How did Dr Tomatis make his discoveries?
Dr Tomatis, a Paris based ear, nose and throat specialist, was one of the first to investigate the auditory environment of the foetus. His theory was that the auditory relationship between baby and mother lays the foundation for all our other relationships and is therefore the crucial point of intervention to bring about change in the person’s psychological response to sound and language.
In the 1940s Tomatis devised a system of taking the listener back through the auditory experience of being in the womb and first learning to identify sound. He called this process ‘sonic birth’. He began this path of discovery when he learned that if baby birds are hatched under silent foster mothers, the hatchlings will be unable to learn to sing.
The Tomatis Effect
As his initial concern was with hearing loss, Tomatis’s first experiments dealt with altering the auditory curve.
When there is loss of hearing in a particular frequency it is generally not a total loss – it just means that those frequencies are heard at a lower level. (This is called a scotoma.) Tomatis designed an apparatus called the Electronic Ear, which could manipulate the frequencies of sounds, so it could match a sound to the person’s auditory curve, or it could do the opposite. It could boost the deficient frequencies to make the person hear as a normal ear would hear.
Initially Tomatis worked with singers who had lost certain frequencies from their voices. He found that the dead spots in the voice exactly matched the dead spots on the audiogram, and by correcting the hearing with the Electronic Ear he could restore the missing frequencies to the voice.
Thus he framed his first law: “The voice contains only those sounds that the ear can hear.”
To learn more about Dr Tomatis read an article by Rafaele Joudry Tomatis the Irrepressible Pioneer (See articles for Web).
To learn more about the research behind Sound Therapy, request one of our Free Reports.