Rebooting Mr 8’s auditory processing via kinesiology and the Retained Neonatal Reflex technique (huh?)

By Alive & Well


This year Mr 8 has been visiting a chiropractor. Not just any chiropractor though. One who uses applied kinesiology and works with retained neonatal reflexes.

His name is Dr Steve.

As you may know, chiropractors are trained to tap into the muscular system, the nervous system, the craniosacral system (which incorporates the cerebrospinal fluid), the meridians (energy pathways) and the biochemical processes that enable our bodies to function.

Their ability to encourage the body’s self-healing mechanisms to solve everything from back pain and headaches to emotional health is now well documented scientifically.

Applied kinesiology can help diagnose disturbances

The brain and the nervous system form the core of your body’s control centre, and any disturbances in the skull and along the spinal cord – as a result of a bump to the head, a car accident, teeth grinding or even poor posture – can create problems.

Professional Applied Kinesiology (PAK) is a diagnostic system that provides immediate feedback to enable Dr Steve to assess those disturbances and tailor treatment just for Mr 8. It works by sensing subtle variations in the function of the nervous system when it is challenged, stressed or questioned. Dr Steve can tell from Mr 8’s muscle responses whether a correction will be useful.

So what’s a retained neonatal reflex then?

Credit: Sarah AlstonIn the womb and in the first few months of life, when our decision-making processes are not yet matured, we protect ourselves using some ‘primitive’ reflexes that involve anything from breathing adjustments, muscular reactions or hormonal changes.

As we develop and rational thought – theoretically – takes over, these primitive or ‘neonatal’ reflexes are no longer needed and usually fall away. But for some people, they don’t – and the automatic reactions they generate can upset the body’s control centre, leading to behavioural, developmental and learning challenges.

Some of these retained reflexes and their associated problems are:

  • Moro Reflex – over-reactive and over-sensitive, common in ADHD
  • Juvenile Suck and Rooting Reflexes – speech, articulation and dental problems
  • Palmar Reflex – jumbling up letters, poor writing expression and spelling, slouching at the desk/computer
  • Spinal Galant Reflex – trouble sitting still and poor bladder control
  • Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex – easily distracted, poor coordination and messy handwriting
  • Fear Paralysis Reflex – withdrawn, shyness, tantrums, anxiety
  • Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex – lack of concentration, difficulty sitting upright and motion sickness
  • Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex – walking on toes, poor posture and coordination.

The Retained Neonatal Reflex technique, founded by Australian chiropractor Dr Keith Keen in the early 1990s and now taught around the world, helps children and adults overcome those challenges with customised chiropractic corrections.

For Mr 8, one of his challenges is efficient auditory processing. Earlier this year, it was assessed to be in the 5th percentile (ie really poor). Dr Steve has now worked through all of his reflexes, gently correcting those that needed it. He likens it to improving the hardware of Mr 8’s body, so he can then reboot his own software with the help of listening programs, behavioural optometry, occupational therapy and other allied health therapies.

More on those another time, but for now, we’re a third of the way through his listening program and early testing is showing dramatic improvement. Watch this space.

Have you tried applied kinesiology? Or a chiropractor? Has it been helpful?