The Method

The Method

Upper Limb Reflex & Manual Skills

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Facial motor reflexes first appear in infancy and remain active throughout life, supporting a broad range of needs essential to:

  • Human survival, including breathing, rooting, eating and general neurovascular function
  • Accessing and managing visual, auditory, and other sensory system input
  • Different coordination systems in different combinations – hand, mouth, ear, eye, tongue, neck, and cranial coordination systems
  • Nonverbal (emotional expressions and cognitive activity) and verbal communication (articulation)

Upper limb reflexes begin development in the womb and are among the first reflexes to actively engage after birth, first to protect us from harm, and second (once security is ensured) to allow active exploration of the outside world. As upper limb motor reflexes engage and mature, they form the foundation for the development of learned manual skills. Once basic manual skills become automatic, advanced skills begin to emerge and a child’s movement repertoire expands and advances to include gross motor skills, fine motor coordination, and the motor planning ability necessary to productively function in the world. Manual skills are not the only developmental abilities dependant upon upper limb reflex integration. The visual and auditory systems as well as verbal, written, and general communication related abilities all depend on adequate upper limb reflex integration. Fine motor coordination systems, including the hands-eyes, hands-auditory, and hands-articulation systems, link fine motor coordination to visual, auditory, and vocal decoding, allowing communication to develop from sounds, to words, to conversations, to reading, to writing, to comprehension and more. MNRI Upper Limb and Manual Skill Program techniques target reflexes and the underlying neuro-structural system to engage and improve manual, gross, or fine motor skill function and speech delays. Many professionals subject to fatigue or upper limb injury often use the upper limb and manual skill techniques as a stress release program. Summarized below are the reflexes and tactile/neuro-structural areas addressed by the MNRI Upper Limb Program techniques:

Primary Motor Reflex Patterns
Asymmetric Tonic Neck (ATNR) Hands Pulling Hands Supporting (Parachute) Robinson Grasp
Babkin Palmomental      
Additional Motor Reflexes
Sequential Fingers Closing Sequential Fingers Opening
Upper Limb Neuro-Structural Exercises
Upper Limbs Segment Stroking Wrist Flexion Extension Activation Fingers Compression/Traction Arm Embracing Squeeze
Babkin Palmomental Activation Hand/Palm Proprioceptive Stimulation Wrist-Elbow-Arm Rotations Pincer Gripping Activation
Finger Base Proprioceptive Stimulation Forearm Activation Tripod Gripping Activation Sequential Arm Opening
Forearm Two Bone Stimulation Pyramid Finger Activation/Squeezing Rainbow Arms Wrist Joint Circular Stimulation
Thumb Stress Release