Alfred Tomatis: His Life and Work
“The voice does not produce what the ear does not hear.”
That is the theory upon which decades’ of work and research have been predicated and the one under which Dr. Alfred Tomatis has gone on to change countless lives through the implementation of his auditory processing therapy methods.
Alfred Tomatis: The Early Years
Alfred Tomatis was born into a family that was heavily involved in music and theatre. His father was a travelling opera singer and Alfred spent his formative years on the road following him. It became apparent early on that Alfred was not cut out for theatre; rather he was motivated to pursue a career in medicine. Eventually, he became an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Shortly after beginning his practice, Alfred’s father began referring colleagues who were having vocal issues to him. Tomatis quickly discovered that traditional methods of treatment were not working. He also noted that, at that time, very little research had actually been done on the voice itself.
Treating Auditory Processing Issues
Tomatis would go on to develop his signature device, the Electronic Ear, which utilises sound filters, bone conducting transducers, and electronic gating to enhance the ability to hear the higher frequencies in sound. His goal was to tune the muscles in the middle ear to pick up on those missing frequencies.
Tomatis later discovered that a myriad of issues could be treated using the same methods. He found that his sound therapy techniques also had positive effects on conditions like dyslexia, schizophrenia, depression and autism. He theorised that many of those disorders were the result of the ear’s inability to effectively listen to and selectively pre-empt certain sounds within the immediate environment.
Scientific study of human development shows that the human ear begins to form only a few days after conception. It is fully formed by the end of the fourth month of pregnancy. Dr. Tomatis theorised that we begin cataloguing auditory information in utero and that the foetal ear guides development of the brain through the sounds it hears. He further postulated that many auditory issues present during pregnancy when the foetus does not properly respond to its mother’s voice.
Tomatis further theorised that the entire body is involved in producing speech and language. He suggested that even silent reading is an activity governed by the ear and recommended reading aloud for 30 minutes each day as a means of accelerating learning and stimulating the brain.
Tomatis eventually left the mainstream medical community to continue development of his theories of audio-psychology-phonology (a term he coined). While his methods were originally considered to be outside of the mainstream, there is now ample evidence to support all of Tomatis’ theories and furthermore the treatments are completely safe, holistic, and non-invasive. Some of the worst symptoms of many physical and mental disorders are capable of being reversed or made virtually undetectable after using Tomatis’ methods.
In my practice we regularly help children to improve their reading and writing, speech and language abilities, together with mental and cognitive function. We have searched the world for the most efficient and effective natural, drug-free therapies that help children with developmental challenges. We are passionate about our work and believe that all children have the capacity to improve and learn. We are always excited to help a child grow into their full potential.
Please call us on 0437 048 833 to find out more.
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