MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration)
Programs Implemented by Empire Pediatric Therapy Staff:
Additional Programs Available:
The more times you complete the circle, the faster you see change.
The central nervous system (CNS) controls most functions of the body and mind. It consists of three parts: the brain, the brainstem, and the spinal cord. The brain is the center of our thoughts, the interpreter of our external environment, and the origin of control over body movement. Like a central computer, it interprets information from our peripheral nervous system (PNS), eyes (sight), ears (sound), nose (smell), tongue (taste), skin (touch), proprioception (pressure) and vestibular (movement), as well as from internal organs such as the stomach.
The CNS controls all voluntary movement, such as speech and walking, and involuntary movements, such as blinking and breathing. It is also the core of our thoughts, perceptions, and emotions.
At Empire Pediatric Therapy we apply pressure to the PNS to send a message to the CNS and then complete a movement which allows the message to come back full circle. The more times you replicate the circle, the more likely the information is interpreted correctly, making a lasting change.
This Technique focuses on the concept of activation of a sensory or proprioceptive stimulus for a reflex, followed by performance of a motor response to create a more efficient neurological pathway for physical, mental, emotional and cognitive functioning.
Our therapists begin with taking the introductory course, Dyanamic and Postural Reflex Integration, but many of us go on to take additional courses to meet the specific needs of each child.
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:
• Executive Function Disorder
• Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
• Oppositional Defiance Disorder
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Cerebral Palsy
• Learning Disability (LD)
• ADHD Inattentive, Hyperactive
• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
By addressing the underlying dysfunction, the Masgutova Method seeks to help the child with CP improve his motor dysfunctions, the child with autism improve relational and socialization issues, and the child with ADHD 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. It has broad application that can help anyone who is faced with a challenge despite the level of function, dysfunction or pathology that exists.
This was a time of tremendous upheaval caused by WWI, the Russian Revolution, the subsequent Civil War, famine, and uneven recovery. One tragic product of the many years of civil discord, famine, and revolution was an alarming increase in homeless, abandoned, and neglected children, many of whom developed physical and psychological disabilities as a result of their unfortunate circumstances. This new social problem directed national attention on resolving the plight of these children. The result of this attention gave rise to a national interest in special education and a proliferation of schools, clinics, and teaching institutes, which ultimately brought prominence to the burgeoning field of “defectology,” a word that now seems harsh and insensitive, but is the Soviet term for the discipline of abnormal psychology and learning disabilities. The post-revolution Soviet Union was, therefore, a time of tremendous progress in physiology and psychology and included such heavyweight names as Lev Vygotsky, Alexander Luria, Ivan Sechenov, Nikolai Bernstein, Ivan Pavlov, and Sergei Rubenstein. Unfortunately, the work of Russian scientists during this time was not largely accessible by the West due to the lack of English and European language translations.
Significantly, while the work of Russian scientists was to a large degree unknown to the West, a careful read of Vygotsky’s work from the 1920’s indicates that he and his peers who knew English, had access to, and took into account, the theories of Western researchers, including the work of the noted Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget and the British physiologist Charles Sherrington. Even today, lack of translation limits the access to the large body of Russian research. As a Russian scholar herself, Dr. Masgutova benefited from having uncommon access to the work of these esteemed scientists. Dr. Masgutova credits their work, as well as European thought leaders (e.g., J. Piaget, C. Sherrington, S. Freud), as providing the foundation and inspiration for her further study and for the ultimate development of the Masgutova Method®.
In some respects it seems remarkable that the work of men in the early 20th century may be relevant today. However, over the past twenty years, as Russian texts have become available to Western scientists, the power of their ideas has become understood. This point is underscored by the following quotation found in the Editor’s Note of the 1997 translation of L.S. Vygotsky’s 1921-1923 lectures (Educational Psychology, St. Lucie Press, 1997):
“It has been said that as a rule, the translation and publication of the works of a scholar such as Vygotsky who lived and worked over fifty years ago would be carried out because the ideas presented are seen in retrospect as being ‘ahead of their time.’ But in many ways, our publication of Vygotsky’s work, as well that of other publishers, is motivated by entirely different concerns. Our motivation follows the conviction of Vygotsky’s students in the Soviet Union and the West that his ideas and insights are in many respects considerably ahead of our time, and by the conviction that his influence on the development of psychology and the social sciences has not been nearly as considerable as it must be.”
Following are links to biographical notes on notable scientists and medical professionals who investigated various aspects related to the Masgutova Method. As a group, these scientists were tremendously productive and instrumental to the fields of neurology, psychology, physiology, anatomy and medicine. They include early pioneers such as Ivan Sechenov and Charles Sherrington who independently produced ground breaking work on the role of reflexes and the existence of the reflex circuit, the Vygotsky trio of Lev Vygotsky, Alexei Leontyev, and Alexander Luria, who sought to make psychological processes measurable and advanced a broad range of original work, and those who followed Vygotsky and built on this large body of knowledge. The biographical information has been drawn from a variety of secondary sources, primarily in English, as well as from interviews with Dr. Masgutova. While it is impossible to discuss the full breadth and depth of their work, we wish to both acknowledge their influence and provide a brief summary of their general contribution to their field and how they connect to the development of the Masgutova Method. We have been more expansive in areas where the contributions of the particular scientist relate more strongly to the work of Dr. Masgutova. We have also included notable publications for those interested in gaining a stronger perspective of this body of knowledge.