Introducing your healers


Retreat physician

After studying medicine at the University of Amsterdam, followed by years of hospital work, Dr Hans Groenendijk concluded his Family Medicine specialisation. During his training, he became interested in homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and the physiological aspect of illness. In the next 30 years of private practice, he integrated various other healing modalities like orthomolecular medicine, nutrition, fasting, auriculotherapyFamily Constellations, kinesiology and German medicine in his way of work.

“I am a generalist,” says Hans. “Meaning I try to see the complete picture – the whole person, also in his relation to his past and his family or tribe. I am an unapologetic believer in Nature – its wisdom and laws. As such, I believe that what we now call diseases are actually the best possible adaptation to our prevailing mindsets and circumstances.”


Yoga, EFT and massage

Laura started working in a kindergarten at the age of 18. Inspired by the philosophies of Loris Malaguzzi and Rudolf Steiner, she loved bringing the children into contact with nature. After three years, she completed a bachelor’s degree in social work, spent a year working with teenaged mothers and their children, then five years helping families and children with psychological problems.

But when Laura discovered EFT, her life changed dramatically. She went to London, became an EFT practitioner, and resolved to employ the technique so others could enjoy the benefits she had seen in herself. Travelling to Brazil, she worked in a clinic as an EFT practitioner, and in a spa offering therapeutic Swedish-style massage for relaxation. Which is just one of many skills she shares at Vale de Torre.

“I have been practising yoga and meditation for 10 years,” she explains. “And have been most inspired by Sivananda Hatha yoga. In the retreats, I use a system that helps the body in the process of detoxifying, combining meditation principles and yoga stretches.”


Tibetan bowls, nurture, nature and nourishment

Kate attended the Bath Academy of Art and later trained and worked as a hairdresser. She is a painter and poet, a mother of eight children, a sensitive, homeopath, healer and carer. During your retreat, she will use the sounds of the Tibetan bowls to massage you back to a deep state of relaxation and balance. She will also be largely responsible for providing food, from seed to plate. You may also want to join her in the gardens, or tending to the horses, if your retreat leads you in that direction.


“After finishing his Bachelor degree in Osteopathy at the British School of Osteopathy in 2004, Yassine Benderra started working at his family’s clinic, Instituto de Terapias do Lago in Porto, which is dedicated to holistic and complementary medicine and where he had the opportunity to interact and learn different approaches.

He and his wife decided to move to the countryside and live a lifestyle based on natural principles and cycles, where simplicity and the quality of food, play an important role in his perspective of health. He is now living in Arcos de Valdevez district, where he has his own practice. Yassine also collaborates with us here at Vale de Torre.

His osteopathic treatment during the retreats complements the healing process by adjusting and restoring the muscle-skeletal system.



Milagros was born in Spain and moved to Portugal in 1989 where she has been living ever since. While still working in advertising, Milagros took a training in Biodynamic Massage, which opened new doors and initiated her inner journey. Since then she has dedicated herself to deeply understand what it is to be human, our energy, our wounds and fears, our feelings and their connection to our physical body and ultimately our higher consciousness.

Since 2002 Milagros is a full-time body psycho therapist with a training in Biodynamic, Biosynthesis, Somatic Experiencing, Family Constellations and ISBT Bowen Therapy. She enjoys the dynamics of group work and is a facilitator in Constellations of Identity and a trainer in Biosynthesis somatic psychotherapy. She loves nature and aims for a natural healthy way of living.





Joana studied Microbiology at Porto University. However, soon after finishing in 2005 she realised that she preferred working in ” Nature’s Laboratory”. Since then she has been facilitating environmental education for children and adults including teaching permaculture.
Yoga and meditation have been a fundamental part of her life. Joana will be guiding our yoga inspired stretch and meditation during our retreats.



Catherine graduated as a teacher of Physical Education in 1993 and her teaching background led her to a career in management training and development. She moved to rural Portugal for six years to enjoy a more simple life, working as a trail guide. Here she discovered the profound wisdom of the healing arts based on traditional Chinese Medicine.

Inspired to share the health and happiness they bring, she re-trained extensively in England and now has over 10 years experience teaching and practicing Qigong, Meditation and Shiatsu. She is co-founder of the Shiatsu College Qigong Teacher Training Programme, Senior Instructor for the Tai Chi, Qigong and Feng Shui Institute and teaches for the Shiatsu College in London, Brighton and Hastings.