6 Motutaiko Street
  • Share

About Calming Minds Ltd

Integrated Listening Systems (iLS) and Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) practitioners.
Clients who demonstrate delays and/or difficulties in any of the following areas may benefit from an iLS program:
Speech, Language
Written Expression and Reading Comprehension
Social Communication and Behavior
Motor Skills
Processing Speed
Sensory Processing
General Information
Integrated Listening Systems (iLS) Programs
iLS is multi-sensory training to help the nervous system and brain process the challenges that are part of everyday life. iLS programs work with motor, visual, balance and co-ordination, and auditory systems through music, movement and language.

iLS programs are safe to use with children over 3 years of age, teens and adults.

The program is safe for children under 3 years of age when used in consultation with a doctor or paediatrician.

iLS programs are designed to be challenging and fun.

Programs are tailored to an individual client through frequency, intensity and the length of program. There are four phases to each program, namely organization, transition, activation and integration. These run over an entire program, not each session.

Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
This program was released in March 2017 and has been developed to help children and adults who have difficulty with anxiety, hearing hypersensitivity, inattention, behavioral problems, experience of trauma (PTSD), and difficulty with social communication. Conditions that may be helped by SSP include autism, Down syndrome and ADD/ADHD among others.

SSP is a sound-based therapy and is showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

Social and emotional difficulties
Hearing sensitivities
Anxiety and trauma related challenges, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Factors that impact social engagement (ie children diagnosed on the autism scale or with selective mutism)

The Polyvagal Theory and Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Background to SSP
SSP is a listening therapy program derived from nearly four decades of research on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes by Dr Porges. It is designed to stimulate nervous system regulation by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specifically processed music.

The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior. Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies. Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.

Following successful completion of the intervention, individuals will be better able to focus in school, therapy, and everyday life and experience a calmed emotional and physiological state. This is based on studies that suggest that skills such as attention, state regulation and the ability to engage socially will be enhanced.

How SSP Works
The area of the brainstem that regulates the heart also regulates the muscles of the head, including the face, middle ear mouth, larynx and pharynx. If the Social Engagement System, which controls looking, listening, vocalizing and facial gesturing/expression is not working properly (the neural regulation is dysfunctional) not only will the face become expressionless but the ability to hear the human voice is also disrupted.

Hearing relies on four tiny muscles (middle ear muscles) and two tiny bones. The middle ear muscles play an important part in our ability to extract the human voice from background noise. In particular, if the middle ear muscle-tone is low then low-frequency sounds are not filtered out and the frequencies of the human voice are not amplified. This difficulty in listening to the human voice might even occur in an individual who has normal hearing function of the cochlea, the auditory nerve and the brain areas processing acoustic information.

Once again the neural regulation of the middle ear muscles is linked to the neural regulation of the other muscles of the face, which control facial expression and vocal intonation.

So for children and adults who have social behavior and communication difficulties, the social engagement system may be intact but it does not function correctly. Thus if the neural systems can be “stimulated” and “exercised” by the filtered music, then noticeable improvements in social behavior and communication skills will be seen.

Porges, S. (2003). The Polyvagal Theory: Phylogenetic contributions to social behavior. Physiology & Behavior, 79. 503-513.