The Tomatis Method is an alternatively based sound healing therapy, which was developed by the French ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Alfred A. Tomatis. This process, also known as Audio-Psycho-Phonology (APP), had its roots in Dr Tomatis’ work with opera singers who had vocal problems; his own father was an opera singer. Tomatis discovered that many vocal problems were actually caused by hearing problems and formulated the theory that “the voice does not produce what the ear does not hear”.
Dr Tomatis went on to develop his Electronic Ear, which is a therapeutic device designed to utilise electronic gating, bone conduction transducers and sound filters to enhance missing frequencies. Toning up the muscles within the middle ear, to sensitise the listener to sound frequencies they are currently not hearing, is the aim of this therapy. The Tomatis effect has helped numerous auditory processing disorders (APD), such as: dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities and autism, to name a few. Children, in particular, have benefitted from working therapeutically with the Tomatis Method.
Famously Dr Tomatis has successfully worked with iconic French movie stars Gerard Depardieu and Juliette Binoche to transform their voices as performers. Musicians, singers and actors around the world have benefitted from the Tomatis Method; improving their creativity and vocal skills. The Tomatis Method has trained practitioners, healing sufferers of sensory processing disorders, globally. Other notable performers who have been treated with the Tomatis Method are the singers Sting and Maria Callas.
The auditory process employs the music of Mozart, some Gregorian Chanting and recordings of the patient’s mother as it tunes up the ear. The theory bases its successful work on the physiological framework that the brain receives its energy through the auditory process. Damage to the ability to listen to, or hear, certain sound frequencies deprives the brain of balanced energetic input. Harmonious auditory sensory input is vital to our sense of wellbeing; distortion and white noise are at the opposite end of the spectrum causing disfunctionality.
The treatments of autism, with therapies like the Tomatis Method, have provoked contentious reactions from sections of the medical establishment, here in Australia and elsewhere around the world. Exclusive ownership of this, currently considered, incurable condition by the medical fraternity is a fairly standard ethical position, when viewed historically. Ongoing scientific studies into the efficacy of the Tomatis Method continue today, to measure its healing value in a number of auditory sensory disorders.