Quackery Exposed: Quantum Reflex Integration

Quantum Reflex Integration (QRI) is a therapy that claims to helps learning disabled, autistic, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain people of all ages. It was created by Bonnie Brandes.

Primitive Reflexes

Primitive reflexes are the automatic responses naturally hardwired into people when they are born. In the start of life, the primitive reflexes ensure survival. Primitive reflexes train the brain as a baby develops and grows. As the neuropathways develop by repetition and reflexes, the brain learns what to do for survival and movement of the body. When they are not needed, they go dormant. 

The reflexes appear and integrate in stages. They are present when a baby learns to roll over, crawl and walk. It is believed when this integration is interrupted, a child's development may not progress smoothly. They say that children need to move through their primitive reflexes so they can have access to their "learning brain." They believe this is where academic learning happens. 

Primitive Reflexes Do Not Integrate Correctly with Some people

It is believed that primitive reflexes help an infant survive and learn control over the body. These reflexes integrate or go dormant when the connections in the nervous system have been made and the brain has been trained by repetition. 

They believe when reflexes integrate, the child learns and develops "normally." When integration is halted or delayed, "normal" development is delayed. This affects the child physically, emotionally, and cognitively. They believe that autism and OCD are caused by an active fear paralysis reflex. 

Reasons believed to cause flexes to remain active:

  • genetics
  • stress during pregnancy and delivery
  • c section
  • environmental toxins
  • lack of movement
  • diet
  • vaccines
  • aging 
  • brain injuries
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Behavior Challenges

Reflexes and physical/behavioral/emotional characteristics believed of a retained reflex:

  • Fear Paralysis Reflex (in the womb) - Physical paralysis to perceived danger
    • Associated disorders: ADHD, Autism, Epilepsy, OCD, Phobias, Expressive language disorders
    • Low-stress tolerance
    • Frozen state or delayed response, unable to think or move
    • Difficulty making eye contact,  may stare intensely without blinking
    • Reluctance to try new activities, withdrawn, shyness
    • General negativity, tantrums, depression
    • Eagerness to please, perfectionism, fear of failure
    • Anxiety, panic disorders, phobias and nightmares
  • Moro Reflex (womb-4 mos) - “Fight or Flight” reflex to perceived danger
    • Panic attacks, mood swings, generalized insecurity, anxiety, fearfulness, unexpected changes in behavior, aggressive outbursts
    • Manipulation of people and situations to maintain control
    • Difficulty responding appropriately when a rapid response is needed
    • Difficulty accepting or giving affection, socially withdrawn
    • Easily distracted, difficulty focusing on details or copying from the blackboard
  • Rooting/Sucking Reflex (womb-1mo) - Automatic response to turn towards food
    • Speech, articulation and dental problems
  • Palmar Reflex (womb-3 mos) - Automatic flexing of fingers to grab objects
    • Jumbling up letters
    • Poor writing expression and spelling
  • TLR - Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (womb-4mos) - Develops head management and postural stability using the major muscle groups
    • Lack of concentration
    • Difficulty sitting upright
    • Motion sickness
  • ATNR - Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (womb-7mos) - Cross-pattern movements integrating both sides of the brain
    • Easily distracted, poor memory
    • Poor coordination, messy handwriting
    • Childish behavior
    • Possible obsessive behavior
    • Selfishness or egocentrism
    • Impatience: can’t wait for a reward, wants everything NOW
  • Spinal Galant Reflex (womb-9mos) - Assists baby in the birth process, develops gross motor coordination
    • Associated disorders: ADHD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    • Trouble sitting still, fidgeting and squirming: “ants in the pants”
    • Poor bladder control (bedwetting after age 5), sometimes soiling
  • STNR - Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (6 mos-11 mos) - Preparation for crawling
    • Walking on toes
    • Poor posture and coordination, slouches at desk
    • Poor impulse control
    • Poor attention and concentration, ADHD

Quantum Reflex Integration

This therapy combines acupressure points, sound frequencies, and light from a low level "cold" laser. 

Cold laser therapy is painless and safe for children. It has been used world wide and cleared by the FDA. This is true. (Side note: I have used it in veterinary medicine. It used to speed healing and it is effective.)

The cold laser is designed with different frequencies of red and near-infrared light to target different tissues of the body. They are much different than surgical lasers. It penetrates the skin to reverse abnormal cell function.

By using this laser, they believe they are "unsticking" primitive reflexes. They believe that a patient's body may signal different priorities to a therapist who is testing reflexes. The therapist would then start working based on the highest priorities they see that day. When using QRI laser therapy, every reflex is treated in a strategic order. They say there is less guesswork involved but this is not the intended purpose of the cold laser. 

These sessions are normally 45 minutes- 1 hour long. This is a long time for a child to sit still. When these lasers are in use, protective eyewear need to be worn by everyone in the room. The laser probe has to be rubbed on the body for the entire time. For some, this is a sensory nightmare. 

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