6 Health Reasons to Start Drumming
This article is based on a blog by Dr Northrop, I have selected out six of the ten benefits that she has identified, and put them together with some practical observations of how you can visualise the positive attributes of drumming for healing.
Sound healing with the drum is based upon the hidden rhythm of the heart being brought out of the inner cavity of the chest, out into the world to be heard and followed. We use the traditional frame drum which is held in the left hand level with the heart, and we tap the drum face with our right hand.
Study 1. Drumming induces deep relaxation. In one study, blood samples from participants who took part in one hour long drumming sessions revealed a reversal in stress hormones.
The heart beat has no connection to the thinking mind, we do not have to think to keep the heart beating, it just beats as part of the autonomic nervous and metabolic system. The heart is regulating and circulating the blood and body fluids around the body, with the breathing lungs moving and invigorating the life force by constant action.
Study 2. Drumming helps to control chronic pain. It promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, which are the bodies own morphine like pain killers.
As you tap on the drum in time with the heart beat a process of entrainment begins within the organs of the body, energetically the organs come into alignment with the external echoing of the hearts beat on the drum. This entrainment also happens when you drum the heart beat with other people, others fall into step just like soldiers marching together, other people who are with you come into resonance.
Study 3. Drumming boosts your Immune system. Studies show that drumming circles boost the Immune system. Barry Bittman, MD, neurologist and president of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute has shown that group drumming actually increases natural T-cells which help the body combat cancer and other viruses, including Aids.
If you add to the heart beat an intention, a positive thought form, the drum beat will carry that message to a destination, as if these thought forms are being reminded to return into a distant reality beyond the mind with its fear and confusion.
Study 5. Drumming releases negative feelings. The act of drumming can serve as a form of self expression. You can literally drum out your feelings. When held, negative emotions can form energy blockages. The physical stimulation of hitting the drum can help remove these blockages. Drumming is being used therapeutically to help addicts deal with their emotions.
The drum beat goes into a deeper place within our memory, back into the womb where the amniotic fluid amplified the beat of our mothers heart, this was the first sound we heard, and drum takes us back into that safety, into that remembering.
Study 6. Drumming makes you happy. Participate in a drum circle, cardio drumming class or Sacred Drumming group and you will see how happy it makes you. Drumming releases endorphins, enkephalins and Alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with well-being and euphoria.
The heart is the regulator between our inner and our outer world. If the world around us is out of balance the heart beat sent out on the drum brings the outer world into balance. If we are feeling an inner sense of disconnection the heart rhythm sent by another person will bring us back into harmony. The drum is seen as an interface between the inner and outer worlds.