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Nourish and awaken the nervous system. Feel better. Think better. Connect better.
Now more than ever, the world is a busy place filled with uncertainty. People of all ages, demographics and geographies are struggling. When faced with what the body perceives as threats or danger, it responds by re-tuning the nervous system into states of defense – either “fight or flight” (sympathetic) or “freeze” (dorsal vagal). The brain and body’s first priority is to keep us alive.
When the nervous system remains in a chronic state of defense, it affects both the mind and body – impacting how we feel, think, and connect with others.
This can adversely affect our health and day-to-day experience in the world. A proven solution is to look from the bottom up.
Introducing the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)
The Safe and Sound Protocol, or SSP, is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory, based on decades of research and developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, Unyte’s Chief Scientific Advisor.
The SSP’s effectiveness has been proven in a wide range of studies, most notably in two clinical trials involving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Trial participants demonstrated statistically significant improvements in:
- Emotional control
- Behavioral organization
- Hearing sensitivity and listening
The SSP program, which is facilitated by qualified and certified professionals, employs a practical bottom-up approach to help people regulate their nervous system more consistently and independently.
- Feel Better — feel more safe, calm, grounded and resilient; feel less irritable, anxious and overwhelmed
- Think Better — think more clearly, attentively, and creatively, think less rigidly, disorganized and distractible
- Connect Better — connect more openly, genuinely and wholly; connect less guardedly, distantly and oppositionally
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The SSP uses the auditory system as a portal to the vagus complex, which controls our physiological state. Once physiological state is regulated, we can accelerate or enhance subsequent therapy.
Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, the program is derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes. It is designed to stimulate nervous system regulation by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specifically processed music.
The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior. Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies. Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.
Following successful completion of the intervention, individuals will be better able to focus in school, therapy, and everyday life and experience a calmed emotional and physiological state. This is based on studies that suggest that skills such as attention, state regulation and the ability to engage socially will be enhanced.
- The SSP increased vagal regulation of the heart and normalized auditory processing in children with ASD. (Read here.)
- The SSP enhanced social behavior in children with ASD. (Read here.)
- Using the SSP with children who have experienced trauma. Funded by the Australian Childhood Foundation. (Read here.)
- Assessing the effects of the SSP on behavioral regulation in children and adults with ADD/ADHD. In cooperation with: ADD Centre and Biofeedback Institute of Toronto. (Read here.)
- Assessing the effects of the SSP on improvement of social and regulation behaviors in individuals with PWS. In addition, a new methodology for collecting and evaluating vocal samples for analyses of prosody will be assessed. (Read here.)
- Determining if the SSP can decrease the atypical features of the Social Engagement System in adolescents and young adults with Prader Willi Syndrome. In cooperation with the Latham Centers School in Brewster, Massachusetts. (Read here.)
- Examining the effects of the SSP on chronic pain in older adults. In cooperation with the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana. (Read here.)
The SSP is now available for use virtually, for most clients. We at Brain Connex Therapy will guide you through the program and help to modify or make adjustments as needed. Virtually the treatment is a 30- minute listening program for 10-days in a row (with the ability to go slower as prescribed). You will need access to a smartphone and ear-covering headphones (no earbuds or noise cancelling). The SSP is not a stand-alone treatment. You will see best results for your child if coupled with other neurologically-based treatment such as reflex & brain integration, and/or higher-level neurological therapeutic activities. With Brain Connex Therapy you will receive access to all three pathways of the SSP: Connect, Core, Balance. You will have access for two months and can use the program with two people.
*Please note: the SSP is not meant to be a stand-alone treatment. Once you have completed the program and taken 1-2 weeks rest, it is recommended to continue with a neurologically-based movement learning program. I can help recommend programs for you, OR you can work with me on a full, individualized program for your child, that includes SSP, primitive reflex integration, brain balance, and other therapeutic activities specific to your child’s needs.
**Virtual SSP is not recommended for children or adults who have had signifiant trauma. Instead you should seek out in-person treatment with SSP**