Frans van den Berg started this river crossing on Sunday, June 11, at the end of a path that had become arduous. Another great pioneer in the field of physiotherapy, one of the most important developers of MT both in theory and in a clinical context, a long-time companion and supporter of MT in particular in Austria has sadly left us.
Whoever met Frans, who was born in Rotterdam in 1952 and completed his training as a physiotherapist in 1979, did not remain unaffected, for he was a personality. His inquisitiveness, which led him into a wide variety of treatment concepts, also reinforced his critical mind with a focus on questioning the influence of the many treatment techniques of manual therapy on a wide variety of disorders or pain in the musculoskeletal system, and thus his physiotherapeutic, manual actions. It was of great concern to him to fathom the mode of action of the interventions from a physiological point of view in order to find the correctly dosed training stimulus that is optimally adapted in time for the tissue. In short, he turned intensively to connective tissue physiology, made his way into holistic physiotherapy, authored numerous books and publications on the subject, and contributed a great deal of knowledge to our neuromusculoskeletal treatment techniques. Frans will remain unforgotten by all those colleagues who were able to experience him personally, because his absolute enthusiasm and spirit of research never seemed to tire – whether in the seminar room in his work as a humanly and professionally outstanding teacher or when working on patients. His own fascination for the profession as a physiotherapist with all its possible facets and the burning for his work was contagious and ignited the fire in the course participants to deal more intensively with the matter and to deepen their knowledge. He was always ready to discuss at eye level with his students and colleagues, an advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration, and open to new directions.
We lose a good friend and mentor, but one who will live on in each of us through his work and the knowledge he imparted. We say THANK YOU, dear Frans for all your countless impulses, the fascinating skill of imparting knowledge, your commitment to our profession and your collegiality.
“He who lives in the memory of his fellow men is not dead, he is only distant. Dead is only he who is forgotten.” –Immanuel Kant