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Rhythmic Movement Training is a drug-free approach to dramatically improve learning and overcome emotional and behavioural challenges. It looks at the role of developmental movements that babies make and identifying and integrating the primitive reflexes and postural reflexes that have not yet matured and integrated. Thus improving learning, coordination, muscle tone, vision and behaviour.


Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT)

RMT is the 'new', drug-free approach to dramatically improve learning and overcome emotional & behavioural challenges developed by Dr. Harold Blomberg MD, a psychiatrist from Sweden. You will discover simple exercises to stimulate the ability of the brain and nervous system to renew and create new nerve connections which helps a person to develop, mature and heal physically, emotionally and mentally.

RMT (Rhythmic Movement Training) looks at the role of developmental movements that babies naturally make before birth, the first six months after birth, as they get up on their hands and knees and as they learn to walk. These movements are crucial in laying down the foundations for neural network pathway growth and myelinisation in the brain, and its effect on learning as we grow and develop, and come to rely on the lifelong postural reflexes.

  • RMT works with integrating the retained, or underdeveloped, infant reflexes that are involved in learning challenges such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, writing problems, focussing and comprehension challenges, co-ordination difficulties and Asperger's Syndrome. 
  • RMT has also been successful in working with people with anxiety, panic, emotional imbalances, behavioural problems, schizophrenia, Parkinson's, psychosis and general overwhelm.

After 3 sessions with Enza, my 7 year old daughter is a totally different girl. She is calmer, more centred and loving. Her concentration is stronger and her report card has risen from Bs and Cs to As and Bs. Consequently, she is more confident, less critical of herself and such a delightful little girl.  — Janice, HR Manager and Mother

The Importance of Integrating Primitive Reflexes

Primitive (infant) Reflexes are repetitive, automatic movements that are essential for development of head control, muscle tone, sensory integration and development. They form the basis of our postural, lifelong reflexes. These primitive reflexes surface in utero and infancy and become inhibited as the movements do their job and movements become more practiced and controlled. When a baby has been given the opportunity to develop freely and naturally the primitive reflexes will integrate and no longer be active. When the primitive reflexes remain active then many difficulties can emerge.

Incomplete integration of primitive reflexes may be a contributing cause of ADD/ ADHD, autism, learning challenges, developmental delay, sensory integration disorders, vision and hearing challenges, behaviour challenges, and extreme shyness, lack of confidence, addiction, inefficient, striving with lots of effort, and constant feelings of overwhelm. Rhythmic Movements help children and adults complete the primitive reflex patterns and transform the challenges into integration.

What Can Cause Unintegrated Primitive Reflexes?

Unintegrated, active primitive reflexes may be caused by:

  • Stress of the mother and/or baby during pregnancy; breech birth, birth trauma, caesarean birth, induced birth.
  • Lack of enough proper movement in infancy: being placed in baby walkers/rings, jumpers, being left for long periods of time in car sets/baby capsules, and being placed in front of TV in bouncers all restrict critical movements required for brain development.
  • llness, Trauma, Injury, Chronic Stress.
  • Environmental Toxins, Complications with vaccinations.
  • Dietary imbalances or sensitivities.

Reflexes that are completely integrated can later reactive because of trauma, injury, toxins and stress.

The Reflexes

There are many primitive reflexes. The ones that we focus on in Rhythmic Movement Training are:

Moro Reflex

The Moro Reflex, sometimes called the infant startle reflex, is an automatic response to a sudden change in sensory stimuli.  A sudden change of any kind (bright light, change in body position, temperature, loud noise, intense touch etc.) can trigger the Moro Reflex. 

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated Moro are:

  • Easily triggered, reacts in anger or emotional outburst
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Poor stamina
  • Poor digestion, tendency towards hypoglycaemia
  • Weak immune system, asthma, allergies and infections
  • Hypersensitivity to light, movement, sound, touch & smell
  • Vision/reading/writing difficulties
  • Difficulty adapting to change
  • Cycles of hyperactivity and extreme fatigue

Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR)

TLR provides the baby with a means of learning about gravity and mastering neck and head control outside the womb.  This reflex is important for giving the baby the opportunity to practice balance; increase muscle tone; and develop the proprioceptive and balance senses.  The TLR interacts with other reflexes to help the infant to start developing coordination, posture and correct head alignment.

It is vital for the TLR to do its job because correct alignment of the head with the rest of the body is necessary for balance, eye tracking, auditory processing, muscle tone and organised movements - all of which are essential to the development of our ability to focus and pay attention.

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated TLR are:

  • Balance and coordination difficulties
  • Hunched posture
  • Easily fatigued
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Difficulty judging distance, depth, space and speed
  • Visual, speech, auditory difficulties
  • Stiff jerky movement
  • Toe walking
  • Difficulty walking up and down stairs

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)

The ATNR is important for developing homolateral one-sided movements.  When the infant turns his head to one side, the arm and leg of that side automatically extend.  In utero the ATNR provides the necessary stimulation for developing muscle tone and the vestibular system.  It assists with the birth process, providing one of the means for the baby to "corkscrew" down the birth passage.  ATNR also provides training in hand-eye coordination.  By six months of age, this reflex should evolve into more complex movement patterns.  If the ATNR remains active it plays a significant contribution to academic problems at school.
Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated ATNR are:

  • Dyslexia
  • Reading, listening, hand writing and spelling difficulties
  • Difficulty with maths
  • Confused handedness

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR)

The STNR is not a primitive reflex. It is transitional. It is important developmental stage that transitions the baby from lying on the floor up to being able to crawl.  At this stage in development, movement of the head is automatically linked to movement of the arms and legs. If the STNR remains active it is another main cause of inability to function in school.  This is because up and down head movements remain linked to arm and leg movements, making school work effortful and difficult.
Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated STNR are:

  • Poor, hunched posture
  • Headaches from muscle tension in the neck
  • Difficulty writing and reading
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • ‘W" sitting
  • Difficulty copying from blackboard
  • Ape-like walking
  • Vision disorders
  • Find it difficult to stay on task

Spinal Galant & Spinal Pereze Reflexes

The Spinal Galant & Spinal Pereze Reflexes works in conjunction with the ATNR to help the baby's journey down the birth canal.  It is also thought to help babies balance and coordinate the body for belly crawling and creeping.  It is thought to be connected to bladder function because a high percentage of children who are bedwetting past age 5 have an active Spinal Galant reflex.

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated Spinal Galant and Pereze are:

  • Bedwetting
  • Poor endurance
  • Attention difficulties
  • Hip rotation to one side/scoliosis
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor posture
  • Poor short-term memory
  • Fidgeting/hyperactivity

Other reflexes

We also look at the following foot, hand and oral reflexes -  the Babinski, Plantar, Palmar, Hands Pulling, Grasp, Amphibian, Rooting, Suck and Babkin reflexes and their role in learning and development especially for coordination, writing and language development

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated foot, hand and oral reflexes are:

  • Speech delay or difficulties
  • Swallowing problems
  • Poor social behaviour
  • Dribbling and drooling
  • Poor manual dexterity
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Handwriting difficulties
  • Loose, easily sprained ankles
  • Toe walking
  • Flatfooted or walking on sides of feet/hip rotation
  • •·         Difficulty expressing written ideas

Fear Paralysis Reflex (FPR)

The FPR is a withdrawal reflexes that emerges in the embryonic stage.  It is a total body withdrawal away from stimulus that is normal in utero.  The baby in utero reacts to this stimulus by withdrawing inward and freezing.  As the foetus' tactile awareness develops, withdrawal upon contact gradually lessons.  It is thought that this reflex is the first step in learning to cope with stress.  Ideally, FPR merges into the Moro reflex and has become inactive before birth.   If the FPR is not fully integrated at birth, it may contribute to life-long challenges related to fear.  People with the FPR active may often be very anxious and tend to veer towards negativity which can prevent them from easily moving forward to living a meaningful, interactive life. An active FPR often goes hand-in-hand with an un-integrated Moro reflex.

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated FPR are:

  • Shallow, difficult breathing
  • Underlying anxiety or negativity
  • Insecure, low self-esteem
  • Depression/isolation/withdrawal
  • Constant feelings of overwhelm
  • Extreme shyness, fear in groups
  • Excessive fear of embarrassment
  • Fear of separation from a loved one, clinging
  • Sleep & eating disorders
  • Feeling stuck
  • Elective mutism
  • Withdrawal from touch
  • Aggressive or controlling behaviour, craves attention
  • Extreme fear of failure, perfectionism
  • Phobias
  • Low tolerance to stress

Movements for Integration

The movements in Rhythmic Movement Training are based on replicating the movements that infants naturally make. In RMT sessions we work at using these movements to integrate the reflexes so that learning, communication, behaviour, emotional and general well-being can be given the opportunity to be accessed.

Consultants in RMT either use RMT movement and integration techniques by themselves or can use these movements in conjunction with other techniques and modalities. There is usually an assessment of the active reflexes, and then a series of fun activities given to help the system change from stressed posture to a more natural and effortless way of moving. This promotion of easy learning and whole brain-body development has been effective with people all over the world. There have been many instances of positive shifts and change as these reflexes integrate and we form a proper basis for moving and learning.

The movements are easy to learn and parents find that they are straightforward to use at home. Children like them and find them beneficial. Adults also find them easy to remember to do.

Rhythmic Movement Training provides the basis for optimising and our ability in all areas of life. It is beneficial for all no matter what age or skill level. The movements are effective for reflex integration, whole-brain learning, optimising skills, reducing stress, eliminating learning blocks and living well. 

Contact Enza for a one on one personal session to see the difference Rhythmic Movement Training can make for you and your child.

→ References and for more information - www.rhythmicmovement.com

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