Imagine being in a boat. It could be a row boat, or a kayak or canoe. You choose- it doesn’t matter. You’re rowing and rowing as hard as you can and just aren’t getting anywhere- or at least, not as far as you would like.
The current is against you- you’re rowing upstream and it feels almost fruitless.
“Why?” you wonder. “I’m working so hard, surely I can make some progress against the current!”
This is what it feels like for me sometimes as a Brain Fit Academy Coach.
You see, sometimes we row upstream. Sometimes we feel like we’re working and working (the family and myself) and we aren’t really getting as far as we would like.
It’s because of this triangle.
This triangle tells us what needs to come first.
And yes- when we do Primitive Reflex Integration, we work from “the bottom up” – working with the lower part of the brain- the brain stem. But in this triangle, see where reflex integration lies?
It’s not at the very bottom- it’s right there in the second layer.
What’s the bottom layer? Its Digestion and Gut Health. It’s the immune system. It’s the current in that river we were rowing against.
You see, if digestion or the immune system are not working so well-or if the gut isn’t healthy, it creates that current. It works against the reflex integration that we’re trying to accomplish. It works against us because it causes stress to the system.
If the brain and body system are trying to deal with an underlying physical issue, then reflex integration will continually be disrupted. It feels like you get a little way ahead, only to be pushed back again. Not for want of trying- mind you. Not at all!
If you think about it, it’s as if the body is saying to us- “Yeah, I know you need to work on those reflexes, but right now this is more important. We gotta get that other system working first!”
And so- not only can it feel like you’re rowing upstream- but it might even seem like you’re doing it without a paddle. And that isn’t really helping anyone.
It’s hard- I get it. I totally do. You want to follow through on the reflex integration piece. You know your child needs it. We know your child needs it. That fact doesn’t change. If your child’s reflexes aren’t integrated- they will still benefit from the work- at some point…
Just perhaps not right then.
The bottom of that triangle needs to be taken care of first. The immune system needs to be working well. The gut and digestion need to be working well. Otherwise- we’re all just heading upriver.
Now let me tell you this. Just because you need to work on the bottom of the pyramid doesn’t mean we’re going to abandon you. It doesn’t mean we’re going to take away your paddles and leave you to row with your hands.
We know people that can help. We know of doctors that may be able to guide you. And when you’ve taken care of the bottom of the pyramid? The gut and the immune system are in good shape and you are ready to come back?
We’ll be waiting for you- paddles in hand, to help you start rowing again. This time- with the current.