Reflex Integration: What Is It and Why You Need to Know It

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, effortful striving, and constant feelings of overwhelm.

(The above article originally appeared here.)

The Missing Link

It has become apparent through the thousands of assessments completed by Dr. Masgutova that as the number of non-integrated primary infant reflexes increase in an individual, the range and severity of motor, communication, and cognitive challenges and emotional and behavioral regulation issues correspondingly increase. In 2004, Dr. Masgutova and her team tracked primary infant reflex assessment results for a population of 850 children, ages 1-12. The children and their conditions were classified according to the predominant diagnoses provided by their parents. From this work emerged the following general non-integrated reflex profiles for each characterized condition:

It is important to note that these are general, non-integrated reflexprofiles and are shared here to provide perspective regarding the primary infant motor reflexes that might not be integrated for individuals diagnosed with these conditions. Please remember that each individual is unique in their strengths and challenges and, therefore, should be assessed by a qualified MNRI trained resource to determine the actual integration status of primary reflex patterns for each individual.

Reflex integration can change lives. The verbally delayed child can begin to form intelligible sounds, words and/or simple sentences. Individuals with hypertonic rigidity can begin to relax clenched fists, rigid arms and/or legs. The disorganized may begin to move toward self-organization, the dysgraphic to write legibly, the sensory defensive to tolerate sounds, sights and/or touch opening up positive interaction with the world, shifting from an inner state of constant fear, distrust and concern to calm, wonder and joy. The prognosis and outcome for those accessing MNRI Method techniques will vary based on the:

  • Underlying cause of the condition -- Congenital disorders, trauma, chronic prolong or intermittent stress, or disease.
  • Which, how many, and to what extent the underlying neural, sensory and motor systems supporting reflex function are challenged.
  • Number and combination of primary infant reflexes are impacted as well as the developmental maturity of each impacted reflex.
  • Developmental time frame within which reflex integration work is completed -- before, during, or after the typical maturation and integration time period, and the
  • Rigor with which reflex integration work is completed.

Regardless of the magnitude, complexity, or apparent level of debilitation an individual faces, it is important to understand that dysfunctional or more deeply pathological primary infant motor reflexes, when addressed with the right combination of integration techniques, can lead to improved or even restored function. While the magnitude of the underlying neurosensorimotor challenges may limit the degree of restoration when addressed with the right combination of integration techniques, almost every individual may experience some level of functional improvement – moving them a step closer to reaching their unique potential. The first step to beginning this process is simply learning about the impact integrated primary infant reflexes can have on improved function. The next steps include identification of dysfunctional or pathological reflexes and figuring out the best way to begin the integration process. To learn more about beginning the integration process refer to our website section regarding treatment options. The earlier underlying neurosensorimotor challenges can be identified, the easier it will be to minimize or even eliminate the impact dysfunctional or pathological reflexes can have on overall maturation and development.

(The above article originally appeared here.)

Positive effects observed in a study out of Wroclaw Medical University in Poland via the Department of Pathophysiology.

The impact of rehabilitation carried out using the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration method in children with cerebral palsy on the results of brain stem auditory potential examinations. 



Rehabilitation therapy in children with neuromotor development disorders can be carried out with the use of various methods.


The aim of this study was to determine the efficiency of rehabilitation carried out with the use of the new therapeutic method MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) by objective measurements with a brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) examination.


Besides the known parameters, Interpeak Latency I-V (IPL I-V) in BAEP, an original parameter proposed by Pilecki was introduced, called a relative IPL I-V value. The study involved a group of 17 children (9 girls and 8 boys) aged from 1.3 to 5.9 years (mean = 3.8 years, SD = 1.3) with cerebral palsy. Due to difficulty in co-operation, analysis of only 15 children could be finished.


Analysis of the absolute IPL I-V values showed that after rehabilitation the percentage of the results with slowed transmission, i.e. those in which the IPL I-V value was prolonged, decreased from more than 88% to 60%. The assessment of the relative IPL I-V values showed that the results obtained after rehabilitation are more advantageous.


As a result of rehabilitation carried out by the MNRI method in children with CP, a significant improvement in the transmission in the brain stem section of the auditory pathway was observed based on the absolute and relative IPL I-V values. However, the change obtained in children was various.