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safe and sound protocol


Nervous System Support

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a listening therapy developed by Dr. Stephen Porges to help clients better regulate their nervous systems.  The SSP functions as as an acoustic vagus nerve stimulator, and as such helps clients to feel more calm and comfortable in their bodies, reduce stress and improve resilience and social engagement.  The SSP has been seen clinically to help patients improve symptoms associated with:

  • ASD

  • ADHD

  • Anxiety and depression

  • PTSD, trauma 

  • Long Covid

  • Dysautonomia/POTS

  • MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome)

  • ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

  • Adrenal fatigue/dysfunction

  • Mood dysregulation

  • Motion sickness

  • Auditory processing disorder

  • Auditory hypersensitivities

  • Sensory processing disorder

The SSP is a listening therapy that works by targeting the inner ear muscles.  These muscles can become dysfunctional due to illness, age or chronic stress, reducing their ability to filter out background noise.  When background noise (lower frequency sound) is not effectively filtered, we cannot attend as well to human speech (higher frequency sound). Disproportionate attention given to lower frequency sounds activates our sympathetic fight/flight/freeze nervous system.

 When the middle ear muscles work properly, background noise is dampened and the sympathetic nervous system is not activated as easily.  The listener is able to focus and hear human speech (higher frequency) easier, thereby making it easier for us to remain in a parasympathetic, calm and socially engaged state.   As the client improves their ability to attend to higher speech frequencies they improve the functioning of Cranial Nerve VII and Cranial Nerve X, the Vagus Nerve.

   The Vagus Nerve is the autonomic nervous system's master nerve, and the longest nerve in the body extending from the brain to the colon and effecting nearly every organ in between.  The Vagus Nerve helps to regulate blood pressure, digestion, and heart rate among many other functions.  Vagus Nerve treatment, or Vagus Nerve "toning" is a popular area of research for anxiety, PTSD, POTS and Long Covid, just to name a few.

The SSP is divided into 5 one hour listening sessions, usually recommended to be broken into shorter 30 minute sessions over 10 consecutive days.  The music is enjoyable and contemporary with four different soundtracks for adults and children.  The therapy can be delivered remotely at home, with the only needed equipment an over-ear headset that is not sound cancelling.  

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