The Healing Drum


     For centuries, and across every culture on earth, music and drumming have been used to heal. This should come as no surprise, considering that our bodies are nothing if not a collection of rhythms themselves -from the beat of our hearts down to the smallest vibrating molecule- but the extent to which drumming facilitates healing, as well as the myriad ways in which it does, is truly astounding. Western medicine and modern science are only now beginning to confirm what shamans and healers have intuitively known since ancient times.

    When a person drums, several changes take place within his or her body. Endorphins and neuropeptides are released, creating an immediate feeling of well-being and acting as natural pain relievers. The two hemispheres of the brain begin to synchronize, often producing a meditative or trance-like state (during which guided imagery or positive visualization can be particularly effective) and a deeper awareness- a state of “flow”, clarity, and lightness. Anxiety and stress melt away. Tensions are relieved and blood pressures reduced. The body feels free and whole. New neuropathways are created within the brain, improving memory and coordination. Studies have also conclusively shown that drumming boosts the immune system and actually elevates T cell levels.

    The groups that can benefit from therapeutic drumming are too numerous to list. Parkinson’s patients and stroke victims show marked improvement in coordination and overall health. A wide range of mental and emotional issues including depression, anxiety, and PTSD are effectively treated as well. Other conditions that greatly benefit from therapeutic drumming include: Heart disease, hypertension, cancer, chronic pain, autism, stress, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, the pain of childbirth, ... and the list goes on. Drumming creates wellness and balance within the body as a whole, promoting health and discouraging imbalance and disease.