The Safe and Sound Protocol

“It is not just what we hear, but how we hear that impacts our interpretation of information coming into the body through the auditory pathway. If we are organized in defense (survival), this will impact how the body takes in and processes information. Ultimately, it will determine if we react to others and environment from a lens of safety or from a lens of threat.”

Safe and Sound Protocol is a neuropsychological approach to health and healing.

Safe and Sound Protocol, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges is based on 4 decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and socio-emotional processes. SSP was designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, enhancing social engagement and resilience.

Our nervous systems priority is to keep us alive. When our body or brain feel or perceives a threat, our nervous system moves into states of defense (fight, flight, or freeze). When a nervous state remains in a chronic state of defense it affects the way we feel, think, and connect with others. This can adversely affect our health and how we experience the world around us.

Dr. Porges established that sounds with certain qualities, rhythm, and tones can generate a state of calm alertness and provide an opportunity for positive interactions. He designed SSP to bring a person out of states of hyperarousal towards feelings of safety or calmness. Through engineered music, this innovative experience stimulates the vagus nerve and elicits a ‘safe and sound’ state in the listener, thereby reshaping the nervous system so a person can better interpret not only human speech, but also, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. In this state, we are more curious, more likely to see others as safe rather than threatening, and more open to connection.

SSP shifts the physiology into a state of neurological safety creating the conditions for new, positive connections in the brain to occur, and allowing for the integration of the body and mind so that one can hear, feel, see and sense the world and others as benevolent and loving.

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