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Foundations of Tactile Integration.

The basis for tactile integration consists of two fundamental aspects. The first is connected with the work of the sense of touch and the use of special MNRI® techniques to stimulate receptors in the skin. The stimulation of these receptors takes place in accordance with the functions and qualities for touch, blood pressure, temperature, and the growth patterns of the skin and muscular and skeletal structure of the body.

Tactile integration is based on the knowledge of dermatomes. Dermatomes are skin areas nerved by the sensory fiber of one dorsal root. The Masgutova Method® of Tactile Integration is a form of neuro-stimulation that activates different skin and proprioceptive receptors for the integration of the sensory and the brain-body systems. The skin is our largest organ. It forms the boundary between our physical being and the outside world, and plays a very important role our experience of life.

One of the skin’s most important functions is tactile sensation development and neuro-sensori-motor integration Eleven skin receptors placed all over  the body are a constant source of information for the central nervous system, nourishing the brain, and helping it to prioritize incoming  stimuli. These receptors adjust to changing conditions, thereby supporting automatic and intentional coordinated activity. Receptors are one of the first systems that start our movement development, activating  the appearance, development, and maturation of reflexes.

A reflex is the body-brain reaction to external or internal stimuli. Nature created reflexes as a means of protection and development for future motor coordination systems; and for skills formation of manual dexterity in school, sports, and professional functions.

In children with challenges the sense  of touch is often poorly regulated. A hypersensitive child may demonstrate tactile defensiveness by withdrawing from touch, refusing certain kinds of clothing, avoiding certain textures, and disliking fine motor activities. When the tactile sense is deficient, a child may seek excessive stimulation and seem intensive to pain.

Children who are born whit abnormal tactile sensitivity do not receive reliable information through the skin receptors. As a result they feel insecure or fearful in unfamiliar situations and are often unwilling to take the risks required for learning new things. Other children are unable to develop trust because they have experienced  much punitive or inappropriate, invasive touch. In both cases the nervous system is entirely mobilized for survival or protection to support exploration and development.

The purpose of tactile integration is to optimize the brain stem, relax defensive reflexes, and open the entire system to an experience of safety from which trust can grow and healthy development can proceed. The following benefits can be gained from tactile integration sessions:

  • Optimal brain functioning
  • Enhancement of sensory system integration
  • Optimal integration of reflexes (infant, lifelong, proprioceptive, facial, auditory, visual)
  • Providing children with pleasant experience of safe, respectful, and loving touch
  • Supply positive changes in learning and development.

Tactile integration can be successfully used for children and adults with:

  • Learning challenges, including dyslexia and hyperlexia
  • Hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD)
  • Autism and Asperger syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Intellectual delay
  • Other challenges.