Reflex Integration Therapy for PTSD

Reflex Integration Therapy for PTSD & C-PTSD

Reflex Integration Therapy (RIT) (also sometimes called Neuro-developmental therapy) is a treatment approach that can help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)  by addressing the underlying neurological and physiological issues that contribute to the condition.

PTSD and C-PTSD are severe and debilitating conditions that can occur after a person has experienced or witnessed traumatic event/s at any stage in life. As a child, our development is like a complex chain reaction, and sometimes, due to some kind of stress or trauma during pregnancy, childbirth or infancy, the next link in the chain can’t be completed and neural connections aren’t as efficient as they should be.

RTI and Neuro-developmental therapies are gentle, movement-based treatments that help to reduce any resulting social, emotional, behavioural, and sensory challenges as a result of trauma preventing the neural connections developing as they should. It’s a type of therapy that works with the central nervous system and brain, giving them a second chance to develop typically if there has been a ‘glitch’ in development.

RIT is based on the idea that trauma can disrupt the normal functioning of the nervous system, leading to a range of physical and emotional symptoms. The therapy aims to help address the underlying neurological issues that are causing symptoms.

One of the key components of RIT is the use of reflex integration exercises. These exercises are designed to stimulate the nervous system and help it to function more efficiently. They can include things like balance exercises, crawling, and other activities that help to improve coordination and movement. By stimulating the nervous system in this way, RIT aims to help the brain to process and integrate traumatic memories, which can help to reduce symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD.

Another important aspect of RIT is the use of sensory integration techniques. These techniques involve using different types of stimuli, such as light, sound, and touch, to help the brain process traumatic memories in a more controlled and therapeutic way. This can include activities like listening to calming music, using aromatherapy, and engaging in art therapy or other creative activities.

RIT is a holistic approach that aims to address the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of PTSD and C-PTSD. The therapy is typically conducted by a trained RIT therapist who will work with the individual to develop a personalized treatment plan. The therapy sessions usually takes place in a safe and supportive environment, and the therapist will work closely with the individual to help them to feel comfortable and relaxed.

RIT can be a very effective treatment for PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms. Research studies have shown that individuals who receive RIT typically experience a significant reduction in symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviours. They also report improvements in mood, sleep, and overall quality of life.

Generally a program of treatment will involve doing daily exercises at home. These exercises are designed to give the brain small amounts of stimulation, which helps it mature and develop. The program typically takes 12 months to complete, but some individuals may need a little longer, up to 18 months. It’s important to remember that NDT is not a short-term solution, as it works with the brain and requires enough time for it to reorganize and grow.

It is important to note that Reflex Integration Therapy for PTSD and C-PTSD is not yet widely accepted or recognized as a mainstream treatment for PTSD or C-PTSD and more research is needed to support its effectiveness – but we feel it’s important to share a variety of techniques that have been found to be useful for people with PTSD and C-PTSD. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a therapist specialized in RIT to have a clear understanding of the therapy and its potential benefits.

 

It’s important to note, that while choosing your PTSD or C-PTSD recovery path you need to address both the symptoms and the underlying condition. NICE guidance updated in 2018 recommends the use of trauma focused psychological treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in adults, specifically the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) and trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Please remember, these aren’t meant to be medical recommendations, but they’re tactics that have worked for others and might work for you, too. Be sure to work with a professional to find the best methods for you.

Photo by GMB Fitness on Unsplash

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Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.