Unintegrated Primitive Reflexes

Primitive reflexes are automatic, instinctual movements that originate in the brain stem.  They assist in development, growth and survival. They are necessary for the proper development of the child’s systems such as balance, coordination, mobility, learning, and more. Over the years, children will integrate these reflexes as more sophisticated movements emerge as well as mature postural stability.  However, some primitive reflexes linger beyond that typical threshold. Unintegrated primitive reflexes can cause your child to have difficulty in different aspects of their lives.  They can be an underlying reason for a child or adult to be in constant fight or flight, even when there is no real “threat” or logical reason for the stress response. 

When reflexes are active, it takes more energy for movements to become fluid and to fine tune muscle recruitment for a complex task. 

What are general signs to look for?

Each reflex will have their own specific set of signs.  Here are some common signs that your child might have unintegrated primitive reflexes.

  • Easily stressed levels / anxiey
  • Fidgeting in their chair / unable to sit at supper table  throughout a whole meal 
  • Difficulty focusing 
  • Aches and muscle tension 
  • Poor balance and /or coordination
  • Fatigue 
  • W-sitting
  • Bedwetting
  • Tantrums / meltdowns

In a nutshell

How can we help your child?

  • Assessment of biomechanics and applications of alignment solutions using a whole body approach. 
  • Developing an exercise program specific to your child’s needs including stretches and strengthening exercises. 
  • Educating families to empower them with tools they can use at home and allowing them to approach these challenges with confidence.
  • Primitive reflex integration