Improve your motor, cognitive and emotional abilities thanks to primitive reflexes

According to the AFREM (French Association of Reflexes and Movements), primitive reflexes are automatic, involuntary movements observed in newborns in response to specific sensory stimuli. Most of them emerge in-utero, mature during birth and become integrated during the first year of the child’s life.

At birth the different parts of the brain are in place but do not yet fully function together. To reach this maturity, connections must be made. Thanks to the natural and spontaneous repetition of the body’s reflex movement sequences, nerve fibres will be able to develop and form a communication network between all parts of the nervous system.

This primary motor activity of the child is the source of his sensory-motor and brain development, which in turn becomes the foundation for his future intentional movements, learning, and finally his intellectual and emotional development.

This progressive integration of the primary reflexes into the motor pattern will contribute to the myelination of the neural network and develop connections to the higher parts of the brain.

All these steps will allow him to reach a state of inner security, to considerably improve his resistance to stress and his ability to adapt. His confidence, his ability to take his place and make choices will be strengthened and his social interactions will be more developed.

The child thus has access to all his or her resources, enabling him or her to reach his or her full learning potential.

Primitive reflexes are the fundamental building blocks of neurological construction and are essential for the proper motor, emotional and cognitive development of infants, children and adults.

This development may be hindered by the factthat some reflexes do not develop, do not fully integrate or reappear.

From pregnancy, during childhood and throughout life, physical or emotional “traumas” alter the neurological pathways that ensure a child’s harmonious development.

Parasited by reflex movements that are always active, compensatory mechanisms are put in place and disorders appear: postural deficits, learning disabilities, behavioural and emotional difficulties (see below for a more detailed list of potential associated disorders).

The causes of these disturbances are diverse: unwanted pregnancy, stress on the mother during pregnancy, induced and over-medicated delivery, caesarean section, forceps, cord around the neck, etc., but also the child’s school life, personal, relational, professional life of the adult, natural disasters, physical or emotional accidents and traumas, cerebral palsy, stroke, etc.

What is a session on archaic reflexes?

The sessions that I offer allow you to progressively (re)build the bases of archaic reflexes thanks to a program of specific movements and sensory stimuli (tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, visual and auditory). These techniques are gentle, non-invasive and respectful of children and adults.

During a session, I will first evaluate the integration of a series of archaic reflexes. Then I will propose rhythmic movements (passive or active) and isometric pressures adapted according to the reflex to be worked on.

Rhythmic movements are simple, regular, effortless, coordinated, fluid, rhythmic movements. IThey are inspired by the movements that an infant makes naturally. These movements are responsible for the basis of posture, maturation of the vestibular sense, neural development, sensory processing, emotions and behaviour.

The proposed rhythmic movements, when practiced in a precise and conscious way, allow an efficient maturation of the nervous system and motor functions.

These movements can be difficult at the beginning and then, as the sessions progress, they become easier and easier until the associated archaic reflex is integrated.

I also propose isometric pressures, which consist of gentle pressure on certain parts of the body to reinforce the reflex. These pressures allow to unravel long-established patterns of stress and tension, to improve tonicity and motor control.

A session lasts between an hour and an hour and a half.

For whom ?

The work on primitive reflexes concerns babies, children and adults alike. Below is a list of signs indicating that working on archaic reflexes could be beneficial (list drawn up by AFREM).

Motor and physical signs :

  • Motor delays (turning, crawling, crawling, crawling, walking, talking, jumping, etc.).
  • Difficulties with coordination and balance. (rooting, etc.).
  • Weak muscle tone in the upper/lower body.
  • Postural deficits.
  • Walking on tiptoes.
  • Difficulty swimming breaststroke.
  • Difficulty cycling.
  • Dys” disorders (dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysphasia, dysgraphia, etc.).
  • Sensory sensitivity (sound, light, touch, smell).
  • Motion sickness.
  • Enuresis.

Cognitive signs :

  • Dys” disorders (dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysphasia, dysgraphia, etc.).
  • Attention deficit.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulties remembering.
  • Agitation, hyperactivity.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Difficulty organizing.
  • Language delay.
  • Autistic tendency.

Emotional signs :

  • Anxiety, irrational fears.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Low resistance to stress.
  • Emotional frailty.
  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Aggression.
  • Shyness.
  • Isolation.
  • Difficulty defending oneself.

Signs more specific to babies :

  • Difficulty crawling or not crawling.
  • Does not get down on all fours.
  • Moves on “3 legs”.
  • Moves on the buttocks.
  • Difficulty moving from the ventral to the dorsal position.
  • Does not hold his head.
  • Does not sit down.
  • Difficulty catching.
  • Difficulty feeding.
  • Does not relate to those around him.

Signs more specific to children :

  • Doesn’t like physical activity.
  • Has difficulty doing simple coordination exercises (skipping rope).
  • Bumps around, stumbles frequently.
  • Takes a long time to learn how to tie his shoelaces, put on his buttons.
  • Had great difficulty learning to ride a bicycle.
  • Walks on tiptoes.
  • Has unevenly worn shoe soles.
  • Can’t sit up without “lying down” on the table.
  • Wraps his legs around the legs of his chair.
  • Sits on one leg or in a W-shape.
  • Holds his pencil very tightly and writes very forcefully.
  • Has very irregular handwriting.
  • Does not like to write.
  • Memorizes with difficulty.
  • Does not like to read.
  • Has difficulty expressing him/herself.
  • Enuresis.
  • Has difficulty concentrating, remaining attentive.
  • Needs to move all the time.
  • Difficulty getting organized.
  • Behaves impulsively.
  • Is emotionally hypersensitive.
  • Dislikes the unexpected or changes in habits.
  • Can’t handle separation.
  • Seems anxious, has difficulty falling asleep.
  • Exhibits aggressive behaviour.
  • Has low self-esteem.
  • Is very shy.
  • Has a phobia.
  • Difficulty communicating with others.