Thursday, April 26, 2012

Surgery Under Hypnosis in Belgium

In an operating theatre in the Saint Luc University hospital in Brussels, the anaesthetist is also a hypnotist. Belgium is in the forefront of using hypnotism for surgery, more so than, for instance, France, Switzerland or the US. Compared to general anaesthetic, post-op comfort is greater; people who have been under hypnosis feel more normal; scar-healing goes better, and less pain medication is needed.

Source: 2 August 2011

Belgium seems to be at the forefront of using hypnosis in surgery whether for general anaesthesia or for pre-surgery hypnosis to speed up recovery and lessen scarring and post-op pain.

Before anaesthesia was available, hypnosis was the only option.  People who are allergic to anaesthesia may opt for hypnosis nowadays.  

I heard a case study of a woman who had an operation on a bone in her foot under hypnosis in the UK.  The hospital were reluctant to allow her the choice but it was successful.  After the operation, the nursing staff insisted on giving her pain medication which she did not need and crutches for walking out of the hospital.  She left them behind as she was in no pain and able to walk unaided.

Queen Fabiola of Belgium was given hypnosis prior to surgery in 2009:

Here is a discussion about using hypnosis to decrease pain in surgery:

Antonia Harrison is the English Clinical Hypnotist in Belgium.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Brussels Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Party Saturday 10 March 2012

Brussels Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Grand Marshal
Celebration Party
Ted Corcoran DTM
International President of Toastmasters International in 2003-2004
Author of The Leadership Bus
Saturday 10 March from 19.h00 till late
at Kitty O’Shea’s
Irish Pub & Restaurant
42 Boulevard Charlemagne, 1040 (Metro Schuman 5 minutes).
Food Served –Live Music - Basically Basic
Expect an electrifying performance!!!!
(Mix of Irish traditional, rock, country & easy listening)
Including 10 new songs of from their 2nd double album ‘Thistillive’
Bring your musical instrument for a sing song!!
Every one Welcome.  Admission Free.
Information on holidays in Ireland
on Toastmasters in Brussels
PS New Aer Lingus Flights between Brussels & Cork From March 26
Organised by Irish in Europe Association

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brussels New Generation Winter Cocktails 15 December 2011

The Brussels New Generation (BNG) would like to invite you to its Winter Cocktails to look back and celebrate the memorable events of the past year which included our new media training course, inspiring charity drive and insightful introductory visit to Strasbourg. The evening will feature various events. Join us for some fun and games in the Aloft Hotel Wii gaming room. So bring your best singing voice and be prepared to be a singing star, show off your dance steps with Just Dance or put your driving skills to the test with Mario Cars.

Also, take part in the competition to give a delicious name to the evening's cocktail. The ingredients for the cocktail are: cinnamon infused cognac (4 cl), grenadine syrup (2 cl) and apple juice (4 cl).

Be inspired by these three ingredients to think of a name for the cocktail and win for you and two of your friends a cocktail making workshop at the Aloft Hotel and also prepare the cocktail of the week. All name suggestions must have a winter theme. Please submit your competition entry for the cocktail with your registration.

Date: Thursday 15 December 2011, 18.30 - 20.30, Venue: Aloft Brussels Schuman, Place Jean Rey, Brussels Registration: BNG Members.

The British Chamber Team, Boulevard Bischoffsheim 11, 1000 Brussels Tel: +32 2 540 90 30 Fax: +32 2 512 8363 -

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Profile of Belgium's Elio Di Rupo

By Patrick Jackson, BBC News - 2 December 2011
Elio Di Rupo, the man tipped to end Belgium's seemingly intractable government crisis, has been grappling with challenges all his life.

On one level, this son of Italian immigrants is living the Belgian dream, rising from poverty to play a crucial, unifying role in his country's political future. On another, he is very definitely a Walloon, as Belgium's French-speakers are known, who struggles to speak Dutch but is passionate in his determination to unite Walloons and Flemings alike.

Another view is that he is simply the man of the moment, the latest in a line of "formateurs" - as government brokers in Belgium are known - who happened to be there when the eurozone economic crisis concentrated Belgian minds.

What seems clear, however, is that, at 60, Elio Di Rupo is very much his own man, as distinctive as his trademark red bow ties.

The picture that emerges from a freshly published biography, largely based on interviews he gave to Belgian journalist Francis Van de Woestyne, is of a fighter, unafraid to take on challenges both in his personal and public life.

'Fairy-tale' life
"My life is a fairy tale," he told Van de Woestyne in an interview in 2008. "You could not make it up."
He was born on 18 July 1951 in the small town of Morlanwelz, in Belgium's French-speaking Wallonia region, to parents who had emigrated from a village in Abruzzo, San Valentino, in search of work. "I cannot say I had an unhappy childhood"

At the age of one, he lost his father in a car crash. Struggling to raise seven children, his illiterate mother gave some of them up to a nearby orphanage.

"Even so, I cannot say I had an unhappy childhood," Mr Di Rupo recalled. "With nothing, she gave us happiness. On celebration days, she would buy sandwiches that she cut in two."

He remembered how his Roman Catholic mother would light a candle in church every time he sat an exam, and would say "May God bless you" each time he left her. His graduation day as a chemist - he studied at the University of Mons-Hainaut and at Leeds in the UK - was, to her, "as good as a wedding".

"When she died, I felt an infinite, unspeakable sadness."

Embarking on adult life, Mr Di Rupo left behind his Catholic upbringing, and described himself in the 2008 interview as an "atheist, rationalist and free mason".

Already as a student in Mons, he had become active in the Socialist Party and his political career took off in the city, where he rose to become an MP and mayor.

One of his achievements in Mons was to set up an international festival of love films in 1984, an annual February event held, appropriately enough, around St Valentine's Day.

Falsely accused

Mr Di Rupo, a homosexual, found his own love life suddenly under scrutiny in 1996 when he was falsely accused of having had sex with under-age males. According to Van de Woestyne, Mr Di Rupo admits that he might have killed himself had he not been totally vindicated in the affair.

"After 35 years in politics, he has patience, a lot of charisma and good leadership qualities” - Francis Van de Woestyne, Author of Di Rupo biography
Speaking to the author of Elio Di Rupo, A Life, A Vision (French: Elio Di Rupo. Une vie, une vision), he recalled being pursued down the street by a media pack and how one journalist had exclaimed "Yet they say you're a homosexual!"

"I turned around and shot back: 'Yes. So what?' I will never forget that moment... For several seconds there was silence... People were so surprised by my reply they stopped jostling each other. It was a sincere, truthful reply."

His career did not appear to suffer. Three years later, Mr Di Rupo was leader of the Socialist Party and, shortly afterwards, became regional prime minister of Wallonia.

Rolf Falter, who worked as a speechwriter and adviser to former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and now writes the Crisis in Belgium blog, believes Mr Di Rupo faces an altogether different challenge in Brussels.

"Being the chief minister of a regional government is just a pastime compared with the hellish job of being prime minister of two different communities brought together," he told the BBC News website. "You have to have very strong personal skills to bridge all rivalries. Di Rupo surely has the skills to be in command, otherwise he would not have succeeded in the most difficult negotiation ever. But much will depend on his empathy for Flemish public opinion, which is extremely volatile."

Challenge in Flanders

Mr Di Rupo, Falter believes, does not yet enjoy cross-community appeal though he is credited in Flanders with having solved the government crisis at last.

"It is quite obviously his success," he says. "It is he who smoked out the Flemish nationalists and then extremely slowly, and through a very minimalist approach, brought the negotiators day by day closer to each other. It is a very Italian approach to politics, without bravado and visionary moments, but he succeeded and who can prove that someone else would have achieved this? The markets did not play a significant role, except in the final week."

Van de Woestyne, also speaking to BBC News, says that 35 years in politics have demonstrated Mr Di Rupo's "patience, charisma and good leadership qualities".

"He takes a lot of time to listen to everyone and thus has many strategies for finding compromises, and he has good contacts across the political spectrum."

Where Mr Di Rupo may struggle is in convincing Flemish opinion that he, the leader of the French-speaking Socialists for the last 12 years, can enact vital economic reforms, Falter notes.

"These doubts, that the man who has been holding the brakes so long should now become the guy who turns the steering wheel, have not been dissipated though he and his party have engaged timidly in the reform process in a way you would not have expected from them, say, half a year ago."

Lost in translation

Among the Socialist leader's weaknesses are perhaps a lack of creativity and a tendency to consult lengthily before taking a decision, Van de Woestyne adds.

And a major failing in the eyes of many Flemings is his poor command of Dutch - the language of 60% of Belgians.

"My Nigerian cleaning lady, who has been in Belgium for two years, speaks better Dutch than Elio” - Bart De Wever, Flemish separatist leader, who was excluded from the coalition talks

He may have learnt English while studying in England, but his mistakes in Dutch have been mocked. At a news conference, for instance, he used the Dutch word "drinken" (English: drinking) instead of "dringend" (urgent) when talking to reporters about economic austerity.

Mr Di Rupo, quoted by AFP news agency, has promised to master his country's other language and deliver his responses in parliament "in Dutch, with mistakes".

In any case, his success in the government negotiations is what matters now to the Belgian public, Van de Woestyne suggests.

"Belgians are very grateful for his efforts to resolve the government crisis, which has lasted too, too long," he says. "If he is not quite regarded as the country's saviour, he is being seen as the man who ended the crisis."

According to Falter: "He may not bring the country alive again but he might succeed in keeping it afloat for a few years, which might be enough to make it survive through a difficult period."

"It is a very Italian approach to politics, without bravado and visionary moments, but he succeeded and who can prove that someone else would have achieved this? ” - Rolf Falter, Belgian blogger

Source: BBC news

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tobacco sales on the up in Belgium

2011 has seen a sharp rise in the amount of tobacco products sold in Belgium. The figures are published in an article in Saturday’s edition of the Francophone daily ‘Le Soir’. There has been a year on year rise of 20% in the amount of tobacco products sold in Belgian shops and supermarkets. This comes despite the introduction of stricter anti-smoking laws that made it illegal to smoke in bars, pubs and clubs, unless a separate, well-ventilated smoking room is provided.

However, a fair percentage of the cigarettes and rolling tobacco sold in Belgium are bought by foreigners, be they booze-cruise Brits or French smokers crossing the border to save an average of 1.20 Euro a pack on their favourite brand of cigarettes. Belgians are in fact smoking less than they did a year ago, so the increase in tobacco sales is solely attributable to foreign smokers border-hopping in order to save cash.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De Ochtend’, Luk Joossens of the Anti-Cancer Foundation told listeners that “The price difference between Belgium and France is especially large, with most big name brands retailing for 5.05 Euro here compared to 6.25 Euro there.”

“We would like to see a price increase of 50 Eurocent. Even if this reduced sales, it could still provide the exchequer with 200 million Euro in extra revenue.”

Source: De Redactie

If you need help to stop smoking, I stop people smoking in one session of relaxing hypnosis. It's so easy and there is a 95% success rate. Find out about stop smoking in Belgium with hypnosis.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In memoriam: viscount Willy De Clercq 1927-2011

ELDR Honorary President viscount Willy De Clercq passed away on 28 October 2011. De Clercq was twice ELDR President from 1981 to 1985 and from 1990 to 1995. He served in various coalition governments in Belgium and twice led the Flemish liberals. He served on the European Commission from 1985 until 1989 and sat in the European Parliament from 1989 until 2007.

ELDR President Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck: “Willy promoted liberalism as no one else could. He had his own style and clear views. He was Minister, Vice-Prime Minister, European Commissioner, Member of European Parliament but above all a liberal with a hearth for Europe.”

Potverdekke It's great to be a Belgian

John Makin, the Englishman with the 1998 hit single "Potverdekke! It's great to be a Belgian" died on 30 October, age 61.

Here is John singing his song live:

The same song with many views of Belgium: