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Do not do these over and over just to see the response happen again. Many are uncomfortable to experience. Their presence is not for entertainment.

This image from CardinalCapers.com and Copyright Maxine Haller 2017
Integrated Primitive Reflexes Give Choice.. (C) Maxine Haller OTR/L CardinalCapers.com

Primitive Reflexes

What is a Reflex?

A reflex is a predetermined patterned movement response to a sensation. The response originates in the brainstem or spinal cord and happens automatically without conscious effort or will. There are three main types of reflexes that affect function that we will consider here namely:

  1. Primitive Reflexes - that should only be active during infancy and toddlerhood and teach muscles how to move together.

  2. Postural reflexes - that are learned responses to gravity and ideally develop fully and remain with us our whole lives.

  3. Defensive Reflexes – these activate to keep us safe and like primitive reflexes consist of a specific muscular response to a sensory stimulation.

These are distinguished from each other in that each specific reflex pattern is triggered by its own specific stimulus however they can occur concurrently with each other & have been known to be incorrectly entangled / enmeshed thru trauma.

 An integrated reflex is a stimulus / response pattern that has completed strengthening the muscles, taught the initial movement pattern and response to the environment, and now is no longer the dominant motor response to the initial sensory stimulus. That is to say that the sensory stimulation no longer elicits an obligatory muscular response. An alternate, individually chosen action is an option.