Tomatis training is a listening training therapy that is administered in the “Neurological Clinic of Dr. Yatsenko” using a special Solisten® system (the latest generation device in the “Tomatis” line of equipment). The method was created by the French doctor Alfred Tomatis.
Listening training is prescribed to adults:
- With a disturbance of the understanding of speech (motor, sensory, mixed aphasia), caused by a stroke or head injury;
- With a disturbance of reading, writing (the consequences of a stroke or head injury);
- With impaired coordination and dizziness (consequences of stroke or traumatic brain injury);
- Studying foreign languages.
WHEN CAN THE TOMATIS LISTENING THERAPY BE APPLIED?
When we think about our ears, we usually focus on the process of listening. This, of course, is the most obvious function, but apart from listening, the ear performs several more important functions that need to be considered.
One of the most important functions of the ear is the vestibular one. The vestibular apparatus takes part in the control of balance, coordination of movements; regulates muscle tone and the muscles of the eye. Thanks to the vestibular apparatus, we are able to navigate in the surrounding space.
The vestibular apparatus is also an important transmitter of sensory information coming from our body to the brain. People who have vestibular problems often have difficulty in transmitting sensory information.
The other part of the inner ear is cochlea which performs the function of a sound analyzer, which is especially important for understanding of speech.
The vestibular apparatus and the cochlea are interconnected and act as a relay station between the nervous system and the brain, being responsible for the transmission of all sensory information. Tactile, visual and auditory signals enter the brain through the vestibular apparatus and cochlea, regulating the activity of the brain.
The peculiarities of the interaction of the vestibular apparatus and the cochlea, as well as their role in the proper functioning of the brain, are used in administration of the Tomatis method.
The Tomatis also draws our attention to the fact that high-frequency sounds excite the brain, whereas low-frequency sounds, on the contrary, contribute to energy leakage.
The Tomatis notes that when our brain is “well-charged,” we can achieve greater focusing and concentration; better organizing, remembering, learning and working for long periods of time with almost no tension.
The biggest “leakage” of energy happens after a stroke or head injury. The Tomatis method replenishes the energy resource of the brain, thereby helping to restore lost functions.
The Tomatis training method is also used by people who study foreign languages.
THE TOMATIS – HOW DOES IT WORK?
The method is convenient because it does not require any effort from the patient. A person with headphones listens to music. At the same time, he can do any quiet things: to read books, solve crossword puzzles, etc.
A special device – Solisten® (the latest development of the company “Tomatis”) allows modifying the sounds of music with the help of special filters. High-frequency and low-frequency components are alternately “cut out” from the usual sound. These changes are almost unnoticeable when listening to music. But when a person listens to such a record, the muscles of his middle ear are trained by alternating their tension and relaxation.
During training, the patient hears the music through the headphones. In addition, the sound is transmitted with a help of a special vibration device attached to the headphones. This phenomenon is called “bone conduction.” Due to bone conduction, sound enters directly into the inner ear. So the inner ear gets prepared to perceive sound transmitted through the outer ear and the tympanic membrane.
Mozart’s music and Gregorian chants records are used for training.
Now let’s try to explain how the ears can be trained to perceive the tones of foreign languages. But before that one needs to understand why the ear can not hear certain tones.
This is because the two tiny muscles of the middle ear (the muscle that strains the malleus and the muscle stitching the stapes) are not ready to focus on sounds rarely used in our native language (these sounds have a different frequency than the sounds of the “native” language). The task of the method is to “teach” these muscles to work with new sounds (frequencies).
In a simplified version, it can be represented as follows: You listen to a sound of a frequency that you hear objectively not well or do not hear at all. This sound goes continuously on and off. In this case, there is a corresponding tension and relaxation of the muscles of the middle ear. As a result, the muscles become “trained” to the sound of a certain frequency, and you begin to hear it.
RESULTS AND COMMENTS AFTER THE TOMATIST HERAPY METHOD
The important role of the inner ear is to provide the brain with energy. Sounds of high frequency passing through the cochlea during training stimulate the brain and make it work more efficiently.
The Tomatis method naturally affects the brain auditory system. This leads to improved learning ability; development of attention, communication skills, ability to read; understanding of what was heard; helps the brain to better process information received from all sensory organs.
The Tomatis method allows restoring impaired coordination and motility in patients who have problems with movement and balance.
UNIQUENESS OF THE TECHNIQUE
“Neurological clinic of Dr. Yatsenko” was one of the first in Ukraine to start using the Tomatis method in its improved form – the latest equipment of the company “Tomatis” for listening training therapy – Solisten®.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?
Training should be long, as the brain learns only after 40-45 hours. The necessary training consists of three 15 days courses (2 hours per day) with a 1 month break between courses.
There are no age restrictions.