The Safe & Sound Protocol
We all deserve to feel safe in our own body.
The Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) developed by Stephen Porges can best be described as a non-invasive acoustic vagus nerve stimulator. It is clinically proven and evidence-based, founded on principles of the polyvagal theory.
The vagus nerve is the largest nerve in our body, helping to regulate tension, anxiety, digestion, breathing, heart rate , sound input, swallowing & much more. When it is not working properly, as can happen after trauma, injury, viral disease, or in chronic conditions such as dysautonomia & ehlers-danlos syndromes, it can lead to a huge host of problems, including:
Constant feelings of 'fight or flight'
Difficulty in relationships
Hypersensitivity to sounds, foods, touch, etc.
Indigestion & IBS
Gastroparesis (the stomach doesn't drain properly)
The Safe & Sound Protocol uses 5 one-hour sessions of filtered music to help retrain and tone the vagus nerve via the muscles of the inner ear, which the vagus nerve directly controls. The music is designed to help your body retune into the sounds of human connection (voice, song, etc) and to tune out or decrease the high and low tones that can be extremely over-stimulating to our nervous systems. It has been shown to have the same calming effect that a mother's lullaby has on our system, except extremely amplified and long-lasting.
Multiple studies have shown that the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) is likely to yield lasting improvements in emotional regulation, auditory hypersensitivity, sleep, HRV & more. Here is a chart summarizing the data from 2 randomized-controlled trials using the filtered music from SSP.
Reduce Sound Sensitivity and Improve Auditory Processing.
Helps you to tune out the high and low-pitched sounds that may (consciously or unconsciously) be overwhelming your nervous system. Helps you to tune back into the mid-range sounds of human connection and safety.
Improve Behavioral and Emotional Regulation, Active the Social Engagement System
Research shows the Safe & Sound protocol can work quickly to calm the nervous system and give us the 'space' to regulate emotions & sensations, making us more willing and able to handle social situations.
Increase the resilience of the nervous system & improve therapeutic outcomes.
Helps you be able to move out of states of fatigue, stress or depression. Also helps boost the effectiveness of any other type of therapy you are doing, from PT to psychotherapy, EMDR, yoga, massage, etc.
Two Ways to Implement the Safe & Sound Protocol:
1. Five Hour 'Core' Safe & Sound Protocol
The Core Safe & Sound Protocol is the main protocol that includes fully-filtered music scientifically engineered and proven to tone the vagus nerve and produce a wide variety of calming effects on the nervous system. It often involves five 1-hour listening sessions with over-the-ear headphones conducted while you are simultaneously engaged in some sort of regulating and non-distracting activity (I will coach you through various options and we will come up with a plan together). It can also be powerful to combine one or two of these sessions into body-work or gentle exercise sessions in clinic. The effects are long-lasting and many don't feel the need to repeat the SSP Core protocol unless a major life stressor occurs that de-regulates the nervous system again.
Price for Current Clients: $300
- Ask me during a session and we can figure out how to implement listening sessions at home and/or during clinic sessions
Price for Non-Clients: $350
- Includes 15-minute phone call to plan how best to integrate the Safe & Sound protocol into your life, as well as check-in emails and calls as needed. Click here to email me and set up a time to get started with payment and training over the phone.
2. Safe & Sound 'Balance' Protocol Subscription
Price: 1-week free trial then $11.95/ month
This is a 'mini' version of the Safe & Sound protocol that can be used to help maintain the results of the Safe & Sound Core protocol (although most do not find this necessary), or to gain familiarity with how the Safe & Sound works. The included tracks have minimal filtration and have a mild calming effect on the vagus nerve, but they do not have anywhere near the same amplitude or longevity of the fully filtered tracks in the SSP Core protocol. You can sign up for monthly payment here, after which you will receive an email inviting you to set up an account and download the SSP app on your phone.