Developmental reflexes are repetitive, automatic movements that begin in utero and continue through infancy and early childhood. It is essential that we perform these movements because they literally lay the foundations for our brains and nervous systems to develop.
When as babies we’re given the opportunity to develop freely and naturally, our developmental reflexes do their jobs and then integrate and become no longer active.
If either we do not perform these movements when we are supposed to, or if they remain active after they are supposed to integrate, many difficulties can emerge, including:
- Learning challenges
- Developmental delays
- Sensory challenges
- Movement and coordination challenges
- Behaviour and emotional problems
Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTi)
Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) is a primitive infant reflex program that uses gentle passive and active developmental-based movements to build a better foundation for learning, sensory processing, and emotional behaviour. The movements are combined with isometric pressure and powerful kinesiology balancing techniques to promote integration of structural and emotional challenges in a safe, gentle way.
Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) explores the role of babies’ natural developmental movements during various stages of development:
• Before birth
• The first six months after birth
• As they get up on their hands and knees
• As they learn to walk
These movements are crucial for laying down the foundations of neural network pathway growth and myelination in the brain. They are also important for establishing head control, muscle tone and posture, the basis of our ability to move through life with ease and choice.
RMT works with integrating the retained, or underdeveloped, infant reflexes (also called primitive reflexes or neo-natal reflexes) that are involved in learning challenges such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, writing problems, focussing and comprehension challenges, co-ordination difficulties and Asperger’s Syndrome. It has also been successful in working with people with anxiety, panic, emotional imbalances, behavioural problems, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, psychosis, PTSD and general overwhelm.
RMT is based on the work of Kerstin Linde, a Swedish movement training specialist, who developed movements based on her observations of how infants are meant to move. Dr Harald Blomberg, a Swedish psychiatrist, met Kerstin in the mid-1980s and started to use the movements with his patients and found that they had profound effects. He also studied with other movement specialists.
Moira Dempsey, an Australian Educational and Developmental kinesiologist became interested in the role of retained reflexes in learning and behavioural challenges in the mid 1990’s. Moira Dempsey met Dr. Blomberg in 2003 and started using the movements herself and with clients. She noticed remarkable results. In 2011 Harald and Moira released the RMT book, Movements that Heal.
In 2012, Harald Blomberg decided to forego active involvement with RMTi to pursue other interests. We are grateful for his contributions and we continue to develop both traditional and innovative approaches to our work, always keeping in mind what will best serve the needs of students, clients and practitioners of RMTi. In July 2014 Moira Dempsey and Harald Blomberg issued a public statement about RMT.
In 2019 Moira’s book Beyond the Sea Squirt: A Journey with reflexes was published. Available from Amazon
Developmental Kinesiology works particularly well with children or adults with special needs or developmental delays. It does this through stimulating or inhibiting infant reflexes and integrating their sense of balance, space, vision, hearing, smell, and touch.
Through RMTi & Developmental Kinesiology, we have achieved positive results with children and adults who have:
- Hypersensitivity or under-sensitivity to stimulus
- Underdeveloped motor or learning skills
- Speech & Reading difficulties
- Postural Imbalances
- Poor concentration
- Balance Problems
- Bedwetting beyond 5 years old
- Psychological challenges
- Cerebral Palsy
Developmental Kinesiology incorporates primitive childhood reflexes integration techniques from Rhythmic Movement Training with Brendan O’Hara’s Movement and Learning work with music, cranio-sacral techniques, and sensory integration techniques; and Brain Gym®.
Developmental Kinesiology works at encouraging the person to move through developmental stages that were not integrated efficiently during infancy.