Ninety percent (90%) of the sensory messages that stimulate our brain, including
movement and touch, involve the ear! The ear thus acts as a sensory integration system.
The corrective action of the TOMATIS Method acts simultaneously on the three core
functions of the ear: balance, energy and hearing.
THE BALANCE FUNCTION
Balance depends on the vestibule, the part of the inner ear that informs the brain of
the slightest body movement. The ear is therefore involved in controlling posture and
maintaining balance. Through its action on the vestibule, the TOMATIS Method allows
the body to regain verticality by repositioning the skeleton.
Indeed, under the sustained effect of listening sessions, the consistency of the
messages sent to the brain via the vestibule of both the right and left ears is harmonized.
As a result, motor responses are noticeably less chaotic, and become more fluid and
better organized. One can easily understand the beneficial effect on motor disorders.
Moreover, the vestibule plays a fundamental role in integrating the rhythms of both
music and language due to its intricate network of connections to the brain.
THE ENERGY FUNCTION
The human ear ensures a function of “cortical energizing”. The ear needs to be
stimulated to energize the brain and the body. Sound is necessary for our personal
fulfilment. The richer music is in high frequency harmonics, the more efficient its effect.
Sounds that are rich in high frequency harmonics stimulate a vast neural network,
called the “reticular formation”, which controls the overall activity level of the brain.
That’s why we mainly use Mozart violin concertos, with well-known beneficial effects. We also use Gregorian chant whose particular rhythm has a proven soothing effect.
THE AUDITORY FUNCTION
When hearing is disturbed, this creates not only problems of discrimination,
spatialization and auditory lateralization, but also a loss of the ability to isolate
an auditory message from surrounding noise. In this situation, the subject finds
herself exposed to a mass of information that she receives with varying degrees of
distortion. Understanding messages then require substantial efforts, causing errors,
ever increasing fatigue, irritability and, finally withdrawal. Then the environment is
experienced as problematic. In these circumstances attention and memory suffer.
The pedagogical tool of the TOMATIS Method is a device called the Electronic Ear.
The Electronic Ear exercises the muscles of the middle ear to restore the middle ear’s
ability to activate listening mechanisms that the brain has in place.
In addition, the Electronic Ear focuses the brain’s attention on the auditory message.
Progressively, the ear learns or re-learns to listen. Literally, we say the ear “starts
An electronic gate makes it possible to alternate between two ways of
perceiving the same auditory message
In concrete and very simplified terms, the Electronic Ear triggers the stapedial reflex.
This reflex causes the contraction of the auditory muscles. It is activated by the
sudden switch from a low frequency signal that requires no effort of adaptation or
accommodation from the ear, to a high frequency signal that requires a major effort of
accommodation from the ear.
This back-and-forth movement between tension and relaxation in the muscles of the
ear is rendered possible due to the electronic gate, a device capable of alternating
between two states of perception for the same auditory message. This activity can be
compared to a gymnastic exercise, which, through repeated use and progressive
mobilization of the ear, optimizes the transmission of the message to the brain.
A delayed transmission of sound
The auditory message is transmitted to the brain through air and bone conduction in
special headphones that are equipped with earphones and a vibrator. The Electronic
Ear is designed to be able to program a delay between the sound transmitted via air
and the sound transmitted via bone. Because of this delay, called precession, the brain
analyzes the message twice. After sustained auditory stimulation, the brain naturally
takes over the function of anticipation performed by the machine.
The Electronic Ear has many other features designed to utilize technological innovations
and respond to the latest scientific research.
All practitioners of the TOMATIS Method undergo initial and continued training.
Furthermore, they commit to upholding a code of conduct and ethics. Finally, they are
supervised and assisted by experienced trainers.
We draw your attention to the fact that only individuals certified by the company
TOMATIS Development SA are entitled to practice the TOMATIS Method.
The TOMATIS® Method is an Educational Program, and is considered neither a medical treatment nor a means to establish a medical diagnosis. The content in this website is for informational purposes only. It should be neither considered as nor substituted for medical advice.