What is SD Protocol?

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Tight shoulders and neck muscles?

  • Regular headaches that worsen as the day progresses?

  • Do you feel cold?

  • Do you feel tired?

  • Do you have dry skin, brittle nails and does your hair fall out?

  • Are you experiencing digestive issues and/or hormonal issues?

  • Are you sensitive to light or sound?

If you answered yes to a few of these symptoms then the SD Protocol may be just what you need. Listen from Dr. Wayne Todd in the video below to learn more.

Where it all began...

For twenty-seven years, I’ve been in the business of health and wellness, of restoring and nurturing nervous systems, and caring for patients in the grip of innumerable ailments. My job was never just about dealing with pain and illness though. My passion lay in empowering people to be in control of their health, to be truly well.

Over the years, I found myself caring for hundreds of people who seemed to be in survival mode. Some of them were incredibly busy, running from one thing to the next, caring for others, or nursing the ill. Others were wound- up, doing their best to bear up under the weight of life’s circumstances, or simply putting an incredible amount of pressure on themselves for whatever reason. Some have been dealt cruel hands health-wise. The reasons why these people could be living in survival mode were as innumerable as the conditions they faced.

That’s where the links started appearing in my mind. These patients seemed to be chasing symptoms, seemingly random ones at that. But the more I observed this trend, the less random they seemed to be. I began to see one factor at the root of it all – something we could so easily change, if we only knew about it.

As the dots began connecting for me, I started to see person after person who was in this same boat. They often suffered from the so-called ‘random’ symptoms. Managing them was important, even life-preserving at times. But I couldn’t stay focused purely on symptoms: I needed to go after the cause. Years on, having found a pathway out of this particular health maze, it has been a joy to empower others to do the same.

Jenna's Story:

When Jenna walked into my office, warning bells started ringing in my head straight away. Jenna was suffering from numbness on one side of the face as well as in her arms and legs. She had blurred vision in one eye and a raft of other symptoms. They were all pointing in a very concerning direction: that of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Jenna’s tests were inconclusive, eventually ruling out MS but not offering any solutions. This lack of answers was distressing but I said to her, “Regardless of whether or not this is Multiple Sclerosis, I have an idea of what the underlying cause might be.”

It wasn’t over-confidence or false optimism that made me say that. I could see in her symptoms and characteristics an all too familiar story.

Jenna and her husband Andrew sat across from me as I reeled off a long list of symptoms. It’s one I have used hundreds of times in recent years, for patients with all sorts of health issues and concerns. I was seeing a remarkably common link at the root of them all. Her case was no different.I said,“You are a light sleeper and you have vivid dreams. You are sensitive to both light and noise.” Jenna and Andrew nodded.

“Your shoulders feel like concrete and you find that you sweat more than you used to.” More nods.“You have hormonal issues, and you are experiencing food intolerances and gut issues.You suffer from unmanageable fatigue.”I went on to describe other symptoms, all to more nods from Andrew and Jenna. Finally I started to explain Jenna’s personality, including how she often felt wound-up, had to have everything organized and“just so,” and was a bit of a‘Type A’ personality.

It was at this point Andrew picked his jaw up off the floor and exclaimed “How do you know my wife?”I’d pinpointed many of her symptoms and personality traits without being told about them. Over the weeks that followed, Jenna was told she didn’t have MS. Good news, no doubt! But being told she didn’t have an autoimmune disorder would not relieve her symptoms. Nor would it decrease her anxiety over what was causing them.

Does this sound familiar? It doesn’t matter whether it’s an autoimmune disorder or something like migraines or hormone and food issues. Not having anything conclusive show up on a test often has people thinking, ‘I’m a hypochondriac’ or ‘I’m going crazy.’

Neither was true for Jenna, and hundreds of other patients like her. The symptoms had told me everything I needed to know though. Jenna was Sympathetically Dominant. We enacted the treatment protocol straight away. As I always do, I encouraged Jenna not to abandon her specialist appointments. Within weeks, the numbness and blurred vision had resolved. Jenna started sleeping well. Her gut function improved. A number of symptoms she didn’t even know were connected started dissipating. By the time she got around to her next specialist appointment, she had no symptoms to report.

Honestly, I can’t count the number of times I have had conversations just like that one. The original presentation may have differed – migraines, high blood pressure, gut issues, tense shoulders, pain in a number of joints and autoimmune disorders to name a few, but at the root of it all, there was something all too common.

It’s a list of symptoms leading down the same pathway called Sympathetic Dominance (when something called the Sympathetic Nervous System becomes dominant).

Sympathetic Dominance

Due to a series of built-in triggers, the brain knows when it needs to activate the fight or flight survival mechanism. It’s called the Sympathetic Nervous System and we’ve known for a long time that it exists. When it activates, it suppresses your digestive system, reproductive system, immune system and the repair functions of the body.

Sympathetic Dominance Diagram

Under normal circumstances, the Sympathetic Nervous System activates in response to extreme physical, cognitive or emotional stress. This is useful as it allows our body to adapt to situations and ensures we have enough fuel for the crisis. Medical science has led to a relatively clear understanding of the reactions in the body in these situations.

What we haven’t explored in depth is what happens when this survival mechanism stays switched on or fired up for extended periods of time. This is when our body’s hardwired stress responses cross out of ‘normal circumstance’ where they are helpful, to a scenario in which prolonged physiological change can actually cause harm.

Modern life doesn’t improve this scenario. We leave demanding jobs and arrive home with financial stress sitting like heavy weights on our shoulders. We wake up with a to-do list as long as our arm. We go to bed knowing the same will wait for us the next day. Some of us have businesses, noisy or demanding family lives. Others have illnesses or sick loved ones that we worry over.

We lie awake at night worrying about mortgages, exams, interviews, relationships, and the list goes on. Typically, we don’t think of these things when we think of fight or flight. But they represent only a handful of issues that can activate the survival mechanism and keep it activated.

The rest of the list may surprise you. It includes the constant barrage of light and noise we deal with, the poor posture we often engage in when we spend hours looking down at our laptops and handheld devices, and the simple fact that many of us are living life in a‘wound up’ state.

Can we live life in complete silence with the lights turned off? No. Can we avoid the use of technology? Absolutely not! Can we avoid stress and the demands of modern life completely, never facing a financial, relational or health stressor ever again? The answer to that is a resounding no!

We can think about whether or not to flex a muscle or go for a walk, but we don’t think about whether or not to go into fight or flight mode. It’s automatic.


So what’s the point of writing a book like this?

The point is that staying in fight or flight mode for too long negatively impacts health in many ways, and there are some things we can do about it. Best of all, they’re remarkably simple.

Empowering people with knowledge and helping put them back in control of their health is something that isn’t just a job for me but a joy and a passion. Over the last ten years, I have undertaken advanced training in functional neurology. It has coincided with a developing fascination with an issue that impacts so many lives. However, it has been poorly understood until now.

It’s called Sympathetic Dominance. It comes from a part of your brain that is so deep that it’s primal and automatic.

I’m here to tell you that you can fool your brain into switching gears – from the survival mode that is ironically wearing us down, to something so much better.

Buy Now

Want more details on a particular symptom that's causing you grief? Download our free eBooks below.  


Anxiety and Depression

4 Things you need to know about Anxiety and Depression.

Look at depression and anxiety through a slightly different lens. Years of clinical practice and advanced training in functional neurology has revealed some startling links to me, not the least of which is that your brain doesn’t suffer alone.



3 things you don't know about headaches

Of the many ailments I have treated in three decades of clinical practice, there are a few common problems that pop up often. Among these repeat offenders is the humble headache. For some, it’s a very occasional thing that really only occurs after a night of over-indulgence or an afternoon soaking up too much sun. For others, it is a repetitive, long running or debilitating condition that can have very real impacts on quality of life.



5 reasons why you might be struggling with inflammation.

If you’ve spent time trawling the internet for answers on inflammation and arrived at this eBook, then I can guess that you’ve reached that frustrating point where the body is not mopping up inflammation fast enough. It can feel like an unwinnable war. You may be tired, irritated, itchy, sore or foggy headed, with an upset stomach, bloating, aching joints or more. If this has gone on for a long time, then you probably also feel like you are constantly chasing random symptoms.



A few things to know about Insomnia and where it starts.

One in three adults will experience insomnia at some point in their lives. We lie awake worrying over financial or relationship issues, studying the roof of our bedrooms, and getting frustrated our the inability to just drift off. We swear off caffeine, only to need that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon to keep us going, but then we can’t sleep at night. It can be a short term problem or stick around for a little longer, resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle of fatigue and sleeplessness.


Light Sensitivity

How light sensitivity manifests and how to minimise the effects.

Every day our body deals with stressors that are chemical, physical or emotional. Our bodies respond to the environment around us as well as our internal workings. How our body responds under different circumstances is complex and fascinating. Often aches and pains can be telling us something needs adjusting, but it can be hard to understand what our body is trying to tell us.

One thing that is often overlooked is the seemingly innocuous issue of light-sensitivity. It’s not an illness, per se. It may not even impinge on your quality of life that obviously. So why would it be a problem?



5 things you didn't know about your thyroid.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the base of the throat. It’s about two inches big in a healthy adult, but this little gland has a big impact on the metabolic and chemical processes within the body.

When we think of thyroid conditions, our minds often go straight to autoimmune disorders such as Graves Disease (an over-producing thyroid)or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an underactive thyroid). But the truth is that it’s possible to experience issues with thyroid function long before an autoimmune disorder kicks in. After all, autoimmune disorders don’t just appear overnight. It takes time to build up to that point.


Uterine Fibroids

Possible beginnings, symptoms and what you can do about Uterine Fybroids.

While the exact cause that triggers fibroid growth is yet unknown, we do know that the hormones oestrogen and progesterone have a bearing on the issue. These two hormones must exist in balance with each-other or problems arise. In the case of uterine fibroids, the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone is thrown out of balance, which can then lead to annovulatory cycles (when ovulation does not occur) and thus the thickening of the endometrial lining. This is where the fibroid can begin.



Can you quantify Sympathetic Dominance?

Yes and no. The Sympathetic Nervous System is something that exists with everyone, and plays a valuable part in our bodies. So we can’t test for a Sympathetic Nervous System. It’s already there. The problem arises when this necessary part of the Nervous System is overactive. While a skilled clinician can perform a functional neurological assessment of autonomic function, it is the run on effects that are more obvious and we can test for some of these.

 - Food intolerances can arise through Leaky Gut syndrome and can be tested via the IgG test, as well as other allergy tests such as IgA testing.
 - Adrenal function can be tested through saliva tests.
 - Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels can be tested.
 - Copper toxicity can be a result of oestrogen dominance and can also be tested.
 - Autoimmune disorders can be diagnosed via a variety of tests (depending on the nature of the autoimmune).

The thing that makes Sympathetic Dominance a little different is this: we let the symptoms do the talking, but we don’t stop at symptoms. We always look for the underlying cause, because we know that there will always be an underlying cause.

It is a functional health paradigm where we realise that sometimes things happen on a subclinical level. We don’t ignore this. We improve the body’s ability to react so it doesn’t snowball into something unwieldy, unmanageable and undesirable.

How does it fit in with traditional medicine?

I am a firm believer in the necessity and life-preserving power of traditional medicine. I often refer patients to general practitioners or specialists as I see fit. This book is not a license to discard all of that. It is a different way of looking at health though.

While every health practitioner should be aware that the Sympathetic Nervous System exists, the contents of this book will be news to many. Why? Because the human brain and the human body are incredibly complex and we are only just starting to understand this area of health now. In many ways, this book is groundbreaking,and you get to be a part of it!

The Sympathetic Dominance Protocol is something that can complement traditional medicine, and even aid in its effectiveness as we ready the body to respond to inflammation and the demands of modern life. I have seen, time and time again, the restorative power of this protocol. I have had people moved to tears when they hear they are not hypochondriacs, that there is something going wrong and there is something they can do about it. I have to admit, their stories move me profoundly too!

Therefore I know that this protocol has got an essential place in health regimes.

Of course, the dream is to have the body so finely tuned that it doesn’t need assistance. But until you get to that point, tread carefully. Take the advice in this book in conjunction with that given by your primary healthcare provider.

How long will it take before I see change?

It depends on how severe your symptoms are, how many interventions you put in place, and how long you have been in Sympathetic Dominance. For someone who implements the whole toolkit, the changes can be quick. You may see significant improvement within a couple of weeks.

If it takes longer, don’t fret. You are doing yourself good by putting relaxation time into your day, looking after your diet, supplementing what your body needs and using practical measures such as limiting sound and light input. There is no reason to stop. Keep going.

That said, the vast majority of people experience changes quickly, especially if they have done the IgG test and eliminate offensive foods from their diet.

I’m having difficulty conceiving. Will this protocol boost my fertility?

There are many reasons for infertility or low fertility. Age, past chemotherapy, or sperm quality and motility are among factors that may contribute to fertility problems. However, common causes of fertility problems relate to ovulation, the endometrium and polycystic ovarian syndrome. If these issues are the cause of your fertility problems, then yes this protocol may boost your fertility.

The central theme of Sympathetic Dominance is this: If you are in fight or flight mode, your rest, digest, repair and reproduce functions are suppressed. Hence, we teach you how to come out of fight or flight and into the zone where the good stuff happens.

This can allow the body to start producing the right hormones instead of just the stress hormones. We can also add back progesterone to the body to deal with Oestrogen Dominance and start the sufferer on the road to recovery.

Will I relapse?

Possibly! But you know what to do now.

The Sympathetic Nervous System has an essential role to play in our bodies. If you ever feel shock, illness, loss, nerves or stress again in your life, then your Sympathetic Nervous System will intervene. If you ever go through an emotionally or physically demanding time in your life, you will have the opportunity to move into a state of Sympathetic Dominance again.

But you'll also have the knowledge of what to do about it. That is the power of this protocol. It can be used as a maintenance strategy, helping your body stay in a state of rest, digest, and repair and reproduction readiness. Aspects of it can stay in your routine to help you maintain health through-out your life. All of the items in the toolkit can be implemented as your emergency pit crew when you and your life are starting to become wound-up.

Will my IgG test results be different, depending on how healthy my gut lining is when I have the test done?

This is unlikely. The IgG test looks at your blood reaction, not your stomach lining. Once your blood starts reacting to certain food types, it is a learned response that stays there. The big issue is whether or not these food substances make it into your bloodstream before being broken down or not.

Hence, if you keep your gut lining healthy you may be able to prevent a leaky gut and tolerate some of these items. There may be times in your life when you feel like your gut isn’t doing so well. If this happens, go back to your IgG diet and sit on it for six months. During this time, focus on foods and nutrients that heal the gut and then after time has passed, undertake a staged reintroduction of the foods you know you can tolerate when you are well.

Will this cure my autoimmune disorder and will it return if I stop the Protocol?

There is currently no research to say that an autoimmune disorder can be cured. What this protocol does is boost or restore the body’s ability to respond to inflammation. In many cases, this has resulted in relief and improvement of serious health conditions including autoimmune disorders. If you have progressed into autoimmune disorder territory, then you may very well see significant improvement while on this protocol.

While the relief of symptoms may cause you to feel so much better, it is not cause to think that you don’t need to look after yourself any more. It would be in your best interest to stay on the protocol indefinitely.

This shouldn’t be treated like a negative thing though! Staying on the protocol indefinitely means living a life where you don’t overload your senses, where you eat only the food that your body likes to be fed, and where you spend time calming your brain and supporting your posture. If you ever have to deal with prolonged stress or pressure in the future and you feel yourself starting to get wound up again, you will know what to do.


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