Hello Gersonites! My name is Nicole, and I am the Communications Coordinator at the Gerson Institute. I’ve had the pleasure of working here for over four years and engaging closely with Gerson patients and supporters all along the way.
In early September 2017, I had the honor of representing the Gerson Institute on an on-site visit to the Gerson Health Centre, Europe’s first and only licensed Gerson clinic. Located in the town of Dobogoko just outside of Budapest, Hungary, the Gerson Health Centre opened in 2009 and was founded by two recovered patients; Dr. Melania Nagy and Beata Bishop (Gerson Therapy 30-year malignant melanoma survivor; psychotherapist; author of A Time to Heal and Cancer and After; co-writer of Healing the Gerson Way with Charlotte Gerson; former BBC journalist).
GERSON HEALTH CENTRE, EUROPE
The Gerson Health Centre is a fully equipped in-patient Gerson centre with 10 rooms; a lounge room for light exercise and adjunctive treatments; beautiful, serene surroundings; and a medical team that includes an internist, oncologist, general practitioner and nurses. The Gerson Health Centre also boasts another recovered Gerson patient on it’s medical staff, Dr. Telegdi, who is well-known for his family practice in the surrounding area.
The main languages spoken are English and Hungarian, with additional languages spoken including German, Romanian and Italian, and translators for Russian, Polish and French.
Without further ado, let’s take a special inside look!
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
It’s 7:00 AM in Budapest, and a cab arrives promptly to pick me up. I arrived just the night before and am trying to study the scenery as it whizzes by. We drive about fifteen minutes before I am dropped off and greeted by Noemi Borsa, Executive Administrator extraordinaire and history buff who has been at the centre since it opened; Noemi arranges patient’s transportation to and from the centre, schedules follow-ups, answers email inquiries, runs scheduled day-programs, not to mention her dedication to being of the up-most support to patients and as the right-hand to Dr. Nagy. We carpool with two other staffers, including Administrative Coordinator, Edit, and Grounds Keeper, Istvan, while Noemi tells me about Hungary’s rich history during the 30-45 minute drive to the centre.
Along the way, we pull over at an organic orchard, where freshly picked apples, plums and peaches are being sold. Noemi tells me that they routinely stop here to get fresh fruit for the centre as I sink my teeth into the juiciest peach I’ve ever had – so good! I stuff a couple into my bag for the ride home later and enjoy the rest of the drive, which is absolutely pleasant with lots of trees, beautiful countryside and quaint little villages.
INSIDE THE GERSON HEALTH CENTRE
We pull into the centre’s driveway where we are still surrounded by trees, and I notice instantly how fresh and pure the air us. It’s peaceful and quiet, with only the sound of leaves moving gently (and the occasional car). The centre is buzzing as final touches are made before the patients arrive in about an hour. There is a common room with comfortable seating and lots of reading material, not to mention a beautiful display of certificates and awards. First I meet the main nurse, Ary, who is sporting the centre’s crisp new uniform, and the angels of the kitchen, who hand me a juice with a huge smile.
I take a tour of the centre and the rooms – there are eight rooms available for patients with 2 beds, and one room with 3 beds. Each room has its own bathroom equipped with a shower filter and Gerson-approved shampoo/conditioner, bath soap and toothpaste. The rooms are comfortable and bright with beautiful views from the window, a small desk and a cot for coffee enemas. There are additional restrooms located throughout the centre for companions, particularly while restrooms inside the rooms are occupied during “coffee breaks”.
The centre also has a gym/lounge room where group activities such as yoga, psychotherapy and relaxation take place, in addition to individual treatments such as reflexology, homeopathy, acupuncture and other supplementary naturopathic treatments.
I join the patients for a welcome video with Beata Bishop and a short presentation from Noemi about the centre. Next, we gather for the first Gerson lunch, and I reassure the patients and their companions that they will get used to the food.
The food presentations each day are beautiful, vibrant and detailed – your eyes can’t help but tell your stomach to get excited. At the Gerson Health Centre, the main course of cooked vegetables and potato for lunch and dinner are plated for the patient, to ensure variety, and a log is kept of how much was eaten to gauge appetite.
Tall windows line the perimeter of the dining room, which is also where lectures and demonstrations take place. At the dining room entrance, each patient has their own shelf where they find their daily protocol; prescribed mini-meals in-between main meals; supplement box; and hourly juices. There is a chart always posted in the dining room showing what each supplement looks like. Daily itineraries are posted right outside of the dining room so that patients know exactly when meals are served, when lectures/demonstrations are scheduled, when they have consultations with the doctors, and when group or individual therapies will take place.
Later in the evening, just before dinner, I sit-in on Ary’s coffee enema preparation lecture, where she and the patients walk through step-by-step how to read their protocol, how to use the pill box for supplements, how to assemble the enema bucket, setting up an enema parlor and how to wash the equipment. Ary does not stay at the centre during the entire two week session because she is also an emergency room nurse. A true pro, Ary explains in a professional, soft demeanor topics that most find uncomfortable.
We leave the centre around 8:00 PM that evening, and although jet-lag was taking its toll, I felt invigorated by my experience on just the first day. My body is entirely confused by the time change, but with great excitement I look forward to my next few days at the centre.
Take the rest of the tour and join me
for Part II of “An Inside Look: Gerson Health Centre, Europe”.
Visit the Gerson Health Centre page for upcoming session dates, pricing and contact information.
Written and posted by: Nicole Ferrer-Clement