The Bodyfulness Perspective
Body-based neural re-patterning through the lens of Somatic and Polyvagal theory.
The Polyvagal Protocol
(Safe and Sound Protocol)
This clinically proven method significantly reduces stress and soothes the autonomic nervous system (the body's threat/stress response), so that you can engage with the world more effortlessly.
The SSP works from an evolutionary perspective. When in fight or flight, our middle ear muscles remain inactive in order to strengthen lower frequency sounds (like background noise, which historically was needed in order to hear predators). What you hear, and how you hear it, influences how the body responds.
When muscles are not used, they weaken - When our body is in a perpetual threat response, it becomes more difficult to activate and contract the muscles of the inner ear- Which makes hearing higher frequency sounds such as the human voice more difficult - Background noise may frequently startle a person - or sometimes this may look like inattention - the list goes on.
The SSP uses specially-filtered music to train the neural network associated with listening to focus on the frequency range of the human voice. As our middle ear muscles become stronger through the repetition of this exercise, our body learns how to focus on the frequencies of human speech, the vagus nerve becomes stimulated and the state of feeling more safe and calm becomes accessible.
The Safe and Sound Protocol is not about any particular content or back-story of trauma, but rather, it's about honoring the body that kept us safe.
Adult clients and parents of ADHD children often complain that they have already undergone many different forms of intervention for their ADHD-related challenges which are not only expensive but also frustrating when nothing seems to change.
The change they seek is often out of reach because most methods are top-down approaches - meaning, they target the mind, not the body.
While the SSP is not a magic wand or "cure-all" it CAN and has been shown to create changes and improvements (as mentioned in the studies link above).
Studies indicate that the SSP has a high rate of accelerating:
Nervous system regulation/Threat-Response regulation
Giving and/or understanding facial expressions
Stressors that impact social engagement
Comprehending audio and speech in various scenarios/audio-processing
Sustaining attention and comprehending audio when watching movies (often using subtitles to assist)
Somehow misunderstanding homework assignments due to unclear, verbalized instructions or not hearing that there was an assignment due in the first place
And more, please refer to the studies link
Our threat response must be regulated and organized in order to understand the speech and language of others/process audio and engage with the world fully.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can the protocol be repeated?:
Yes, it can. Some people might choose to do another up-keep round of the protocol in 3-4 months. Each individual is different, but there is no reason it couldn't be repeated.
Can the SSP fix my own or my child's learning disability?
It can sometimes be difficult to separate the social impact of the disability from the disability itself. Learning is partly a social process, thus improving the social engagement system, which can help some clients to learn. Each response is unique. To word it concisely, the SSP cannot "fix" a disability itself - What it can do is lessen the moments of "shut-down" when confronted with a challenge, and may decrease emotional reactions that a person may approach learning new skills, or academics. In some studies, the SSP has been shown to increase attention span and ability to stay on task.
Why is the effect stronger in adults than children?
The SSP has proven to be beneficial for both however, it is not always the best option for an adult to partake in the protocol without support if they have a trauma background. It is important that this protocol be facilitated by a certified provider. Your provider has dual certifications which allows for the facilitation of the Safe and Sound Protocol both in person and remotely. Upon your initial meeting, we will discuss any concerns, utilize assessments and track your baseline. Your experience with the SSP will be personalized to meet you where you are today. If upon assessment our findings conclude that we should incorporate a Psychiatrist, we will do so (usually for no additional charge).
Although this is rare, we believe in safety first.
What types of therapies do the SSP work well in conjunction with?
Although not therapy, the SSP is great for improved skill retention and educational experiences from coaching services. It also increases the effectiveness of Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Counseling, or Psychotherapy - And Allison will happily work alongside any of your providers that will do so.
Who is my practitioner?
Your Polyvagal Theory Safe and Sound Protocol practitioner is Allison. She is professionally certified to administer and facilitate the protocol in its entire process. She is passionate about the science of body-mind work and has been following its research throughout the past decade. She has been directly taught by Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr. Peter Levine - the founders of Polyvagal Theory and Somatic Experiencing. Please call with any questions.
*This program is always facilitated by a certified specialist.
**This program is completely non-invasive and does not require any talk of traumatic experiences or events of the past.
*** The Safe and Sound Protocol is not a treatment or cure. It physically exercises the muscles of the inner ear and stimulates the vegus nerve. This enhances and accelerates various skill retention. Please call if you would like more information.
Initial Assessment: $125
Full SSP Program: No fixed rate, is determined upon assessment. Program usually runs approximately $1000 total.
SSP and ADHD Coaching package: No fixed rate, will be determined upon assessment.
* "Payment plans" may be available to you based on personal program outlining and how we, together, decide to go about organizing your SSP experience. Please inquire and we will see what we can work out for you.
Program Plan (Example):
· 5+ hours (of sessions) -
Week 1: 3-Sessions
Week 2: 2-Sessions
· Check-ins from your practitioner via email, text, and/or call
· Follow-up phone call a month later
· Program requirement specific headphones (if applicable)
* Please note that what's listed above is a common example.
Each client's plan is personalized based on their assessment, intake, and baseline testing and is subject to be altered accordingly at any time.