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Personalized Healing Retreats

“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.” - Rick Warren

Hummingbird Center Lake Dock

The Hummingbird Center offers personalized ayahuasca healing retreats from 2 to 4 weeks for those looking to go deeper the medicine or whose condition needs a longer treatment plan. This program runs along with our 9-12 day retreats and includes all the activities of those. Personalized retreats include at least one 8 day dieta with a master medicine plant chosen by the shaman to help with your healing and learning. For those on 3 or 4 week stays, a second dieta is also included. These dietas are an essential part of lasting healing for those with long term problems with depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Deep Immersion Ayahuasca Retreats

Group with remo caspi treeePersonalized retreats are intended for those with long term issues that have resisted treatment by other methods, primarily the emotional ones. The Hummingbird Center has evolved into specialist treating depression, anxiety, PTSD and OCD, having successfully helped over 170 people that had long term (15+ yrs) struggles with these issues.

The personalized program is also an excellent option for those who want to deepen their understanding of their true spiritual natures or would like to explore if a deeper commitment to working with this medicine is the right choice for them.

Another advantage of a longer stay is it allows you to relax into the healing and growth process and experiment with dosage without feeling time pressure. We have seen many people get half way through their process and begin worrying that they were going to run out of time and not get what they came for. This worry can interfere with the process and healing, and people are much more relaxed with the ups and downs of working with ayahuasca when they know they have more time with the medicine.

People will most commonly diet one of ajo sacha, chiric sanango, bobinsana or chuchu wasi depending on what they are looking to address. Those who stay for 3 or 4 weeks have the option of a second dieta if they choose. With a longer stay you get the chance to have more ceremonies with both ayahuasca and san pedro.

These additional ceremonies can make a big difference in the healing you receive. As we heal and grow, we literally shift into a different state of being. This extra time with the medicines allows that to set, to lock into place and become our new natural state.

Ayahuasca and the other medicine plants we use will get to root or your problems, clearing energies, beliefs and thought patterns that keep you limited in your daily life. The profound wisdom of the plants can reveal your true self and your unique nature to you during ayahuasca ceremony and afterwards. Their teachings can set you on a path of self discovery and transformation, or enrich the spiritual journey you may already have begun.

Features of Our Personalized Healing Retreats

These retreat participants will share in the ceremonies and other activities of all other guests at the center. It includes all of the elements of the 12 day retreat with the addition of:

  • Private room in a tambo set in the jungle away from the common areas.
  • One or two 8 day master plant dietas with a plant selected by the shaman
  • Additional healing sessions outside of ceremony
  • Regular consultations and guidance with the staff and shaman
  • More ayahuasca and san pedro ceremonies. Up to 14 available in a 4 week stay

Tradition With Comfort

All of our accommodation is close to nature in a typical South American jungle setting that has been modernized to include the comforts of daily life that you are used to. Our ayahuasca center follows traditional practices that have proven to bring healing results and the growth and change you are looking for in your life.

While you’re on the retreat additional cleansing processes will be planned to help you get the most out of your time with the medicine plants at the ayahuasca center. These planned activities are intended to facilitate your healing process and will comprise of various traditional healing practices.

Length of Stay

mud bath by the pondOur personalized retreats have stays of two to four weeks. How long we recommend will depend on the information shared during our screening process. In general, the longer one has struggled with an issue the longer it takes to heal. If one has been struggling with depression for 15 or more years, it is unlikely a two week stay will be sufficient. Age also can have an impact on how quickly one heals. As a general rule, the younger one is the faster they will heal. This generally holds true, yet there are many exceptions.

An individual's commitment to their own healing and overall attitude to the process makes an enormous difference in results. If one is truly committed to heal and willing to do the necessary work with a positive attitude, a lot of change is possible in shorter periods of time. Ayahuasca is not a magic potion. One must do their part to get effective results.

For those with 15 or more years with depression, anxiety or ptsd, we usually will recommend a four week stay. This length of stay allows for two dietas with a master medicine, significantly increasing the probability of permanent long term change for the better.

Who should come on a Personalized Ayahuasca Retreat?

A personalized retreat will also be of value for anyone who would like to spend focused time working more intensively with ayahuasca and our shaman, using a medicine plant dieta and more ayahuasca ceremonies.

These ayahuasca retreats are, however, more intense, so people who have long term, or severe conditions will benefit from an extended stay with more ceremonies. In these cases, using both ayahuasca and san pedro over a longer time is necessary to receive truly noticeable and lasting change. More time with the medicine allows for the awakening to be on a deeper level.

We recommend the personalized ayahuasca retreat as the preferred option if you’ve been struggling with depression, anxiety or PTSD for more than seven years, or if your symptoms are relatively severe.

Conditions Successfully Treated

  • PTSD - A large number of clients have been healed of PTSD originating from a variety of traumas including sexual abuse (both men and women), violent parents or partners, emotional abuse, racial persecution. We have also helped many combat veterans from different countries and wars. Note that there are levels of severity of PTSD, and the Hummingbird Center is NOT an appropriate place for those with severe symptoms of PTSD.
  • Fibro Myalgia - This client had been in almost constant pain for 5 years, taking hydrocodone, a powerful opioid pain killer most of those years. They showed up barely able to walk, addicted to their pain medication, and left 6 weeks later very mobile, not needing medication and just about completely pain free. Their withdrawal from hydrocodone lasted only 3 days.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Many people diagnosed with IBS and other digestive issues have left being able to eat what they want without any problems. There are a variety of plants that can help, but we often use leche caspi to treat these issues.
  • Anxiety and Depression - Not surprisingly, this is a common complaint of western clients coming to the Hummingbird. This has become a bit of a specialty for the Hummingbird Center, perhaps because of the owner Jim's own 30 year battle with it. We have successfully treated over 140 people with long term depression and anxiety. You will do a dieta with ajo sacha, the plant we have used for 100% of people with these issues. It works!

More Info About Our Personalized Retreats

Additional activities on personalized retreats include cleansing steam baths and/or vomitivos (purges using special plants to rid the body of toxins), as well as cleansing plant baths.

During your dieta you will also follow a very strict shamanic diet in order to facilitate healing. The specific plant dieted will be chosen by the shaman based on your condition and what you are looking to accomplish.

In addition to ayahuasca, you will also participate in several San Pedro ceremonies to further enhance the healing process. There will be a San Pedro ceremony on the 13th of the month between our regularly scheduled 12 day retreats.

Our shaman needs to time off, so there is not an option for an ayahuasca retreat in that gap. For those here spanning the end of the month, there are more days between our 12 day retreats and we will schedule ceremonies based on the needs of all that are here. Our shaman is also taken into consideration, as he needs his rest also!

Regular consultations will be scheduled for you with our shamans to discuss your healing and assess your progress, as well as guidance sessions with our counselor. This typically results in greater clarity about the issue you are addressing and deeper insights into your path to wellness. Following your consultations other treatments and/or plant medicines may also be recommended for you. Again, there is no extra charge for these as they form part of your healing program.

One of the rules of the dieta includes no chemicals on the body. This includes soap, deodorant, toothpaste, insect repellent, and sun screen. You may use natural plant based products, so consider bringing those with you.

While we can be flexible on starting dates for the 3 and 4 week programs, it is best if you begin your retreat the same day the 12 Day Retreat begins, arriving in Iquitos the day before to rest from your travels. If this schedule does not work for you, we will work out the arrival and departure dates on a case by case basis.

How do I get to the Hummingbird Center?

We’ll meet you at 10 AM outside Fizcaraldo which is a restaurant on the "Boulevard". There are a number of restaurants on the Boulevard which is a park fronting the river that’s a block away from the Plaza de Armas. From there you’ll be transported to the Hummingbird Center.

You’ll arrive at the ayahuasca center with enough time to get your room assigned, take some time out to relax and then have lunch. An orientation meeting will begin at 2 PM in the maloca, followed by a plant bath to prepare for your first ayahuasca ceremony.

We strongly recommend that you arrive in Iquitos the day before the program begins. This allows you to enter the healing journey well rested and relaxed.

Shifting Your Perception of Yourself and the World

Unique to our ayahuasca retreat are two talks about belief systems and our subconscious minds, and how to change the often unproductive programming we received as children. This is a detailed discussion of how our thoughts and beliefs influence not only our perception of life but also the body’s physiology.

We all have the ability to change our thinking. What we think and believe has a significant impact on our lives for better or for worse. Often we’re unaware that the pain and struggles we face are as a result of our thoughts and beliefs. Once we can identify the negative views we hold on to we can alter them to bring about positive changes in our lives.

As we change our perception of the world around us, we change our experience of life!

You Will Get a Guided Retreat Experience Focused on Healing

Throughout your retreat our expert facilitators will be available to help you understand your journeys and assist you in integrating your experience. They will provide coaching and guidance on how to navigate the process, recognizing that everyone's healing journey is unique.

Our focus is always on healing and we will encourage you to push your comfort zone and step into new productive behaviors and patterns of thinking about yourself and those around you.

On this program we encourage you to relax. Time alone to reflect and integrate your work with ayahuasca is an important part of the healing process. Journaling and the expression of your visions and creativity through art are also recommended and materials are provided for you.

On the mornings following ayahuasca ceremonies, circle meetings are held so you can discuss your experience with the shaman and facilitator and ask questions to get deeper insight into your journey. These meetings are an excellent place to learn more about how ayahuasca works, as everyone's journey is different and variety of explanations and teachings are offered in response.

Through other people's stories you will clearly see the incredible variety in how ayahuasca works and be encouraged to honor and value your own experience, to tell your story honestly without need for it to be like anyone else's.

Daily Schedule

Our Personalized retreats follow the daily schedule of our 12 Day Retreats. The primary difference is in dieta process. This schedule only list those items specific to the dieata.

Time Activity
Day 2
10:30 am Meeting with the curandero to talk about why you are here, how we can help, and to decide on which plant it would be best for you to diet to help you get what you are looking for.
Day 3
7:30 am Meet in the moloca to start your dieta process. There will be a refresher talk about how to get the most from your time in dieta with the selected master medicine plant
Day 4
7:30 am Drink the master medicine plant a second time.
Day 5
7:30 am Drink the master medicine plant a third time.
Day 11
7:30 am Curandero formally ends your dieta process after a total of 8 full days following the dieta rules.