Stresses in the brain and the neural pathways can result in anxiety, depression, aggressive tendencies, bedwetting, social challenges and learning difficulties. Brain integration techniques, brain gym, rhythmic movement, retained primitive reflexes and other kinesiology tools can support the brain to be brought back into a state of balance and organisation. This modality is ideal for those with dyslexia, sensory processing issues, ADHD, ASD, Asperger’s, motor development issues and behavioural issues. It can also help improve movement, planning, organisation, reading, writing and mathematical skills, vocational learning and memory.
Working through each of the five senses of the brain systems (vestibular system, motor system, tactile, visual system and auditory processing), allows us to look at the brain holistically and then work with you to target the key areas of focus for you or your child to improve on their brain functioning.
When working with brain integration, I also look at retained primitive reflexes and how they play a role. There are different types of reflexes in our body that have different roles to play, protective reflexes, primitive reflexes and postural reflexes that we use involuntarily as an automatic action without even thinking about it.
Reflexes we are born with are called primitive reflexes. They emerge, develop and then integrate sequentially, each playing a vital role in baby’s development and survival. Each reflex requires a period of development before moving to the next.
When a primitive reflex is retained or not fully integrated, it blocks or limits the development of the nervous system and the relevant functions and progress to more mature and advanced skills.
These reflexes are integrated into our nervous system in a specific sequence. If they are retained out of sequence, they may disrupt the development and integration of other reflexes and the functions of the brain.
Some indications that you or your child may have retained primitive reflexes:
— Gross motor coordination
— Fine motor coordination
— Visual function
— Auditory perception and integration
— Cognition and expression
— Vestibular integration
— Social and individual behaviour
These retained reflexes can interfere with various levels of development and if not identified, it can lead to frustration, aggression, hyperactivity, stress, hypersensitivity, lack of impulse control and emotional problems later on. It can also interfere with concentration and short-term memory.
Rhythmic movements are movements that are based on the innate movements an infant makes that are responsible for building neurology and neural maturity.
Stimulation to the connections between all areas of the brain is necessary in order to function efficiently and to form the basis of becoming a competent and curious learner. The brain develops from the bottom up and develops these connections between the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain. Eventually the prefrontal cortex will be able to establish the ability to coordinate actions, feelings and thoughts. Applying these movements to a developing child, helps establish the neural pathways needed for an organised brain to function into responsive behaviour rather than a reactionary state. This also applies to adults when we slip into emotional states of survival, our lower brain is in control impacting our higher, more cognitive and rational areas of the brain to be able to step in and take over. The emotional and behavioural state is simply a reaction to how the physical body is responding.
The body needs to be organised for the brain to be. If there is chaos in the body, there is of the mind.
There are two different aspects of these movements:
Passive movements are essential in providing the repetitive, patterned movements and the body awareness needed to stimulate the brainstem to create a feeling of safety, improve muscle tone, mature the primitive reflexes and promote efficient sensory processing.
Active movements further develop the neural networks of the cerebellum. These movements strengthen the connections between the cerebellum and various areas of the cortex to improve posture, concentration, impulse control, comprehension, speech and language.