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Finding her niche in the world with nutrition and a future-focused mindset

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 24 July 2023

natural health heroes nutrition skin health

When we last spoke, nutritionist and skin educator Jacinta Barbagallo was heading to northern Italy to support her brother competing in an international pizza competition before she settled in Bali for the winter. After the extended lockdowns in Melbourne during Covid-19, she relishes freedom.

“One of the greatest advantages of consulting 100 per cent online is that I can work from anywhere in the world and help clients worldwide,” Jacinta said.

Jacinta has always had an innate desire to help people. In high school, she loved psychology because she saw it as a tool to help others. But after a year of psychology at university, Jacinta knew it wasn’t for her. Instead, she enrolled in naturopathy at Endeavour.

Then, six months into her degree, Jacinta switched to nutrition. “I thought I’d finish naturopathy later,” Jacinta explained. “Being at Endeavour was a good experience because I was genuinely interested in the modality. I also made many long-term friends at Endeavour and have worked alongside some of my lecturers and supervisors.” Jacinta is now completing her naturopathy degree part-time while running the business she founded.

Orenda Women’s Health evolved from a series of steps. While studying at Endeavour, Jacinta worked at a health food store, gaining the skills to speak to a wide variety of people and quickly learning about supplements.

“I was like a sponge, absorbing as much information as I could,” Jacinta said. “When I got to the Endeavour student clinic, I already recognised many of the products and having this knowledge saved me time.”

Jacinta also worked as a sales representative for RN Labs, which supplies nutritional supplements and functional testing services for practitioners.

“I learnt how to educate other practitioners and trained in functional pathology testing, which gave me an edge in practice. I understood how to use pathology to help my clients navigate treatment plans.”

When the pandemic started, a skin care clinic asked Jacinta to work there full-time. “I had built a strong foundation of skin knowledge, but I only lasted two months at the clinic. I knew I needed to work for myself and have the flexibility to do a billion things!”

Jacinta returned to RN Labs four days per week and started building her client base, consulting entirely online. She had found her niche.

“I only work with clients seeing a skin therapist or dermal clinician, and I have built a collaborative Australia-wide network. They refer clients to me to help them find what’s causing their skin condition. I don’t need to touch or see a client’s skin because the therapists do this. Instead, I use my extensive training in functional pathology and nutrition to develop the right internal prescription for them.”

Within six months, Jacinta reached full-time capacity with her clients and searched for another practitioner to join her team. For the first ten months, the business had no website or social media. Every client came from word of mouth. Two years on, she has two other practitioners working alongside her and admin support.

“My business grew quickly because it was online,” she said. “That removes the travel barrier. I can work with skin therapists and clients anywhere in the world.”

Education is also an important part of Jacinta’s business. She has created specific courses for skin therapists about the impact of health, diet and lifestyle on the skin. She wants to develop mentorships for new practitioners interested in understanding the skin and has plans for a client diet and acne webinar.

Jacinta comes from a supportive family. She first started practising in a holistic health space managed by her brother. Another brother, an audio engineer, helps her edit her podcast, Periods, Poos & Pimples. But Jacinta is adamant her success also stems from a healthy, future-focused mindset.

“I always ask myself, ‘What does future Jacinta need?’ and that guides my decisions. I know I’m the one responsible for thinking ahead. I also know I can’t do everything and need to delegate. There are so many things on my to-do list that I must find people to help me make them happen.”

Interested in Nutrition?

How does nutrition affect our overall wellbeing? Find out more through our Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and range of Nutrition Short Courses.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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