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Primary Reflexes

Kinesiology is a safe and complete form of natural health care.  It uses gentle muscle testing to identify, understand and rectify any imbalance within the body.  Part of this muscle testing may incorporate the assessment of the Primary Reflexes. 

What Are Primary Reflexes?


Primary Reflexes are evolutionary reflexes that we are born with to help us survive.  There are 12 Primary Reflexes and these should have integrated by around 2 years old. If they are still present they prevent neurological development (reactive patterns) and the central nervous system remains immature. 

  • Automatic stereotyped movements

  • Directed from the brain stem to assist survival in first weeks of life 

  • Soon need inhibiting by higher brain centres

  • Allow more sophisticated neural structures to develop

If Primary Reflexes are retained there is a:

  • Struggle to keep up with expectations of learning and behaviour

  • Compensate and develop techniques or physiology to 'get by'

  • High risk of learning and behavioural issues with attitude challenges 

Children and Teenagers with Primary Reflex challenges grow into adults with Primary Reflex Challenges. 

WhAt Do They Do? 

Each Primary Reflex has a specific timeline for development, integration and disappearance.  The basic pattern which all the Primary Reflexes follow: 

  • Emerges at a certain time

  • Develops to execute its purpose and function

  • Integrates where it becomes inhibited and dormant  

If one Primary Reflex is present it affects the ability of subsequent reflexes to fulfil their purpose. 

An example of a Primary Reflex is the Moro Reflex (startle reflex) - this is the one newborn babies are assessed for when born - they will fling their arms out to the side if they are panicked.  Possible problems if the Moro Reflex has not been integrated are that the person will feel constantly on red alert, anxious, doesn't like bright lights, sound or touch among others. 

Examples of Imbalances Which Maybe Due To Or Exacerbated by Retained  

Primary Reflexes? 

  • Hand, eye coordination

  • Difficulty with left and right

  • Reading, Tracking, Spelling

  • Writing (may slope one way and then the other) holds pen awkwardly 

  • Concentration

  • Note Taking Difficult

  • Messy Eating 

  • Speech Good but not able to express ideas in written form 

  • Spelling / Grammar can be difficult 

  • Problems using cutlery 

  • Poor proprioception (bumps into things)

  • Motion sickness

  • Difficulty copying from the board 

  • Can reverse letters bd/dq/wm/un

  • May appear vague 

  • Tantrums 

  • Fear of separation 

  • Difficulty verbalising feelings 

  • and many others...


Sensory Processing:

  • If you don't interpret something correctly when looking

  • And you don't process it correctly when hearing 

  • And you're not comfortable in your own space

  • And your muscles are struggling to work together and send all the correct signals

  • And you are not sure what the feelings you feel are

  • And you cannot stand to be touched

  • And then your parent tells you to sit up at the table and eat

What are the chances you are going to think the food smells wonderful and tastes lovely?

Research Into Imbalances Which May Be Exacerbated by Retained Primary Reflexes


Measuring Primitive Reflexes in Children with Learning Disorders  - Department of Education, Faculty of Humanities, "Ismail Qemali" Vlora, University - May-Aug 2017

Excerpt from Conclusions of research: ​

  1. There was a correlation between maintaining primitive reflexes and learning disorder.

  2. Children with learning disabilities have a high level of primitive retained reflexes compared to other children.

  3. Children who have retained primitive reflexes have low school achievement and various concentration and behaviour problems

  4. All children have unwanted reflexes regardless of the type of disorder that they carry: autism, hyperactivity, dyslexia, or disruption of communication.

  5. All children saw an overlap of the primitive reflexes with two or more reflexes.

Read more

What Happens During A Primary Reflexes Treatment? 


As I assess your muscles and the feedback that they provide, I will ascertain which of the Primary Reflexes is retained, sometimes there are more than one which has been retained.

I will then create an individual treatment plan for you which may have the following suggestions: 

  • Safe, gentle, natural food supplements

  • Dietary changes including advice on food and chemical sensitivities 

  • Gentle exercise techniques to help to incorporate the retained Primary Reflex  

​Book An Appointment

Please contact me to book an appointment.

The Dragonfly Healing Room is based in St Lawrence Way, Bricket Wood, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL2 3XN. 

The Dragonfly Healing Room offers a private, safe and relaxed environment.

I look forward to working with you to help heal your mind, body and spirit.

Sue Allder




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