The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-hour listening therapy designed to reset the nervous system. Rooted in his Polyvagal Theory, Dr. Stephen Porges created the SSP to help people attain a grounded state where they feel safe, connected, calm and social. The Safe and Sound Protocol uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus nerve, which controls our physiological state.
The SSP has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD and ADD, trauma and auditory sensitivities as well as improving social engagement and overall emotional well-being. It also helps children and adults to move through major life transitions (such as starting school, starting a new job, divorce).
During the program, you listen to specially filtered music through headphones spread for a total of five hours. The music has been altered to a specific frequency that slowly engages and strengthens the inner ear muscles, allowing an individual to hear cues of safety as their nervous system moves into a regulated state. The SSP is self-administered and can be done from the comfort of your own home. It is safe and effective for adults, children, and even animals.
Don't wait to start feeling better. Try the Safe and Sound Protocol today and experience the benefits for yourself. Give yourself and/or your child the gift of emotional well-being.
To learn more about the SSP click here.
Respond effectively to
“Respond vs. react” replacing emotionally charged reactivity with controlled responsiveness and resilience.
Access higher learning and cognition.
Learn and retain important facts and concepts that enable greater confidence and societal contribution.
Build positive social relationships.
Develop relationships and truly connect with others.
Our ANS subconsciously decides via our senses in every moment whether a person or situation is safe, dangerous or a threat. Trauma (physical or emotional) and chronic stress can push our limbic system into a “stuck” state of fight or flight, affecting your mood, feelings and thoughts and eventually leading to physical symptoms.
Learn more about how the Safe and Sound Protocol works.
Polyvagal Theory helps us better understand our challenges and gives us a foundational framework for non-invasive ways to support them.
Based on years of research by Dr. Stephen Porges and his Polyvagal Theory, the SSP is a five-hour therapeutic listening intervention designed to support the individual's emotional regulation and neuroception (sense of one's safety), as well as decrease auditory sensitivity. The intervention uses prosodic vocal music to train the middle ear to tune-in to cues of safety signaled by the frequencies of human voice, which stimulates the social engagement system through the neural network associated with listening. This ushers the nervous system out of a defensive (fight, flight or freeze) state and into a socially engaged (ventral vagal) state. The music is heard through headphones while engaging in a calm activity in co-regulation. The SSP increases vagal regulation of the heart leading to better control of state. Since our state is critical to how we approach a task at hand, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and greater success in other interventions.
The SSP can improve the quality of life for individuals with a variety of conditions and challenges including, but not limited to:
Your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) takes care of a lot of functions like your heartbeat, digestion and body temperature, all without you having to be conscious of it. It also manages your survival and stress response, constantly scanning the environment for cues of safety and danger. As it scans the environment there are three general states or responses. 1. Safe (rest and digest response); you feel calm, relaxed and connected to those around you. 2. Mobilized (fight / flight response); when the ANS detects danger, our heart rate and breathing increases, blood rushes to your muscles, and adrenal and cortisol is released. 3. Immobilized (freeze response); when the ANS detects that the danger is so great you can't run or fight it shuts you down, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease and pain numbing endorphins are released.
Our ANS navigates us through these states in the world every day. When the ANS functions well it moves fluidly from one state to another or blends them as optimally needed. When our nervous system stays fluid and flexible, we are able to manage stress well and are resilient to negative events, we are able to 'bounce back'. Unfortunately, when we experience trauma or chronic stress it can keep our ANS from functioning in a safe, regulated and healthy way and it can keep us stuck in survival mode. Our detection system becomes faulty, constantly signaling danger, even when we are safe.
Many physical and emotional symptoms can emerge from a chronically dysregulated nervous system. When we get stuck in a survival state, our biology shifts its focus from tasks that keeps us healthy, happy and thriving to surviving the immediate perceived threat. Living in a chronic state of feeling unsafe can keep us from connecting with others and from accessing higher intelligence.
Symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system can be physical, mental and/or emotional including, but not limited to:
In children, a dysregulated nervous system can manifest in various ways depending on their age, temperament, and individual experiences. Here's a general overview of how the fight, flight, freeze state may appear in children.
It's important to note that not all children respond in the same way to a threat (real or perceived). Some children may exhibit a combination of these responses or even switch between them depending on the circumstances. Additionally, the intensity and duration of these responses vary widely from child to child.
It is important to have a quiet and calm environment while listening. Children can engage in any kind of quieter activity such as puzzles, blocks, play doh, kinetic sand, board games, stress balls, blocks, sticker books, coloring, etc. Avoid overstimulating or highly active activities, electronic toys and loud sounds while listening. It is beneficial to be in co-regulation while listening to SSP.
Co-regulation is a process between two people that aims to help manage immediate, in-the-moment emotions and foster self-regulation skills. This is achieved by one person's nervous system calming and nurturing another, providing an environment that supports emotional and physical safety. “As you co-regulate with someone, the mirror neurons in their brain are activated, and this enables the person in the deregulated state to literally ‘mirror’ your calmness.” —Caroline Leaf, PhD.
The pace of the protocol is dictated by your own needs and nervous system response. The fastest you can complete the Safe and Sound Protocol is in 5 days, by listening to 1 hour of music per day. The average is 30 minutes of listening per day - sometimes every day, sometimes every other day.
The SSP uses specially filtered music to deliver different auditory frequencies therefore traditional earphones do not work for the program. Headphones need to be over the ears (not earbuds), they also should not have bluetooth or be noise-cancelling. Some headphone recommendations from iLs include:
After finishing a session, it is beneficial to participate in activities that are grounding. Here are some suggestions:
SSP's effectiveness has been proven in a wide range of studies including clinical trials involving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, along with numerous case studies demonstrating effectiveness with emotional regulation, trauma, anxiety and more.
Research has even begun on how the SSP can affect the impact of long COVID. Explore SSP research and case studies more on the Unyte website.
Copyright © 2023 Wholey Live - All Rights Reserved.