The purpose of a Reflex Session is to help clients with physical, mental and emotional barriers to their chosen life goals in learning, behavior and function. Retained or abnormal reflex patterns can interfere with learning, emotional regulation and motor activities. Developmental reflexes are automatic, unconscious motor patterns triggered by one or more senses and stresses. Traumas, stresses or genetic propensities can cause these sensory-motor interactions to develop atypically, making conscious activities harder. Anyone who is curious about puzzling or challenging issues in their or their family’s lives can get a lot from a Reflex Session.
Primary Reflex session includes:
45-60-min. session, depending on the endurance and need
Evaluates 4 to 6 of the primary reflex patterns and starts the integration process. May include a home program. Sensory-motor screening or neurodevelopmental assessment may be needed to integrate all reflexes. Session can be purchased in packages of 3 or 6. Ahome program is usually indicated, but much of the work is in the session. List of some reflexes that might be considered in a session:
Spinal Galant Reflex
Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR)
Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)
Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR)
Pull to Sit Reflex
Palmar and Plantar Grasp
Is a Reflex Session Right for My Needs?
Some people ask, “Should I do a Reflex Session or a HANDLE Assessment and Program?” A Full HANDLE Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Program is best for those who have complex or diagnosed issues or want the most complete and comprehensive information about the neurodevelopment system. Reflex sessions are not as in-depth, but can be the lynch pin for certain issues, especially those that are not directly related to issues with the body senses. Reflex sessions can also be a beginning of the neurodevelopmental process. My HANDLE Programs include Reflex Integration.
What to Think About Before the Session
Please have the client wear flexible, natural fiber clothing if possible. The client may be asked to remove shoes and socks. Please let me know of any recent illnesses, sore places or accidents. If needed, make sure that the client is not ill, overly tired or hungry during the session. Drinking at least 4 ounces of water before the session is important.
Having a clear goal or issue to work on helps to direct the session. Ask yourself or the student, “What would you like to make easier or do better?” or “What do you do well that you would like to do even better?” For children it is usually only important to tell them that “Miss Janet” is going to look at how the muscles work. This is true and nonthreatening.
Ideally I have the history and intake information before seeing the client. This can be emailed, faxed or mailed before the visit. Find the intake forms below or call the office for them. The most important reason to get the forms in early is so I do not have to take session time to look over the intake information and this means we can get more done at a session.
Although there are sensitive issues that might have been mentioned before or after the session, the client is a part of all discussions. Our philosophy is to respect the client and let them be informed about all aspects of the process. Usually clients are quite aware of their issues and are relieved that we are not blaming him or her for them. We use positive and gentle encouragement. Please do not be concerned by the client’s behavior during sessions. All behavior is communication. None of our work should cause distress and if a client is concerned, we go to another approach.
- Integration tone patternings or other techniques are usually performed. This is an important part of the session. The families of clients are not usually asked to repeat these. These patternings will continue to integrate the client’s system for up to 2 weeks after the session.
- Interspersed in the session, I will be training the client and/or the family member on activities that will continue to practice or integration of the reflex pattern. These are written up and there is a list with numbers of repetitions and numbers of times a week recommended.
- At the end, I review what we did and the activities that have been recommended. Although the activities assigned may increase the client changes, the work in the session usually is the most important. I also will try to estimate the number of visits that might be useful to continue. This may be difficult, as some clients respond better than others. At times I will strongly suggest a Full Neurodevelopmental HANDLE® Program to make significant changes.
- Note: On occasions, you may be asked if 1 to 3 associate professionals can help with the session. The advantage is that the camera work will be better and the professional may have helpful comments.
At the End of Session
If the technical spirits are with us, we usually give you a DVD of the session.
You get a CD or video link with the list of activities and reps and the activity write-ups available.
Usually 3 to 8 home program activities are done 2 to 4 times a week. Occasionally there are daily activities. Usually clients continue these 6 to 12 weeks. Client can continue them longer if desired. If a client strongly dislikes an activity after trying it a few times, this activity is probably NOT a good choice. If you email me about the issue, I can usually make another suggestion. No activity should ever hurt. Stop immediately if there is any kind of pain or strong reaction. Occasionally emotional reactions occur as the reflexes are integrating. I can usually predict these and will let you know. Remember if development has been deferred, the client will need to go through the deferred developmental stage. This may look like regression at first. These periods rarely last more than a few weeks. If they occur, please contact me.