Neurosensory training programs
Better stress and trauma regulation, improved cognitive skills and social interaction, improved brain function.
Watch here the use of SSP (Sound and Safe Protocol) in private and professional environment:
Use of SSP in private context
Use of SSP in business context
Fundamentals: Sensory Integration
Our sensory systems (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, balance, movement in space) together with our central nervous system form the basis for our higher cognitive abilities (reading, information processing, memory and emotional regulation). A prerequisite for the age-appropriate development of these abilities is that our perceptual and sensomotoric systems are correspondingly well developed, because we need them for our performance in everyday life, for academic and professional achievements and for our emotional balance in adulthood.
In sensory integration, the brain organizes the sensations of its own body and the environment through the sensory organs and gives them meaning in order to respond effectively. This ability of the autonomic nervous system to absorb external and internal stimuli and interpret them as indications of safety or danger is called "neuroception".
In some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. They often perceive sensations in a confusing way that affects alertness and attention, emotional self-regulation as well as body organization (gross and fine motor skills, balance, etc.) and mental abilities (language, spatial and abstract abilities, etc.).
Disorders such as sensory processing disorder (SVS), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, etc. are closely related to a developmental deficit in these early stages of development.
In adults who have experienced a deficit in processing sensory information in childhood, the effects are also present, but less obvious, as we develop adaptation mechanisms in the maturing process. Sensory disorders are less evident in adults than in children, but they can be the cause of dysfunctional social relationships, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity, low self-esteem and social isolation.
The multisensory programs of iLs:
Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) and Focus System - suitable for all ages!
The two training programs SSP (Safe and Sound Protocol) and Focus System are based on the multisensory technology of the American company iLs (Integrated Listening Systems).
iLs is the first neurotechnology company to systematically combine music, movement and speech exercises to improve the integration of sensory information and thus improve brain function and emotional state.
The iLs methods are based on the science of neuroplasticity, which means that the brain grows, changes and creates new pathways (neural connections) in response to environmental stimulation. For this reason, iLs uses a repetitive, simultaneous, multi-sensory approach (combining movement with music and speech) that provides holistic brain training to improve cognitive abilities as well as emotional well-being.
In the application of neurosensory programs, one or more senses are stimulated to modify the responses of our nervous system and brain to certain stimuli and to create new neural connections.
The aim is to guide each person to train their nervous system to become more aware, regulated and resilient so that they feel safe, happy and healthy and can respond more effectively to life's challenges.
The results of these trainings are multifaceted, both on a physical and mental level, e. g.:
Improvement of tone discrimination
Reduction of sensitivity to external noise
Better auditory processing
Improvement of reading skills
Improvement of body coordination/ balance
Motor control / Automation of motor activities
Improved ability to concentrate and focus
Motor planning, sports activities
Body awareness in space
Visual-motor control and cognitive abilities
Acquisition of new skills
Greater tolerance for change
Improvement of sleep and digestion
More inner peace
Increased frustration tolerance
Greater feeling of happiness
What is the vagus nerve?
The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve and transmits most of the bi-directional information between the brain and the body, starting in the brain (medulla) and moving down to the depth of the intestine.
Along the way, it influences facial expression, tone of voice, heart rate and heart rate variability, breathing and the function of the spleen, liver, kidneys and intestines.
It can help reduce inflammation and improve immune response. It is also known as the "supplying" or "relaxing" nerve of the body.
What does the vagus nerve influence?
The vagus affects more than just physiological processes. When you say that something "gets on my nerves" or that you have a "gut feeling", you are referring to the vagus nerve. Through "neuroception", a term coined by Dr. Stephen Porges, the vagus constantly evaluates the safety of a situation and the mood of the people you interact with. The vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system. When the vagus is stimulated, it triggers a relaxation reaction. This slows down your heart rate and gives instructions to release certain proteins and enzymes to calm you down.
When you are relaxed, people can see it in your face and hear it in your voice because of the vagus nerve.
You are better able to concentrate, regulate yourself and connect with others when you are in this calmer and safer state. All thanks to the vagus nerve!
The music in iLs programs contains progressively increasing levels of filtering based on the theory that people who can use a larger portion of the hearing spectrum gain a learning advantage. By filtering certain frequencies or making only certain frequencies sound, we are able to selectively train different parts of the client's auditory spectrum, thereby improving learning-related skills such as sound discrimination (selectivity), sound decoding and auditory memory.
One of the functions of the muscles of the inner ear is to eliminate unwanted sounds.
iLs Gating separates the music into two channels that alternate so that high frequencies are amplified on one side (this is the "gating" effect) and low frequencies are amplified on the other side as the volume increases and decreases.
This causes the middle ear muscles to constantly tense and relax, making them stronger and the more the muscles are strengthened, the greater our ability to listen and be attentive.
Function and background of the neurosensory training programs
The iLs programmes SSP (Safe and Sound Protocol) and Focus System stimulate the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system through music by the vagus nerve via afferent fibres connected to the eardrum and middle ear.
Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP):
Audio training program for better stress and trauma management, improved cognitive skills and social interaction
Does this sound familiar to you?
You feel as if you are under permanent pressure.
You sleep badly and only rarely come to rest.
You can no longer think clearly and are unable to concentrate.
You distance yourself more and more from others and avoid social contact.
Your child is unfocused and has difficulty learning.
This may be because your nervous system is in a permanent "defense state".
How does SSP work?
In the SSP program, the middle ear listens to technically processed and filtered pop music through over-the-ear headphones that train the eardrum to better process the frequencies of the human voice.
By listening to different playlists several times, the vagus nerve is stimulated and the conditions are strengthened to feel calm, secure and balanced. When we feel safe, we can better absorb, process and react to the stimuli of the outside world and thus remain calm in challenging situations. We can then build healthy relationships with other people, create intimate bonds and be more productive.
The SSP was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, based on his over 40 years of research into polyvagal theory and autonomic nervous system relationships.
The goals of the SSP are:
Feel more safe, calm, grounded and resilient
Feel less irritable, anxious and overwhelmed
Think more clearly, attentively and creatively
Think less rigidly, disorganized and distractible
Connect more openly, genuinely and wholly
Connect less guardedly, distantly and oppositional
The highest priority of our brain and body is to keep us alive. When we are faced with threats or dangers, our body reacts by putting the nervous system in a state of defense, either in fight, flight, or freeze mode.
Today our world is full of insecurity, stress, tension and challenging situations that often make us switch to one of these defense modes. When our nervous system is permanently in this state, it affects our psyche and body, our feelings, thoughts and social interaction, we feel stressed, insecure or strained in our dealings with people.
The SSP program is aimed at stressed, restless or traumatized people and, according to some studies, has also had great success with people with ADHD and autism.
What is SSP?
The SSP (Safe and Sound Protocol) is a music training program for our autonomic nervous system, designed for children and adults, with the aim of altering the way our brain responds to certain stimuli (neuro-reception). Our hearing is connected to the vagus nerve, which is crucial for the establishment and stability of our system of "social interaction".
Users of SSP reported the following experiences, among others:
Better handling of stress situations
Faster balance in excited states
Feeling of light-heartedness
Improved trauma management
Improvement for autism spectrum disorders
Positive changes in traumatic experience, e. g. also PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Easier and faster relaxation
Increased ability to learn
Increased ability for emotional self-regulation
Less auditory sensitivity (easier to follow conversations in noisy environments)
Increase of social activity
Social interaction with more security and without fear
Improvement of cognitive skills
Ability of concentration
Increased ability for emotional self-regulation / impulse control
Better interpretation of the emotional meaning of language
Coordination of complex behaviors
How does SSP training work?
During SSP treatments, I will accompany you or your child as they become aware of the reactions of their nervous system and learn about the body's own communication.
We teach the nervous system to recognize and integrate safety instead of constantly reacting to danger signals. In the long run, your nervous system will be relieved and you will feel lighter, more joyful, more present, more powerful and less rushed or (fear-)driven.
Because you get your personal access to the SSP app, I can support you both on-site personally and online via video call.
In our first appointment we will talk about the current state of your nervous system. From this I will derive the appropriate SSP program for you:
The SSP Connect program for all those who are slowly getting used to the music treatment, as a warm-up so to speak,
SSP Core for direct access to stress reduction and increased social interaction
The SSP Balance as a stabilizer of the acquired feeling of safety.
Depending on what we start with and your initial situation, the treatment may last longer or shorter. In any case, you should expect at least ten consecutive days of half an hour each.
The SSP is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy.
It can be helpful as a passive method of preparing ourselves for change situations. According to studies, people who have used SSP in preparation are also more open to therapeutic measures or personality development.
No medical diagnoses are made. This form of treatment does not replace the diagnosis and treatment by a doctor or alternative practitioner or other supportive therapeutic measures.
Multisensory training program for the improvement of brain function
When our sensory system is not as developed as it should be, we sometimes perceive sensations in a confusing way that affects alertness and attention, emotional self-regulation and body organization (gross and fine motor skills, balance, etc.) and on a mental level (language, spatial and abstract abilities, etc.).
In adults, this can manifest itself in dysfunctional social relationships, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity, low self-esteem and social isolation, among other things.
What is the Focus System Program?
he Focus System program is based on the principle of "Neuroplasticity", i. e. the ability to change or rewire our brain through external and internal stimulation.
It involves a series of fun multisensory activities or exercises that can be adapted to all ages and abilities to help develop new and strengthen existing neural pathways that control body organization and brain function.
In the training sessions, music is listened to through headphones, and movement activities provide additional sensory and motor input to the body organization. Finally, the cognitive activities added later challenge the brain to process several pieces of information simultaneously, reflecting the demands placed on our brain in the everyday world.
The aim is to maximize the interaction of the different sensory systems and brain parts and to promote the reorganization of the brain.
The music is transmitted with special headphones. These deliver the music through air and bone conduction (a low-frequency vibration transmitted through the bones to the cochlea and vestibular system).
The improvement in brain function is based on the premise that the high-level brain functions such as speech, cognitive abilities and socialization depend on how well the stimulus is received and processed when it reaches the central nervous system and is passed on to the higher brain.
How does a Focus System Training proceed?
In the first session, a neuropsychological evaluation is conducted. Based on this evaluation, we design and deliver a personalized neurosensory training program.
Depending on which areas require developmental support, I will select one or more programs for you, so you will receive a program tailored to your individual needs. For faster results, a frequency of 3-5 times per week is suggested. The exercises last between 30 and 60 minutes and can be done partly at home or at school. Depending on the program, the treatment can last several months.
The complexity and difficulty of the stimulation increases as the training progresses.
This personalized program of neurosensory training is intended for the treatment of children, adolescents and adults without pathology, as well as
those who have functional problems, e. g. learning and behavioral problems, attention deficit, motor coordination disorders, sensory processing disorders, brain aging process, etc.
and for those with a specific pathology, such as autism, brain damage, hyperactivity, etc.
A person's ability to accept new learning is influenced by their physiological and emotional state. Many physiological and psychological states are related to poor development of sensomotor skills in childhood.
Multisensory training is a good complement to body-oriented coaching to address psychological development more deeply.
The combination of multisensory technology with elements of body psychotherapy can accelerate and deepen the processes of personality development, helping us to feel safe in our bodies, i. e. to trust our motor skills, to go through life safely again or to feel grounded.
Why combine SSP and Focus System trainings with body-oriented coaching?
Humans have seven senses: hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting, touching, balance, movement/body sensation in space. iLs (Focus System and SSP) trainings provide a solid foundation for learning, communication and behavior through gentle and repeated stimulation of our senses, improving the performance of our systems described below:
1. Vestibular System (perception of the body to balance, gravity and movement)
Improved skills: coordination, balance, focus, self-regulation
The vestibular system is directly connected to the cochlea of the inner ear and is responsible for the functions of balance, coordination, muscle tone, rhythm and perception of the body in the surrounding space. It regulates the control of the eyes (gaze motor function) and enables orientation.
If these systems function well, we can more easily access higher level brain activities such as reading, writing and expressive language. iLs programs provide specific and comprehensive stimulation of the vestibular system through headphone bone conduction, balance board activities and movement exercises.
2. Hearing System
Improved skills: Sound discrimination, auditory processing, reading, mood, concentration and balance
Efficient information processing and storage is required for decoding, phonetic perception, listening in a noisy environment and clear speech.
iLs trainings attempt to maximize the efficiency and accuracy of the ear canal through carefully calibrated auditory stimulation to achieve specific therapeutic goals. The goal is to activate neural connections in different areas of the brain through the ear canal and train both the ear and the brain to analyze and process sound more accurately and quickly. Both bone and air conduction are used to achieve unique and efficient stimulation of the vestibular and auditory systems.
3. Visual Motor System (vision)
Improved skills: reading, hand/eye coordination, balance, sports
Subcortical visual motor function has direct neural connections to the auditory and vestibular system. All three systems must work together to enable proper balance, coordination, reading and localization of a sound.
iLs programs activate these systems with visual perception exercises in addition to vestibular and auditory stimuli.
4. Proprioceptive System (perception of the body in space)
Improved skills: Motor planning, sports activities, coordination, spatial body perception, self-confidence, self-regulation
The awareness of our own body - where it is, how we control it, how we move it - to the point where we no longer need to think about it, comes from receptors in the joints and muscles. This is called proprioception. This is a sensory system that contributes to behavior and learning. When this system is integrated with other sensory systems, the brain becomes free to concentrate on higher level activities. Children and adults who improve their proprioceptive abilities are able to perform learning and communication tasks in an orderly and relaxed manner.
iLs movement program focuses on building proprioceptive abilities through specific, repetitive exercises.
5. Parasympathetic Nervous System
Improved abilities: greater sense of calm, greater tolerance for frustration, greater sense of happiness, better sleep, better digestion
The autonomic nervous system controls a multitude of organs and muscles that function involuntarily and reflexively. The autonomic nervous system is important in two situations:
in emergencies that force us to "fight" or "flight" (sympathetic system)
in non-emergency situations that allow us to "rest and digest" (parasympathetic system).
The training program stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system via the vagus nerve (afferent fibers in the eardrum and external auditory canal), which descends from the brain to the digestive tract.
The vagus nerve affects heart rate, sweating, mouth and throat muscles involved in speech, as well as the intestines and digestion.
Many children and adults who start iLs programs are in a state of hyperawakening, similar to the "fight or flight" state. The gentle stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system causes a balance of the autonomic nervous system, which is reflected in a state of rest and self-regulation.
Improved skills: Motor control, "automatism" (automation of motor activities), acquisition of new skills, visual motor control and cognitive skills
The cerebellum accounts for 10% of the total weight of the brain, but contains 50% of the neurons of the brain. Compared to computers, it is our processor that receives information from the sensory systems and different parts of the brain and integrates this information to fine-tune motor activity. The repetitive activities of iLs programs are designed to stimulate the functions of the cerebellum. The stimuli emanating from the visual, vestibular and auditory systems train the cerebellum session after session, making it more efficient in multisensory information processing.
7. Hemispheric Integration
Improved skills: Many. Improved hemispheric integration has a positive effect on almost everything the brain does.
The brain uses several areas simultaneously to perform a single function. Reading is a good example of this. Different areas of the brain, back and forth and left and right, are simultaneously involved in this activity. This requires accurate, fast and clear communication between and within the two hemispheres. The connection between the hemispheres is strengthened by listening and the repetitive exercises in the multisensory training.
8. Reticular Activation System (RAS)
Improved skills: Vigilance and attention: the brain is ready to learn, improved sleep
The RAS is a network of neurons deep in the brain stem that receives information from all sensory systems. It is responsible for sending unspecific information to the brain to "wake it up" and is involved in regulating waking transitions and sleep cycles, maintaining adequate alertness to what is being done at that moment, and even preparing the motor system to take action. The trainings strengthen the brain's attention, alertness and willingness to learn.