Doctors have long known the healing sound of music. Therapeutic drumming, on the other hand, is a relatively new way to tap into the body’s healing ability. When you think about it, though, why shouldn’t the body respond to drumming? The first sounds ever heard are those of a mother’s heartbeat while still in the womb.
Nearly every culture in the world has some type of drumming. It can be seen in ceremonies and rituals, and some cultures use drumming during rites of passage. Drumming has also been used extensively in music, to guide dancers, and as a means to celebrate.
In recent years people in the medical profession have started realizing the importance of using a holistic approach to healing. Many physicians are using drumming therapy with senior citizens in co-ordination with otherwise traditional means of healing.
Why drumming therapy? It could be partially due to the fact that drumming reaches down into a person’s psyche to touch patients in a non-verbal way. Drumming therapy is being used with people of all ages. From patients as young as four to those as old as 104, drumming therapy has many benefits. Some of the benefits of drumming therapy include:
- Drumming has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression in patients over the age of 80. A study also noted the increased self-esteem of the patients following their weekly drumming session.
- During one study on drumming therapy, participants had blood samples drawn before and after a one-hour drumming session. Doctors found a marked decrease in the hormonal stress response and an increase in activity of natural killer cells.
- Alzheimer’s patients have been shown to respond favorably to drumming therapy. They are able to connect better with their loved ones as a result. Therapeutic drumming can also increase their cognitive ability.
- For patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or stroke, moving can be difficult. Therapeutic drumming, when done with deliberate slow, steady rhythms, enabled these patients to move more steadily.
Medical studies have also proven that drumming can greatly increase the production of T-Cells which are responsible for building the immune system. It accelerates physical healing and gives those in therapy a sense of wellbeing and being a part of something larger than themselves.
Some other research has shown the effect of drumming therapy to produce deep relaxation. It lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress, as well as aiding patients in overcoming chronic pain. Drumming has also been found to release negative feelings which can remove emotional blockages.
Therapeutic drumming can be done by an individual, but research has proven the added benefits of drumming with others. Therapeutic drumming is the sound of healing music; it will continue to be studied and new benefits are likely to be found.
Do you have a loved one you feel could benefit from this form of therapy? You may want to discuss this option with your loved one’s doctor.