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  • Ann Shorthouse

Primary Reflex Retention - we all have it and why fixing it matters

Could primary reflex retention be the root cause of your low-self esteem or posture issues or your child’s learning difficulties or slow speech development?


We practically all have some form of retained primary reflexes...


Do you, for example, get irrational fears? seasick? fear of heights? confused between your left and right? Do you jump out of your skin at unexpected loud bangs, and then have an adrenaline rush? find social situations difficult? find that you can’t pay attention in a lecture without fidgeting or doodling? find it hard to sit still for long periods of time, slouch or wrap your legs around your chair?


The likelihood is this is linked to a retained primary reflex; pretty much ALL of us have a few retained primitive reflexes.


Why are we born with primary reflexes?

Babies are born with inbuilt reactive movement patterns, called primary reflexes.

They develop in the womb and equip the foetus with key movements needed for its survival in the first few months of life, such as breathing, sucking and other movement patterns. Some are there to help with the birth process, others are for survival and feeding.


Gradually, as the brain develops following lots of stimulation and learning from the world around them, these initially essential reflexes become redundant and should fade away.


What happens if they remain active?

If however, normal brain function and development has been hindered, often in connection with mum’s stress during pregnancy, a traumatic or sudden birth or a c-section delivery, the reflexes remain active for longer than they are required, sometimes into adulthood.

The key areas this will effect are learning, coordination, behaviour and attention. In children this is later interpreted by parents or teachers as a neurobehavioral disorder, such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD/ADD, anxiety, dyspraxia.


It is not uncommon for people with retained primitive reflexes to have difficulties connected to our ability to learn and interact with the world around us.


If, for example, one of the 12 primary reflexes called the fear paralysis reflex is not integrated, you may have symptoms of irrational fears, high anxiety, depression, difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Both children and adults can experience symptoms from primitive reflexes that were not integrated. They may learn to compensate which requires more effort and energy resulting in frustration, exhaustion and low self-esteem.


Reflexes that were integrated early on can also become active again at any point in your life due to injury, trauma, illness or stress, which I often see in clients. When primitive reflexes are not integrated it is important to address those missing developmental stages.


What’s the solution?

Kinesiology muscle allows us to quickly identify exactly which of the 12 reflexes are still active. Using gentle techniques and powerful yet simple exercises we can allow the body to integrate any reflexes that are retained, making life that little bit easier for children and adults alike.


Reflex Integration Therapy is the key that unlocks development delays in children (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, speech problems) and that changes habits of a lifetime that are causing you issues and challenges as an adult (e.g. depression, low self-esteem, posture issues) today.


This is why Reflex Integration Therapy is suitable for children and adults alike as part of a wider balance of the body’s energy systems (Kinesiology) and emotional wellbeing (EFT).


If you feel this is relevant to you or your child, please get in touch.




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