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The appearance and conscious self-control of the listening posture leads to the desired calm so that the heart’s ear opens.…Dr. A Tomatis
By helping cortical recharge and by reducing tension, Tomatis Listening Therapy encourages a more balanced life. How is this possible? Because one of the functions of the ear acts like a battery, charging us with energy. Under or over stimulation of the brain results when sound transmission occurs very erratically.
Apart from this, one of the branches of the vagus nerve is connected to the ear and provides energy for both the lower part of the external ear canal as well as the eardrum. There is a need for the flow of energy to be balanced and regular. If it is not balanced, then uneven, disturbed sound transmission is relayed through our nervous system. The ear drum is like an antenna that receives messages from the external world and relays them to all the internal organs that are connected to the vagus nerve. Time and again, Tomatis emphasised how important this connection between the vagus nerve and the organs is, and he was known to say, “I am asking you to write this down in golden letters because I believe that this is the key to understanding the whole system.”
Long term disruption of our listening can be extremely exhausting. I am sure we have all experienced being more fraught when we are tired than when we are well rested. When listening is poor, it is not simply a matter of getting a good night’s sleep, to recover our equilibrium, the ear becomes locked in a permanent state of exhaustion. It can be very difficult to be relaxed and happy in ourselves when we are always in coping mode and then it is likely we may succumb to our less attractive behavioural traits and tendencies. The virtuous circle of good listening leads to restful sleep and more sociable interaction.
The ear is not just for listening either, it controls balance and posture. When balance is restored to the ear, self confidence increases, anxiety disappears, the bigger picture emerges and unproductive self survival tactics can be replaced with positive behaviour.
A good balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems depends upon the tension of the eardrum . When the eardrum is not taut, then incoming sounds will make it move extensively, causing the whole vagus nerve to reverberate. One of the objectives of the therapy is to increase the tension of the eardrum so that it vibrates minimally thereby preventing vagus nerve activity from dominating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Parents whose children have undergone the therapy have reported that their children are more reasonable, mature, patient and determined and efficient at completing tasks. Tantrums are no longer part of the daily routine and upsets are easily moved on from and forgotten. Children often say they feel calmer, more relaxed and inevitably when asked “happier”. They are able to get on with their homework and tasks quickly and self sufficiently. The family dynamic between parents and siblings becomes even more harmonious.