Healer Within Retreats – Molokai

Healing Journey

By Dr. Kristen Knox - participant 2015

To Molokai we repaired in late May
To hear what Nita and Bill had to say
We breathed and we sighed
And we danced and we cried
And found healing along the way…

Nita coached all of us like an ace
While Bill held our collective sad space
So Shannon could sooth us
Through dances that moved us
To a more peaceful and passionate place.

The Hui Ho’oalana was just right
For the journey we took toward the light
Native healing traditions
And organic conditions
Helped lift us to a new spiritual height

healer-within-logo-facultyMay 21-28, 2016
Hui Ho’olana, Moloka’i, Hawaii
20th Retreat
To register or for more information contact Shannon Simonelli

Enjoy the synergy between like-minded and spirited colleagues, the beauty and healing of ‘Mother Molokai’, and the weaving of quality experiential facilitation rooted in science. Have plenty of time to BE in Hawai’i, down time for reflection, rest, rejuvenation and restoration of what really matters in your life. Bring your spouse or loved one, reconnect and recharge together.

Medical and mental health professionals are eligible for CMEs.


  • AIHM members take an additional $200 off registration
  • Registration $2,950
    ($1,000 non-refundable deposit, paid in full by 5/1/15)
  • Fees include 7 nights lodging, 3 organic – beautiful – high frequency meals per day, CMEs, Retreat fees
  • Very limited couples discounts, inquire about availability

A Learning Vacation for Clinicians & Significant Others

  • Let the beauty of the Island work her magic on you
  • The prescription for clinician wellness
  • The remedy for clinician stress & burnout
  • Reconnect with your self, your partner, your core values in vocation

Experiential Learning for Personal and Professional Well Being Learn

  • The Heart of Healing
  • What is Energy Medicine & Case Studies
  • The Power of Connection
  • The Wounded Healer Archetype
  • The Three Marriages for a Soul Centered & Satisfied Life
  • Maps and Resources for Change
  • The Science and Practice of Heart Centered Mindfulness
  • How thoughts impact health and healing, how to clear negative emotional patterns and behaviors in yourself and how this impacts your client care
  • The Power and Practice of Expressive Imagery, Imagination and Embodiment
  • NeuroImaginal Processes for improved thinking and wellness
  • How to apply all of this in your work with your patients


  • Integrative healing practices based in ancient indigenous wisdom and modern research in integrative medicine
  • NeuroImaginal Shamanic Journeys & Breathwork
  • Movement and Dance for Embodied connection and insight
  • Art Process for discovery, expression and integration
  • Connection to your creativity and your soulful desires
  • Reconnect with the heart and meaning in medicine
  • Connection and collaboration with like-minded, like-hearted colleagues
  • Inspiration and guidance for re-visioning your practice and life
  • Lots of ‘down time’ to play, explore, be in nature and connect
  • High quality, high vibration gourmet organic meals
  • Optional sessions for training in Facilitation of NeuroImaginal Healer Within Processes for use in your practice (application required)
  • Optional sessions by appointment: massage/body work, acupuncture
  • Follow up options: Contract for Integrative Coaching to support your new learning and practice when you return home

Re-member what brought you to your work as a Healer

Reconnect and revitalize your self, your relationship, your work

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  • Nita-Lee-smLee Lipsenthal, MD ABHM and Nita Gage, DSPS, CSAC have shared a lifelong career passion for changing medicine and the way it is delivered. Their intention has been to enhance a holistic approach to medicine and healing for both the patient and the physician, where each can encounter complete mind, body and soul experiences.

    In 1999, they conceived of a week-long retreat for physicians and their significant others in a beautiful and inspiring location, during which attendees could reconnect with their core values, each other, and beautiful surroundings, and lay the basis for a medical life more in balance. Nita, then a resident of Makawao, Hawaii, knew of an idyllic retreat center on the island of Molokai, known in Hawaiian custom as the place to send Kahunas and Shamans for training in leadership and healing. Thus, “Healer Within” Retreats was born.

    Together, Lee and Nita conducted 15 retreats over 12 years, between 1999 and 2011. Nita continues the work of “Healer Within” Retreats at Lee’s urging, with colleagues both Nita and Lee respect and love.
  • Bill Manahan, MD
    Dr. Manahan is Assistant Professor Emeritus with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center in Minneapolis. For over a decade, he was also on the clinical faculty of Mayo Medical School. He is Past-President of the American Holistic Medical Association and author of the book, Eat for Health. Dr. Manahan co-founded The Wellness Center of Minnesota (1982-1992), one of America’s first, physician-led, integrative medicine centers. He was also the Founder and Program Director of Minnesota’s first Rural Family Medicine Residency Program. Presently, he consults with physicians and clinics wishing to expand into a more integrative and holistic practice, and he is working to help make the primary healthcare system more holistic and more joyful for patients and practitioners.
    Shannon Simonelli, Ph.D, ATR
    Dr. Simonelli is a Registered Art Therapist and Movement Therapist, and the co-founder of the NeuroImaginal® Institute. Shannon has over 20 years experience in integrative psychology. Her Ph.D. is in Imaginal Psychology and Creative Arts Therapy, she is certified in PsychoSpiritual Integration® and Integrative Breathwork with Jacquline Small and Eupsychia, trained in 5Rhythms® Movement Therapy with Gabrielle Roth and Andrea Juhan, certified in Thought Field Therapy®, Street Yoga™, and PSYCH-K™ and has extensive study in Authentic Movement and Shamanic Studies from various gifted heart centered teachers.
    nita-100Nita Gage, DSPS, CSAC
    Nita Gage is a psychotherapist and retreat facilitator with 25 years experience. She co-created and led the Healer Within Retreats with Lee Lipsenthal, MD ABHM for 15 years. Nita has been a senior director of numerous hospitals and healthcare organizations, including Executive Director of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. She is the author of The Women in Storage Club: How to Reimagine Your Life. Nita has a personal practice of mindfulness meditation, contemplative writing and dance. She leads retreats, counsels individuals and groups, and teaches mindfulness and personal development classes for graduate students at the University of Cambridge, UK.
  • *CMEs are currently being secured for 2016* Please see CMEs from 2015 for reference.
    This CME activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the Joint Sponsorship of The Institute for Medical Studies (IMS) and NeuroImaginal Institute, IMS is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    The Institute for Medical Studies designates this live activity for a maximum of 25.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Please note that the Healer Within Retreat represents a total of 35+ hours of learning/experiential time; of that, 25.5 hours have been designated for CME credit.

    Psychologists: The Board of Psychology accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for license renewal

    Physicians of Osteopathic Medicine — the American Osteopathic  Association (AOA) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ as AOA Category 2-B credit.

    RNs- For the purpose of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accepts AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME.

    Nurse Practitioners: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

    The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

    American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM from organizations accredited by ACCME.

    The American College of Nurse Midwives accepts Category 1 CME credit.

    Certified Diabetes Educators: The Institute for Medical Studies is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) which is on the list of NCBDE Recognized Providers.

    Chiropractors: The California State Board of Chiropractic Examiners accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

    Naturopathic Doctors: The California Bureau of Naturopathic Doctors accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.
  • Hui Ho’olana

    Hawaiian for “inspiration up from the heart” is the perfect setting for relaxation, learning and retreat. It is a small intimate setting where we will be the only group using the center ensuring privacy and serenity. Molokai is the birthplace of the Hula and home to some of Hawaii’s most sacred pools. A popular highlight for many guests is relaxing in one of our outdoor claw-foot tubs. A hot bath under the stars is not to be missed. Your registration price includes lodging and all meals for 7 nights!! You simply register, and we make the arrangements for you. What could be more relaxing? Accommodations are shared rooms and shared bathrooms. Simple, rustic, but elegant. Some accommodations are in the main lodge, others in cabin/cottages with porches, very private and sweet.

    Sushi_girl170BE-ing in Hui Ho’olana

    Our guests can look forward to an experience that is simple and close to the earth. Karma Yoga is a practice of “offering time” in support of the household needs of your retreat and is an intrinsic part of living in community. Staff and guests all participate in karma yoga on a daily basis. You will each be given a small job like sweeping a deck or wiping the tables after meals. It is a fun way to feel truly a part of your group experience, and our small staff of volunteers greatly appreciates your willingness to contribute and participate in this way during your stay at Hui Ho’olana. The Hui is known for its fabulous homegrown salads and delicious healthy cuisine. Meals are mainly vegetarian plus occasional chicken, eggs and fresh local fish. They are created and served ‘family style.’ Most of what we serve is organic, and our food is locally grown to the degree possible. Meals are generally wheat-free and we grind our own spelt flour.

    HUI-feet-in-tub-Nita170“Wherever You Go, There You Are.”- John Kabat-Zinn


    Weather and What to Bring

    As you are packing for your trip to Molokai be sure to go online to check the weather forecast, noting that the Hui is located up on a hill near the lower edge of the rainforest, and is therefore a bit wetter and several degrees cooler than the general Molokai forecast. One of the most important things guests have learned over the years is PACK LIGHT! You need very little here. Pack so that you can easily carry your luggage up a staircase or down to your cabin. We do supply bath and beach towels. The nighttime island beauty of pure darkness and incredible starry nights are part of the magic of time spent on Molokai, so be sure you bring a flashlight.



    Activities on Molokai

    Most importantly, our schedule allows you leisure time to do nothing or schedule something to do as you wish. Here are a few of our favorite Molokai activities:
    • Deep sea fishing
    • Whale watching
    • Snorkeling
    • Ocean kayaking
    • Massage and body treatments
    • Beachcombing
    You can make arrangements once you register. Learn more about the Hui Ho'olana Retreat Center  click here


    Get Your Body Over Here!

    World class body workers at your service. Massage600
  • What questions are you asking yourself about burnout?

    How much are you at risk?

    Get Your Evidenced-Based ANSWERS with:

    The Guide to Physician Burnout
    Signs, Symptoms, What To Do
    by Nita Gage, DSPS, CSAC, and Jonathan Marx, MBA

    • What is burnout?
    • What are the most significant indicators of burnout?
    • Does my level of achievement pre-dispose me to burnout?
    • What should I be listening for from friends and loved ones?
    • What do I do if I am IN burnout, or want to avoid it?
    • What new behaviors can I learn to handle the stress?

    38% of US physicians are burned out.*

    45% cite burnout as a reason for leaving practice.**

    Click here to download the full e-book with our compliments!

    Lee150“Looking at these data, who is responsible? Surely we are not passive recipients of the medical system without intelligence and power to change! Or is this what we have become, giving up our power, autonomy to others and becoming the victims of a process spinning out of control?” Lee Lipsenthal, MD (1957 – 2011)

    *Shanafelt T, Boone S, Tan L, et al. Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Balance Among US Physicians Relative to the General US Population. Arch Intern Med. Published online August 20, 2012. **Jackson Healthcare. A Tough Time for Physicians. 2012 Medical Practice and Attitude Report.
  • “My husband and I attended this retreat at Molokai in 2003 . It has transformed our life and up-lifted our spiritual standing. My dear medical colleagues, please do not miss this truly healing within – with great leadership, transformational healing activities, beautiful island, delicious healthy food. Physician – heal thyself first so you can take care of others who need you."
    – Elizabeth C Christenson, MD, Lac

    "In 2010, I started taking on-line “Physician Burnout Questionnaires.” As an OBGyn taking 1:2 to solo call for many years in a rural, critical access hospital, I was a bit startled when I tallied my results and would see, “Seek help immediately for severe burnout”! How, exactly, would one “seek help” I wondered. Fliers on the tables spoke of “Healer Within Workshops” for physician burnout. I carried my tattered flier around for six months before finally taking action, and attended my first Healer Within workshop in Italy in 2011. To say that the Healer Within has transformed my career, my sanity, and my outlook on life would be a gross understatement. I am forever indebted to Lee and to Nita Gage for being that “help” I needed to “seek.” I have now attended three Healer Within workshops and will be back next year. This process is a fast-track to deep healing. I’ve never seen anything like it, anywhere else. If you are a physician in need of healing thyself, this is the place. Now is definitely the time."
    - Suzanne Bartlett, M.D., FACOG

    "I am a board certified Internist working as a hospitalist in Springfield, Mo. I just returned from my trip to Hawaii and the Healer Within retreat 2014. It is everything I had hoped for and more. I had wanted to attend one ever since HEART 2009 (a one-month medical student elective) when I was able to meet and work with Lee Lipsenthal, MD. Residency didn't give much time for it. As a single mother, I found myself white knuckling it through my work that I use to love so much. The Healer Within Retreat provided a recharge to my batteries, a restart to my creative process, and a few answers to questions that I had asked for many years. I think that it is so important for those or us in the healing field to find a way to sometimes focus on ourselves and on our needs. It is the only way we will be able to truly help our patients. Healer Within has helped me refocus so that I may continue to love what I do."
    - Jessica Ridgley, D.O.

    "Being at a major crossroads in my life, I looked forward to attending the Healer Within Retreat for several months. Upon arriving and joining hands with everyone in the opening circle, I immediately felt I had entered another dimension. This atmosphere allowed me to take a major holistic step within myself. This was a real oasis experience; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The complete package! The food, the resort, the staff, the participants, and the leaders Nita and Bill, all came together with incredible synergy with compassion, making this a momentous experience. With Nita and Bill leading next year’s retreat, the participants are in for a life-changing week!"
    - Terry Van Oort, M.D.