©2018 by Laura Geiger. All rights reserved.

Reflex Integration

a hands-on treatment modality to assess and correct disorganization in the body

Neuromotor immaturity is a major culprit behind the body's struggle to function well, feel good, learn, recover from stress, and engage with others in a safe and relaxed way.

Trauma, stress, injury, compromised attachment, stressful birth, and restricted movement can contribute to neurodevelopmental gaps that present at any age, even into late adulthood. Because the development of the brain and nervous system is the very foundation for the sensory, motor, visual, and auditory systems of the body, these gaps are felt at every level of functioning, including but not limited to emotional stability, handwriting, posture, confidence, immunity, digestion, sensory processing, muscle tone, and speech.

One of the ways to assess and treat neuromotor immaturity is by integrating active primitive reflexive movement patterns. Infants are born with a set of reflexive movement patterns that are essential to healthy development and self-protection. When the infant is given sufficient and safe stimulation, touch, and free movement, these primitive reflexes become integrated, or stop firing in the brain. Unconscious movements are no longer necessary when we graduate to higher levels of ability to communicate and control our bodies (until and unless we experience trauma sufficient to trigger the release of the reflexes from the brain stem for our own protection and survival).

 

However, it is estimated that between 35 and 48 percent* of school-age children have unintegrated primitive reflexes. This means that they do not possess the physiological maturity necessary for learning and must compensate for this continued firing of reflexive movement patterns in the brain by squirming in their chairs, acting out, zoning out, feeling overwhelmed, or feeling anxious.

The good news is that the neuroplasticity of the brain allows us to fill the neurodevelopmental gaps and rewire the brain for maximum efficiency of movement thereby creating a strong foundation for emotional, mental, and behavioral health. We are not meant to suffer through life. Learning, relating, and thriving are meant to come naturally and easily.

 

An in-person primitve reflex integration session with me is one hour and includes assessment, rhythmic movement bodywork, isometric pressure, and a movement therapy program for you to complete at home between monthly sessions.

Gains are typically seen quickly and increase over time.

The average time for a complete treatment depends on the individual's system and commitment to the program. The average duration for complete integration is six months for children and twelve months for adults.

*source: INPP study, Ireland and Germany in 2003 and 2004

Curious if you or your child could have neurodevelopmental gaps?

Potential origin of developmental interruption:

  • Born via C-section

  • Born premature

  • Traumatic birth

  • Skipped crawling

  • Underwent anesthesia

  • Early walker

  • Head injury or concussion

  • Major injury or car accident

  • Death of a loved one

  • Major illness

  • Heavy antibiotic use

  • High toxic load including heavy metals

  • Stressful pregnancy/infancy

  • Traumatic experiences like abuse, divorce, feeling intensely overwhelmed

  • Chronic ear infections

 

Potential symptoms:

  • Dysfunction (hyper- or hypo- sensitivity) with one or more of the sensory systems:

    • Auditory: hearing sensitivity, sound overload, wants music very quiet or very loud, difficulty filtering out background noise, difficulty processing auditory information and instruction

    • Taste: messy eater, picky eater, sensitive to food consistency

    • Tactile: craves or avoids touch, extremely ticklish, craves physical pressure, extra aware or extra sensitive to tactile input like pain, cold, heat

    • Smell: extra sensitive to certain smells, intensely dislikes some odors, struggles to smell

    • Visual: challenges with eye tracking (reading), difficulty transitioning from near to far focus, struggles to process visual information, complains about vision but demonstrates no need for glasses

    • Vestibular: poor balance, tends to spill things or fall down, motion sickness, clumsy, uncoordinated, emotionally unbalanced

    • Proprioceptive: difficulty assessing where body is in space, bumps into things, hits toes and elbows often

    • Interoceptive: unaware of internal body cues like hunger, thirst, having to go to the bathroom, need for sleep

  • Learning disorders (including dyslexia)

  • ADHD

  • Austism spectrum (suspected or diagnosed)

  • Aggression

  • Anxiety, including social anxiety

  • Allergies

  • Speech delays and/or disorders

  • Gross and fine motor challenges (including handwriting, hand-eye coordination, delays in riding a bike)

  • Poor posture and/or low muscle tone

  • Reduced immunity

  • Bedwetting past age five

  • Physical awkwardness, clumsiness

  • Scoliosis

While many wonderful therapies and approaches exist to help treat the above symptoms, if neurodevelopmental gaps are indeed the underlying cause, no amount of time, money, and energy will get the job done. For example, any improved handwriting skill gained exclusively through handwriting practice would be only temporary until the fundamental wiring of the central nervous system is functioning efficiently.

Movement is truly the foundation of learning, behavior, and relating well.

When our natural ability to move is compromised by the presence of primitive reflexes and the delayed onset of our lifelong postural reflexes, all the development on which efficiency of movement is predicated will suffer. With neurodevelopmental movement therapy, we can discover the missing pieces and build new neurological pathways. Doing so alleviates symptoms directly related to the unintegrated reflex and frees up the vast amount of energy previously used to compensate for the gaps in development, putting an end to chronic exhaustion, frustration, and emotional instability.

From the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology: “The term Neuro-Motor Immaturity describes the omission or arrest of a stage of early development. Every normal, full-term baby is born with a set of primitive or survival reflexes that are inhibited or controlled by higher centres in the brain during the first year of life. If these are not inhibited at the correct time, they remain active in the body and can interfere with balance, motor control, eye functioning, eye-hand coordination and perceptual skills. They can result in behavioural symptoms such as frustration, hyperactivity and hypersensitivity, and failure to match performance to ability.”

“Neuro-Motor Immaturity is not exclusively a child’s problem. Reflex associated problems usually manifest themselves during the formative years. However, if these abnormalities are not recognised during childhood, they must be compensated for in some way. The price paid for performance is usually increased susceptibility to stress. It is common for symptoms to first appear during times of significant change. For example, students entering higher education may experience difficulties for the first time: the combination of leaving home, learning to make new friends and coping with large amounts of reading in less structured learning environments, bring to the surface difficulties that have been previously concealed by the process of compensation. When these problems are identities and treated at a neurological and physical level, students start to succeed in their chosen careers.”

Contact to book

070 063 7007 or email below
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