Looking back over many years, there are a few main chapters, or phases, that were pivotal to the growth of iLs. The first phase was the work of Dr. A. A. Tomatis. The techniques he developed for processing music, as well as delivering it via both air and bone conduction, came about in the 1960’s, ‘70’s and ‘80s. While some of his theories did not prove accurate over time, he was an original thinker whose experimentation led to a unique methodology which became very popular in France, and later throughout Europe. The method was known for its success with auditory processing of musicians and singers, and later for the treatment of dyslexia. He laid the groundwork for all sound therapy to come.
In 1990, Dr. Tomatis trained an American physician, Ron Minson, MD, who came to him to learn his method after seeing remarkable results with his daughter. After a long search for help with his daughter’s dyslexia, Dr. Minson, a UCLA Medical School graduate and board-certified psychiatrist, had finally found success with a therapist in Arizona trained in the Tomatis Method. Profoundly affected by the experience, Minson travelled to Europe to train personally with Dr. Tomatis. Within a year, Minson had integrated the method into his psychiatric practice in Denver, CO. He and his wife, Kate O’Brien Minson, opened one of the first Tomatis centers in the U.S. After many requests from therapists to learn about the auditory program, they formed Dynamic Listening Systems (DLS), which offered the first of its kind in sound therapy courses. Soon DLS became known as the premier provider of sound therapy in the U.S., with Dr. Minson being regarded internationally as one of the top authorities on sound therapy.
In 2005, the Minsons were contacted by Randall Redfield, an executive working with a movement therapy company in Denver, CO. Redfield was interested in learning if an exponential effect might be achieved by combining movement and sound therapies. The movement therapy he was involved with was based on the work of Dr. Frank Belgau, who, as an original thinker like Tomatis, developed a unique methodology of movement activities over decades of experimentation.
Within a year of first speaking with the Minsons, Redfield began working with them on a few projects which would lead to a new approach: portable auditory equipment, new music protocols, and a program of visual, balance and coordination exercises to be implemented simultaneously with the auditory program. Very soon, it became apparent that the new, combined method was, in fact, very effective. iLs was formed in 2007 and in its first year of operating, 2008, the company trained close to 100 therapists. Over the next 6 years, iLs trained more than 7,000 professionals, including clinicians and educators from over 30 countries.
The evolution of iLs is ongoing. Feedback from professionals implementing iLs fuels the development of new products and new ways of improving the therapy. iLs owes a debt not only to Drs. Tomatis, Belgau and Minson, but also to the many therapists who through their daily implementation of the therapy are able to guide iLs in its ongoing effort to refine both the equipment and the methodology itself.