Big Ears

What’s wrong with this picture?
Now you’re all looking at me as though there’s something wrong with my ears.
Well, in fact all of us have something wrong with our ears.
I’m here today to tell you that there’s more to the ear than meets the eye.
I have been on an amazing thirty year journey into the ear, and once I share some surprising information with you, I hope you will see the ear differently.

The ear is the receiver of sound—it takes in vibration and turns it into consciousness.
The fascinating thing is the depth and complexity of anatomical structures and processes in our nervous system and brain that make this possible. The even more interesting thing is how our nervous system and brain can be changed and improved by the sounds we hear.
So this means sound is actually fixing our nervous system. Sound strange? Well, let me explain.

Have you ever seen this picture?
This is called the homunculus. It looks like a primitive artefact, but its actually a scientific representation of our tactile nervous system. In other words, it’s a map of the human body, on the brain.
What its indicating is how much brain space is devoted to each area of our body so you can see that the hands, face and mouth are hugely over-represented. That’s because they are the most important areas for our survival, and our engaging with the world, and therefore we devote more brain space to them.

On this diagram you can see that the mouth is much bigger on the sensory site, while the hand is bigger on the motor side.

This indicates that the mouth is better at feeling, while the hand is better at doing things.
Of course, if someone grew up and never used their hands, or their hands were paralysed, those pathways to the brain would not develop, and they would not have a good brain map of the hands. Whereas, if someone is a concert pianist, their hand map would be much larger.
So how does this relate to these big ears I’m wearing?
Well, how we hear, is also reflected in maps within our brain.
Here is a picture of the area of the brain taken up by our hearing.

The blue area there is the auditory cortex. One end of it registers the high-pitched sounds and the other end the low sounds. Just like with the sensory homunculus, the more we stimulate our ear—and build the ear-brain connections– the more neuronal matter is developed in this area.
So the more we develop the ear, the more we grow the brain and the more we improve the nervous system.
The fact is, if we don’t get sensory stimulation, we die. We saw that with the Romanian orphans after World War II, who got no contact or sensory stimulation, and they failed to thrive.
This can also go the other way, that rather than getting the bare minimum of stimulation, if we intensify the stimulation, we intensify the neural development. We can be better than average.
So there are two very important, ground breaking facts I want to share with you.
One- we can enhance our hearing capacity by enhancing the ear-brain connections.
Two – the whole nervous system is enhanced by building our hearing capacity.
The ear goes far beyond just the auditory cortex.
Hearing is linked to ten different brain centres, meaning that it impacts our movement, coordination, reactions and expectations, our interpretation of meaning, our memories and our emotional responses.

Our hearing is also linked to ten of our twelve cranial nerves, including the vagus nerve. This is why what we hear affects our emotions, our mood, our concentration and our ability to think clearly. We

know it does that in the short term, but it also has a cumulative effect of rebuilding and improving our whole nervous system.
What all this means is that we can rebuild our entire make up, physical, emotional and mental through the use of sound.
The specific filtering and processing used in Sound Therapy makes it the perfect tool for this kind of therapeutic rehabilitation. It builds pathways that affect our sound perception, our ability to respond to others, to feel safe, to empathise, to understand across difference, to think laterally, to solve problems, and express the exceptional humanity we all possess.
All of that is built internally, as we listen to these remarkable filtered music programs

The big ears I’m wearing are an external representation of how much more the ear can be, if we really develop all its potential by enhancing our nervous system. It doesn’t just help us to perceive a greater range of frequencies and communicate better, it actually helps us to be a better expression of our own potential.