Brain Performance Center

Applied Kinesiology Center of Los Angeles Newsletter

James Blumenthal, DC, DACBN, FACFN
Jonathan Herbert, DC, PAK 
August 2010
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Balancing the nervous system with reflex integration.
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Dr. Herbert will be hosting his monthly Question and Answer session on August 12th at 6:30 pm. Bring your questions and your friends to educate yourself on how to achieve to health. He will also be discussing food sensitivities, their symptoms, and how to easily live with them.

Please call our office (310 445 3350) to reserve your seat.

Future dates and times:

September 9, 6:30 pm
October 14, 6:30 pm
November 11, 6:30 pm
December 9, 6:30 pm

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2990 South Sepulveda Blvd.
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Los Angeles, CA 90064
310 445 3350
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In our last newsletter we talked about the importance of adjusting children and we mentioned neonatal reflexes. This newsletter will discuss the neonatal reflexes more specifically and explain their importance in proper development.  Enjoy the information and contact us with questions it may bring up.
Balancing the nervous system with reflex integration.
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Neonatal reflexes are automatic, instinctual, and involuntary reflexes that we use while we are in the womb and through the first year of our lives. These reflexes come from our brain stem because our main-brain has not fully developed to take over their jobs. The neonatal reflexes are essential in our survival and development while our brain is forming and then should be integrated back into the brainstem to allow for more complex (postural) reflexes and further development of our brain to take place.

If these neonatal reflexes are not integrated properly ("retained") they can cause problems in many areas of life including balance, coordination, detailed movements, vision, hormones, social cueing, emotional and academic development, anxiety, panic attacks, and symptoms of autism and attention deficit.

We will go through a few of these reflexes to show how they can affect many areas of life. The first reflex is the Fear Paralysis Reflex, which is related to the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system controls our "housekeeping activities" including rest and relaxation, immune and hormone function, and digestion. A retained Fear Paralysis Reflex shows as symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, weak immune system, hypersensitivity to touch or sound, dislike of surprise or freezes under stress. We also find a retained Fear Paralysis Reflex in most of the autistic children we treat.

The next reflex is the Moro Reflex, which is the early form of the "fight or flight response."  Because of its association with the sympathetic nervous system or "fight or flight response", when it is retained, it provides a constant and excessive input to the adrenals leading quickly to adrenal fatigue. Along with adrenal fatigue other common symptoms associated with this reflex are asthma, allergies, chronic illness, thyroid problems, auto-immune disease, hyperactivity (ADHD) and emotional or social immaturity (temper tantrums).

Balancing these first two reflexes is essential to balancing the autonomic nervous system. This part of the nervous system controls all of our automatic responses, just as it sounds. These include sleep, digestion, response to fear or emergencies, and emotions among others. The autonomic nervous system also controls our hormone system including our reproductive organs, thyroid and adrenal glands. As you can see these reflexes can affect many aspects of our health.

Staying with the hormone association, let's discuss the Rooting Reflex. The Rooting Reflex prepares the baby for suckling. When you touch the side of the child's cheek he will turn his head toward that direction, open his mouth, and extend his tongue.  If this reflex is not integrated it can cause hypersensitivity around the lips and mouth, speech problems and thumb sucking. Integrating this reflex has been shown to regulate abnormal thyroid and adrenal laboratory results in some people.

Similar to the Rooting Reflex, the Juvenile Suck Reflex allows the child to suckle properly when it is combined with the Palmer Reflex.  When nursing, the child uses his hands to knead while feeding from his mother. This combination brings hand and mouth movement together very early on in life. Improper integration of any of these three reflexes (Rooting, Juvenile Suck, or Palmer) can lead to problems with nursing, speech, chewing, or manual dexterity. Furthermore, retention of the Palmer Reflex itself can cause problems with hand writing, drawing, throwing, and catching.  We frequently hear patient's with retained Palmer Reflexes say they have problems getting ideas from their head onto paper.

Similar to the Palmer Reflex for the hand, there is the Plantar Reflex for the foot. A retained Plantar reflex can cause awkward walking or running, poor balance and coordination, multiple ankle sprains and trouble "walking and talking" or "thinking on one's feet".

There are many more reflexes, some that deal with eye-hand coordination, depth perception, balance, motion sickness, fatigue when reading, inability to sit still and even balancing one side of the brain with the other. While we cannot explain each reflex in this newsletter, we will be happy to talk with you further. Please call our office (310 445 3350) and we will answer any questions you have about the reflexes, the adjustments, and how they may benefit you.

We strive to teach and improve the health of those around us. We hope you have enjoyed and learned from this newsletter. Pass on this information to someone who needs it by clicking on the "forward email" link below. We thank you for your referrals, and they thank you too!
For your health,
Drs. Jim Blumenthal and Jon Herbert
2990 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 203
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310 445 3350