QRI Cold Laser Protocol


What are retained reflexes?- a simple explaination

Mammals are born with motor programs already "pre loaded". For example horses can run within a few hours of birth, while humans do not have this ability. (Interestingly, the reason that we don't... is to increase bonding. Research shows people become attached to things that they care for and that require effort - so carrying babies for up to a year is important for human bonding. Digression aside...)  Human's do however have some motor programs already in place in the brain stem. This includes for example the grasp reflex. You will see this reflex activity when you place a pen in a babies hand. The hand will automatically close due to the pressure on the palm (which activates the reflex). You may have experienced this - finding you will need to peel the babies fingers open to retrieve the pen. This program is set in the brainstem. It is there for life along with a host of other reflexes. While the grasp reflex is good for hanging onto moving mothers, it is not helpful further on in life when one wants to catch and throw balls for example, and to be able to easily open the hand. So as the cerebral cortices mature, they inhibit these pre-programmed reflexes. This process is termed reflex integration.

Any condition that affects cerebral maturation may cause lack of reflex integration meaning that the reflexes are still active. Why would this be a problem? In the above example, if the brainstem (primitive brain) is signalling the hand to stay closed, and the motor cortex (advanced brain) is signalling the hand to open, there is an activation of the brainstem that has to be overcome. The body is in effect in conflict. This can lead to brainstem activation. The fight and flight system is also located in the brainstem and brainstem activation can lead to up-regulation of the alarm or fight and flight system otherwise known as the Sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic dominance can affect gut permeability leading to "leaky gut" in some cases. So as you can see, a simple thing like a retained reflex can effect other systems in the body.

How to reflexes end up retained?

-This can occur due to developmental delays limiting the ability of the cortex to inhibit brainstem reflexes and so retained reflexes are commonly seen in Autism, Cerebral Palsy and in childhood behavioural disorders. They are also seen in those who have suffered early emotional trauma.
-Reflexes that were previously integrated can loose the cerebral suppression needed to remain integrated during a head injury. stroke or trauma event. 

Some of the most important reflexes we see retained in behavioural or emotional issues are the Startle and the MORO reflex. These in effect, when retained often lead the nervous system to be "on guard" for increased periods of time causing difficulty relaxing. 

Then the peripheral reflexes (such as the grasp reflex in the upper limb or the Babinski reflex in the lower limb) can be associated with pain syndromes (as the neuromuscular system experiences conflicting control signals from the brainstem and the motor cortex). 

Why  Quantum Reflex Integration (QRI) ?

We have known about retained reflexes for some time. For example a study published in the Lancet in 2000 showed that virtually all children with specific learning disabilities had a retained ATNR (Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex) and that treatment of this retained reflex resulted in a marked improvement in learning, like a number of research areas where treatment does not involve an easily dispensed medication, the area of assessing for and treated retained reflexes has not really been incorporated into standard practice. While there are a number of physiotherapists who specialise in this area, they are few and far between.

Treatment of Retained Reflexes initially involved long and involved exercises. Sally Goddard http://sallygoddardblythe.co.uk/ has written Reflexes, Learning and Behavior. This text outlines exercises that can be performed to cause integration of reflexes, along the lines of the exercises used in the Lancet study.

However these exercises can take months if not years and involve daily sessions of up to 30 minutes,... very difficult to do with children who already have behavioural issues!  Following on from this the Applied Kinesiology Chiropractors developed protocols for integration. In some cases integrating up to 3 reflexes up to every 3 days.

The latest method for addressing retained reflexes was developed by Bonnie Brandes who had worked for many years with the famous reflex integration practitioner Svetlana Masgutova. In a paradigm jump, Bonnie has produced Low Level Laser protocols to address retained reflexes.

Now we come to the point in clinically practice where we decide what methods we use. Standard medicine is committed to the requirement for gold standard randomised, double blind placebo controlled trials to be performed prior to incorporation of a therapy. Or at least this is the aim. This is difficult even in standard medicine evidenced by the number of treatments presently routinely used that are not backed by this level of evidence.

Often the methods that are just being developed and are cutting edge in nature, do not have the funding for the expensive studies required. Beyond this, if the method is outside of the standard paradigm (for example using Low Level Laser on acupoints!), they either fail to attract funding even when funding applications are made, or once funded, have difficulty getting published in standard journals.  

In 2015 Dr Harris learnt about the QRI system and reports overseas seemed to confirm that the protocols were resulting in rapid integration of reflexes. So in 2017 we were very grateful when Bonnie Brandes accepted the invitation to tour New Zealand and Australia running training programs. Since this time our practitioners who attended the training have reported back consistent stories of patient/client results in around 70% of cases . One physiotherapist who attend and who had being working the "long hand" way (using the exercise methods) for many years, reported (quite emotionally moved) that a number of her affected clients integrated up to 10 reflexes in a single session with the majority of these reflexes holding on repeat visit. A result unheard of in the previously slower methodologies. So while RCT trail results are not yet available, we are now using this methodology in the clinic as it is safe and in the majority of clients, producing very quick results.

What else does the laser do?

Research, much of which is out of Harvard under Prof M. Hamblin, is beginning to indicate that Low Level ("cold") Laser light has a number of beneficial effects. It causes up regulation of Nitric Oxide and increases in mitochondrial ATP (energy) production. Beyond this, linking the dots in biophysics research, the latest cellular physics studies are showing that the microtubules residing inside cells use biophotons (light) signalling. As the "cold" laser’s beam penetrates the skin as much as two inches, the cells under the laser light are receiving photonic signalling. Further, published work shows that memories are held in the microtubules at the cellular level. These two findings are again paradigm jumping but published now in a number of papers with increasing research support. There is further research linking cellular microtubule signalling with information transfer through the myofascial system - thus out to the whole body. Many of us working clinically in this area wonder if this is why we see such a positive response in cases of emotional trauma.


 effects of cold laser, sound and reflex integration techniques to incorporate the reflex patterns which may not have integrated in the normal developmental stage. QRI uses harmonic laser frequencies for each reflex and acupoint. 

. These lasers increase the amount of ATP within the cell by stimulation the mitochondria.

The general effects of the cold laser include:

  • Increased cell growth
  • Increased metabolic activity
  • Pain relief
  • Fast wound healing
  • Increased cellular detoxification
  • Increased collagen and elasticity
  • Increased vascular activity

What are primitive reflexes?

Humans are born with many automatic, primitive reflexes (such as the MORO reflex, grasp reflex, etc.). These primitive reflexes are an instinct which is programmed into the human brain. Primitive reflexes disappear and ‘’integrate” with the brain so that as a child grows, the reflexes disappear, until they are needed as a quick response in the future.

However, some children and adults are unable to integrate their primitive reflexes and thus have reflex retention which can cause problems with movement and connections. These reflexes are therefore immature and unintegrated and can cause a constant stress on the nervous system. The constant stress on the nervous system causes the brain to become irritant and tired due to the amounts of energy being used. 



Conditions in which reflexes are immature or unintegrated

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Behavioural or Psychological Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Stroke
  • Down Syndrome (T21)
  • Learning Disabilities