Primary Reflex Integration Therapy

I am a pediatric occupational therapist with seventeen years of experience and specialized training in the NICU with premature and medically fragile infants.

Nine years ago, I was introduced to the MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration) program which forever changed my career and life path. I have taken over 200 hours of MNRI courses, attended intensive therapy conferences and my own children have received direct assessment and intervention by Dr. Masgutova herself. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by the best MNRI mentors that not only helped my children, but also has guided and trained me along the way. Both of my children have profoundly benefited from MNRI intervention which was initiated when they were infants. They were my best teachers.

Primary reflexes are programmed survival responses in our brainstem that develop in utero. These primary reflexes are needed to assist baby during birth process and then remain after birth to build the neurological connections to higher centers of brain during the first year of development. When these primary reflexes are improperly developed this contributes to developmental milestone gaps (missed or delayed motor milestones) dominant fight/flight responses, postural malalignment and delays, sensory processing deficits, and emotional and social challenges.

Though my professional experience working with infants in the NICU, I have seen total physiologic developmental transformations from muscle tone normalization to foot deformities being corrected without splinting intervention. On another side, I have also seen children with major anxieties become happy and social little beings, which makes my heart smile. The MNRI techniques are truly revolutionary for rehabilitation not just for babies and children, but everyone.

Here is a list of some of our primary reflexes and main functions.  If you would like more information regarding these primary reflexes and how to integrate therapy, please contact me for a consultation. 

  • Hands Grasp (palmar grasp): fine motor, hand strength, handwriting
  • Babkin: feeding and speech
  • Trunk Extension: posture for sitting and standing (affects toe walking)
  • Spinal Gallant: posture, attention, bladder/bowel controls
  • Spinal Pereze: motor skills, emotional regulation, and sensory processing
  • ATNR: two-sided coordination and auditory processing
  • Moro: movement (vestibular) processing, emotional regulation, and breathing coordination (affects overactive fight or flight response)
  • Fear Paralysis:  startle response (affects anxiety and phobias)
  • Hands Pulling: coordination and strength for upper body and head control

Check out Stanford’s website for more explanations about newborn reflexes

If you are interested in learning more about MNRI check out their website below

If you would like to learn more about Primary Reflex Integration Therapy, please feel free to reach out to Jennifer through her Instagram @ot_infant_specialist_ or her Facebook

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