How does it work ?
The tools used by the therapists are:
- An electronic device (the electronic ear) which can filter sounds.
- Special headphones which enable sound to be transmitted directly to the bones, as it is thought that people hear first through the bones in their ears and then the muscles.
- A microphone
The Tomatis method is based on sound stimulation, individuals listen to high frequency sounds which seem to stimulate the brain's neurons. Dr Tomatis believes this type of sound will have a positive effect on the central nervous system, individuals will feel more energised, they will concentrate better, learn better and will feel calmer at the same time. Low-frequency sounds have the opposite effects.
The sounds played include music (Mozart and Gregorian Chant) and speech, which can be filtered to produce high frequency sounds, according to Dr Tomatis a mother's voice can be filtered to sound as if it was heard in the womb.
The treatment consists of:
15 days of 2 hours a day of listening
3/5 weeks off
30 sessions over 8 consecutive days
4 weeks off
7 days of listening
Conditions that may respond to the Tomatis Method
Children with learning difficulties
Although Dr Tomatis didn't create the method to treat autism it is said to have good results with this condition. Autistic children are very sensitive to sounds, when their listening skills are impaired they feel bombarded with many pieces of information which they are unable to filter and often cover their ears with their hands to cut themselves off the world. According to Pierre Sollier, Director at the Tomatis Mozart Center in California, when the Tomatis method is used in conjunction with other therapies, "about 60% of autistic children seem to respond positively to it".