We recently came across virtual drumming circles offered by our partners at Tehama County Health Services Agency. There is a different type of drumming happening each day this week. While the recorded sessions aren’t available, each type of drumming session has some great youtube videos with information and demonstrations for inspiration. The types of drumming sessions offered include: virtual drumming – an introduction to the basics, body percussion and rhythm games, African drumming, Inuit drumming, Native American drumming and Japanese drumming.
And why are we promoting this? Because drumming is one of many things that is easy to do, accessible, fun, good for our physical health and also good for our mental health. In this time where many people are isolated and separated from family and friends, connecting virtually is important, AND drumming can help us cultivate health, wellbeing and resilience during the challenges of this pandemic.
Below is an excerpt from a physician’s article, 10 Health Reasons to Start Drumming:
10 Health Reasons to Start Drumming
Drumming can have positive effects on your health and may help with many conditions from stress, fatigue, and anxiety, to hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, addiction, and even cancer.
Here’s why drumming is good for you:
- Makes you happy. Participate in a drum circle or take a cardio drumming class and you will see how happy it makes you. Drumming releases endorphins, enkephalins and Alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with general feelings of well-being and euphoria.
- Induces deep relaxation. In one study, blood samples from participants who participated in an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal in stress hormones.
- Helps control chronic pain. Drumming can certainly serve as a distraction from pain. And, it promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, which are the body’s own morphine-like painkillers.
- Boosts your immune system. Studies show that drumming circles boost the immune system. Barry Bittman, MD, neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute, has shown that group drumming actually increases natural T-cells, which help the body combat cancer as well as other viruses, including AIDS.
- Creates a sense of connectedness. Drumming circles and group drumming classes provide an opportunity for “synchronicity” in that you connect with your own spirit at a deeper level while also connecting with other like-minded people.
- Aligns your body and mind with the natural world. The Greek origin of the word “rhythm” is “to flow.” Drumming allows you to flow with the rhythms of life by simply feeling the beat.
- Provides a way to access a higher power. Shamans often use drumming as a means to integrate mind, body and spirit. They focus on the whole body and then integrate the healing at both the physical and spiritual level by drumming, which connects spiritual forces.
- 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 drums can help remove those blockages. Drumming has even been used therapeutically to help addicts deal with their emotions.
- Puts you in the present moment. While drumming you are moving your awareness toward the flow of life. When you are flowing with the rhythm of life you cannot be caught up in your past or worrying about your future.
- Allows for personal transformation. Drumming stimulates creative expression. When you drum in a group, you not only get to self-express, but you get feedback from the other drummers. It’s the equivalent of talk therapy! Drum circles provide a means of exploring your inner self, and expanding your consciousness while being part of a community.