We are all born with primitive reflexes that are usually integrated within the first year or so of life as they no longer serve us. Think of infant reflexes such as sucking and rooting and the plantar grasp where the toes curl when the foot is stroked. Two reflexes prevalent in our children are the moro (startle) and fear paralysis reflex which if not integrated are believed to contribute to learning challenges, behavioural challenges, anxiety, emotional imbalances and overwhelm. These reflexes are closely related to our stress response. The moro is linked to the fight and flight part of the response and the fear paralysis to the freeze. By repeating simple movements usually done in infancy through the guidance of a Rhythmic Movement Consultant (Gill is qualified) these reflexes can be integrated and our children more regulated.
What can also happen is that the parent on the receiving end of a negative behaviour can be traumatised and their reflexes become active, causing them to dysregulate. A dysregulated parent can contribute to a negative downward spiral within the family dynamic.
By repeating some rhythmic movements of childhood both you and your child will calm. Try:
swinging on a swing together
lying on the floor and rolling your head from side to side
Do a similar thing with your feet on the floor and knees bent so you rhythmically rock your legs from side to side. You need to do it for just a minute a day, most days for a month and see what happens! Good luck !
"This course is very informative. Will definitely be using some of the exercise with my carers. This training was very interesting. It gave me a wider understand of how trauma can affect the children in our care"
- Shauna Grant – Social Worker -
Member of the International Stress Management Association
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