Reflex Integration Training (RIT)
Why do reflexes need to be integrated?
If a person retains these Reflex Patterns in their immature form, they will not be in full control of their body. This can lead to problems with coordination, agility, behavior, learning, self-esteem, and vision. Movement is the key to integration. By moving, a child can discover how to integrate these Reflex Patterns into more sophisticated and complex skills as the child grows.
Why Might Developmental Reflex Patterns Not Integrate?
Considering all of the factors that work against integration of Reflex Patterns, it is amazing that we as humans are ever able to develop to our full potential.
The following is a short list of possible problems that can derail maturation of the Reflex Patterns:
1. Complications in pregnancy: exposure to toxins, premature birth, born as a twin or multiple birth, decreased movement in the mother (bed rest).
2. Complications in birth: Cesarean-section (some of the Reflex Patterns are activated by going through the vaginal canal), forceps birth, being pushed back into the canal to wait for the doctor, restriction of oxygen, breech birth, etc.
3. Chronic pain: trauma to neck, shoulders, or hips at birth or shortly thereafter, ear infections, stomach pain.
4. Lack of movement as a child: not getting enough “tummy” time as a baby, lack of exploration during the creeping and crawling stages. When a baby spends more time in a crib, stroller, or car seat, Developmental Reflex Patterns are more likely to be immature. Babies need to move around and explore!
5. Skipping milestones or speeding through milestones: development, to be most effective must occur in progressive stages. Skipping any stage will mean that the brain and body does not get the chance to learn how to work as a team. Interference will more likely occur because messages sent from the brain will be sent to the wrong muscles and result in motor overflow and clumsiness. The best possible progression in development should involve children lying on their backs, to rolling over on their stomachs, to belly crawling, to creeping on all fours and then to walking. We must master our environment from the ground first since this stage of development strengthens our proximal muscle system and puts in place the building blocks for higher level coordination of the distal muscles.
What Are the Symptoms of Retained Reflex Patterns?
Symptoms of retained Reflex Patterns can vary from person to person. The less control a child has over their environment due to retained Reflex Patterns the more likely they may have emotional instability. This can lead to:
Poor intellectual development
Poor academic performance
Easily overwhelmed by the environment around them
Adults can also have symptoms from retained Reflex Patterns. However, they may learn to compensate despite the roadblocks created by the immature Reflex Patterns. Compensation requires a lot of effort and energy which often results in:
Regret at having chosen a path in life that does not suit them