The Team





After living and working in the neighborhood for many years, Jeanette opened Fernwood Massage Therapy in 2011.  Jeanette graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in August 2002 and has been working full time as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) in Victoria ever since.  Prior to opening the clinic doors, Jeanette's professional experience included working with a diverse group of health care professionals including physiotherapists and acupuncturists. Jeanette continues to maintain strong working relationships with many practitioners in Victoria and surrounding communities.  The diverse experience that she has gained has given her the ability to utilize specific massage therapy techniques to aid in not only the recovery of patients, but also injury prevention.

Jeanette has treated a wide range of patients with musculoskeletal conditions using but not limited to therapeutic massage, neuromuscular, and myofascial techniques.  

Jeanette has become interested in the treatment of scar tissue.  She has had the opportunity to hone her skills with many post-operative patients in the past year.  Scar tissue release is often overlooked in conventional medical treatments as a cause of pain and dysfunction.  

Jeanette has also taken a special interest in treating patients with TMJ disorder.  Over the years, she has taken a number of continuing education course which focus on the treatment of TMJ disorders and the surronding tissue.

In her personal time, Jeanette enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and her dog, George.  When possible she also enjoys travelling to new destinations and is always ready for a new adventure.



Michelle is a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) who graduated from the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy in 1997.  She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria in 2015.

Michelle is fascinated by scar tissue work and the effectiveness of this therapy. Her clinical focus is dysfunctional scar tissue; whether it be from a surgical procedure or traumatic injury. In her work she focuses on the therapeutic treatment of connective tissue and myofacial release to assist in gaining greater tissue mobility and flexibility.

She prefers a collaborative approach to treatment with a focus on communication and patient education, encouraging active participation in the rehabilitative process. She does not use oil or provide full body relaxation.





Lara Eggiman is a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) who graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2005. She obtained her certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) in 2006. Previous to attending the WCCMT Lara received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria in 2000.

Lara employees a variety of massage techniques to treat biomechanical dysfunction and pain. She has ten years’ experience using MLD and associated techniques to assist patient’s healing with acute and chronic swelling. This swelling could be as a result of an injury, surgery, cancer treatment or lymphedema.

Lara prefers a holistic and collaborative approach to treatment with a focus on communication and patient education. She strongly believes in the importance of movement, flexibility, and stress reduction as key factors in living a healthy lifestyle.



IMG 1873

Stephanie (Stevie) McDowell, RMT is a graduate of the 3000 hour program at West Coast College of Massage Therapy’s Victoria campus where she was the recipient of the Lindsay Atkinson Duncan Memorial Award. Her passion for her career and profound belief in the benefits of massage therapy are clear in her treatments.

As a former dancer, Stevie fully understands the difficulties and frustrations of being sidelined by injury.  This empathy forms a basis for her treatments which include, but are not limited to: use of deep tissue, myofascial release, MET, trigger point release, joint mobilizations and Swedish massage.  Her scope of practice is wide and she has done extensive work with patients suffering anxiety disorders as well as acute and chronic pain issues, including patients that range in age from 7 to 102. Stevie has a profound belief that massage therapy involves the patient working equally with the therapist as a team during treatment, with each treatment being tailored individually.

A recreational runner at the half marathon distance, Stevie belongs to a vibrant running group and hasworked to help many local runners achieve their goals at many levels.  A long time run leader, she has had a particular joy in helping people at the beginning of their running journey, helping many people discover the rewards of being active in our beautiful city.



Desiree DeRuiterDesiree graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2018. As an RMT, Desiree has extensive interest in myofascial release related to injuries and scar tissue, as well as systemic and neurological conditions. Her approach to treatment is to balance a stress reducing treatment with collaborative therapist/patient communication. Beyond her work as a RMT, Desiree pursues creative goals as a visual artist and enjoys staying active through hiking, cycling, sailing and yoga.