Why are we stuck in survival and over reacting to stress? Reflexes may be the problem. So I thought I might re-post this useful info on reflexes over the next few days. Perhaps it will give you something to think about in relation to you and the life you are creating…

All the best…

What are reflexes and why are they so important? We have many types of reflexes, for example when the doctor knocks our knees with his little hammer he is looking for a jerk of the knee. Primitive reflexes are the first reflexes that emerge, either in utero or in early infant-hood. An example of this is the Moro reflex, our early survival reaction to a loud noise. Watch most babies around 6 weeks old react to a loud noise and you will see wide eyes, a quick intake of breath and arms and legs springing open, usually followed by a loud cry.

These early reflexes are a fundamental part of our development and have emergence and inhibition stages. They need to be fully integrated by about a year old to make room for what is known as the postural reflexes, the ones that help us to stand upright and start walking and become able to cross our midlines.

As these reflexes emerge and inhibit we learn to respond, instead of react to the world. Our ability to move, our perception of the world, our language and how we make sense of the world is built upon these reflexes. Only after the successful integration of them can higher functioning, for example, relationships or academic learning, become natural and stress free.

If these reflexes are not fully integrated we can be stuck in survival mode. We stay wired from the brain stem to react rather than respond to everyday situations. Consider our earlier example of the Moro Reflex: this reflex emerges 9 weeks in utero and should be fully inhibited by 2 – 4 months of life. Once this is inhibited the infantile startle response of jumping and crying is replaced by the mature startle response, which is to look in the direction of the noise and wonder what it is.

If it has not become integrated then it will display itself as an over-reaction to stressful noise situations. This means this person is continually being put into fight or flight survival mode by every loud noise experienced. Often the body will learn compensation – which creates a baseline of stress in itself – but will come undone during times of stress and once again there is an over-reaction to noise.

More to come in the next few days….


© 2013 Gay Landeta, Create the Life you Want to Live. All rights reserved.