The Gerson Research Organization's clinic in Tijuana, Mexico-CHIPSA.
Ann Fonfa was there for 2 weeks as a patient. She was accompanied by her mother as a companion. The cost for the two weeks was $9,000 approximately with the companion at about $300 per week.
There is a basic treatment program for all who are there. First, of course, you are examined by a physician. You must bring all your records, scans, etc. You are given a series of pills to take daily, starting at 8am with breakfast. These include pancreatic, niacin, thyroid and acidol/pepsin. At 10am, you take thyroid medicine. At 11am you take liver pills. At 1:00, lunch and the same group of pills as at breakfast. At 3pm and 4 pm liver pills again (with carrot juice). At 5 pm, pancreatic, thyroid, niacin. At 6pm, niacin and at 7pm, dinner and the same pills as at breakfast and lunch. The niacin is dissolved under the tongue each time to reduce or prevent flush.
Meals consist of:
Breakfast-oatmeal, stewed fruit, banana, papaya.
Lunch-salad(with lots of tomatoes and onions), potato/leek/tomato/onion, soup and always a baked potato and some types of cooked vegetables. Almost all the food is very soft and meant to be easily digested(even though high in fiber and all vegetarian.
Dinner-is exactly like lunch except different cooked vegetables are served. Patients are encouraged to use lime and garlic at lunch and dinner. There is a garlic press at each area of the long tables and flax seed oil is used. Only two tablespoons per day. Companions can have butter on their oatmeal and are offered yogurt as well. Apple cider vinegar is used in some dishes.
The idea of the program as I have described it so far is to accelerate the metabolism, stimulate the thyroid gland and totally reduce fat intake and protein. The protein restriction is temporary and usually ends after 6 weeks on the program. Then the patient is encouraged to add non-fat yogurt or non-fat cottage cheese. Again, the food is designed to be digestible by very ill people. There is complete sodium restriction and calorie restriction to 2600-3200 a day. Potassium is supplemented, fluid forcing and nutrient hperalimentation is used (13 juices daily).
Three types of people usually go to these clinics. The first group are the very seriously ill. They have usually exhausted all conventional treatment and have been given up on. The second type are people who have been told they have inoperable or untreatable disease. And the third group are people who sought out unconventional(alternative)treatment on their own. This group usually knows someone who has benefited from the treatment offered.
Example: I met a man from Canada whose friends(a couple)told him both their fathers had been to the clinic and subsequently died of 'normal' old age. B. had colon cancer and had completely changed his diet while at the Gerson clinic. Most of the people there were making total changes in lifestyle. I am of the opinion that making this type of change is extremely beneficial. The body is shocked into a new mode.
Remember, doctors are monitoring blood, pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, etc throughout your stay. This place was primarily a medical clinic/small hospital.
On my first day, I had a catheter/port put in so that I could easily give blood and receive shots. The program also consists of daily injections of laetrile and a shot of Vitamin B12 and liver. Also there are 2 daily ozone implants(given rectally and retained for 10 minutes).
The basic program also used hydrotherapy or very hot baths,at 110 degrees. You go into this metal tub(wearing a bathing suit. Temperature, blood pressure and pulse are taken just then and again every 10 minutes(30 minute program total). The water temperature is raised gradually to 113 degrees. My body temp was raised to 103 and 104 at each treatment. I had one every other day
in the first week and one a day in the second week(when I knew I would be going home early). Normal stay is three weeks but I was healthy enough to manage the program at home.
The doctor makes this decision. You are given hot peppermint tea to drink. The water gyrates with hydrogen peroxide added. You submerge to the neck, with a floatable pillow behind you. Blood pressure goes down(which for me was tricky, as I average 100/60 to start with). The nurse on duty is very efficient though and very nice. In fact all the staff were warm and friendly. It may be cultural(most are Mexicans), but they certainly made me feel comfortable.
return to your room which has been preheated, you then cool down for 20 minutes. You rub yourself with alcohol and vinegar mix and then shower with lukewarm water. You are given orange juice and tea to drink. It usually is enervating and a nap is recommended. Since many patients who come to the clinic are very weak, a nurse is available to offer any and all assistance.
Several times a week there was a lecture by Gar Hildebrand, President of the Gerson Research Organization. He is also on the Office of Alternative Medicine oversight committee(not necessarily the correct name.
He is a very good speaker and made his explanations so clearly that all the patients present were pleased. He spoke alot about why we were given the medications and diet. The rationale is based on the idea that cancer patients have alot of extra fluid in their cells. There is too much sodium and a loss of cell energy. The metabolism is accelerated for calorie burning and cell energy production. Potassium is supplemented.
A very important factor in the Gerson program is the use of coffee enemas. When Max Gerson created his program, he was a physician treating tuberculosis patients in Germany. He experimented with many aspects and approaches. He was the first to use coffee enemas for detoxification. Today they are an accepted component of many alternative cancer-fighting programs.
At CHIPSA, patients are encourage to do 4 coffee enemas a day, waiting 4 hours in between. Giant vats of coffee are offered on each floor of the hospital. These coffee enemas stimulate glutathione which is the storage molecule for cystein. Toxins are captured and eliminated through the bile duct. The enema works to clean up free radicals. It blocks and detoxifies carcinogens. It acts as dialysis for tumor toxins.
Remember that all blood goes through the liver every three minutes. To make this at home you add 3 tablespoons of organic fine ground coffee to 1 quart of distilled, bottled or filtered water. Boil for 3-5 minutes uncovered. Then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Filter and allow to cool to room temperature(critical!!!) You can add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to help retain electrolytes. An enema bag or bucket is needed. The main idea is to lie on your (right) side, insert and retain coffee for 12-15 minutes(this is not always possible but usually okay). I tend to stay on my forearms and knees for the extra minutes-I read and use a timer, generally with music in the background, quite relaxing.
Urea is manufactured in the liver-it triggers spilling of sodium. It has different effects when taken orally or otherwise. It is a hydrophobic protein bond breaker. It's original medical use was for sickle cell anemia. Dr.E.D. Danapolous proposed injecting urea directly into an ocular melanoma in 1972. In the 1980's a study by Dr. D. was published demonstrating urea's effect on liver tumors(caused by many types of primary cancer). Urea's capabilities are increased with hyperthermia(heat). This product does not cure systemic cancer but has been used directly on open breast tumors. "Scrape" off the necrotic material and apply.
Coley's toxins are also used at CHIPSA. Helen Coley Nauts(daughter of discoverer William B. Coley, M.D., former chief bone surgeon at Memorial Hospital, late 19th century)) evaluated more than 1000 cases of people with cancer treated with the toxins. The results showed 45% five year survival with inoperable tumors and 50% with operable tumors. It also showed good results with breast cancer.
According to Ralph Moss' book Cancer Therapy , 13 out of 20 inoperable cases had at least a five year survival and all 13 of the operable patients did too. 67% of in operable ovarian patients benefited(this is big). Coley's toxins are bacterial toxins that are introduced into the body and cause "profound, if transient, biological effects. This can include a rise in temperature from 0.5-6 degrees" and a pulse of 100-106. It can produce chills, very powerful muscle spasms trembling and headaches. Extreme lassitude for several days may follow. None of these symptoms produce an immune system destruction, unlike chemotherapy. I spoke to Gar Hildebrand about a patient I met at CHIPSA who took the toxins. She had a very strong reaction and envisioned her tumor(colon) melting.
Unfortunately, it is said that the response in modern days is somewhat muted due to our use of antibiotics and our immune systems do not react as strongly as in the past. Also, most patients have already been treated by immune destroying chemotherapy and radiation. Coley's toxins are also used in China and Germany.
Many of the patients walk around with IV's and a pole. I opted for an overnight drip of Vitamin C and electrolytes. The first night I was checked every 2 1/2 hours to make sure I was okay. Then I had 2 ounces of castor oil at 5:00 am -no real taste, just thick(I am quoting from my diary of the day).
This was followed by a cup of black coffee-I never drink coffee, but that is the required drill. This made me go to the bathroom endlessly that morning(a good thing for me!).
I was also given clay to drink with peppermint tea-I got that almost every day thereafter(it absorbs toxins too).
At 10:15 I had a castor oil enema with coffee and water. It was all foamy, like cappuccino! It is not retained like a coffee enema. That day my appetite began to increase as required. I ate many raw vegetable snacks.
A patient with lymphoma, A arrived that day. She had spent time in Germany like another of the patients. She had tumors all up and down one side of her face, swollen legs and a bad attitude.
Another lecture by Gar Hildebrand talked about the basics of alternative medicine-how some things might work for some and not others. He pointed to J, man who came there with a huge tumor on the neck and had been there 2 months. He was receiving urea shots directly into the tumor. During the two weeks I was there, a very noticeable change took place and I was told that the tumor had been much larger when he first arrived. Gar spoke about organic foods and in particular, biodynamic(soil enriching). He said that was the most superior type.
There is a booth at the Union Square (NYC) green market that uses that method-certainly their lettuce(and yogurt) is superior!
We were shown a chart, not of yields but on the value of mineral content. Organic produce was much better. We discussed the estrogenic effect of pesticides and were told to avoid commercial strawberries, cherries, bell peppers, spinach, U.S. peaches, Mexican cantaloupes, celery, apples apricots, green beans and grapes from Chile. Also cucumbers. Pretty sad list. He claimed that these foods were so contaminated by the types of pesticides used as to make them not eatable.
Next Gar spoke about compliance with the program when you get home. It is a very difficult program to follow. He said that a strong fighting spirit and will to live helped coping. He spoke about a woman named Patty from Canada who had not used organic produce and had smoked throughout the therapy but was one of their long time survivors.
He had some interesting statements to make about cigarette smoking. He said he felt that it was a lot less critical to one's health than is now being spoken of.
Emphysema remains a concern though. He said the nicotine patch was implicated in Alzheimer's Disease.
The program calls for 3/4 gallon of fresh juice a day, a primarily vegan diet, low sodium long term and low/no protein for the short term. It is not necessary to make each juice separately. I make mine twice a day. I make the 8,9,9:30,10, 11, 12 1, 2 and 3pm in the morning before work. and put them into thermoses with vitamin C powder and the potassium required.
I get home around 4 pm and make 4,5,6, and 7. Again, it is important to remember that some very ill people go on this program. They have a companion or several people who help with compliance. Light exercise is recommended-swimming, table tennis, walking, yoga, etc.
While on the protein restricted diet, the patient may notice allergic reactions/sensitivities-weak knees, tight chest and emotional pain, in a store, mall, gas station, around new rugs etc.
This was nothing new to me, as I have had these responses for the last 7 years. He said that sugars were not a problem as long as they were complex. A study showed that a glucose wash of the ovarian area has actually cured ovarian cancer in at least one case. Carrot/apple juice creates a spike of insulin in 45 minutes. This saturates the tumor and creates lactic acid. Coffee release it too so when there is an alkaline tumor, the cells can become acidified and die. Ph of 4.5 will do it.
A patient died while I was at the clinic. Her daughter told me how ill her mother was. I had met the woman when she first came to the clinic. She was in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank but was in the main "playroom" and was playing the piano. Her daughter said that the mother would not drink the juices and did not want to do the enemas.
The woman wanted her daughter to give
her a "suicide" shot. We don't have that kind of thing available and the daughter was very torn and sorrowful. I do not think the mother died because she did not do the program. She was very ill when she got there and she just didn't have the strength or willpower to get involved. It would have taken even more than the usual miracle.
In contrast, A(woman with lymphoma) began to show real signs of progress. In the ten days that our visit overlapped, her facial tumors reduced almost completely, one leg went back to normal and the other was almost there. She also took a real walk with her husband, something she
had not been able to do in 4 years. She has been ill for 8 years. Still hanging in though. And of course, she was a lot happier and easier to get along with.
Another lecture by Gar on 'Surviving the Therapy'.
It included a discussion about their study on melanomas which has recently been published. It was a retrospective study of patients from CHIPSA versus the 5-year melanoma survival rates in medical literature. Of 14 patients with stage I and II(localized melanoma) 100% survived for 5 years, compared to 79% reported by Balch. 17 had stage IIIA(regional mets) and 82% were alive after 5 years, compared to 39% from Fachklinik Hornheide. Of 33 with combined stage IIA and IIIB, 70% lived 5 years, compared with 41% of 134 from Fachklinik Hornheide. Of 18 with distant lymph skin and subcutaneous tissue mets, 39% were alive at 5 years compated with 6% of 194 from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
Male and female survival rates (all caucasian participants), were the same for stages I-IIIB but the last stage showed women with a strong survival advantage. This is an important success and has been reported worldwide.
They also show retrospective findings on stage 3C ovarian cancer-with surgery and the Gerson diet they had a 31% five year survival versus a 5-10% with conventional treatment.
Gar pointed out that it is important for your treatment to: rediscover your hopes and aspirations, fit your treatments in to the corners of your life(don't become a slave to dogma or anxiety, don't forget to enjoy yourself, and breathe in life and GO FOR IT. It will boost your immune system. Don't be afraid to make a mistake with the program or do it wrong. Even if you had a bite of an eclair, virtually nothing would happen to you. The total Gerson home therapy is 500 days. Try not to eat the eclair but stay in touch with the pleasures of your life. Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do!
He also discussed how one feels when hospitalization is needed-how the locus of control is transferred to the hierarchy. You are separated from the family and friends. He suggested harnessing the placebo effect-the fighting spirit, will to live, hope. He said you must always remember that there are two choices when dealing with someone or thing stressful- you can change their behavior or change yours. Step away, outside, leave, etc. Emotions have an extremely strong effect on the immune system.
The therapy calls for organic produce, the use of cast iron or stainless steel pots and equipment, a slow cooker(keeping temperatures below boiling). He said that even though juicing at least twice a day is recommended, they had documented dozens of cases of long term survivors who only prepared them once a day. Many people experience flare-ups on the program ranging from rashes to fever, cramps, etc. when they begin the program, so be prepared. It can be done without going to the clinic as they sell the medicines and several explanatory books.
I want to mention the Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber. There are two kinds-monoplace and multiplace. I did not do this treatment. It costs $7000 for 20 sessions. However it may be covered by insurance as many hospitals use this. A patient sits in a chamber, with a nurse for 2 hours at a time. The nurse can only go in once a day also. It increases the oxygen in the air which is said to be very important for many diseases. Cancer cells are anaerobic, meaning they do not function well with oxygen-filled environments. Edema, necrosis and infection will respond. The treatment has been used extensively for diabetes related sores/wounds. It cannot be used if you have sinus or closed ear problems. It helps reception of antibiotics too. It is used for carbon monoxide poisoning. This method forces responses in a short time. It can also intensify flare-ups.
Many people experience flare-ups on the program ranging from rashes to chills/fever, cramps, flu-like symptoms, nausea, even vomiting or diarrhea etc. A counter measure for each is offered in the book of information given upon arrival. The materials given explain the entire program and are offered for use when the patient returns home and has to stay on the program for the 500 days(18 months).
A word about the costs. I spent $9000 for those two weeks(including companion's fees). By contrast, my last surgery cost $7000 for one hour and 14 minutes in the Beth Israel (NYC) operating room. The difference is I was fully reimbursed for the Beth Israel costs but am still awaiting a response from my insurance company on the clinic visit. I will report back. It would obviously be really cheap by contrast if our government recognized alternative methods.
(I WAS NEVER REIMBURSED AT ALL, NOT EVEN FOR URINE ANALYSIS OR BLOOD WORK).
I returned to CHIPSA in October for further treatment, experienced Coley's toxins(very strong stuff via IV) and continue to take it via sub-cutaenous shots to the chest wall. The reaction for this is fatigue. They also introduced ultra-violet blood treatments. Blood is drawn from your body, exposed to UV and then reintroduced.
Additionally, they are now involved with Dr. Josef Issels of Germany who developed a cancer "treatment program which comprises the standard methods directed at the elimination of the cancer tumor as well as a system of non-specific immunological treatment modalities aiming at the improvement of internal milieu and the enhancement of the natural defense and repair mechanisms of the tumor host, the cancer afflicted person."(press release 8/31/96)
*To contact the Gerson Research Organization: (800)759-2966. Call CHIPSA Hospital at (877)424-4772. Or directly to Mexico 011-526-680-2902.
The original unmodified Gerson program is offered by the Gerson Institute, run by Charlotte Gerson. They can be contacted:PO Box 430 Bonita, CA 91908. (888)4-Gerson(automated 24 hour line) or (619)585-7600. Fax(619)585-7611.
*Issue 17 of Alternative Medicine Digest has a story on CHIPSA.
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