What is the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)?
The Safe & Sound Protocol is a 5 hour auditory intervention, created by Stephen Porges, the founder of polyvagal theory.
SSP music has been specially filtered in a way that causes the vagus nerve to become stimulated during listening. SSP music is basically delivering "cues of safety" to the nervous system.As long as this listening occurs in the context of someone feeling safe and supported,
this introduces a calmer, parasympathetic state, and allows someone whose brain may have been constantly scanning for danger to no longer enhance and hyper focus upon lower frequency sounds - the sounds of danger - but instead to shift focus to higher frequency sounds - the sounds of human speech.
SSP listening also helps to improve the functioning of the middle ear muscles which ideally then become better able to filter out background noise to hear the sound of speech, and others sounds of safety.
This changes all come together for example to allow someone to be able to more easily - and often effortlessly, without "trying" or even being aware that they are doing so - to filter out sounds that they previously would have been distressed by.Areas of Improvement Potentially Arising 2-7 weeks after completion of SSP Core
Reduced anxiety, especially social anxiety
Improved assertiveness and self protectiveness
Increased displays of affection-seeking affection-expressive contact
Increased facial flexibility and expressiveness
Increased body flexibility
Reduced chronic pain
Change in throat tension/sound of voice
Improved eye contact
Reduced repetitive motions and restlessness
Increased feelings of calmness
Hearing changes/reductions in sensory hypersensitivities
Finding transitions much easier
Speech and language improvements
Reduced sensitivity to food tastes and textures/less "picky eating"
Improved reciprocal communication
Thoughts and behavior have more purposeful flow
Easier to follow directions
Improved processing speed
More active participant in classroom, able to tolerate and overcome challenges
Improved visual focus/tracking
More able to put words to feeling
Able to remain regulated during face to face communication
Improved self-awareness (particularly of emotions),
Improved communication about self (again particularly about emotions),
Decreased panic, fears and phobias
Improved cardiac function
Improvement in breathing patterns.
Able to tolerate busy environments
Increased sense of humor
Improved ability to read social cues
Less easily stressed
Improved bladder control
Hormonal shifts for women
Although we are in the early stages of observation, SSP has also been showing promise for those with long covid!