At the limit of hearing
The French otolaryngologist, Alfred Tomatis, was the first to systematically investigate the effect on the human psyche of high-frequency sounds.
According to his theory, a child, floating in an amniotic fluid during fetal development, hears a lot of sounds that become unavailable to him after birth – the mother’s breath, the beating of her heart, voice, the noise from the work of internal organs, etc.
This is due to the fact that during the period of intrauterine development, the child’s ears are filled with a fluid that conducts sound much better than air; in particular, high-frequency damping is much less
To use his discoveries in practice, Tomatis immersed in the bathroom microphones protected by film and speakers through which the work of the internal organs of the woman was transmitted. Thus, he modeled sound filtering through the maternal placenta.
On the resulting recordings, most of the sound spectrum lay above 8,000 vibrations per second. When records made in this way were given regular listening to children with various disorders – dyslexia, autism, hyperactivity, the changes in their behavior and learning were staggering. This high-frequency sound, according to the theory of Tomatis, awakens a sense of the most archaic connection with the mother.
Such sounds, apparently, affect the most ancient, primordial layers of our memory – the bliss of being in the mother’s womb, unity with the mother – and awaken in the listener this forgotten feeling of wholeness.
Tomatis’s research and clinical experience led him to the conclusion that the ear is one of the most important organs that shape human consciousness. Before him, most people, including scientists who studied the ear, believed that this body has one function – to hear. They did not notice that hearing is just one aspect of a much larger, dynamic process in which every cell of the body participates.
Tomatis discovered that the ear does not just “hear”, but the vibrations perceived by it stimulate the nerves of the inner ear, where these vibrations are converted into electrical impulses that enter the brain in various ways. Some go to the auditory centers, and we perceive them as sounds. Others create an electrical potential in the cerebellum that controls complex movements and a sense of balance. From there they go to the limbic system, which controls our emotions and the release of various biochemical substances, including hormones that affect our entire body. The electrical potential created by sound is also transmitted to the cerebral cortex, which controls the highest functions of consciousness. Thus, the sound “feeds” the brain, and with it the whole body.
Another discovery of Tomatis was a direct link between the range of a person’s hearing, the range of vibrations of his voice and his level of health. – Compare the colorless, weak voice of a sick person and the sonorous joyful voice of a child! Tomatis developed a special recording process called the “electronic ear”. In this process, either the high-frequency component or the low-frequency component is alternately cut from normal sound. When a person listens to such a recording, the muscles of his ear are trained by alternating tension and relaxation; this expands the range of hearing,
There are many documented studies showing, in particular, that as a result of using this method, creative potential is enhanced, memory and concentration can be improved. There is also a significant improvement in the so-called fine motor skills. As a result, even professional musicians have noted a significant improvement in musical technique and virtuosity of performance. Similar results were demonstrated by masters of various martial arts and professional race drivers. Currently, there are more than 300 treatment and training centers in the Tomatis method worldwide.