Healthy Aging Drum and Rhythm Circle

Why Drums, Drumming and Drum Circles? 

The drum is an ancient healer that has been used for thousands of years to bring together the community and to facilitate healing.  It is an easily accessible tool for reconnecting with our deeper selves. Our hands connect with a drum that vibrates with our energy and vitality. In turn, this calms us, centers us, and reconnects us with ourselves as well as with the world around us. Drumming is one of the oldest healing rituals known to man. This is an experience accessible to everyone!

Drumming is a lifestyle enhancement activity and one of the many disciplines that can enhance your wellness. 

“The ability to drum is alive in all of us–not based on musical knowledge or rhythmical expertise. Rhythm is Medicine. The brain’s fundamental need for rhythm has long been known in the field of music therapy. We are rhythmic beings: from our heartbeat, breathing, brain waves, cranial-sacral, and our circadian rhythm! We are wired for rhythm”, says Christine Stevens, MSW, MT.

Those with little or no musical background can participate in group percussion activities. Participation in such events promotes relaxation, communication, and a sense of belonging to the community.

Just one hour of drumming, according to a recent study, can notably boost our immune systems, even reverse stress-related genomic codes in our DNA. And these benefits can multiply when we connect with others to consciously create sound. See the study below. 

In her 1994 think DRUMS article, Barbara J. Crowe, MT-BC pointed out that drum circle activities are based on several basic principles: 
* Response to rhythm is basic to human functioning making percussion activities and techniques highly motivating to people of all ages and backgrounds. 
* Pure percussion activities are interesting and enjoyable to all people regardless of ethnic and cultural background, musical preferences, or age range making these activities useful in creating groups that are fun and positive for a wide variety of people. 
* Participation in active group percussion experiences has physical benefits including sustained physical activity, relaxation, and use of fine motor skills.
* A strong sense of group identity and a feeling of belonging is created because participants are actively making music together and because the sustained repetition of the steady beat acts to bring people together physically, emotionally, and mentally (rhythmic entrainment). 
* Percussion activities can be done with little or no previous musical background or training making these experiences accessible to virtually all people. 
(From The Music Making and Wellness Project)

“Rhythm and harmony enter most powerfully into the innermost part of the soul and lay forcible hands upon it, bearing grace with them, so making graceful him who is rightly trained.”  - Plato

Biofeedback research has shown that the drumbeat alters brainwave patterns, increasing Alpha (a light meditative brainwave), and dramatically reduces stress. Research has demonstrated that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain synchronizes the two cerebral hemispheres.

As we reconnect with the natural rhythms deep within our bodies, we are simultaneously feeding our souls, which have been starved for ritual.

The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in attention deficit disorder (ADD). According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University's Center for Biomedical Research in Music, “Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, as with Parkinson's patients.” The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experiences become.

Music Mindfulness: another good reason to drum. Drumming helps alleviate the stress that is created from hanging on to the past or worrying about the future. When one plays the drum, one is placed squarely in the here and now. One of the paradoxes of rhythm is that it has both the capacity to move your awareness out of your body into realms beyond time and space and to ground you firmly in the present moment. Drumming can stop unproductive thinking. 

Many believe this reintegration of body and spirit explains why drumming is spreading so widely and deeply into the 21st century. Find a drum circle near you to experience sonic alchemy as you receive and create healing vibrations to harmonize your emotions, liberate your spirit, and accelerate your journey to live and age well!  

For more information and interesting links see:

Composite effects of group drumming music therapy on modulation of neuroendocrine-immune parameters in normal subjects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11191041

The Health Benefits of Beating Your Own Drum

https://www.drnorthrup.com/health-benefits-drumming/

Change Your Rhythm~~~Change Your Life

Local drum circle held last Sunday of the month at Altus Healing Arts, Chelsea VT 4-5:30. 

There are many benefits to creating music in a group. This is an effective way to encourage life skills and develop confidence and self-esteem.
To find a drum circle near you look on this web site: http://www.drumcircles.net. 

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