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From “What’s the Alternative”  
By Susan Clark – Style Magazine, 
Sunday Times, London

Question: Can you tell me anything about a therapy called the Metamorphic Technique? My friends rave on about its effects but don’t seem to be able to explain how it works.
Mrs S Gill, Walsall  

Answer: This is one of these “secret” hands-on therapies that devotees deliberately keep quiet about, not least because skilled practitioners are few and far between and if the secret of how brilliant it is ever got out, none of us would ever get an appointment.
I am happy to spill the beans because it was this little known technique that dramatically changed my life for the better and set me on the road to improved wellbeing. A spin off from reflexology, the technique was developed in the 1960’s to help treat autistic children. Good practitioners describe how they simply “hold” the energy while the clients own life force gets to work to eliminate the emotional blocks that are preventing them reaching their full potential.
The theory is that from the very moment of conception, traumas are held within the memory of every cell in the body and that until these memories are released, you cannot move on and fulfil your life’s true purpose.
These releases are triggered by a gentle foot, hand and head massage that may make you want to go to sleep or may leave you feeling re-energised and raring to go. This is not a talk therapy (which makes it popular with men). 
I like it because it gets results – fast – and because you cannot sabotage the process by over intellectualising what is going on.


Sole Searching
ElinorMalcolm finds something afoot with the Metamorphic Technique in an article from
The Hill Magazine, August 1996.

In the years when complementary therapies have moved rapidly from the realm of the wildly if Alternative" to a mainstream role in every high street beauty salon, one treatment has retained much of its mystique. 
Since its development in the 1960s, the Metamorphic Technique (MT) has become quietly popular with, and quietly indispensable to, an ever growing number of people. Perhaps part of its low profile is due to the fact that it remains bemusingly difficult to explain - even when one has, as I have, experienced treatments and become convinced of their favourable effects. 
MT operates on two basic premises: that emotional trauma experienced from the moment of conception - can be held in the body; and that the MT practitioner, by working on the "spinal reflexes" on the feet, hands and head which correspond to the gestation period, can help to free blockages caused by that trauma. The practitioner acts as a catalyst, "kick-starting the life force": this allows the patient to access their own innate healing ability - their "wise guide within" - which, when freed, is a powerful tool for change. 
Sceptics will by now be muttering darkly about spooky psychobabble~ but documented claims for MT's effects range from enhanced self-confidence and dramatic improvements in allergies to profound beneficial effects on mental and physical handicaps and the medical profession (as reported recently in The Sunday Times) is sitting up and taking serious notice of MT. Doctors might not be able to explain why it works: many are just coming to the reluctant conclusion that it does. 
Magi Traynor has been practising MT for several years after training with Gaston St Pierre, founder of The Metamorphic Association. She currently practises at the Lee Everett Consultancy in Brackenbury Village, where I went in search of further elucidation and to experience the technique for myself. 
Magi's personal view is that, if we imagine our life as a river, MT helps us to "go with the; flow". After the Duchess of York's recent, highly publicised  philosophising on this very theme, the analogy may well draw an unfair degree of derision - but the image is a powerful one. The river (our life force) is strong, but rocks and boulders (lessons to help us grow) lie in our path. Magi's view is simple: "If we can stop hanging onto the riverbank and go with the flow, we can steer our way around the rocks and boulders. Work on the feet helps us to let go of the river bank; work on the hands helps us to handle the rocks in our path; and work on the head helps us understand their purpose." 
So what does it feel like? The MT practitioner's touch is lighter than that of a reflexologist; the feet and toes are worked with gently, using stroking or light massage at seemingly random points. I personally found the sensation profoundly relaxing and lapsed into a chilled-out silence; other clients of Magi's apparently sit and chat throughout the whole process, finding it energising and uplifting. Her view is that you get what you need from the treatment. 
Although MT's effects are generally gradual, and can include anything from experiencing a boost in confidence to a reduction in nervous tension, Magi's own casebook includes at least one woman who gained immediate - and delighted - relief from chronic back pain. As for me, after a few sessions I have to admit to feeling a lot more at one with life; and I don't think it's just coincidence. If you get what you need from MT, after my last session my "wise guide within" correctly identified that I urgently needed a tryst with Mr Sheen and a hoover: I shot home and, with a dramatic surge of energy, cleaned the house from top to bottom an action as rare as it was profoundly satisfying.
Down to MT? Who knows. But I'm certainly happy to go with the flow and see where some more sole searching takes me...

 

Spread Your Wings
Sunday Times article 13 September 1998

Metamorphic therapy is a well kept secret that can transform your life in weeks  I came across the Metamorphic Technique via a cryptic but enticing recommendation from a friend, who revealed virtually nothing about what was involved, but stressed the transforming effect it would have on my life, if I was ready for it.
 Intrigued, I booked a session with one of the country's top practitioners, Audrey Pasternak, at the trendy Life Centre in West London, to find out. 
 
 As I sat on the massage couch, having first removed my shoes and socks, I immediately felt that I was in safe hands. With her elegant outfit and chic, understated jewellery, Pasternak could easily pass for a distinguished actress or an antique dealer. Indeed, before discovering the technique seven years ago, she had a long successful career as an interior designer.
 As I launched into a series of questions, she told me in a no nonsense tone to leave the journalist outside the room and enjoy the experience. 
 
 Like most people who find it, I realise now that I came to Metamorphic Technique still looking for something that would help me realise my full potential. Despite intensive therapy, all kinds of workshops, and a wide range of alternative treatments over the years, I felt something was missing, and that I wasn't achieving or enjoying life as much as I could. 
 
 Not a lot actually happens during a Metamorphic Techniques session.
 The practitioner - works with her hands, stroking and lightly massaging the tips of the toes and the inside of the foot, between the big toe and the heel, for about an hour before moving on to the fingertips and, last, the head. It is the head massage that feels most intense, and though you can, if you want, chat through the first stages of the session, this is the time to close your eyes and feel the energy shifting inside your body. 
 
 The principle behind the Technique is that the light touch stimulates your life force and activates the self-healing process. As Pasternak puts it, the client does the work with the practitioner "holds" the energy. 
 "But how on earth does it work?" you persist. "It just does," is the response, "in the same way a tiny seed has the innate intelligence to grow into the flower it is supposed to be, and knows exactly when to bloom." 
 
 The Metamorphic Technique was developed in the 1960s by the respected naturopath and reflexologist Robert St. John to help mentally handicapped children release their emotional blockages. Through his work he discovered that the nine months spent in the womb are mapped out along the spinal reflexes (which are located mostly at the sides of the feet, but also on the hands). 
 
 He passed his findings on to the British-based Canadian practitioner Gaston Saint-Pierre, who, in 1979, set up the Metamorphic Association, of which he is still the director.
 Metamorphic Technique has slowly and quietly gained respect from not only those whose lives have been transformed by it, but from doctors and specialists impressed with the results for conditions ranging from dyslexia to eating disorders. 
 
 As well as reporting significant changes in the way they see life and how they feel about themselves, it is common for those who receive the Technique to change where they live, their job, and their relationship - sometimes all three at the same time. 
 
 At the end of my first session, I sobbed uncontrollably, without knowing why. Pasternak assured me I would get through this and told me to be gentle with myself.
 For a few days, I felt spaced out and tired, which is a common after-effect. Though sessions are recommended once a week, I found I had such strong reactions that I needed a longer break in between. 
 
 I have had several sessions now, and have started to notice subtle changes: I don't feel guilty about putting myself first, I steer clear of difficult (emotional) situations, I make space for myself and, most of all I've stopped giving myself a hard time.
 
 Instead of doubting, I now trust who I am. 
 The trauma a baby might experience in the womb can range from the physical to the emotional.
 Metamorphic practitioners believe these experiences create the emotional patterns that carry on through our lives and which, if negative, manifest themselves as illness, addiction, stress, emotional problems and depression. 
 
 Men are particularly attracted to the Technique because they say it provides all the benefits of intensive psychotherapy without the agonizing process of being probed about the past and the present.
 In fact, you can spend the whole session with your eyes closed and your mouth shut, not having to utter a single word. 
 
 One of Pasternak's male clients, a television producer who prefers to remain anonymous, says he started the Technique after a relationship ended and he realised that he felt stuck in every aspect of his life.
 Ironically, the woman he had just parted from had been going to Pasternak for a year, during which time she changed dramatically for the better, and lost what he calls "that fundamental sadness". 
 
 Rather than invoking radical change, he describes his transformation as less dramatic, more like a reversion to his natural self: "I finally got it together to change my home, and my work as a producer changed too. I have now started a new relationship and, for the first time in my life, I find that I don't put up blocks or create trouble. 
 
 "R had therapy for a couple of years and that definitely cleared some problems, but the Metamorphic Technique seems to work at a much deeper level. You get the benefits of therapy, a relaxing treatment, and your whole energy slowly change

Wake Your Inner life Force
The following article by Jane Alexander appeared in the Daily Mail
on 1 January 1994 and produced flood of interest in response. 

New Year is traditionally the time for resolutions and brave new deals. But how many good intentions stay the course through January, let alone the rest of your life? Sometimes we need a little extra help to get the ball rolling. 
The Metamorphic Technique might do just that. It's neither a therapy nor a massage, it's not healing and, its practitioners insist, it's not even a treatment. Of all the practices in complementary medicine, this is perhaps the most mystical and unexplained. It asks for a suspension of belief, a casting-off of logical explanations, and invites you to put your trust in your own inner life-force. Thousands who have experienced the technique affirm that life is never the same once you step onto the metamorphic path. 
The technique was developed in the Sixties by naturopath and reflexologist Robert St John while he was working in a school for mentally handicapped children. Changes his work brought about were not deep or lasting enough, he thought. He carne to the conclusion that not only are all the parts of the body represented in the foot (as reflexology teaches) but that our passage through the womb, from conception to birth, is also mapped out on the side of the foot, along the points reflexologists call the spinal reflexes. And he carne to believe that our ailments, and the characteristics we carry through life, are estab1ishcd during the time in our mothers' wombs. By working on the feet, he found he could release blocks and facilitate 'transformations' both on a physical and an emotional level. One case in particular stood out. A woman carne to him with a six-week-old Down's Syndrome baby. St John taught the technique to the mother and after a year of sessions the child was normal. The extra chromosome which causes the syndrome had not disappeared; it was simply no longer operative. 
Gaston Saint -Pierre, at the headquarters of the Metamorphic Association in South London, learnt metamorphosis from St John and in 1979 set up the Metamorphic Association as a registered charity. Despite a pile of testimonials from orthodox doctors and complementary practitioners, clinics, schools and institutions, he insists that it is not the technique itself nor the practitioner which brings about such results - it is the life-force working inside the person. 
"Practitioners are merely the catalyst," he says. "It is a case of loosening a structure to enable the power of life to take over." 
Getting to grips with how the Metamorphic Technique works is extremely difficult. Saint-Pierre likes to use metaphors to explain the principles. He says we are all like seeds which have, inside, the blueprint of a plant or a tree. We need a catalyst in order to grow. For, the seed it is the earth; for us it is our own inner life-force. Saint-Pierre is a still, quiet man with a twinkle of humour in his eyes. He takes no case history, and does not ask for details about your life. Instead, he simply invites you to take off your shoes and socks and lie or sit on a large window seat liberally scattered with cushions. Placing my foot on his lap, I lay back and closed my eyes while he started work. His touch is light and fluid: sometimes it felt as if he were gently polishing my foot; at others, as if he were almost searching for something. Occasionally he would yawn. This, he explained, was not because he was bored or tired but because blockages were passing through his hands into his body. Yawning, sneezing, or even burping apparently allows the blocks to disappear harmlessly. 
Some people report that during a session they 'see' scenes from their lives or that they can re-experience emotions from the womb. Nothing like that happened to me, but the whole experience was very enjoyable and I found myself half-dozing and half-waking. After about half an hour, Saint-Pierre worked on my hands and then finally on my head, leaving me feeling very relaxed yet surprisingly energized. It's hard to see how such a simple technique can instigate profound changes but people swear it has transformed their lives. Some find new relationships or end outdated ones; some move house or change their jobs~ others are prompted to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Often, Saint-Pierre says, it nudges people to seek the help they really need. 
The work with handicapped children and adults has continued, and metamorphic practitioners also work on a voluntary basis in hospitals, in schools for children with learning difficulties and even in prisons. More recently, Metamorphic Technique has been given to people with my and AIDS and has been taught to their friends and family. 
Although he and a large network of practitioners all over the country will give private sessions, his real desire is that people will learn the technique themselves to practise on their family and friends. 
"I could teach you in five minutes", he says. "It can be done by anyone. And there is no need to go into deep meditation - you can talk or watch television while you are doing it. It can easily be integrated into people's lives." 
He particularly likes to teach parents because he believes it can help to bond families together. Metamorphic Technique given during pregnancy and particularly during labour can, he promises, ease labour, often producing a quick and simple birth. Many midwives are learning the technique - a few simple touches to the newborn baby's feet will instantly calm the child, he says.
 

"Thousands who have experienced the Metamorphic Technique affirm that life is never quite the same once you step onto the metamorphic path"

Jane Alexander - Daily Mail

"Metamorphic Technique has slowly and quietly gained respect from not only those whose lives have been transformed by it, but from doctors and specialists impressed with the results for conditions ranging from Dyslexia to eating disorders"

Lorna V - The Sunday Times

"I still don't know exactly how the Metamorphic Technique works, apart from the fact that it has transformed me! It has changed me from someone who was fearful of life to someone who's embracing it"

Des Hamilton - The Evening Standard

"It was this little known technique that dramatically changed my life for the better and set me on the road to improved wellbeing"

Susan Clark - Sunday Times

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