Retained Spinal Galant Reflex

Spinal Galant Exercises

The Spinal Galant Reflex develops in the womb at about 20 weeks gestation. It helps the baby develop the Vestibular System. In Infancy, the Spinal Galant Reflex, along with the Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR), are necessary to help the unborn infant descend down the birth canal. It also helps the baby urinate after birth. You will see the reflex in an infant if you gently stroke down one side of the lower part of the spine. The baby’s arms and legs will sway toward the direction of the stroke almost like being ticklish. If both sides of the spine are stroked at the same time it induces urination. This is normal. However, the Spinal Galant Reflex should be gone by 3-9 months as higher muscle control develops. This is called ‘integrating’. If not properly integrated, it can cause many subtle issues.


Check out the latest studies on Primitive Reflex Integration. My favorite is the newest ADHD study by Harvard Univ. done on the Melillo Method which incorporates Primitive Reflex Integration. 

Retained Spinal Galant Reflex Symptoms:

  • Fidgety, Hyper Activity, especially if clothes or chair brush their back.
  • If active down only one side, can cause scoliosis, rotated pelvis and lower back pain.
  • Poor concentration
  • Attention problems
  • Bedwetting long after potty training
  • Short term memory issues
  • Fidgeting and wiggly “ants in the pants”
  • Posture problems
  • Hip rotation on one side/possibly scoliosis
  • Low endurance
  • Chronic digestion problems
  • Even if they don’t display any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to do the quick test on them, as there may be other functions that are affected by it that are still unknown.


Retained Spinal Galant Reflex

Spinal Galant Test

Have the child get down on their hands and knees like a “kitty”. At the lower part of their back, stroke down one side of the spine, then the other.

If the child’s muscles on the same side tighten, twitch, or jerk, the reflex is most likely still present. This is not caused by being ticklish. A ticklish child will react if their sides are touched not the side of their spine.

Do this to both sides. If either side twitches, exercises are recommended!Primitive Reflex Integration

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Spinal Galant Reflex Exercises