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Tomatis method in Toronto
Tomatis method in Toronto
Because the ear is a sensory integration system, it plays an efficient role in many areas.
Learning disorders
One of the important factors in the development of learning disabilities is a lack of awareness of the appropriate articulatory or physical gesture. This entails a disturbance of short-term memory, a prerequisite for a normal learning process. As a result, the fields of application directly concern learning processes at school:
  • dyslexia,
  • dysgraphia,
  • dyscalculia.
Other fields of application related to oral language development are grouped under the term of dysphasia. Others again concern the programming and acquisition of learned gestures related to dyspraxia.

The TOMATIS Method operates on the plasticity of the neural circuits involved in the decoding and analysis of sounds, as well as on those involved in motricity, balance, and coordination. As such, the TOMATIS Method can help children develop compensatory strategies to deal with and manage their learning difficulties and language disorders. The TOMATIS Method does not eliminate these problems altogether, but at least helps the person manage them better and thus effectively overcome them.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Attention disorders
Attention is the ability to select and maintain an awareness in an external event or a thought. Attention can be divided into two components:

- the intensity component of attention
This corresponds to a general state of awareness and alertness that enables the nervous system to be receptive to any form of information reaching it. The action of our method on this component of attention refers to what is called the “energization function” or “dynamogenic function” of the ear. It concerns children or adults who cannot concentrate for sufficiently long periods on a task to be done, even if this task requires little intellectual effort and is routine or familiar in nature (e.g., a revision or recopying exercise).

- the selective component of attention
This refers to the ability to focus on certain aspects of a situation, while inhibiting those that are deemed irrelevant. It is the ability to resist distraction and to discriminate information at the same time that is relevant. The action of our method for this kind of attention is directed at people who are prone to distraction, and who suffer from frequent lapses in attention that include confusion in understanding. A particular modality of selective attention is the ability to divide attention between multiple sources of information or tasks at one time. The insufficient ability to exercise this kind of attention, which requires a major cognitive effort, may be a source of difficulty or suffering for the child in a school situation.

Beyond its general action of cerebral stimulation (i.e., cortical charging), the TOMATIS Method can also have a very positive action on selective attention. In effect, the Tomatis procedure is based on the electronic gating that brings about a perceptual sound contrast meant to constantly surprise the brain so that it stays awake and attentive The goal is to help the brain develop automatic mechanisms for detecting changes, which will consequently reinforce selective attention.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Psychomotor difficulties
Psychomotor difficulties concern a delay in the acquisition, coordination, and execution of gestures that are not learned culturally or through an explicit education, but are instead acquired “naturally” over time (for example, walking, running, jumping, tapping out a rhythm with the foot or with the fingers). These are different from gestures related to dyspraxia, which are learned culturally (for example, eating with dinnerware).
Psychomotor disorders therefore concern the integration of gestures having a universal character into an individual bodily framework. For example, children who experience these difficulties may be unable to coordinate their arms and legs when they swim, may run in a disordered manner, may have difficulty balancing on one foot or going down stairs, etc. Disorders that affect proper coordination are also regularly correlated with dyslexia, albeit to differing degrees.

The Ear is not merely a sensory organ that captures sounds. It also plays an important role in motor function thanks to an internal organ known as the vestibule. The role of the vestibule is to manage the sense of balance. By means of its direct action on the vestibule, the TOMATIS Method acts directly on the regulation of muscular tone and thus on verticality, but also on the difficulties of laterality. Moreover, in conjunction with several other parts of the brain, the vestibular system plays an important role in the mechanisms controlling coordination and rhythm. As a result, the TOMATIS Method can effectively intervene on difficulties with rhythm and of coordination.
Finally, in conjunction with the cerebral cortex, the vestibule is highly involved in the capacity of spatial navigation and in the formation of the body schema. This is why TOMATIS Method’s fields of application also include difficulties of spatialization and of the body schema.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Emotional disorders
While the importance of exercise for the upkeep of the body is easily understood, we do not always realize that exercise is also important to sustain our brain. It is by stimulating the brain through sensory messages that the brain energizes and relaxes us. As the ear is the main channel for the transmission of sensory messages from the human body, it plays a key role in human function.
This stimulation may be impaired when the brain triggers a mechanism of inhibition or protection. This mechanism may occur following an isolated traumatic event called emotional shock. The brain also tends to progressively protect itself when the external environment is perceived as aggressive. This may be true of people facing a reorganization of their routine, increased responsibilities, the loss of familiar references, and social pressure as examples. The motivations for doing a course of TOMATIS training in the context of personal development are therefore varied and cover numerous expressions of “angst” that may be encountered in modern life. The most commonly cited reasons are stress, fatigue, overwork, anxiety, and loss of confidence.

The TOMATIS Method acts on the limbic system in the medial part of the brain, to which the auditory system is linked. Among other things, this part of the brain is responsible for the mechanisms of emotion, memory, and learning. Moreover, an organ in the middle ear known as the cochlea plays the role of a cortical charger. By acting on the limbic system and prefrontal cortex, the TOMATIS Method intervenes in the regulation of emotional disorders related to depression and anxiety. And it will also act effectively on the regulation of stress.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Communication disorders
All distortions of listening that are too firmly rooted include the loss of the inate desire to listen which in turn will lower the desire to communicate, whether out of resignation or from a lack of confidence resulting from the difficulty to communicate effectively. Communication difficulties come in various forms. For example, they can reveal themselves in an inability to not only receive the sounds around us without being afflicted by them: a car horn, the slamming of a door, the noisy environment of a restaurant, but also accept some voices, such as that of a co-worker, a relative, a friend. This confuses communication.
Some people find themselves unable to use their voices as a real communication tool, due to a lack of control over the various components of the rhythm of speech: intonation, inflection, volume. Lacking control, the voice will be perceived as aggressive, cold, or devoid of any power of expression by the person being addressed.

By specifically working on the reception and emission of sound, the TOMATIS Method acts effectively on communication.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Pervasive developmental disorders
These are severe difficulties manifesting early in childhood development, and are characterized by delays in and alterations of the development of the capacities for social interaction, cognition, and communication.
The neural circuits linking the ear to the brain contain specific neurons (both motor and sensory) called « mirror neurons » that play an important role in the construction of social cognition, that is, the ensemble of the processes that allow you to attribute intentions and ideas to someone, and even to understand another person’s emotional state.

By acting on these neural circuits, the TOMATIS Method proposes to improve both the capacity to communicate and the qualty of our relational abilities. The TOMATIS Method has demonstrated its effectiveness in helping people who suffer from autism and associated behavioral disorders (for example, Asperger’s syndrome). Numerous approaches are possible to help people presenting these disorders. The Method is not exclusive in this regard
Tomatis method in Toronto
Personal development and well-being
Although the importance of movement for the upkeep of the body has been recognized, we don’t always realize that it is just as important for the well-being of the brain. The brain is stimulated when it is sent sensory messages, and in turn, it both energizes and relaxes us. Because the ear is the human body’s most important channel for sensory messages, we can easily understand why its role is likewise very important.
 This stimulation may be deficient when the brain triggers a protective mechanism, which may happen after a single traumatic event known as an emotional shock. The brain also tends to protect itself progressively when it perceives the external environment as aggressive. This may be the case with people whose rhythm of life has been suddenly disrupted and reorganized, or who face a sudden increase of responsibility, a loss of bearings, or social pressure.

The human ear ensures a function of “cortical charging.” It needs to be stimulated in order to energize the brain and the body. Sound is therefore necessary for our personal growth. The richer the sound is in harmonic highs, the more effective it is. Sounds rich in harmonic highs stimulate a vast neural network known as the “reticular formation” which controls the overall level of cerebral activity. The energizing action of the TOMATIS Method is complemented by a relaxing effect on the physical-bodily level, which has positive effects on the regulation of anxiety and stress.
Tomatis method in Toronto
Improvement of the voice and musicality
One of the historical areas of application for the TOMATIS Method concerns the improvement of musicality and of the speaking or singing voice. In effect, thanks to its direct action on the cerebral mechanisms that link perception and action, the fundamental principle of the TOMATIS Method is that any modification of the mechanisms concerning the reception and analysis of a sound message will have consequences on the reproduction of that message, be it spoken, sung, or mediated by a musical instrument.
Moreover, good quality vocalization does not merely require a well-tuned listening of an external sound message, but also and above all a well-tuned self-listening, that is, a well-honed capacity to use one’s own voice as a sound source to be analyzed and properly controlled in intensity and quality. This self-listening happens only when the perceived sound vibration is correctly regulated by bone conduction, which is the path of transmission for sound through all of the body’s bones, and in particular, the cranium.

Tomatis method in Toronto