5 Exercises That Inhibit Primitive Reflexes
Through an extensive research survey, we have demonstrated the relationship between the retention of infant reflexes and a wide range of neuro-developmental disorders like autism and ADHD. These retained primitive reflexes can have long term effects on cognitive development even into adulthood. Once your child has been assessed for primitive reflex retention, targeted therapeutic interventions are available to improve neurological development. However the first step to the program is to inhibit any retained primitive reflexes found.
The way to get rid of primitive reflexes is to use them. The following reintegration exercises are provided for the reflexes that are most consistently associated with a brain imbalance. These exercises can help start the process of balancing the brain so that your child can overcome developmental delays. These exercises can also be done by adults and parents, of whom as many as 40% may also have retained primitive reflexes. Rest assured that this initial step in remediation is easy and does not take long. However, 20 plus years of experience has shown that if we use a hemispheric integration program, like The Brain Balance Program®, along with these exercises, these reflexes are inhibited much more quickly.
Face Stroking for Root and Suck Reflex
Stroke the child’s face until the reflex stops, which usually takes five to six times in a row. Do this at least twice a day until you can no longer elicit the reflex. Chewing gum can also be helpful to inhibit this reflex.
Starfish for Moro Reflex
Have your child sit in a chair in a fetal position, with the right wrist crossed over the left and the right ankle crossed over the left ankle. Fists should be closed. Ask your child to inhale and make like a starfish by swinging his arms up and out and thrusting his legs out while extending the head back and opening hands. Have him hold this position for 5 to 7 seconds while holding his breath. Then tell him to exhale and return to the same position, crossing the left wrist and ankle over the right wrist and ankle. Repeat this again until they are back to the original position Do this 6 times in a row a few times a day until the reflex is inhibited fully.
Snow Angels for Galant Reflex
Have your child lie face-up on a mat or flat surface with his legs extended and arms at the sides. have him breathe in an simultaneously spread his legs outward and raise his arms out along the flour and overhead, with the hands touching. The hands should touch at the same time the legs are fully extended. Exhale and return to the original position. The key is to get the child to move all four limbs slowly at the same time. Do this 5 times several times a day until you can no longer elicit the reflex.
Ball Squeezes for Palmer Grasp Reflex
Have child squeeze a small ball, such as a tennis ball, several times in a row. Or you can just stroke the palm of the hand with a light brush until the reflex is suppressed.
Fencer Exercise for Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex
This one may take some practice to get right, so be patient. Have your child sit in a chair and turn his head to both sides or to the one side that still elicits the reflex. As your child is turning his head, have him extend the foot and arm of the same side outward from the body and look at his hand. The opposite hand should also open, the arm should flex, and the other leg should bend. Have the child return to starting position and repeat until the reflex fatigues. Repeat three times in a row.
Key Things to Remember
- Exercises should be repeated in succession 5 to 10 times until the reflex fatigues.
- Frequency is more important than intensity.
- Movement must be slow and purposeful.
- Proper mind-set is crucial: stay motivated and positive!
- Give it time.
These primitive reflex integration exercises and how to test for retention are available in full detail along with a complete at-home program in my best selling book “Disconnected Kids“ which can be ordered in any format on Amazon! You can also take my free assessment to find out what your next steps are and gain access to more, free help.