Related Post: Apheresis; Not a Love Story Well Scent Founder Stacy Shuman travels to German for Lyme-Treatment

The observations below reflect the combined experience of two Sophia Health patients who traveled to Germany for treatment in August, 2013.  One patient was 4 years into treatment (Regina Weichert of Lyme Nation), had her tonsils surgically removed a year earlier, and had done a fair amount of detox work (IV’s and oral chelation).

The second patient (Stacy Shuman of Well Scent) is 18 months into treatment, had her tonsils removed 2 months earlier, and had approximately a year of detox work.


For all travelers between the US and Europe, we suggest confirming your flight time both 24 hours before and the day of travel – one of us had a flight delay of 3 hours from the US to Germany, and 1 hour returning home


 LODGING – In Viersen, we recommend “Zur eisernen Hand”.



Proprieter’s are Stefan and Anja Paul.  Both are extremely nice, helpful, and on the ball – and both speak English.

Rooms are simple and fairly spartan by our standards, but clean.  Showers only, no bathtubs.  The building itself is from the 1800s, solid and peaceful.  On Friday and Saturday nights you can get some noise from the street and stairs inside the hotel – people out on the town.  The hotel has a garden, some rooms have garden access, they are close to outdoor dining area so again on Friday and Saturday evenings you may get noise from guests.  The building has stairs only, no elevator.  Hotel staff will help you with bags, but if stairs are an issue for you, request a lower floor room (there are some on ground level).

  • They offer gluten and dairy free food options (tell them of your dietary needs when you reserve).  Food is good, simple, and fresh – runs to pork, beef, venison, fish, potatoes, a few veggies.
  • If bringing your computer, don’t forget that you need a 2 prong plug on your computer to use Euro adapters (Tumi makes a good one) or else a computer plug with a European adapter already attached.
  • Bring an electric teapot if you like tea, as there’s no teapot in room


  • Elisabeth Durochov can provide contact number for NRW shuttle – fixed rate shuttle from Dusseldorf airport to Viersen.  Flat rate 47 Euros from airport to Viersen, 45 Euros from Viersen to airport.  Allow 50 minutes to get from Viersen to the airport.
  • There’s a Thai massage place near the Eisernen Hand – it was closed for the holidays so we didn’t try it, but is supposed to be good.
  • On Saturday morning, there’s a farmer’s market in a parking lot near to the Dorochov’s office for fresh fruits, veggies, meats, baked goods and more.
  • Cryotherapy can hurt afterwards, bring pain pills in case you need them, and throat-soothing lozenges are not a bad idea. Plan to rest for 1 or 2 days after the cryo before traveling further, as people can be wiped out after this treatment.
  • Bring a UV sterilizing unit for your toothbrush (best) or denture sterilizing tablets to sterilize toothbrush after the treatment.
  • Binders, electrolytes, drainage remedies and essential oils that stimulate lymph flow to apply topically on neck and clavicle helped us after the cryo.
  • One of us had an easy time with cryo, the other had a harder time and experienced some gagging.  Afterwards we were both tired and had sore throats for about 5 days.  The Dorochov’s are very experienced and supportive during the treatment, and have you tap if things get rough.  The tapping was very helpful to reduce the stress.


  • We took the train from Viersen to Cham, and if you decide to do the same, here’s what to know:
    • it’s about a 7 hour trip, door to door.  There are a couple of breaks between stops, so you can get out and stretch your legs.  German train stations are pretty easy to navigate.
    • you will have to change trains 3 or 4 times, and the Cham stop doesn’t have an elevator.  So pack light enough that you can carry bags up and down stairs.  You might want to consider shipping your luggage.  On American trains it seems there are more conductors to help with luggage, but that doesn’t happen so much on German trains.  The last leg of the trip (from Nurnburg to Cham) one of our trains didn’t have air conditioning so was hot – bring water!  Also bring snacks, there is some food the ICE train, but it’s limited and if you are wheat free there are almost no food options.
    • It’s best to purchase tickets in advance, as you will save 50% over purchasing them last minute.  You can choose assigned seats on the train, or not.  Traveling alone you are probably okay without a reservation, but the ICE train (German equivalent of our ACELA) can get crowded, so assigned seats may be better.
  • We looked into the option of driving between Viersen and Cham, but it’s about a 7 hour drive, so that’s not great either.
  • Based on our experience, we suggest flying from Dusseldorf (about 1/2 hour from Viersen) to either Munich or Nurmberg, and taking either a train or car from there.  You can take a taxi between Munich and Cham for 200 Euros.  There is probably a train option as well, but we didn’t explore that.  There is a train direct from Nurnberg to Cham – travel time about 2 hours.  The train station in Cham is just a few minutes from the hotel RandsbergerHof.  Usually taxis will wait there, but if no cab in sight when you arrive, you can call the taxi.  There’s a great taxi company in Cham – prompt, super clean Mercedes Benz cars, and many women drivers – it is Taxi Tomaschko, 0 99 71 4141.  Not sure if they’d pick you up in Munich, but they might, otherwise they are good to drive you when leaving Cham.
  • Hotel Randsbergerhof had pluses:
    • pleasant staff
    • free wireless services
    • good food (limited menu, but fresh and generally tasty – German “soul food”). Gluten free bread is available if you ask for it.
    • clean
    • sauna, steam, and both indoor and rooftop pool (unheated)
    • Inus clinic is 5 minutes away by cab from the hotel
    • There’s a small market across the street for water and other basic groceries
    • The Commerz Bank, also across the street, will wire money to labs if that is needed for some tests, they charge a 10 Euro fee for the service.
    • 52 Euros per night for a single person during summer season
    • Don’t miss the beautiful Baroque church called St. Jakob’s, just a couple of blocks from the hotel
    • Also there’s a beautiful river that flows through town – called the Regen, with a park and sculptures near a famous WWII bridge – we felt rejuvenated just sitting by the river
  • Minuses to the hotel:
    • thin towels
    • no bathmats or wash clothes
    • spartan rooms – somewhat akin to our Holiday Inn, except a little nicer
    • no laundry service
    • intermittent to nonexistent wireless in some rooms –  you may want to request a room on the 4th floor facing St. Jakob church – one of us was in room 412, and had good wireless service there – so 410, 414 etc probably are good too
    • limited vegetable offerings on the menus
    • There is no air conditioning at the hotel
    • The rooms have a flat carpet (no pile), so you may want to bring your propolis vaporizer or other things such as essential oils to clear the energy/air of the rooms
    • Dogs are allowed at Randsbergerhof, so if you are allergic to them, best not to stay here
  • As an alternative to the RandsbergerHof, you may want to try the B & B.  We met the proprietress Christa Weidl, a pleasant woman who works at the local Commerz Bank across from the hotel.  The B & B is on the ground floor of her home, with garden access, separate entrance, chemical free, has bedroom that sleeps 2, kitchen, bathroom with tub, and living room for 30 Euros per night

Here are some of Dr. Straube’s team – sorry I need to dig up a photo of him – this is from left is Iris, Ursula and Theresa.   And photo of empty treatment room (beds are stripped here, but will give people idea of the space).

  • Apheresis thoughts:
    • Dr. Straube and his team of nurses are terrific, and his facility is airy, light and clean.  Know that you will be in excellent and caring hands every minute of the treatment.  For those who are needle phobic, Dr. Straube is a pro at getting it right the first time.
    • If making this trip for the first time, we recommend if possible doing it with a support person (friend, family member, fellow patient as a treatment buddy) because it’s a lot to go to a foreign country for a new treatment.  It helped us to laugh through it and share the experience with someone who was in our shoes.
    • Our experiences ranged from “this is not much worse than a standard IV” to nausea and localized flaring pain in the spine, neck and head, to emotional releases and crying.  (Dr. Straube commented that the emotional release is actually a good sign).  Your experience may be different than ours, but don’t be surprised if you experience:
      • fatigue and being totally wiped out after the treatment (one of us slept for 4 hours afterwards), this is often because your immune system is waking up after the apheresis.
      • thirst after treatment – we used Via Viente and mineral water afterwards to help quench thirst and provide minerals
      • appetite changes – you may want to eat lightly after treatment, or really crave meat, potatoes and whipped cream (all good at the Randsbergerhof!)
      • extremely smelly urine and stools for about 24 hours after treatment
      • puffy and aching eyes upon awakening the day after treatment
      • emotionally feeling overwhelmed, with past issues arising during the treatment or after.
      • aching in kidney or liver in the day following treatment (castor oil helped).
    • The second day of treatment was easier for us than the first – Dr. Straube says this is because a layer of gunk has already been taken out day 1, and so profusion is better the second day.
    • We suggest a day of rest after the 2nd apheresis treatment before embarking on major travels homeward – although we both felt okay that day, it’s a lot to travel far the day after the treatment (one of us got back on the train to Viersen, and wished she hadn’t!)

Safe travels and best healing wishes.

Words, Well Scent

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