About Jaap van der Wal
J.C. van der Wal MD PhD
Jaap van der Wal Ph.D. is a medical doctor and till his retirement in 2012 he worked as associate professor in Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Maastricht, Holland. After his medical education in 1973 he became specialized in the functional anatomy of the locomotor apparatus with (later on) emphasis on the architecture of connective tissue and fascia and its role in proprioception. Gradually he developed as teacher in Philosophy of Science and in Medical Anthropology. “My passion however was and still is human embryology. The human body is a process, developing and functioning in time. The embryo moves and behaves in forms. It is in this area that I encountered the Goethean phenomenological approach. I apply the method of dynamic morphology to understand what we actually are doing as human beings when we are embryo. With respect I can find in the embryo cautious answers to questions as to the meaning of human existence.” After his retirement he fully devotes his energy to Embryo in Motion, a worldwide project on teaching Embryosophy. He now teaches his ‘Embryosophy’ in Europe and USA in institutes for Craniosacral-therapy, Osteopathy, Polarity Therapy but also Prenatal Psychology and Trauma therapy and so on.
“In 1988 I defended at the University of Maastricht a thesis about proprioception, related to one of my major interests and questions i.e. the question What moves us? In this context during the last 10 years I became more and more involved in research about the function and meaning of the fascia in the human body. This resulted in a presentation at the second International Fascia Congress in Amsterdam in 2009 with a series of the publications after that. My main domain of interest however is and will be the embryonic development of the human being and everything that relates to that, such as evolution and genetics and this all in the context of image of man and science philosophy. Important inspirors are for me besides the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. the work of Jan Hendrik van den Berg and all the phenomenologist. In particular by means of the phenomenological approach of Goethe I think I can make a bridge between spirituality and spiritual science on the one hand and positivistic natural science on the other hand”.
Until his retirement as associate professor at the University of Maastricht he was active as freelance teacher for various schools in the domain of so-called ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ medicine, amongst others yoga schools, educational institutes for art therapy but also for osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. All over the world he teaches courses Embryo in Motion to laymen but also to professionally interested people like doctors, midwives and other therapists. He writes articles about the themes that are mentioned about. Jaap van de Wal is a well known and well received speaker on many seminars and congresses all over the world in particular in the domain of osteopathy. In his biography the science of kinesiology and embryology are bridged and connected by the notions form and motion. By means of the phenomenological approach he made in the so-called dynamic morphology a connection between science and spirituality. It is this vision that he tries to promote by means of his network Embryo in Motion teaching as ‘an embryologist on the search for spirit’
Jaap as a teacher (in Dutch)