Retreat Providers

At Plum Spring Clinic, we’ve enlisted the best retreat providers for health & wellness. Check out their profiles below for more information.

Plum Spring Clinic’s private medical wellness retreats utilize our core staff of therapists composed of a medical doctor, dietitian/nutritionist, and health coach. To learn more about our staff please follow the links below:

In addition to our core staff, Plum Spring Clinic has carefully chosen an ensemble of some of the Triangle area’s best Yoga, Qi Gong, and massage therapists. You can read more about their amazing work below.


Sandra “S.A.M.” Sather is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). She is also an experienced registered yoga instructor (eRYT) with many other certifications and trainings, for example Certified Integrative Yoga for Seniors (C-IYSI), Functional Movement, Mindfulness, Yoga for Cancer, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and Yin Yoga. SAM is a fascia enthusiast related to movement therapy for improvements in posture, chronic pain, and prevention of injury.

SAM has Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and later obtained her Master’s of Science in Education. Out of college SAM moved from Jamestown, NY to North Carolina.  She changed her nursing focus to clinical research in the mid-1990’s and in 2002 cofounded her second business with her partner Chuck called Clinical Pathways, a small clinical consulting firm that works with companies developing new therapies to treat disease through western medicine. Meanwhile, SAM shifted her wellness focus to Yoga in the 1990’s. She opened her home studio, Dogwood Studios in 2017 to better serve individuals and small groups in Yoga Therapy. Then in 2019 SAM opened a yoga therapy studio in Carrboro North Carolina, She and her partner Chuck live in Chapel Hill, NC, USA, and have two delightful grown children, Rob & Sarah.

retreat providers

Francis Gayek, RCST, LMBT

Francis is a Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST®) through the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America, and a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT) through the State of North Carolina. He was drawn to Craniosacral Therapy for its gentle approach to supporting our bodies in finding a state of rest and balance – one that has profound implications for our overall health and wellbeing. Francis has observed again and again, both in his clients and himself, that when our nervous systems experience physiological safety we can relate to our environment with greater ease, compassion, creativity, and joy.

A native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, Francis has lived in the Triangle area since 2009. He loves North Carolina for many reasons, but near the top of the list are its mountains, rivers, trees, beaches, and especially the vegetable/pollinator garden in his front yard. He has a love of being in nature, music, art, and cooking (and eating!) delicious food. Francis finds great joy in helping people develop a greater sense of peace, calm, and resiliency within themselves and their environment.

retreat providers

Kristen Polzien, PhD

Kristen Polzien is the founder of S.E.E. Your Wellbeing ( Kristen inspires and enables people to Sense, Engage, and Express more joy and energy in their life through Qi Gong and self-care practices. Kristen has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and has devoted 20+ years to health, physical activity, and weight management research. She is a certified Health coach, Qi Gong and yoga instructor. Kristen’s teaching and coaching source western behavior change science and eastern practices from Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. She offers a unique, integrative approach to achieving and sustaining vibrant wellbeing.  

Her support at Plum Spring Clinic includes personalized Qi Gong sessions that correspond to the Functional Medicine model. She considers each individual’s unique energetic expression and focus on creating a healing practice that will help them move towards balance and harmony.

retreat providers

Emily Lancaster, LMBT, RYT

Having practiced the healing arts for over 15 years and studied with some of the leading experts in her field, Emily is able to offer a variety of effective integrative bodywork approaches. Each session is uniquely customized to your individual needs and can help with a wide range of concerns – physically, mentally and emotionally.  All systems are deeply connected and she works to bring healing to your whole being.  Emily is passionate about the incredible powers of neuromuscular therapy, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, pregnancy and prenatal massage, oncology massage, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, detoxifying lymphatic drainage, Reiki, aromatherapy, vibrational healing, purifying breath work, positive visualization and teaching yoga. From establishing the Clinical Massage Therapy program at UNC Cancer Hospital to working as a Spa Director in the British Virgin Islands she has the empathy, understanding, expertise and finesse to provide a profound and professional encounter. Through years of experience, Emily has developed a unique style of work that can knit together several modalities to create a personalized treatment to best suite your needs. Our retreat participants find their sessions with Emily to be a highlight of their time with us. The power of compassionate touch and integrative bodywork is undeniable and Emily looks forward to supporting you on your healing journey.  Please, feel free to contact her directly at or 919-396-1050.
retreat providers

Victoria Rivers, MS

Victoria a.k.a Ria Rivers… became inspired by the beauty of yoga 17 years ago. She is a lover of movement and mindfulness. Victoria enjoys teaching Hatha and Kundalini Yoga to youth and the young at heart. She is devoted to the belief that the technology of yoga, meditation and mindfulness can heal and transform an individual’s body and mind.  She believes that a committed yoga practice brings strength, flexibility and vibrancy to one’s life. Victoria incorporates music/sound, guided meditation and breathing practices into her private and group yoga classes. Off the mat, you can find Victoria drinking chai tea, hiking and volunteering at the NC Botanical Gardens.

Victoria has a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology/Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Victoria is currently studying Horticultural Therapy and is a member of the Y.O.G.A. For Youth, NC Board of Advisors. Contact Victoria at twitter:@peoplesyoga_i ,  Instagram:thepeoplesyoga,

retreat providers

Diana Newton 

Diana is currently a yoga instructor, filmmaker, and has had a long career as a leadership development and psychotherapist in private practice. Emotional intelligence and self-acceptance are key aspects of what Diana facilitates through her work with clients by blending work in the body, engaging their creativity, and encouraging reflection.

Naomi Ardea

Naomi Ardea is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist based in Chapel Hill, NC. In 2002, she completed the holistic massage therapy diploma program at Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, North Carolina. Since then she has expanded her skills to include prenatal massage, Reiki, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, and integrative reflexology. Naomi also offers Trauma Wise Body Therapies in which she adapts massage and bodywork to be more accessible, comfortable, and effective for trauma survivors. Sessions with Naomi offer space for deep relaxation, rebuilding inner awareness, and befriending your body.