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Retained Neonatal (Primitive) Reflexes

Your central nervous system is the control centre for living. Its health and performance determines how we perceive the world around us and how we respond to circumstances, stressors and obstacles which arise.

During our development in the womb, and in the early months of our lives, the higher processing or thinking areas of our brain are not fully developed. At this time we are protected and assisted by primitive reflexes to illicit involuntary responses when we are not yet able to use rational thought. A reflex response may vary from rapid muscular movements (knee-jerk reaction) to those involving breathing, perceptual adjustments, hormonal changes and more complex body movements.

As your central nervous system matures as you grow, the need for many involuntary reflex responses is reduced. At this point, if the reflex is not lost, its reaction when stimulated can become undesirable. Some reflexes however are necessary throughout life, such as when we quickly move a limb away from heat when we are burned.

Sometimes if reflexes are retained they can upset some, or all, of the functions of the higher control centres of the brain. These children could present with problems behaving, learning, and co-ordinating gross or fine motor movements.

The Retained Neonatal Reflexes Technique was founded by Dr Keith Keen in Sydney in the early 1990s.  These methods have evolved to include contributions from other Australian Applied Kinesiology Chiropractors and this technique is now taught all over the world.  The RNR Technique involves specific muscle testing and gentle pressure on particular cranial (skull) points, often combined with a specific phase of breathing.

Our experience has demonstrated that the order of treatment is very important to the overall outcome. A minimum of one week between visits ensures that the previous treatment and its effects have had time for benefits to adequately integrate.

After our initial course of twelve to fifteen weekly visits, we advise a follow up session, six weeks later. Some of the reflexes integrate within a week, whereas others take a little longer.