About > biography
For many years, on this site, a neutral page described the « Biography of the teacher ». A text bare, informative, like the biographies demanded in congresses or when you are looking for a job. I always felt uncomfortable. I wanted this site to be personal and found it sometimes too remote for whoever entered in it. So I decided to put a special note on my life (don’t worry, it will be short) which, I hope, will give a more individual dimension to this flash on what has been the center of my life for dozens of years.
I come from a family of Belgian aristocrats, diplomats for generations. However my biggest pride is my medical diploma which I really earned! One day, during a big dinner at the abbey of Royaumont (the owner happened to be my uncle, a great patron of the arts and many other aspects of the intellectual life), I was chatting with an aunt-cousin (with generations discrepancies you never know where you stand!) whose name was Countess of Pitray and was the great granddaughter of the Countess of Ségur, famous in the 19th century for having written many books for children. Arlette (it was the given name of the Countess of Pitray) had known very well Geoges Soulié de Morant (sinologist, writer, banker, also sometimes diplomat) who had introduced acupuncture in France during the thirties. She was a beautiful, charming and elegant woman, who knew how to tell stories (she was also a writer), and she explained to me in detail the theories of acupuncture.
I was fascinated.
I was 14 years old (I am 71 now that I write this text).
I decided then and there to learn and practice acupuncture.
Nobody has EVER objected to my decision.
So since then my path was designed and I never changed my mind. Not once did I have to search, to apply for, to decide, to suffer the dilemma of choices.
To start with I followed the classical pathway: school, college, medical doctor (I also, out of interest studied the two first years of law which included more general culture than law…). During my medical studies I went many times to Paris to follow some acupuncture lessons (not very good I must say), one year in London to study osteopathy in a little school for medical doctors).
Then in 1968 it was the “great” leap for the Far-East,on the transsiberian railway (and in the middle of winter, six days without getting off the train…) from Moskow to Nakhodka. I landed in Hong Kong, stayed there two years, then went to Taiwan for one more year, and finally came back to Brussels in 1971.
I took over the practice of a medical acupuncturist (who had learned with Soulié de Morant – the world is small and started to work. In 1972 Nixon went to China, the travelers witnesses major surgical operations under acupuncture hypo-algesia. The demand for treatments exploded.
In Hong Kong I took lessons of mandarin (although locally the Chinese spoke cantonese), of acupuncture (with private teachers), I teached French in the Alliance Française, opened a practice of osteopathy and even became “the” osteopath of a fitness club. I even had time for fun, to be a little bit mundane (with my upbringing I was good at that), to fall in love with all the Chinese girls (one in particular – see my book, in French: Soupirs perdus à Hong Kong).
My life in Taiwan was more Spartan : lodging in a room rented by a chinese family, lessons of chinese and acupuncture, a life simple and sober.
I had several acupuncture teachers, all well known (locally of course): Lu Yigong in Hong Kong, Wu Weiping, Zhuang Yuming, and mostly Huang Weisan in Taiwan.
From the moment of my return ma life concentrated on acupuncture. I became one of the founding members of the Belgian Association of Medical acupucturists, teaching monitor, then Vice-Prsident, President. I organized study trips to Taiwa,, Honk Kong, Nienna, London, Sofia, Prague, Riga, Cyprus, Japan, Berlin, etc. I used my knowledge of the Chinese language to refine my courses and rectify mistakes transmitted for decades. I learned how to speak in public in a very personal way which touched those who listened, whether in English or in French, ansd this gift became very useful.
Ah ! Yes, I forgot: I speak french, english spanish and chinese.
In 1983 the acupuncture situation was very confusing. I decided, with the help of a few colleagues, to create an International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques, ICMART in short. I was the General Secretary and mainspring during 27 years. ICMART groups now around 90 associations which represent more or less 35.000 medical acupuncturists. People like to call me Mr. ICMART…
Many associations around the world asked me to give seminars or courses : France, UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Latvia, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, USA, Denmark, Israel, Bulgaria, Austria, Sweden, Canada, Porto Rico, etc.
In 1989 I decided to organize acupuncture courses for doctors in my practice ( I have a very big office). I have trained more than a hundred, in a personal but efficient way, and in a convivial atmosphere.
Then I started to write:
Puis je commençai à écrire :
A translation of the book of Chen Jirui : Acupuncture Case Histories.
Acupuncturalement Vôtre : for general public. A mixture of information and memories.
Des Soupirs perdus à Hong Kong (a novel)
L’acupuncture Revisitée, Volumes I et II in french.
Revisiting Acupuncture, Volumes I, II et III (a IVth one is in preparation.
I participated, sometimes passively but most of the time actively, to more than 100 congresses of medical acupuncture. You will find some of the photos on this site. Plenary lectures, workshops, interviews in the medias, followed nonstop.
I became the man of speeches: never long, but aiming at the heart of the participants. I never prepared them, and after having spoken I couldn’t remember what I said. It didn’t matter; those who heard me were pleased.
I usually present myself as lucid defender and critical promoter of medical acupuncture
I forgot: I was born in Aylesbury (England) in 1941. Is it important?