Teacher
- Cert. IV Training and Assessment
- Cert. IV Massage
- International Body Harmony Guild