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Book review: Bärbel Hölscher, Powerful! Reflexes Shape Your Life.

Bärbel Hölscher, Powerful! Reflexes Shape Your Life
Books on Demand 2012, Norderstedt, ISBN: 9783848204960, Price: 24,20 €, 135 pages

In chapters 1 to 3 the author gives a brief overview of motor development in the first year of a child‘s life and over the structure of the human brain. The book’s focus is on the description of the single reflexes in order of their chronological course, i. e. from week of pregnancy 5 to 7 until month 9 to 10. Each of the 25 reflexes is illustrated and annotated. Their origin, duration, transformation resp. integration and trigger are named, as well as additional explanations and challenges that can occur with unfinished development are listed.

The author then postulates a coherence of these incompletely integrated reflexes with learning difficulties and behavioural problems. She recommends the so-called Brainstem Coordination Exercises®, that can help subsequently integrate infant reflexes and relieve the above-mentioned challenges. The instruction thereto is illustrated with black and white photographs. Finally, a relation between the four stages of the birth process and the later learning code is established. An alphabetic correlation of single attributes – e. g. reading, mood changes – with all participating reflexes as well as a bibliography round off the small work.

The work shows competence. It is clear, well understandable, appealingly endowed – a completely successful book! It is an important initiation especially for those who are concerned with movement sequences and wish to probe the causes of behaviour. Visual trainers and visual therapists may particularly be interested in those reflexes that are connected with seeing, that is, according to the alphabetical correlation, eye-hand and hand-eye coordination, pupils dilated, visual field, visual perception.

Mechthild Petersen

“Augenblick” – Zeitschrift für Gesundes Sehen
Hrsg vom Verein für Gesundes Sehen e.V.
Heft 20 2-2016 ISSN 2191-6284
www.verein-gesundes-sehen.de

Traumata – Living Memory

In psychology, a psychic injury or wound is called a psychic, emotional or mental trauma. The term is not used consistently. It can name the triggering event as well as the symptoms and the aroused, sometimes lifelong lasting inner suffering of a human being. Or, as I would like to express it in reference to Peter Levine: Trauma is nothing else than tension that cannot be relieved. It is a not timely finished process in the brain stem. And here is the relation to reflexes respectively necessary reflex integration, that is essential to my work, for the neurologic origin of reflexes lies in the brain stem. There are methods that can cause not timely happened and finished processes to take place afterwards and so resolve traumata.
Somatical traumatology allows a new understanding of trauma. It considers the critical interaction and the mutual dependence of autonomic answers of the body and neurologic processes. For: Every trauma, if of physical, cognitive, emotional and/or interpersonal nature, manifests itself in bodily processes and is maintained by them.

What matters: A person who suffers from a trauma needs not necessarily have experienced it her-/himself. Certain experiences can be so formative that they durably establish themselves in our genome, so that they may be handed down to the next generation. ”Epigenetics” names the process when a required characteristic with the mother and/or the father becomes an inherent characteristic with the common offspring. It is important to differentiate two situations with inherited traumata: On the one hand, an unborn child may be directly exposed to his/her pregnant mother‘s stress hormones, e.g. during birth, and thus experience a trauma. If, on the other hand, a child shows the same stress-induced epigenetic patterns as his/her parents, although he/she was begotten after the parents themselves had experienced the trauma, epigenetic inheritance is spoken of.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a long-term aftermath of a trauma. The mind reacts with a certain delay to a burdensome situation, perhaps wartime experiences or catastrophes. Often a scent, a colour, or a certain situation will do – and the victims go through their personal horror again. Untreated PTDS sooner or later leads to problems in private as well as in working life. Oftentimes, persons concerned simply do not know why they have such difficulties in concentrating, do not want to make decisions and cannot bring things to a close.

”TRE®” is the name of a successful short-term therapy by David Berceli – TRE®-Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises. It is applied, directly on the runway, with soldiers returning from military interventions, and it reduces the expected trauma rate about 80 percent. The TRE®-series of exercises developed by Berceli aims at the organism-immanent solution possibilities of muscular and tissue-concerning tension, that play a central role with stress and any form of trauma.

In my course ”Powerful! Reflexes Shape Your Life” I show exercises that make not timely happened and finished processes take place subsequently and so help resolve traumata.

How the Caesarean Section Changes Our Economy

In my blog entry ”Not Being Finished” I have already implied the serious consequences a Caesarean section can have for the human being who has such brought into the world:

”Much worse are psychic long-term consequences Caesarean children suffer from life-long. First of all, delayed mother-child-interaction must be named here. With a Caesarean, the child is abruptly wrenched from the mother – birth will quasi not – as originally meant – be finished. This inability to finish something permeates the Caesarean children‘s whole life. They cannot make decisions. And why should they, when already the very first decision of their life has been taken from them? In later life, these people often suffer from depression. They are not ”finished” and do by all means not manage their lifes.”

Reduced physical ability, poor short- and long-term memory, generally slowed thinking processes, sorely affected organization skills as well as fear, phobia, emotional lability or extremes like hyperactivity, ADD and ADHD are only a few of the possible consequences that can sustainably affect Caesarean children in later life.

I would like to emphasize in this article that the behaviour of Caesarean children has an enormous effect on their surroundings. Partners, family, friends and not least employers and team colleagues suffer from behaviour patterns that are often conspicuous with Caesarean children. More, I am quite sure that the increasing rate of Caesarean births has consequences for our economy (although I am not aware of latest studies that would verify this assumption). When I talk to businesspeople, they consistently describe their difficulties in finding apprentices who are able to persevere vocational training and in binding them to the company. Physical education teachers known to me are aghast that children are unable to perform simplest exercises. In most cases it became apparent that they were Caesarean children.

A Caesarean section means a trauma for the children who have been brought into the world by it. If the trauma is not treated, not only the human being suffers, but, in the long term, society and its economy, too. After all, more and more humans are brought into the world by Caesarean section. But what does this mean for our economy?

The American psychologist and biologist Dr Peter A. Levine is regarded as the leading expert in the field of somatic trauma science. To him, traumatized humans are simply unfit for work. He says that a trauma suppresses the unfolding of life, that it disrupts our connection with ourselves and with other people, with nature and with our spiritual source.

Humans who can badly until not at all concentrate and whose thinking processes are slowed, learn less successfully. The consequence: Less well-educated staff is available. A person who is unable to manage things and who is reluctant to make decisions will not become a good executive. The consequence: Less decision makers, managers, entrepreneurs in economy.

Conclusion: A healthy and successful economy needs healthy and succesful human beings. I therefore plead for enlightenment, so that we do not bring our children into the world with an avoidable trauma we all suffer from and so systematically weaken our society.

Bärbel Hölscher, kinesiologist, giving an interview

Neuroenergetic Kinesiology How reflexes shape our life and how we can change them ourselves What induced you to take up your present profession?
My eldest daughter was in second form – that is now twenty-four years past – when I got to know Brain Gym®, one of three directions of kinesiology existing at that time. I was quickly fascinated by this technique of stress reduction and soon began to take kinesiology training courses, first only in the North German area and from 1999 on – with one exception – solely at IAK (Institute for Applied Kinesiology) Kirchzarten to become a professional kinesiologist.

This fascination never let go of me, on the contrary, it becomes more and more intensive.

What is kinesiology?
The word ”kinesiology” comes from Greek ”kinesis” and means ”the science of movement”. Kinesiologists work with the muscle test, which here is not a muscle function test but a bio-feedback system which provides information about stress in the body-soul-mind system. If the muscle test switches on, that is the muscle does not condescend, no stress is present. If the muscle test switches off, that is the muscle condescends, an imbalance is visible that will be brought back into balance by different correction techniques. That is why we balance and do not treat. We bring an energetic imbalance back into balance. That is kinesiology – nothing more.

This year, kinesiology has been existing for exactly fifty years, hence many different forms of it developed. Because ”kinesiology” is, like ”medicine”, only a generic name where you as well have to ask: ”And which form of kinesiology do you practise?”The only thing they all have in common is their tool – the muscle test.

The form I practise is called Neuoenergetic Kinesiology.

It is based on latest brain research results and was developed by Hugo Tobar, who built on the work of his teacher Dr Charles Krebs. The form I use only exists since about ten years and it rapidly develops, so that I continually take part in further training.

How would you describe your work philosophy?
Capacity building!

Neuroenergetic Kinesiology and reflex integration form the focus of your work. Can you introduce Neuroenergetic Kinesiology a bit more precisely to us? What does reflex integration mean?
Neuroenergetic Kinesiology uses energetic signatures that are generated as follows: The hands touch acupuncture points in various positions, that is how we address various brain areas and find out by muscle test if stress is present. If stress is present, it will be downloaded by holding the various acupuncture points.

As a picture you could say: The client begins to remove the stones, twigs and branches in a river, so that the water does no longer meander too strongly but can flow quietly in the river bed.

Reflexes are unconscious motoric reactions that have been triggered by a visual, auditive, tactile or vestibular stimulus. Reflexes ensure a baby’s survival in year one. Without the Searching, Sucking and Swallowing Reflexes we would starve. The Searching Reflex and the Sucking Reflex should be completely integrated until month six. The Swallowing Reflex persists, of course. Integration now means that when you stroke the baby’s lips or mouth area after month six, the mouth does not automatically open and the child searches the source of food. If this can be observed even in the slightest, it means that at least this reflex did not integrate sufficiently. Later, that is during the course of growth until adulthood, the person will have difficulties to close her resp. his mouth properly.

The consequences are visits with the speech therapist and, in some circumstances, an orthodontic correction. Further, some people told me that they can hardly bear ”springy” kisses, there must always be pressure with this wonderful occupation. Quite recently I gave a lecture with physiotherapists who wanted to know by which signs you can recognize not integrated reflexes.

Here is an example: A person’s head protruded before the central body line (vulture neck) and a hollow back are consequences of not integrated reflexes.

The postures tell me exactly which reflexes are not well integrated, no matter how old the repective persons are. By the methods I have at my disposal I can help my clients slowly integrate their reflexes subsequently.

Where do you see the particular strong points of Neuroenergetic Kinesiology? Which discomforts, problems or concerns can be approached especially well by it?
Since it is meanwhile known how important a well working brain is, it is possible to achieve very good results when learning problems are approached by Neuroenergetic Kinesiology.

Since I like working structurally – thus my affinity with reflex integration – many people with most different pain symptoms come to me. With backache, neck and nape problems or hip problems there will be much achieved by reflex integration.

Could you perhaps give a practical example to clarify the effect of a treatment with Neuroenergetic Kinesiology resp. how a successful reflex integration makes its presence felt?
The so-called ADHD symptoms are manifestations of not integrated reflexes, especially of the Fear- Paralysis Reflex and the Moro Reflex. Both are highly connected with anxiety states. A not physiological muscle tone, either hypertonic or or hypotonic, is connected with the Tonic Labyrinth Reflex. If now you begin to work kinesiologically with these reflexes, which notabene is a process, the symptoms will lessen until, under circumstances, they vanish. That is because the neurological source of reflexes lies in the brain stem, that we can adress well with neuroenergetic kinesiology.

What does a treatment date with you look like when I call on you? What can I expect?
When a client makes an appointment over the phone, I naturally ask immediately about the symptoms. Afterwards I decide if I am already the right contact or if I first send the client to another therapist. I cooperate with a good network consisting of doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and midwives.

When the client is finally present, I let him talk. If it is a child, I have discussed the basics with the parents on the phone before. Then I explain precisely how I work. It is very important to me to repeatedly emphasize the client’s strength on from the first date to create a relaxed atmosphere for the kinesiological session.

The client then lies on the cot and I then work mostly nonverbal, ascertaining and relieving the stress by means of the energetic signatures.

After a balance people repeatedly tell me that the body feeling has changed pleasantly and that the senses have been sharpened.

Why do reflexes have such a shaping influence on our life?
Reflexes already develop in utero. Already during pregnancy the foeti practise the movement patterns that will be the basis of all later movement sequences when the reflex reactions have been integrated.

When reflexes are well integrated, they will no longer be triggered unconsciously by the stimuli. Movements and postures that correspond with the respective reflexes now can consciously be applied for a special aim, be it riding well, dancing or doing maths tasks (pencil grip). Yould could say, the better infant reflexes integrate in year one, the easier we can unfold our potential. Our well- being and our social interactions benefit from it.

You also published a book on this subject: ”Powerful! Reflexes Shape Your Life”, and you developed a course on the topic. Here you impart a principle with a method to integrate reflexes afterwards – from infant to old age. Can you tell us more about this principle and method?
In the book I give a survey over 25 reflexes, how they are triggered and which challenges can occur later when the respective reflex is not integrated.

In the course, I teach the principle of central coordination, how it looks like with EVERY human being and how you can quickly create it yourself. I then show exercises to achieve this central coordination permanently. Because by thinking and acting only out of the centre we need the least energy to do or achieve something.

Can you also imagine a life without kinesiology?
No, because for me it is not only an occupation, but a vocation.

What is important for you in dealing with your clients?
An appreciative and empathetic encounter. Empathetic means compassionate, and empathy is a highly cognitive process that takes place in the frontal lobe where man has his sense of responsibility, his planning of actions and control of his acting.

What do you especially like with your work?
The encounter with most different people who come to me from whole Germany and who even invite me to give lectures abroad.

Your life motto in one sentence?
If you think the way you have always thought, you will act the way you have always acted. If you act the way you have always acted, you will cause what you have always caused –  Albert Einstein

We thank you very much for the interview.