Primitive Reflex Integration Therapy in Scotland

Rythmic Movement Therapy was created by Kerstin Linde, Harald Blomberg, and Moira Dempsey, and it emerged from their respective fields of movement therapy, psychiatry, and educational kinesiology. Dr. Blomberg, integrated movements into his psychiatric practice, witnessing significant impacts on patients. In 2011 they released “Movements that Heal”.

Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) is based on the premise that rhythmic movements can stimulate the brain and nervous system, promoting better organization within the central nervous system. RMT aims to integrate primitive reflexes and improve sensory processing, motor coordination, and emotional resilience. By incorporating gentle, repetitive exercises, RMT seeks to support individuals of all ages in reaching their full potential by fostering neurological integration and harmony.

Who can benefit from this therapy?

Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) can benefit a wide range of individuals across different age groups and abilities. It provides profound benefits and helps to increase functioning in the following areas:

  1. Attention
  2. Impulse control
  3. Emotional Maturity
  4. Sensory Processing
  5. Visual Skills
  6. Speech and Language Development
  7. Brain Connectivity
  8. Physical Strength and Stamina
  9. Motor coordination
  10. Stress
  11. Anxiety
  12. Emotional dysregulation

Benefits of Rhythmic Movement Therapy

  1. Improved Oral Motor Skills: can help integrate these reflexes, allowing for more fluid and coordinated movements of the lips, tongue, and jaw required for clear speech.
  2. Enhanced Auditory Processing:  By integrating these reflexes through therapy, individuals may experience improved auditory processing skills, leading to better comprehension and production of speech sounds.
  3. Increased Vocalization: By addressing and integrating these reflexes, PRIT can help reduce fear responses and promote a more relaxed state, encouraging increased vocalization and expression.
  4. Better Articulation: Primitive reflexes can impact muscle tone and coordination, affecting articulatory precision and speech clarity. PRIT aims to improve muscle tone and coordination through targeted exercises, leading to clearer articulation and more intelligible speech.
  5. Enhanced Language Development: By addressing underlying neurological factors that may contribute to speech delays, PRIT can create a foundation for improved language development. Integrating primitive reflexes can support the neurological prerequisites for language acquisition, including attention, auditory processing, and motor planning skills.
  6. Better Emotional Regulation: Addressing persistent primitive reflexes can support emotional regulation, stress management, impulse control, and social-emotional competence.
  7. Reduced Stress and Anxiety: May help reduce stress and anxiety levels by promoting relaxation and nervous system regulation.

My Approach

I conduct comprehensive assessments to identify specific reflex patterns that may be impacting an individual’s functioning.

Based on these assessments, I develop individualized treatment plans that incorporate a variety of neurodevelopmental movements, rhythmic patterns, sensory integration activities, and therapeutic exercises tailored to each individual’s unique needs and goals.

Through compassionate care, personalized attention, and evidence-based interventions, I empower clients to reach their full potential and thrive in all aspects of life.

Get Started Today

Are you ready to experience the transformative benefits of Primitive Reflex Integration therapy?

I incorporate this in my treatment for children with Selective Mutism and Speech difficulties.

Contact me today to schedule an assessment and begin your journey towards enhanced physical, emotional, social, and learning skills.

Together, we can unlock your full potential and support you in living your best life.

What happens if Primitive Reflexes are unintegrated?

Primitive reflexes are automatic, involuntary movements that originate in the brainstem and spinal cord. They are essential for survival and early motor development in infants. However, these reflexes are meant to gradually integrate as the nervous system matures. When primitive reflexes persist beyond infancy or re-emerge later in life, they can have significant impacts on various aspects of functioning.

Effects of Unintegrated Primitive Reflexes

Unintegrated primitive reflexes can interfere with the development of motor skills. Individuals may experience challenges with balance, coordination, posture, and fine motor control. This can affect activities such as walking, running, writing, and participating in sports.

Primitive reflexes play a role in sensory integration, the brain’s ability to organize and interpret sensory information from the environment. When these reflexes remain unintegrated, individuals may struggle with sensory processing issues such as hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to touch, sound, or movement.

Some primitive reflexes are closely linked to emotional responses and stress regulation. When these reflexes are not properly integrated, individuals may experience difficulties in regulating emotions, managing stress, and coping with challenges. This can manifest as heightened anxiety, impulsivity, or emotional outbursts.

Unintegrated primitive reflexes can impact social skills and interpersonal communication. Individuals may have difficulty interpreting social cues, understanding the perspectives of others, and forming and maintaining relationships. This can lead to challenges in social situations and interactions.

Primitive reflexes may also affect cognitive functioning and academic performance. Unintegrated reflexes can contribute to difficulties with attention, memory, information processing, and executive functioning skills, all of which are essential for learning and academic success.

The Link Between Unintegrated Reflexes and Anxiety

Research suggests that unintegrated primitive reflexes may contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety symptoms. When the nervous system is unable to regulate responses to stress effectively, individuals may experience heightened levels of anxiety in various situations. Unintegrated reflexes can contribute to a constant state of hyperarousal, leading to feelings of tension, apprehension, and worry.

Addressing Unintegrated Reflexes to Reduce Anxiety

Fortunately, there are interventions available to address unintegrated primitive reflexes and reduce anxiety symptoms. Reflex integration therapy focuses on identifying and targeting specific reflex patterns that may be contributing to anxiety. Through targeted exercises, movements, and sensory activities, individuals can work towards integrating primitive reflexes and promoting a calmer, more regulated nervous system.

Tonic Reflex Integration: Understanding its Impact

These reflexes, if not properly integrated, may lead to:

  1. Balance and Coordination Problems: Individuals may experience difficulties maintaining balance and coordinating movements.
  2. Shrunken Posture: A tendency towards a hunched or shrunken posture may develop, impacting overall body alignment.
  3. Fatigue: Unintegrated reflexes can contribute to increased fatigue, affecting stamina and endurance.
  4. Muscle Tone Imbalances: Imbalances in muscle tone may occur, leading to uneven strength and tension in different muscle groups.
  5. Difficulty Judging Distances, Depth, Space, and Speed: Challenges in spatial awareness and perception of distance, depth, space, and speed may arise.
  6. Fear of Heights: Individuals may develop a fear of heights, affecting their confidence in elevated situations.
  7. “W” Sitting: A preference for sitting in a “W” position may emerge, which can impact posture and hip alignment.
  8. Motion Sickness: Increased susceptibility to motion sickness may occur, particularly in response to movement or changes in position.
  9. Visual, Speech, Auditory Difficulties: Unintegrated tonic reflexes may contribute to challenges in visual tracking, speech articulation, and auditory processing.
  10. Tendency to be Cross-Eyed: Strabismus or a tendency towards cross-eyed vision may develop due to impaired eye coordination.
  11. Stiff, Jerky Movement: Movements may become stiff, jerky, or lacking in fluidity, affecting overall mobility.
  12. Toe Walking: A tendency to walk on tiptoes may be observed, impacting gait and stability.
  13. Difficulty Walking Up and Down Stairs: Challenges in navigating stairs may arise due to difficulties in coordinating leg movements and balance.
  14. Difficulty Following Directional or Movement Instructions: Individuals may struggle with understanding and executing directional or movement-based instructions.
  15. Poor Core Strength: Insufficient core strength may develop, impacting stability, posture, and overall body control.

Rhythmic movements

Rhythmic movements are natural, repetitive motions that engage our bodies and minds. These movements, such as rocking, swaying, or tapping, have a soothing and regulating effect on our nervous system. They can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve focus and attention. Incorporating rhythmic movements into daily activities or therapeutic practices can support emotional well-being, enhance sensory processing, and foster overall physical and mental health.

The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)

The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) can influence various aspects of development and functioning. Its unintegrated presence may result in:
  1. Poor Focus: Difficulty sustaining attention and concentration on tasks.
  2. Dyslexia: Challenges with reading, writing, and language processing.
  3. Difficulty Crossing the Midline and Working in the Midfield: Struggles with tasks that require crossing the imaginary line down the center of the body and working in the middle space.
  4. Poor Gross- and Fine-Motor Skills: Difficulty with both large and small muscle movements.
  5. Difficulty with Balance & Coordination: Challenges in maintaining stability and coordinating movements.
  6. Difficulty Learning to Ride a Bike: Struggles in acquiring the skills needed for bike riding.
  7. Difficulty with Visual Tasks (Teaming and Tracking): Challenges in coordinating eye movements for visual tasks.
  8. Slow, Ambling Walk: A gait characterized by a slow, unsteady pace.
  9. Poor or Tense Pencil Grip: Awkward or tense grip on writing implements.
  10. Neck and Shoulder Tension: Increased tension or discomfort in the neck and shoulder area.
  11. Challenges with Handwriting: Difficulty producing legible and organized handwriting.
  12. Difficulty Expressing Ideas Through Writing: Struggles in conveying thoughts and ideas in written form.

Exploring Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) Exercises

Discovering Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR) Challenges

The Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR) can impact various aspects of physical and cognitive functioning when left unintegrated. Recognizing and addressing these challenges can promote better posture, coordination, and overall well-being.
Here’s a look at some common manifestations:
  1. Slumped Posture: Individuals may adopt a slouched or hunched posture, affecting overall body alignment and stability.
  2. Weak Muscles, Especially in Upper Arms: Weakness in the upper arm muscles may contribute to difficulties with tasks requiring upper body strength and coordination.
  3. Poor Hand-Eye Coordination: Challenges in coordinating hand movements with visual input may affect tasks such as catching a ball or handwriting.
  4. Appearing Lazy or Slothful: Unintegrated STNR can sometimes give the impression of laziness or sluggishness due to difficulties in initiating and sustaining movement.
  5. Difficulty Moving Fluidly: Movements may appear stiff or awkward, lacking the smoothness and fluidity typically associated with coordinated motion.
  6. Squirming or Fidgeting: Individuals may exhibit restless behaviors such as squirming or fidgeting, indicating discomfort or difficulty maintaining a stable posture.
  7. Discomfort Sitting and Standing: Difficulty finding a comfortable sitting or standing position may arise due to challenges in regulating muscle tone and posture.
  8. Headaches and Migraines from Chronic Muscle Tension: Chronic tension in the muscles, particularly in the neck and shoulders, may contribute to headaches and migraines.
  9. Difficulty Writing and Reading: Challenges with fine motor control and visual tracking can impact handwriting legibility and reading comprehension.
  10. Homolateral, Ape-Like Walking: Walking patterns may resemble a homolateral or ape-like gait, characterized by limited arm swing and reduced coordination between the upper and lower body.
  11. Vision Disorders: Unintegrated STNR can affect visual processing, leading to difficulties with depth perception, visual tracking, and focus.
  12. Trouble Staying on Task: Difficulty maintaining focus and attention on tasks may arise, impacting productivity and task completion.
  13. Clumsiness: Poor coordination and spatial awareness may result in clumsiness or frequent accidents.
  14. Messy Eater: Challenges with fine motor control and coordination may lead to difficulties with eating tasks, resulting in messy eating habits.
  15. Difficulty Copying from a Chalkboard: Challenges with visual-motor integration may affect tasks such as copying from a chalkboard or completing written assignments.

Exploring Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR) Exercises

Grasp Reflex (Palmar/Babkin Reflex): Understanding its Impact

The Grasp Reflex, including both the Palmar and Babkin reflexes, can influence various aspects of fine motor skills and sensory processing. Here are some common manifestations when left unintegrated:

  1. Poor Fine-Motor Skills: Difficulty with precise hand movements and coordination, impacting tasks such as writing and drawing.
  2. Tight or Awkward Pencil Grip: Gripping writing utensils tightly or in an awkward manner, affecting handwriting legibility and comfort.
  3. Nail Biting: A tendency to bite nails, which can be a response to sensory-seeking behavior or stress.
  4. Hypersensitive Palms: Increased sensitivity to tactile stimuli on the palms, leading to discomfort or avoidance behaviors.
  5. Tension in Hands, Wrists, Arms, and Shoulders: Persistent tension or discomfort in the upper extremities, affecting overall dexterity and mobility.
  6. Tightly Clenched Fists: Holding fists tightly closed, potentially hindering manipulation of objects and fine motor tasks.
  7. Compulsive Chewing: Engaging in compulsive chewing behaviors, which can be a form of sensory regulation or self-soothing.
  8. Excessive Drooling: Increased saliva production or difficulty with oral motor control, leading to excessive drooling.
  9. Difficulty Separating Hand and Mouth Movements: Challenges in coordinating hand and mouth movements, impacting tasks such as eating and speaking.
  10. Speech Problems, Stuttering: Difficulties in speech production, including stuttering or articulation issues, which may be linked to challenges in oral motor control.
  11. Addictions: Engaging in addictive behaviors as a coping mechanism, which can include substance abuse or compulsive behaviors.

Grasp reflex integration exercises

Babinski Reflex: Understanding its Effects

The Babinski reflex can influence various aspects of mobility and coordination when left unintegrated.

Here are some common manifestations:

  1. Difficulty Walking or Running: Challenges in walking or running smoothly and efficiently due to disruptions in muscle coordination and balance.
  2. Loose Ankles, Easily Sprained: Weakness in ankle stability and susceptibility to sprains due to insufficient muscle support.
  3. Poor Vestibular Development: Impaired development of the vestibular system, affecting balance, spatial orientation, and postural control.
  4. Poor Coordination, Potential Limping: Difficulty coordinating movements, leading to potential limping, especially when only one side of the body is active.
  5. Foot Cramps: Episodes of involuntary muscle contractions in the feet, causing discomfort or pain during movement.
  6. Toe Walking: Walking predominantly on the toes instead of the entire foot, impacting gait and stability.
  7. Walking with Toes Pointed Inward or Outward: Abnormal foot positioning during walking, which may affect balance and coordination.
  8. Tension in Legs, Hips, Low Back: Increased muscle tension or discomfort in the lower body, hindering movement and posture.
  9. Walking on the Inside or Outside Edges of Feet: Walking with an abnormal distribution of weight on the feet, potentially leading to instability and imbalance.
  10. Difficulty Coordinating Thought and Movement: Challenges in coordinating cognitive processes with physical actions, affecting fluidity and accuracy in movement execution.
  11. Fear: Feelings of apprehension or anxiety related to movement, potentially stemming from past experiences of instability or discomfort.

Exploring Babinski Reflex Integration Exercises

Paralysis Reflex (Fear Paralysis Reflex, FPR): Understanding its Effects

The Fear Paralysis Reflex (FPR) can influence various aspects of emotional and cognitive functioning when left unintegrated. Recognizing and addressing these challenges can promote better emotional regulation, self-esteem, and social interaction.

Here are some common manifestations:

  1. Shallow, Difficult Breathing: Breathing patterns may become shallow or irregular, particularly when triggered by stressful situations or stimuli.
  2. Underlying Anxiety when Triggered: Feelings of anxiety or fear may arise when confronted with triggers associated with the FPR, leading to heightened emotional arousal.
  3. Loss of Focus and Visual Control: Difficulties in maintaining focus and controlling visual attention, potentially leading to distractibility and visual processing challenges.
  4. Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem: Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy may prevail, affecting self-confidence and self-worth.
  5. Depression, Isolation, Withdrawal: Withdrawal from social interactions and activities, accompanied by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and isolation.
  6. Constant Feelings of Overwhelm: Sensations of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with everyday stressors, leading to emotional dysregulation.
  7. Challenges with Transitions: Difficulty adapting to changes in routines or environments, accompanied by resistance or anxiety.
  8. Extreme Shyness and Fear in Groups: Avoidance of social situations and reluctance to engage with others, particularly in group settings.
  9. Excessive Fear of Embarrassment: Heightened sensitivity to potential embarrassment or criticism, leading to avoidance of new experiences or challenges.
  10. Extreme Self-Consciousness: Persistent self-awareness and concern about how one is perceived by others, contributing to social discomfort and avoidance behaviors.
  11. Fear of Separation from Loved Ones: Anxiety or distress when separated from loved ones or familiar environments, leading to clinginess or attachment behaviors.
  12. Sleep and Eating Disorders: Disruptions in sleep patterns or difficulties with eating habits, potentially stemming from underlying anxiety or emotional distress.
  13. Feeling Stuck: Sensation of being trapped or unable to progress, leading to feelings of frustration and helplessness.
  14. Selective Mutism: Difficulty speaking or communicating in certain situations, particularly when feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
  15. Low Tolerance to Stress: Difficulty coping with stressors or challenges, leading to emotional reactivity or withdrawal from difficult situations.
  16. Withdrawal from Touch: Discomfort or aversion to physical touch or contact, particularly in situations of heightened anxiety or distress.
  17. Aggressive or Controlling Behavior: Expression of anger or frustration through aggressive or controlling behaviors, as a means of coping with underlying feelings of fear or insecurity.
  18. Craving Attention: Seeking excessive attention or validation from others, as a way to mitigate feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem.
  19. Extreme Fear of Failure: Intense fear of making mistakes or falling short of expectations, leading to avoidance of challenges or risk-taking behaviors.
  20. Perfectionism and Frustration: Setting unrealistically high standards for oneself and becoming frustrated when unable to meet them.
  21. Phobias and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Development of irrational fears or compulsive behaviors as a means of coping with underlying anxiety or uncertainty.
  22. Tendency toward Peripheral or Tunnel Vision: Alterations in visual perception, with a preference for either peripheral or tunnel (centrally focused) vision, affecting attention and awareness of surroundings.

Exploring Paralysis Reflex (FPR) Integration Exercises

Moro Reflex: Understanding its Effects

The Moro Reflex can impact various aspects of physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning when not fully integrated. Recognizing these challenges can pave the way for targeted interventions to promote well-being.

Here are some common manifestations:

  1. Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty settling down to sleep and experiencing disrupted sleep patterns due to heightened reactivity.
  2. Emotional Reactivity: Easily triggered responses, often manifesting as anger or emotional outbursts in reaction to stimuli.
  3. Shyness: Tendency towards shyness or social withdrawal, stemming from heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli.
  4. Poor Balance and Coordination: Challenges in maintaining balance and coordination, affecting motor skills and physical activities.
  5. Low Stamina: Reduced endurance and stamina, leading to fatigue during physical exertion or prolonged activities.
  6. Motion Sickness: Susceptibility to motion sickness due to disruptions in vestibular processing.
  7. Learning Difficulties: Challenges with vision, reading, and writing, impacting academic performance and learning abilities.
  8. Digestive Issues: Poor digestion and tendency towards hypoglycemia, affecting nutrient absorption and energy levels.
  9. Weak Immune System: Increased susceptibility to asthma, allergies, and infections due to compromised immune function.
  10. Hypersensitivity: Heightened sensitivity to light, movement, sound, touch, and smell, leading to sensory overload and discomfort.
  11. Difficulty Adapting to Change: Resistance to change and difficulty adapting to new environments or situations.
  12. Poor Core Strength: Weakness in core muscles, impacting posture, stability, and overall physical strength.
  13. Hyperactivity and Fatigue: Cycles of hyperactivity followed by extreme fatigue, affecting energy levels and mood stability.
  14. Easily Distracted: Difficulty filtering out extraneous stimuli, leading to distractibility and difficulty maintaining focus.
  15. Visual Perception Challenges: Difficulty with visual perception, affecting depth perception and spatial awareness.
  16. Sensitivity to Lighting: Tiring easily or experiencing irritability under fluorescent lighting, exacerbating sensory sensitivities.

Exploring Moro Reflex Integration Exercises 

Spinal Galant Reflex: Unveiling its Effects

The Spinal Galant Reflex can manifest in various challenges, impacting daily life and comfort. Recognizing these effects is crucial for targeted interventions.

Here are common manifestations:

  1. Potty Training Challenges: Difficulty achieving success in potty training, leading to issues like bedwetting or soiling beyond the typical age range.
  2. Fidgeting and Restlessness: Persistent fidgeting and difficulty sitting still, reflecting an inability to maintain focus or calmness.
  3. Hypersensitivity to Touch: Heightened sensitivity to touch, particularly on the back or waist area, resulting in discomfort or avoidance behaviors.
  4. Poor Concentration: Difficulty sustaining attention and focus on tasks, hindering productivity and learning.
  5. Short-Term Memory Issues: Challenges in retaining and recalling information over short periods, affecting academic or work performance.
  6. Unbalanced Gait: An unsteady or unbalanced walk, potentially leading to frequent tripping or stumbling.
  7. Asymmetrical Scoliosis: Development of scoliosis, often asymmetrical, when active on one side only, leading to spinal misalignment and discomfort.
  8. Weakness in the Back: Reduced strength in the back muscles, contributing to poor posture, discomfort, and potential stiffness in the lumbar spine.

Exploring Spinal Galant Reflex Integration Exercises

The 5 Step Balance Process

The 5 Step Balance Process is a comprehensive approach designed to enhance physical stability, coordination, and proprioception. Developed to address various challenges related to balance and motor control, this process offers a systematic framework for improving overall stability and mobility.

Here’s an overview of each step:

  1. Assessment: The first step involves conducting a thorough assessment to identify specific areas of weakness or imbalance. This may include evaluating posture, gait, muscle strength, and proprioceptive abilities to gain insights into individual needs.
  2. Goal Setting: Once areas of concern are identified, specific goals are established to target improvement. These goals are personalized to address the individual’s unique challenges and aspirations, providing a clear direction for the balance enhancement process.
  3. Intervention: With goals in place, interventions are implemented to address identified weaknesses and improve balance. This may involve a combination of exercises, activities, and therapeutic modalities tailored to the individual’s needs and capabilities.
  4. Progress Monitoring: Throughout the balance enhancement process, progress is closely monitored to track improvements and adjust interventions as needed. Regular assessments and feedback help ensure that the individual is on track to achieve their goals and maintain motivation.
  5. Maintenance and Continuation: Once improvements are achieved, efforts shift towards maintaining gains and integrating balance-enhancing practices into daily life. This may involve ongoing exercises, lifestyle modifications, and continued monitoring to sustain progress over the long term.

Overall, the 5 Step Balance Process provides a structured framework for addressing balance challenges and improving overall stability and mobility. By following this systematic approach, individuals can work towards achieving their balance-related goals and enhancing their quality of life.

The 5 Step Balance Process

Anna Biavati - Smith SLT presents
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