Dr. Bahmanpour examining patient's shoulder.

Primal reflex release technique

A novel physical therapy treatment for patients experiencing acute or chronic pain.

About primal reflex release technique

The goal of primal reflex release technique (PRRT) is to normalize the body's primal reflexes, which include the startle and withdraw impulses. These reflexes are thought to be overstimulated in patients experiencing pain, which may maintain their discomfort or even cause it to worsen. Using unorthodox techniques, such as gently pulling the hair and pinching the ears, PRRT helps return these reflexes to normal, thereby decreasing or eliminating pain.

What to expect

  • Evaluation: Your therapist will begin your treatment with a quick assessment to determine your most sensitive or painful areas.

  • Treatment: After you have been evaluated, your therapist will perform techniques like pulling your hair, pinching your ears and prodding different parts of your body to relax your reflexes. These techniques are performed gently to avoid causing additional pain. Each treatment lasts approximately half an hour.

  • After: Many patients experience an immediate decrease in pain following a PRRT treatment, although the technique isn't for everyone. Your therapist will know if PRRT is right for you soon after you begin treatment.

Am I a candidate for primal reflex release?

PRRT is intended for use on patients who suffer from acute or chronic pain. There are many different causes of pain, including:

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • Injuries

  • Joint pain

  • Sinus pain

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