Jeffrey C. – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
“Dear Charlotte and the Gerson Staff,
I have just recently completed one year on the full Gerson Therapy and would love to share my story in a way of saying thanks and in the spirit of hope for others who are considering the Therapy.
I suffered with an acute case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over two years before even learning of the Gerson Therapy in a book about Allergies by Alan Hunter. Like most CFS sufferers I had tried every therapeutic path I had come across with little improvement (including a prescribed term of psychiatric care). From the very beginning, something inside told me to take the Gerson Therapy seriously despite the fact that I had never imagined a routine so foreign to my day-to-day life or my notions of health. In the next year and a half I inched toward the Gerson full program, adopting it gradually, one item at a time.
This I did, not purposefully but because it was the only way I could approach such a drastically foreign program. I never consciously thought I would do the full program until the end of that year and a half. Basically, I was at the end of my rope; worn down completely by the tortuous nature of CFS and willing to go to any length to overcome it. Encouraged by how I felt after slowly adopting advice from the Gerson program and further confident in the soundness of the explanations behind each of the tenets of the Therapy, I quit my job and my life’s routines as I had known them and started the full version of the Therapy.
I decided not to start the program with the recommended stay at the clinic in Mexico for financial reasons but now realize that as a mistake that I made. Considering the cost of the whole year on the Therapy the cost of the stay in Mexico is justified and would have made the Therapy a lot easier to make it through. I thought that the information and directions within the Gerson texts (I bought and read them all, numerous times) would be enough. They were and they weren’t. The one thing they did not prepare me for was the severity of the ‘flare-ups’ or ‘healing crises,’ most especially the first one. Of all the radically new (to me) concepts concerning healing that the Therapy taught me, the most difficult one for me to fully grasp was that I had to get worse to get better (not once but many times). Going into the first flare-up (which didn’t occur until after two full months) without fully understanding this made the experience very scary at times.
I had some other unusual challenges also. From the beginning to the end (except for two weeks during the first flare-up) I did the entire program by myself including all the shopping, juicing and cooking. As a CFS sufferer this meant that for a long time I would be on the verge of collapse right before each hourly juice, which gave me just enough energy to make it through the next hour’s chores. The two days a week I went to the local farmers’ market to buy the supplies were particularly difficult. It was four months before I really had any energy to spare. The other major complication was that twice during the year on the Therapy my fiancée and I had to move for financial reasons. Adding packing and boxing up my belongings to my routine was another major test which, amazingly, I was just well enough at the time to make it through. Given all that, it is more amazing to me that by nine months into it I felt great. And in another three months I felt confident I could feel great with a reduction in the routine (cutting back on juicing, etc.). Exactly one year and two months after starting the full Gerson Therapy I put my new found health to the test by traveling to Africa for a month with my fiancée. I was warned by a travel doctor that not only should someone with a history of CFS not leave the country much less go to Africa but I was practically committing suicide not accepting any but the mandatory yellow fever vaccinations nor accepting any of his antibiotic malaria prophylaxis (I took the natural based quinine instead). I returned in great shape after a month of eating the best of the African food I could find (Tanzanian mangos are something special) and have even stronger confidence in my new physical and mental health. Thank you Dr. Gerson!
I followed the full Gerson Therapy program with one difference that I thought you might find interesting. Because I am lactose intolerant I had difficulties adding non-fat yogurt to the diet and gave up on that. My healing practitioner advisor recommended yogurt from goat’s milk. I was not comfortable with this alternative because of its fat content. I felt strongly that my body was particularly responding well to the low fat nature of the diet (especially the strict avoidance of animal based fats). I looked to spirulina pills and powder but the cost and the difficulty ingesting them made me decide against that. Instead I made sure that I ate at least one pound of boiled potatoes for both lunch and dinner. I did that against warnings that that was not enough protein. But I can happily report that I successfully completed over one year on the Gerson Therapy with[out] any additional protein.
Another interesting experience I would like to share concerns my dog. She is about ten years old and like most dogs had been suffering with arthritis. It took her a long time after sleeping to be able to stand and she couldn’t climb stairs. After about five months on the Gerson program myself and having read in Howard Straus’s wonderful biography of Dr. Gerson that pets have been put on the program, I decided to put my dog on the Therapy with me. I figured it would never be easier to do so since all I did was cook extra soup and potatoes for lunch and dinner and extra oatmeal for breakfast. Whenever she approached me while I was juicing (which she did occasionally) I gave her the pressings to eat. I also began mixing in other vegetables like onions and tomatoes and carrots which she loved. She always ate the full portions I gave her enthusiastically and by the time I completed my one year she had improved dramatically. I can truthfully say that now she bounds up from a nap and goes up and down our one flight of stairs without problem or hesitation! Interestingly enough, one day I experimented at the farmers market and bought my weekly supply of potatoes from a conventional farmer. When I cooked them I found them almost inedible so I decided to feed them to my dog since she is a dog after all, no matter how much I love her. Well, she refused to eat them, too! Luckily it was Thanksgiving, so I cooked them with butter and salt as mashed potatoes, served them to my extended family and I was a hero at the meal.
As far as my experience on the Gerson Therapy went I couldn’t be happier. It surpassed my highest expectations in regard to the renewal of health and spirit I experienced.”
Los Angeles, CA