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The Safe and Sound Protocol

Image by Alex Blăjan

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, using 20 years of clinical research. SSP is essentially five hours of music, listened to through headphones at a pace tailored to the individual. Some people will listen to moments at a time and others will move through the programme faster.


Essentially the music uses the auditory system as a direct connection to the nervous system to help restore the brain and body’s ability to experience states of calm.

In more scientific language, the program used modulated vocals to engage the neural network associated with the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the part of the nervous system responsible for rest, regulation, connection, and social engagement. The vagus nerve provides an important bidirectional pathway between the body and the brain.

The SSP supports the inner ear muscles (the strapedius) to receive cues of connection and safety. As the vagus nerve is directly linked to the inner ear when the muscles are not working properly, the nervous system is threatened.  In this defensive state we are more likely to experience dysregulation and miss social cues for engagement. In other words, the SSP teaches the fight or flight reflex to calm down. For some this reflex is on high alert (hyper aroused) and they feel constantly unsafe in their everyday environments and in their everyday interactions. 


Improvements are commonly seen in the following areas:

  • Anxiety and Trauma related Challenges

  • Auditory Sensitivities

  • Inattention

  • Picky and fussy eating

  • Sleep Issues

  • Social and Emotional Challenges

  • Speech and Language Processing (receptive and expressive)

  • Stressors that affect social engagement

Explanation of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Explanation of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

00:00 - 4 minutes 17 sec

SSP and Polyvagal Theory

00:00 - 2 minutes 57 seconds

To find out if the SSP can help you please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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