To hear is to perceive sound, to listen is to tune into those sounds selectively, this is the process that shapes and binds our connections to the world around us.
âBefore the Tomatis Program I often tried to perform and adjust my behaviour to please preconceived expectations, my own and those of other people, now I just listen to my own energy, I feel a new inner freedom.â Mary Ann finished her Tomatis Program in September 2003 and life since then she says, has never looked so bright and colourful! For years Mary Ann had been plagued by anxiety and nervousness, like so many people in todayâs fast paced and frenzied society she had failed to pursue many of her life long interests and desires due to overriding feelings of apprehension and fear. These fears combined with serious sleeping difficulties led to a prolonged bout of stress and depression. Like many others Mary Ann knew that there was more to life than she was experiencing, finally after struggling for 45 years the Tomatis Program gave her the ability to really do what she wanted to do with her life and then to take the steps to actualise her desires. For Mary Ann the miraculousness of the Tomatis Program lay in its ability to give her the confidence and the energy to do things she would never have dared to before. It allowed her to feel a sense of joy that had been missing for so long whilst giving her a sense of focus and forward looking. âSo much healing in so little timeâ she said. Mary Ann reached these benefits after only 62 hours of the Tomatis Method.
You may have heard of the Tomatis Method before, or you may have heard of auditory training, listening therapy or even auditory stimulation therapy, all names for the various ways sound can be used to heal. It is well documented that sound impacts our 21st Century lives in a myriad of ways; we are surrounded and immersed in it. Most of you know about the effects of sound, in changing your mood for example, but research has also shown that music has the ability to raise or lower your blood pressure, affect your muscular energy, change your metabolism, influence your digestion and have a powerful effect on your emotions and behaviour. The Tomatis Method uses this principle of healing sounds but also bases itself on the relationship which exists between the ear and the voice, between listening and communication. Listening requires attention and emotion.
The Tomatis Method recognises that people of all ages can be trained to process incoming sound more effectively than they usually do. We also recognise that many people have weaknesses in their ability to process sound and this affects them in a multitude of ways. The idea that the ear plays a crucial role in communication, in social and psychological development is a unique one, first researched and highlighted by Dr Alfred Tomatis, who is now considered to be the pioneer of the use of sound stimulation to re-educate the ear to improve learning and language abilities, communication, creativity and social behaviour.
Francoise Nicoloff is based at Tomatis Clinic in Edgecliff, Sydney. The Tomatis Method is available in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. A linguistic centre opened in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2007. Tomatis Home Based Programs are available interstate (conditions apply).
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