The Safe and Sound Protocol is an acoustical intervention based in neurobiology. This auditory intervention provides cues to the nervous system to regulate and organize. Delivered over a period of approximately five sessions, this auditory intervention is indicated for children as young as three years of age to adults. It is based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory which is derived from twenty years of extensive research.
The Safe and Sound Protocol best addresses children and adults exhibiting the following features:
WHAT IS POLYVAGAL THEORY?
Polyvagal Theory or the “science of feeling safe,” is a key research advancement that helps us better understand the needs and challenges of the brain and gives us a foundational framework for non-invasive ways to support the nervous system. Developed by world-renowned researcher, Dr. Stephen Porges, Polyvagal Theory focuses on what is happening in the body and the nervous system, and explains how our sense of safety, or danger or threat, can impact our behavior. Understanding Polyvagal Theory gives us a scientific framework that can be applied through physiological, or “bottom-up” therapies, to help change and improve how we feel, think and connect with others.
INTERNAL CONTROL CENTER
The mind and body are connected through the vagus nerve, which is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, stretching from the brainstem to the colon. It is our internal control center, allowing the brain to monitor and receive information about many of our bodily functions. The vagus nerve helps to regulate many critical aspects of our body, including the heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, digestion, and even speaking. As the body takes in information automatically through neuroception, the vagus nerve processes the signals and cues from the world around us and, in turn, determines how we react through three physiological states:
Parasympathetic / Ventral Vagal state — our centered “true self” state, where all social interaction, connection and cognition occurs
Sympathetic state — feeling of threat or danger, and feeling the need to either “fight” or “flee” from a situation to seek safety
Dorsal Vagal state — our “freeze” state, when we feel our lives are so immediately threatened that we become immobilized
The Nervous System, Neuroplasticity, and Polyvagal Theory
Scientific advancements have helped us better understand how the nervous system and brain work and have given us greater insight into what’s happening in the minds and bodies of those who struggle. The brain is able to change in response to stimulation, an ability known as “neuroplasticity.” The Safe and Sound Protocol is based on this principle, providing gentle and specific stimulation in order to activate the neural pathways used in the processing of sensory information. Neuronal connections in these pathways are strengthened and new connections are established through repeated sessions of multisensory input.
Talk to me today about how the Safe and Sound Protocol can benefit you or your child.