Primitive Reflex Integration
There are many ways to integrate retained primitive reflexes.
At Head Over Hills we use Rhythmic Movement Training to integrate reflexes.
Read on to find out why.
What are Primitive Reflexes?
Our bodies are full of reflexes - automatic movements our body makes without our conscious control. The earliest reflexes that develop in our bodies are called Primitive Reflexes which begin emerging at 5 weeks' gestation.
They are essential for a foetus’ survival and work to develop our neurology, facilitate the birth process, develop our stress response, develop our movement repertoire and 'wire-up' the brain fully from brain stem to prefrontal cortex.
The reflex journey
Up to 12 months of age, primitive reflexes emerge, develop and perform their set function for the overall developmental process.
They are then mostly integrated or “switched off” to lie dormant in the brain stem. Regularly however, these primitive reflexes are actually retained and remain active in the body.
Common challenges of retained reflexes
When primitive reflexes are retained within the body a myriad of challenges may result for children and adults.
Some of these challenges are:
- Attention, focus and concentration
- Bed wetting
- Hyperactivity, impulsivity
- Learning difficulties
- Co-ordination and movement difficulties
- Low endurance
- Emotional regulation, anxiety, depression
- Sensory processing challenges
- Chronic tension, aches and pains
- Inability to regulate stress response
- Poor posture, low tone
- Visual or auditory difficulties
- Language difficulties
- Handwriting difficulties
Reflex integration is also often found to help reduce the challenges experienced from various neurological conditions and movement disorders.
Rhythmic Movement Training is...
The movements in RMT are small but powerful movements designed to simulate an infant's spontaneous movement patterns.
RMT practice is based on the principle of working with the person not on the person. The client is active in the process and movement.
RMT requires home support of a movement program during the weeks between your sessions however, this usually amounts to about 2-3 minutes 4-5 times per week to begin with.
RMT is suitable for all ages from infancy to elderly. It is never too late to integrate!
The RMT movements can be modified and adapted for all abilities. For many people with neurological conditions, RMT becomes a lifelong addition to their routine.
It is common for people to report seeing and feeling a shift after 2-4 weeks of commencing a RMT program. To ensure this neurological change becomes permanent usually at least 12 months of RMT is required.
RMT is a an effective therapy when done in conjunction with a registered consultant. RMT movements are carefully selected on an individual basis for each client after assessment. Despite their very subtle nature, the movements are extremely powerful and stimulating.
What does an RMT program involve?
Before our appointment we will ask you to complete a client information sheet as thoroughly as you are able. This details birth history, infant and child development and challenges noticed to date.
At your appointment we will work with you to identify reflexes that are still active in your body.
Establish Movement Program
We will set-up a movement program on the spot and leave you equipped with the tools to continue home support regularly until your next appointment.