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.”
Nima’s tips for his fellow Gerson patients
- Spend money only on the therapy, everything else is unnecessary.
- If it is for the therapy, price does not matter.
- Don’t eat out–but if you have to, order a salad with lemon and oil.
- Shop at the local food coop or buy in bulk from farmers, and get carrots and any other organic produce, if available, from Costco.
- Organize your daily schedule around the protocol.
- Make your oatmeal, soup, and enema solution while making the carrot-apple juices.
- Wrap all green-juice ingredients in individual cloths and seal them to keep them fresh.
On Gratitude and Disease
“I think the MS has been the greatest thing that has happened to me.
It taught me to really appreciate the way I live and not destroy what I have.”
I felt truly inspired by Nima when he said, “I think the MS has been the greatest thing that has happened to me. It taught me to really appreciate the way I live and not destroy what I have.”
We are often taught to take drugs to shut off any aches in our body, any symptoms of dis-ease, instead of being taught to really listen. Nima listened to his body, which allowed him to use the Gerson Therapy successfully, led him to see that symptoms of disease could be a blessing, and would keep him listening and respecting his body for the rest of his life. Instead of cursing multiple sclerosis, Nima thanked it for the transformation, for leading him to the Gerson Therapy and way of life. I am sure that this gratitude is a huge part of his healing as well.
About the Author
Marina Yanay-Triner is a health and nutrition coach in San Diego, specializing in the raw vegan lifestyle. She is a volunteer with the Gerson Institute.
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This article originally appeared in the Winter 2016 Issue of the Gerson Institute’s newsletter, Healing News (no longer in print). Join our Email Club HERE.