Thursday, 12 August 2010


José Roversi

I learnt about Dr. Thierry Janssen´s work while still living in Spain at the end of 2009. I was at the book departament at an El Corte Inglés store wondering arround the health section when a title just seemed to have jumped out of its shelve, completely seizing my undivided attention: La Solution Interieure (The Solution Lies Within). Reading trough its pages was a radical experience, since it shakened my fixed ideas on the sickening and healing process. It was about balance between body, mind and the incredible effect of energy. I was mesmerized by the author’s unconventional, holistic aproach to the subject and by the vast ammount of research displayed in the book (provided by some of the most prestigious universitys and specialized centres arround the world).

On the net I learnt about Thierry Janssen’s reputation as a brilliant phisician ready to challenge medical dogma and propose an holistic approach to health. This sounded very New Age. His practice in Brussels had been the place to go for many europeans looking to regain welness. People were willing to meet a lot more than a medical doctor; they wanted the healer in him. He was, though, the product of Ivory Tower european academy. An only apparent contradiction seemed to exist between the scientist and the healer, or at least it did to my westerny eye.

I wrote to Thierry Janssen asking for an interview. He was in a remote Egyptian location at the moment preparing a book on coherence. He kindly agreed to the interview, but it would take at least three months before his coming back to Brussels. Exactly three months later, on a saturday morning little before my moving to England, I had a long, fascinating and must reavealing conversation with a man that proved to be a powerfull, intuitive thinker from the times to come.

The following is the first part of that conversation and explores the personal path Dr. Janssen had to transit to transform his life and that of many others through his medical practice and writing career. This interview was conducted in the winter of 2010.

How did your non orthodox approach to health came to be?

It’s a long story! (Laughing)

Since the age of five I wanted to be a surgeon and, at the same time, an egyptologist. At eighteen I decided to become a surgeon. At the time I thought that to be a surgeon was more usefull to people than to be an archeologist. Soon I decided I wanted to be a surgery professor, so I could share with others what I had learnt.

To become a surgery profesor I had a lot of work to do. I had to do a lot of research work and always be number one at everithing. At a very young age I had achieved all I wanted: I was a surgeon and was teaching at University in Brusseles. But I was not happy. When you don´t do some work on yourself you develope a tendencie of accusing everybody else for your own problems. It was “not” my fault that I was not happy: it was the hospital, the system, and so on…

How did you solve this?

I had to find a solution. And the solution I found was to become Head Departament of Urology at a Cancer Center in a majot University in Brussels.

On january fith 1998 I became Head Departament of Urology. The morning on the day I was to commence on my new position I couldn´t even imagine what would happen: at the moment I step foot at the Hospital a voice in my mind kept saying: “If you stay here, you are going to die”. Two minutes later I wrote a letter to the Dean explaining I wasn´t the right person and that I had to live. So iI left…

Sounds like a breaking point…

Many of those who knew me thought I was crazy. My friends thought I was crazy ; My collegues thought I was crazy ; my parents didn´t want to talk to me. But I was not crazy; it was all about survival. I was 36 years old and
didn´t have any money! After two weeks I was very afraid. My collegues asked me for an explanation but I couldn´t give any ; it was a choice of mine; a decission of my mind. For the first time in my life I got the feeling of being “really right”.

By that time a friend of mine was working at a fashion company in Brussels. She was about to live and move to Paris and told me that Giorgio Armani was looking for a General Manager in Paris. I had no interest at all in fashion (and still don´t!) so I
don´t know why I said to myself: I will do that!

At that moment I was really in contact with mysef; I had no fear at all. My intuition was working just fine. It was absolutely clear to me that I was going to work for Giorgio Arman in Paris, so I wrote a letter saying something like: “You will think I´m crazy. I was a surgeon and Head Departament at University. I don´t do this any more. I think we have to meet for I Am the right person to be your General Manager in Paris”. The Head of Armani in Milano had a lady friend working with the firm in Brussels. He asked her about me and she said: “You Know, I know this doctor. He operated my brother from a very difficult Cancer. He is not crazy!”

So they called me from Milano, and that was it! in no time a had the job.

After a few weeks getting to know the bussines at the company quarters in London I went to Paris. There I was, living a beautifull life: the smart office at Place Vendome; the wonderfull car and, of course, loads of money! So much money I couldn´t ever dreamed of having!

After eight months. once more, I wasn´t happy…

So I left Armani and got a handsome ammount of money. I said to myself: “Now you don´t have a reason to worry. You have money. Take some time off and figure out why you gave away surgery”.

That´s a risky decisison. What did you do next?

I stayed in Paris for a year. Now everybody was “convinced” that I was, in fact, crazy. Everybody but my wife. She was working in Brussels so I spent a lot of time alone in some kind of a retreat. Then all of the things I loved the most – Egiptology, Antropology, Sociology – came back to me. All of that related to mankind. I wrote my first book, a novel – unpublished - It was something I “needed” to write; something I had to take out of me. It was also about proving to myself I was capable of writing. For me it was a deep,
life-time longing.

It was, probably, the most beautifull year I have lived in my life and, also, the most diffcult. I was alone, everybody thought of me as crazy and I had to believe in myself. By doing that, I suddendly wanted to undersatnd the difference between a doctor and a healer. I realized there was a huge difference between “taking care” and “healing”. It´s quiet different.

I returned to Brussels. I had to take care of my personal life. and be with my wife. I also needed a job. I didn´t want to go back to the hospital, to surgery, so I got myself a job in a bakery. Because for me two are the most beautifull jobs in the world: one is to sale books and the other to sale bread. You know: nourishment for the mind and the body.

What did you really want to do back then?

What I really wanted to do was to go to an unique school in the the United States where healers were being trained. Not because I myself would have wanted to become one but because I wanted to understand the process of healing. But after a year in Paris living on my Armani savings, I had no money for that.

And this is really umbelievable. A cousin of my father, who lived in Frande, heard about this project that I had. He called me an said: “Thierry, you´ve left surgery and don´tn have any momey. How will you undertake a four year program in New York?. “I´ve found myself a job in a bakery” was my answer. “I´ll give you the money. You do it”, he said.
This cousin of my father had a son and we were very close. But he died in a car accident at age eighteen. Here may lie, at least in part, the reason why he felt the need to help me.

So you went to the Sates…

Exactly. Every two months I took this training for ten days each time in the States. This is probably the most difficult thing I´ve ever done in my life. You see, medical studies were not difficult. You don´t have to be very smart to go to medical school. You just have to work hard enough, learn and response to professors whatever they want to hear. But at that healing school in the States I had to learn to be different. It was not about learning tools, cause the tool was you. So you had to learn about you. That´s the difference between a healer and a doctor.

So that´s what I learnt there and it was a lot of work: therapy, body work, creativity, painting, singing, etc. It was a crazy school. A little bit to New Age for our culture. It was hard for a person like myself, with a scientific background. It was a very good laboratory to explore consciousness and, also, to meet many healers from many countrys. I met Budhist healers, Shammans, Accupunturists, Ostheopaths, Quiropractics, etc. Healers from a great variety of tendencies.

When and why did you start seeing patients again?

At that time, by October 1999, people started asking me to see patients back home in Brussels. I didn´t want to practice medicine, but they kept saying I had changed so much!. It was true: I looked a lot better, younger. I was a different man, relaxed and happier.

People had changed their minds about me and didn´t feel I was crazy anymore. Very soon I was seeing an average ten patients a day and people were coming from Paris, London or Ámsterdam to see me. There was no advertising whatsoever and I wasn´t charging these people any fees. I had a problem with money. I didn´t feel it was right to charge for the work I was doing.

How did you work that out?

A lady was flying from London everyweek to see me. One day, after we´ve met, she handle me money. “I can´t accept” I said. “You have to accept – she replied – you´ve taught me prosperity within my soul. I will teach you prosperity in your wallet”. I learnt a lesson of humility.

When did you start your career as a writer?

I published my first book in 2000. It was called The World of Love. It was a propossal to think about ourselves and about who we are. It was about progress in love. I satrted to give lectures.

How about your practice?

For four years I did see so many patients. An excesive number, probably. So in 2003 I decided to see only patients with physical disease. So my intervention consisted in helping people overcome a difficult time, like that of Cancer, and help them also at an emotional level to improve inmunity and defenses within the body. I was working on the body-mind conection.

How did you undertake this body-mind approach?

What I did was try and create an interdiscilinary team involving Practitioners from convetional medicine, like surgeons, a radiotherapists and quimiotherapists. But also practitioners from non conventional medicine like Homeopaths, Acupuncturists, Ostheopaths, and so on. And that´s why I wrote La Solution Interiour or, in spanish, La Solución Está en Ti. At a personal level the reason was that I hended to heal the relationship between the doctor that I was and the healer in me.

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