What are "Listening" or sound-based therapies about?
"Listening" therapies use the auditory-vestibular brain pathways to influence the nervous system. The programs consist of using specialized music to stimulate brain regions involved in processing information and in regulating mood. These therapies involve wearing headphones and listening to enhanced music for a prescribed period of time. Complementary activities, exercises and practices are a key part of all listening programs.
What Listening Therapies are Available at Orlando OT?
Maggie is able to use the Integrated Listening / ILs® program, as well as Quickshifts® from Vital Links, (created by Sheila Frick, OTR, an internationally recognized occupational therapist). Additionally, Maggie is able to use the Tomatis Method®.
Tomatis® is a sound-based program based on the work of Alfred Tomatis, who was an otolaryngologist in France. He discovered several neural connections between hearing, the voice and health. These are referred to as the “Tomatis® Principles” and form the theoretical basis for the Tomatis® method, (as well as for many other sound-based therapies, which are based on Dr. Tomatis’ work). Maggie is a Level 4 Tomatis Consultant/Provider with extensive training and the ability to create customized programs.
Tomatis® therapy involves listening to music on specialized headphones: the music has been selected for its specific properties, (frequency range, dynamics, etc.), and engineered to enhance desirable aspects of the sound. The music stimulates the individual’s system to address attention, physical conditioning of the ear muscles and perception. The headphones deliver sound through bone and air conduction, (the two ways we receive sound from the environment), and the timing between these two aspects of hearing is addressed via the programming.
The Tomatis® program requires access to very specialized equipment, and the ability to perform specific assessments and programming. Each program is individualized and requires a time intensive commitment, as well as complimentary activities. Active vocal work, in which an individual listens to his or her own voice via a specialized device, is an important aspect of the work as well. The process of neural plasticity, (changing the brain through experience), happens over time. The results of a Tomatis® program may be immediate, but more typically are seen over time as new neural networks are put into practice.