About The Method

About The Method

Who Can Benefit from the Method?

Anyone and everyone can potentially benefit from the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex IntegrationSM (MNRI) Method.

Automatic primary motor reflex movements and patterns are the primary focus of the MNRI® Method due to the key role they play:

  1. Providing protection during infancy and when neurosensorimotor challenges are present (emotional and behavioral regulation issues often indicative of the second)
  2. In development as subordinate components of progressively more complex automatic motor reflex schemes, learned motor skills, and advanced motor planning, communication and cognitive development.

An MNRI assessment to determine the state of primary motor reflexes could uncover immature movements and patterns for even the most functionally proficient person. While the MNRI Method can and has been used in cases like this as part of a wellness or performance optimization program, it is more commonly sought out and used for people facing far greater challenges, often characterized by a broad range of labels and diagnoses.

Automatic Motor Reflex Programs & Potential

It is important to understand that automatic motor reflex programs exist in each of our bodies, regardless of a label or diagnosis, or the challenges faced. In order for each motor reflex program to emerge, mature, and integrate, however, each one of its underlying neurosensorimotor mechanism components – nervous system, sensory system, and motor system - must be functioning appropriately and cooperatively. Through his research, Alexander Luria (Russian neurophysiologist) demonstrated that restorative techniques could improve motor function. MNRI Method techniques, building on Luria’s work, target underlying neurosensorimotor pathways to improve or even restore function. Dr. Masgutova’s approach continues to demonstrate that as long as automatic motor reflex programs exist in each of us, the potential to improve or even restore function exists.

What is the Masgutova Method most concerned with?

While labels and diagnoses help to highlight general categories of dysfunction, they do not always provide an objective way to identify the underlying neurosensorimotor challenges that exist in relationship to the dysfunction. By identifying the integration state of each primary motor reflexes relative to an individual’s maturational age, the MNRI Method identifies the specific areas where neurosensorimotor challenges exist. Based in part on the findings of Alexander Luria’s neurological work with traumatized and brain damaged soldiers, on her own work with train disaster survivors, and with thousands of children over the years, Dr. Masgutova has determined that primary reflexes that have not emerged, matured, or integrated, act as a signal to help identify the area of neurosensorimotor dysfunction in the body. By focusing on the restoration of the appropriate reflex function, MNRI Method restorative techniques impact underlying neurosensorimotor function by working to:

  • Release sensory system protection, so that input from functionally available sensory systems is an accurate reflection of the input experience and not over- or under-exaggerated,
  • Re-engage inhibited neural pathways, or to
  • Facilitate the activation of alternate neural pathways.

Why is this important?

If neurosensorimotor pathways are misrepresenting input experience, or inhibiting or blocking the activation and/or integration of an automatic primary motor reflex pattern, two general circumstances can occur.

  1. The protective role the reflex pattern provides when it first emerges in infancy:
    • Will remain present in the body, and take precedence over the developmental roles the reflex is
     otherwise intended to provide, and
    • Can result in emotional or behavioral regulation issues.
  2. The developmental role the reflex pattern is responsible for providing after integration will be compromised by varying degrees depending upon:
    • The general stage of automatic reflex maturation a person has advanced to, and
    • The general stage of development a person has advanced to in terms of learned skills and advanced
    motor, communication, and cognitive development

General Diagnoses that can benefit from MNRI Restorative techniques

The human body’s ability to adapt in the face of challenges is truly amazing. If neurosensorimotor pathways are blocked, the body, without outside intervention, will attempt to find alternate compensating neural paths to achieve its motor program goals. When the body is left to its own accord, however, the primary motor reflexes relating to the blocked neural pathways will remain in a role of protection, compromising the subordinate role the reflex serves in more complex patterns, schemes, learned skills and advanced motor, communication, and cognitive development; resulting in symptoms that can lead to one or a combination of DSM IV diagnoses, including among many others:

Cerebral Palsy Autism
Executive Function Disorder Aspergers
Dyslexia Dysgraphia
Emotionally Disturbed (ED) Learning Disability (LD)
Dysgraphia ADHD Inattentive, Hyperactive or Combined type
Oppositional Defiance Disorder Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Oppositional Defiance Disorder

The MNRI Method Targets Underlying Neurosensorimotor Mechanisms

While the above diagnoses help highlight general areas of dysfunction, the MNRI Method recognizes the underlying causes, isolates the impacted primary motor reflexes, and targets the neurosensorimotor dysfunction related to the impacted reflexes with MNRI restorative techniques to reduce or eliminate the resulting automatic, learned, and advanced developmental challenges.

More specifically, the MNRI Method:

  1. Recognizes primary motor reflex dysfunction (and deeper pathology) can be addressed regardless of the underlying cause:
    • Congenital issues, or disease
    • Physical or emotional trauma, or prolonged chronic or intermittent stress
    • General debilitation (physical, emotional, etc.) caused by any of the above.
  2. Isolates challenged primary motor reflexes.
  3. Addresses the underlying neurosensorimotor mechanisms related to the isolated primary motor reflexes using MNRI Method techniques to:
    • Integrate sensory system challenges
    • Activate (existing) or create (alternate) nervous system pathways
    • Integrate primary motor and lifelong reflexes 
  4. Thereby improving function or even restoring neurosensorimotor dysfunction (or deeper pathology), relating to:
    Automatic Motor scheme maturation – Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, etc.
    Learned Motor skill development – Fine and gross motor skills
    Learned Motor planning development – Skill coordination and execution
    Learned Communication development - Speech, language, reading, writing, etc., and resulting relational skills
    • Cognitive development – Advanced processing and generalization skills
    • Emotional and behavioral regulation and socialization skills

By addressing the underlying dysfunction, the Masgutova Method seeks to help the CP child improve his motor dysfunctions, the autistic child improve relational and socialization issues, and the ADHD child improve his planning, relational, generalization, and socialization issues by addressing the unique combination of primary motor reflexes that signal specific neurosensorimotor dysfunction. This is why the Masgutova community is broad and diverse. As one of the few truly holistic approaches, it has broad application that can help anyone who is faced with a challenge despite the level of function, dysfunction or pathology that exists.

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