This article about Nima Najafi’s path to recovery from multiple sclerosis on the Gerson Therapy originally appeared in the Gerson Institute’s quarterly newsletter, Healing News.
Nima Najafi was born in Teheran, Iran, a few months before the Iran-Iraq war began. His family left for Germany for eight years to escape war, finally immigrating to Los Angeles in late 1991, where he worked in the entertainment industry. Nima suspects that his family’s experience of constantly trying to escape the path of conflict had an impact on his body, as well as family pressure, stress, lack of sleep and holding emotions inside himself.
In Los Angeles, Nima was involved in many endeavors: he cared for an elderly woman with macular degeneration, studied at UCLA, tutored inner-city youth, taught composition and rhetoric while receiving a Masters of Fine Arts, and even taught poetry to inmates! As you can already tell, Nima is a man of many talents and a big heart.
Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis
In June of 2009, just shy of 29 years old, and two months before beginning a PhD program in English with a specialization in poetry, Nima was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The neurologist found lesions running along his spine and brain that were so severe, he was surprised Nima was still standing. Nima had experienced his first MS symptoms at age 19 and again at age 27, but both times he was misdiagnosed.
The symptoms often made Nima feel completely numb – he couldn’t use or feel his hands and legs and the left side of his body would spasm and cramp. Instead of despairing, Nima took control. He spent most of his time researching, and finally received information about the Gerson Therapy from a relative, a natural medicine doctor in Bavaria. He says, “Gerson makes sense. When I embraced the therapy, I embraced a cycle of life in tune with nature.”
Life on the Gerson Therapy
Nima paid for the treatment mostly through his student loans, and accomplished the transformation with support only from his family, by telephone. He didn’t find the transition very difficult: it was more of a return to the way he felt he was supposed to naturally live. “It wasn’t a challenge; it was a choice,” he explained. “For me, the Gerson Therapy is not a lifestyle change; it is a lifestyle realignment.” Nine months after hearing about the therapy, he started following his personal Gerson protocol closely. After two weeks, the numbness in his hands decreased by 90%, and the weakness in his body dissipated. The only healing reaction he had was severe cramping when he felt strong anxiety, which ended after four months.
Nima woke up at 5:30 am to do all his preparation in the morning, starting with coffee enema solution and oatmeal. He made eight carrot-apple juices and Hippocrates soup, and brought them both to school in 8 ounce mason jars. He also made one green juice, which he drank right away. When he got home, he cooked potatoes and a large vegetable stew for a few hours while he did another enema. He also made huge salads and took them to social gatherings. He told his friends “If you want to hang out with me, you have to hang out with my salad.”
Nima lived alone, 1,500 miles away from friends or family. During his first three years in Lincoln, Nebraska, he had no car so he walked to the local organic food co-op to purchase 50 pounds of carrots and 35 pounds of apples, which he carried back home in his backpack! Soon, Nima became very well known in the town of Lincoln, as a “celebrity.” Many faculty members, his landlady and some students saw him as a living advertisement for health. They bought the same juicer that he had, started juicing and trying to live the same lifestyle.
When he cheated one time, he immediately felt the impact on his body, prompting him to become even stricter; he increased the number of green juices to four and did three enemas a day. Close adherence to the therapy for four years allowed him to see a real transformation in himself: his symptoms became a background thought! While Nima’s doctors were not vocal proponents of the therapy, they were not against it either. They were amazed at his ability to walk, and the shrinkage of lesions shown by the MRI.
The journey with Gerson made Nima see his MS as a blessing, something which propels him to stay on track with his lifestyle and health, which he would not have done without falling ill: “But I do not wish to lose MS completely, because if I do, I do not trust myself to stay resolute and remember how to continue to revolt in the face of danger when danger is absent. If I forget, I allow that danger to return stronger than ever before.”
Currently, Nima is still recovering, and believes he will always be on this path, following the therapy for life. He still follows the diet, makes juices, does two enemas daily and prepares Hippocrates soup for a few days a week. “There is so much to eat on the Gerson diet; the possibilities are endless,” Nima commented. He says he has more energy than when he was drinking fourteen cups of black tea each day and he hasn’t had a cold in six years.
His advice about the Gerson Therapy? “Believe in it. Really, truly, honestly believe in it. If you do not, it will be difficult.”