Fear Paralysis Reflex

The Fear Paralysis Reflex plays a foundational part in laying the groundwork for all the other primitive reflexes.  Disruptions in the Fear Paralysis and Moro reflexes can adversely affect the integration of all the remaining primitive reflexes.  This can lead to physical, emotional, and mental challenges through out your child’s life.

fear paralysis reflex

Function of the Fear Paralysis Reflex

The FP plays a protective part for the mother and the unborn baby.  As one of the first reflexes to emerge, it perform the protective task of fear paralysis, from which it gets its name. When the mother encounters a threat, the FPR decreased the demands on the fetus places on her system as she responds to the danger with what is likely to be flight or fight response. The FP help this by having the fetus go into motor paralysis, decreased blood flow and reduced heart rate, which makes all the mother’s physiological resources available for her to respond to the situation. It asks as an automatic reaction to sensory, physical or psychological stimuli.

Aerial yoga classes and therapy help to integrate reflexes

Our FUN brain-based aerial yoga classes are beneficial to the brain and body to support physical and emotional growth in ALL children. Our unique classes utilize evidence-based tools to teach social and emotional learning and mindfulness.  I work on primitive reflex integration in every class I teach.  Join us for a an aerial yoga class or aerial yoga camp.

Integrate reflexes with Occupational Therapy

My aerial classes help with reflex integration, but classes are only meant to supplement occupational therapy.  If you suspect your child has one or more retained reflexes, there is a way to test your child and help integrate the reflexes with simple exercises both in and out of the aerial hammock. I recommend having your child assessed.  The assessment provides us with valuable data to help us determine what is the best program for your child.

To sign up for an occupational therapy assessment, visit our therapy page.  Click on either the self-pay or pay using your insurance benefit link to start the evaluation process.

What is the Fear Paralysis Reflex

The Fear Paralysis (FP) reflex is one of the early withdrawal reflexes that emerges approximately 5-weeks after conception.  The pattern of the Fear Paralysis reflex has been described like a terrified animal, completely frozen and unable to move. The Fear Paralysis reflex is normally inhibited by week twelve in utero.

It integrates into the Moro reflex. If the Fear Paralysis reflex is not inhibited, the Moro Reflex will stay active, and similarly, if the Moro is retained the Fear Paralysis reflex may not fully complete its integration.  In many cases, the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex will remain inhibited as well. If the Fear Paralysis reflex is not fully integrated at birth it may contribute to lifelong challenges related to fear and balance.

Fear Paralysis Reflex

Signs of a retained Fear Paralysis

  • Decreased ability to handle stress

  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sound, light, smell, & taste

  • Depression

  • Excessive shyness

  • Selective mutism

  • Attention seeking behavior

  • Separation anxiety

  • Withdrawal

  • Lack of self-esteem

  • Motion sickness and vestibular dysfunction

  • Acting out and temper tantrums in children

  • Obsessive-compulsive symptoms

  • Oppositional and aggressive behavior

Fear Paralysis Reflex