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Case Study Issue 82: The Metamorphic Technique - The Life Force at Work

by Hazel Russo(more info)

listed in bodywork, originally published in issue 82 - November 2002

I met Lynne Armstrong at her home in Ealing. A bright, cheery woman, she answered the door and showed me inside.

Until the age of 50 Lynne had lived a busy, active life. She had worked successfully as a civil servant for 27 years and had a number of hobbies. Six weeks before her 50th birthday she had taken part in a six-mile sponsored walk around Kew Gardens.

At Lynne's 50th birthday party in June 1997 she was bitten by an insect. The party was on a Saturday. By Tuesday she was feeling quite ill and went to the doctor who immediately rushed her into hospital. Lynne had contracted cellulitis, a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the lower dermal skin layer. Starting in the legs, it can spread quickly. If it reaches above the knee it is serious, which it was in Lynne's case. Treatment was with antibiotics (so strong they could only be given intravenously) and steroids. Lynne had the condition three times and was treated with antibiotics each time.

She then developed morphoea – a condition resembling skin cancer, where the skin becomes thickened and tough, with pigmented patches, for which she was treated with cortisone.

Lynne took antibiotics and steroids almost continuously. Five months after the insect bite her body gave up and she developed polymyalgia, causing intense pain in the hips, knees, ankles and hands. She was prescribed painkillers.

By February 1998 Lynne could only walk 60-70 ft before having to rest to ease the pain. She could only move her head slightly from side to side. Her painkillers were so strong she felt 'doped up' most of the time.

Things looked bleak for Lynne and she became depressed. She had to retire from work as she could no longer type or use her hands. She could not carry out everyday tasks like cooking or driving. She put on weight following the steroid treatment and was reaching 20 stone. She was afraid to begin even the most simple task, and she could not safely cross the road because she didn't know how far she could walk before having to stop to relieve the pain. She used an invalid scooter and was taking painkillers eight times a day.

In February 1999 Lynne started to see an osteopath and noticed an improvement in her symptoms. Over a period of five months she began to be able to walk with a stick. She was still in a lot of pain but could do more than she had during the previous 18 months. This sparked her interest in complementary and alternative medicine. She trained in stress relief massage and then went on to learn reiki healing.

Despite the improvement in her symptoms, Lynne was still using a stick to walk and her invalid scooter to go shopping. She was in severe pain and was taking painkillers daily. She was registered disabled.

In July 1999 Lynne went to the Mind, Body and Spirit Festival. Something caught her eye when she walked past the Metamorphic Technique stand and she decided to book a trial session.

The Metamorphic Technique, developed in the 1970s by naturopath and reflexologist Robert St John, takes the form of a light touch applied to the feet, hands and head. It is not a 'treatment' in the way we might normally understand it. The practitioner remains detached, there is no transference of 'healing energy' or physical pressure applied and the practitioner does not direct the session in any way. This creates an environment where a person's own life force can move, allowing transformation and self-healing.

In Lynne's case the results were dramatic. She was feeling tired walking round the festival and had take painkillers which normally took around three hours to work. Her Metamorphic Technique session lasted half an hour. Afterwards, Lynne continued her way around the festival when she realized she had left her walking stick at the Metamorphic Technique stand. Lynne said: "Before that treatment, I could no more have done that than done a cartwheel".

Lynne hurried back to the stand to talk to Kristin Bomanson who had given her the session. She wanted to know more about the technique and how she herself could learn to do it. She signed up to do a course the following September.

After taking the course Lynne began to swap sessions with another practitioner. Over a period of months she began to lose weight and to feel an improvement in her state of health. She says got better in 'lumps': "I would have periods of feeling very tired, heavy and sleepy and then I'd get better".

Lynne's doctors were sceptical when, after describing what had happened, she said she wouldn't be going back to the rheumatoid clinic as she wanted to use the Metamorphic Technique. However, they have been impressed by her improvement and weight loss.

Today Lynne is mostly OK. She has times when she needs her stick but these are irregular. She takes painkillers less than once a week compared with the previous eight times a day and no longer feels dependent on them.

Lynne thought she would never be able to work again and would have to use her gratuity to buy a wheelchair. However, for some time Lynne has been working as a complementary therapist, Metamorphic Technique and NLP Practitioner in Ealing. She has also been working in a part-time job for the last six months giving her an almost full-time week. Lynne says:

"Having that session at the festival has given me my life back. It started with the osteopath, but the Metamorphic Technique was the key to the whole thing. I used to feel better after seeing the osteopath but I knew he was doing it. After I had the Metamorphic Technique I felt myself improving and then I knew I could get better myself."

Further Information

Lynne Armstrong can be contacted on Tel: 020 8992 8341.
To find out more about the Metamorphic Technique send a stamped addressed envelope to: The Metamorphic Association, 67 Ritherdon Road, Tooting, London SW17 8WE; E: Metamorphicassoc@cs.com; W: www.metamorphicassociation.org.uk

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About Hazel Russo

Hazel Russo is an independent researcher, writer, consultant and complementary therapist. She is currently working for the Prince of Wales's Foundation for Integrated Health on regulating complementary medicine and is the author of Integrated Healthcare: A Guide to Good Practice. For more details Tel: 020-8341 3393; www.hazelrusso.com

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