Iboga Healing Retreat
Root Healing Iboga Retreats are 7-day long retreats that follow a traditional Bwiti Iboga protocol. Our retreats are designed by a 10th Generation Bwiti Shaman named Moughenda. If you’re new to Iboga’s rich history, Bwiti is a spiritual tradition that has worked with Iboga as their sacrament for thousands of years, starting in southern Gabon. There are several branches of Bwiti and the one we practice is called Missoko.
Iboga, called the “Godfather of all plant medicines,” is used by the Bwiti for physical healing, spiritual healing, and spiritual discovery. The most well-known active alkaloid found within the root of the Iboga plant (an African shrub with the species name Tabernanthe iboga) is called ibogaine. Ibogaine became famous after its anti-addictive qualities, particularly for opiate addiction, were discovered. It is now widely used throughout the world despite its legality issues.
In actuality, Iboga contains over 30+ alkaloids, some of which have been proven to have even stronger anti-addictive properties than Ibogaine. These special alkaloids work synergistically to promote the potent spiritual, mental and physical healing for which it is used by the Bwiti.
All of our retreats are led by either Moughenda or our highly trained and empowered Iboga Providers. Each retreat is steeped in the Missoko Bwiti tradition, ensuring a holistic and potent experience for our guests.
In addition to our Bwiti “Nima” (Shaman) and ”Nganga” team, our medical, science, and hospitality experts accompany all retreats to help offer a safe and comfortable environment.
All retreats include 2 Iboga ceremonies, integration day trips, medical screening, orientation, spiritual showers, counseling, healthy food, accommodations, airport transfer, fireside teachings, and integration calls.
Root Healing Iboga retreats are offered year-round in Portugal and Thailand.
Each of our 7-day Iboga retreats include:
Iboga Retreats & The Bwiti
Bwiti and the Iboga plant’s symbiotic relationship goes back thousands of years to when the Iboga plant was first discovered. Iboga became a sacrament of the Bwiti, with nearly every aspect of their tradition and their ceremonies given to them by the spirit of Iboga itself. Iboga is such an important part of their lives, that it is used as the initiation into the tradition and is consumed regularly at ceremonies.
At Root Healing Iboga Retreats, you can always expect a unique healing experience guided by the core Bwiti principles. We believe in maintaining Bwiti tradition and practices throughout all of our work, as they ensure a safe and powerful Iboga retreat ceremony.
Recent scientific research has revealed a lot about the healing benefits of Iboga and Ibogaine, the primary active alkaloid found in Iboga root. Studies have shown that Ibogaine can help with:
Ibogaine is also known to promote neuroplasticity in the brain (or reorganization of synaptic pathways) and to have antimicrobial and anti-viral properties, including against HIV. For more information on Iboga’s benefits, check out our Scientific Resources page.
Studies focusing on the potential of Iboga treatments are exciting, but the Bwiti have known about Iboga’s healing properties for a very long time, plus they’ve gained wisdom regarding how to enhance the plant’s benefits through powerful ceremonial practices and rituals. These practices have been passed down to us through our Missoko Bwiti lineage.
What to Expect: Iboga Retreat Overview
Joining a 7-day Iboga retreat is a chance to connect deeply to yourself and to heal holistically, meaning physically, mentally, and spiritually. With this in mind, our retreats are designed to remove distractions, create a safe container, and to empower you to work towards your goals.
During your intake process, we will help you safely prepare for the retreat. From the moment you arrive, you will not have to worry about anything outside of your own healing and connection with Iboga.
You’ll partake in two Iboga ceremonies during your 7-day retreat. You’ll also be provided with counseling and support, as retreats are structured to ensure you receive the most that you can out of your journey. We find that two ceremonies are crucial in gaining the most benefits from Iboga, as this allows for physical and mental detox, as well as deeper spiritual healing.
Aside from using “the medicine,” guests will be immersed in the Bwiti tradition. With our fireside talks and counseling throughout, guests will be empowered with the tools to continue to be their own healers and to live a happy life long after they go home.
Iboga treatment is unique to each person, so everyone’s experience varies, which is why we offer individual preparation beforehand, as well as counseling and guidance throughout our guests’ stay. All Root Healing guests will have preparation calls and as many integration calls as they need following the retreat. Guests will also be included in our community group where we continue to support each other and can ask and answer any questions that come up.
By the end of the retreat, guest usually leave feeling happy and excited to continue on with their lives how they want to, with this newfound self-love leading the way. However, this can be lost without the proper integration that we offer as a core part of our program.
What does Iboga or Ibogaine do to your brain, and is it safe?
Iboga has a complex effect on the brain by affecting the activity of several neurotransmitters. It also has some physical effects, like slowing heart rate and ataxia. However, when properly screened and taken with the right team, it is very safe. It can actually heal the brain by restoring balance and potentiating neuroplasticity.
Iboga is a powerful sacramental plant that has been used by the Bwiti for thousands of years. Therefore, they know how to work with this powerful plant medicine in a safe way. This knowledge has been passed down from Moughenda to our entire team.
To ensure safety, we follow their traditional, time-honored rituals for using Iboga. Our guests are also supported by a medical and hospitality team to ensure a safe experience.
Root Healing has a full medical team on staff who are experts on the safe use of Iboga. All retreats also require a Health Questionnaire, EKG, and Liver Function Test which will be reviewed by our team. Furthermore, our Detoxes are done with a Doctor, Nurse, and Detox Specialist on-site.
As a guest of a Root Healing retreat, you will be provided with:
- Health Form
- EKG & Liver Panel Review
- Medication Review
While the retreat experience is incredible and transformative, the “work” required by guests after leaving a retreat is just as important. Iboga stays with you up to 6 months after you experience it. During that time you have the opportunity to rewire your brain and to take control of your life and story.
For this reason, we care a lot about integration, in which you weave your experiences from Iboga treatment into your life. All participants receive integration coaching calls following their retreat, as well as “homework” to assist in furthering their relationship with the medicine and their progress related to the goals they came with.
7-Day Retreat Schedule
Upon arrival, guests will be brought to the center by one of our drivers. The entire first day/evening is free to allow guests to settle in.
Then, the group partakes in an evening opening orientation ceremony to begin the retreat. The following day, guests will work with our team to prepare their intentions and questions for the first Iboga ceremony that will be held that night. This helps you to stay on track, bring everything to the surface, and lets Iboga know what you need.
The first Iboga ceremony begins in the evening and continues until the next day. Guests generally feel the effects until they go to sleep. After a good night’s rest, the team goes out into nature to reflect on the previous ceremony, and discuss intentions.
The second Iboga ceremony will begin that evening of the 5th day and will again continue into the following day. After another rest, we will venture out to visit the town of Sintra and the beach.
The retreat will have a closing ceremony, after which the care will transition into the immensely important real-life integration phase. We will have several calls to help you through this important time. For more details on scheduling, visit our Iboga Retreat Schedule page.
Our Psychospiritual Retreat Team
Moughenda Mikala is a 10th Generation Missoko Bwiti Shaman who was guided by Iboga to the United States so he could learn about the Western mind. Having returned back to Gabon to live in his village and offer Initiations and training, he is now offering his shamanic healing in Portugal.
Ryan "Ghenigho" Rich is the founder of Root Healing. He is initiated, trained, and empowered in the Missoko Bwiti tradition. When Moughenda is not there, he leads the retreats with Moubengui and Ebando. As our lead Detox Specialist, he also oversees all Detoxes at Root Healing.
Madeleine "Ebando" Cullerton is a Bwiti Initiate and Iboga Provider who has experienced immense healing from Iboga for trauma and health conditions. She also has extensive experience in the hospitality industry and uses it to ensure quality experiences for our guests.
Steven "Moubengui" Callahan is one of the most experienced Bwiti healers with Iboga, having worked with over a thousand people over a period of 10+ years with his company called Iboga Healing. When Moughenda is not there, he leads the Psychospiritual Retreats with Ghenigho and Ebando.
*To learn more about the rest of our team, which includes a Chef, Doctor, Nurse, Neuroscientist, and hospitality team please visit the “About” page.
About Our Center & Accommodations
At Root Healing, we strive to create a safe and nourishing space for our guests as they embark on the Iboga experience. Everything is taken care of so that you can focus on your own healing. Our goal is always to make you feel comfortable, cared for, and relaxed throughout your time here at our Iboga healing center.
Our accommodations include a choice of a shared room or private bed and bath. Our hospitality team keeps the center clean and homey.
The center is secluded in nature, with calming spaces to reflect in, and is a safe place that supports your healing.
All meals at Root Healing are healthy, locally sourced, and organic when possible. Our Chef creates specialized meal plans for each phase of the process. Ceremony days call for light and nourishing foods that prepare you for the night ahead. On processing days, we serve replenishing and fortifying options that will support you throughout the day. We tailor each retreat’s menu to the needs and preferences of the guests.
Our retreats are held in the magical valleys of Sintra, Portugal. Sintra has a rich history, a beautiful town, moderate weather, and stunning beaches. Guests will get the chance to enjoy all of these things throughout the retreat and during their integration day trips
Fill out this form if you have any questions or if you want to learn more.