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Retained primitive reflexes can cause a range of issues in both adults and children, including anxiety or anger problems, learning and concentration difficulties, sensory issues, or poor physical coordination.  Equally importantly, this condition can really impact how someone feels about themselves.  Frustration, negativity, low confidence and low self-esteem often result from living life with the constant disturbance of retained primitive reflexes.

What are retained primitive reflexes?

We are all born with primitive reflexes: they are automatic physical responses that play a crucial role in kickstarting our development over the first few months of life.  As we approach the age of one, these reflexes are no longer needed and should weaken and disappear.  If this does not happen, and the primitive reflexes instead remain “switched on”, they are said to be retained.  This then represents an invisible source of immaturity: a link back to our life as a newborn, around which growth and development will continue through childhood.  People with retained primitive reflexes can often display very capable, mature behaviour in some aspects of life, whilst also presenting seemingly immature characteristics or abilities in other situations. 

Primitive Reflex Therapist with Sarah Baker

Primitive reflex therapy is a touch and exercise-based programme which slowly inhibits primitive reflexes that have been retained, removing the hidden immaturity that they represent.  This tends to improve emotional control and reduce physical barriers to development, allowing someone’s natural personality, talents, and skills to blossom. 

Sarah has been practising Primitive Reflex Therapy at The Maple Leaf Clinic since 2018, treating children and adults.  She works through both the sense of touch (“the brushing technique”) and physical movement.  She trained in this alternative therapy with Bob Allen at Access Potential in Windsor.  

In keeping with her training, Sarah places empathy at the core of her therapy.  Primitive reflexes affect every person differently, and Sarah believes that a crucial factor in a successful treatment is an individual understanding of exactly how someone is affected.  Prior to her training, both of her children were treated for retained primitive reflexes, and thus she has the first-hand experience of how frustrating their effects can be, and how beneficial treatment can be for the entire family.

To complement her practice at the clinic, Sarah is studying Health Sciences with The Open University.   This has included the study of the brain and the nervous system, the body’s stress response, and mental health.  Sarah originally comes from a scientific background, gaining a PhD in laser physics from Imperial College London in 2004, where she remained as a post-doctoral research assistant for 5 years.

For further information, visit Sarah’s website ( or contact Sarah at

COVID-19 UPDATE: Sarah is now taking bookings in the clinic. For further information, visit Sarah's website: