Based on a study by the Medical Science Monitor, it was proven that people who play music in their free time have genetic reversals to stress.
Many health organizations have followed this logic by integrating drumming into their curriculum and have reported that it is a healthy way to relax in multiple ways. The more intense a person is while playing, the more aerobic the activity becomes whereby the player reduces stress and burns calories at the same time.
Playing a drumbeat engages the right side of your brain, shifting the pressure from the critical thinking left-brain. So, after an intense day at the office, the drum can physiologically relax your mind and refuel for the next day.
What makes hand drumming so inviting is that it is quite easy for inexperienced players to pick up without the frustration of learning technical skills. When you join a large drum circle group, your only task is to contribute what you feel comfortable doing and the circle finds a way to embrace it in the melody. This in itself provides stress relief and positive energy for your psyche. A drum circle creates a sense of acceptance and community.
Drum circles are recognized as effective team building exercises for companies in the corporate sector. They are also used in health care facilities for rehabilitation, senior care and family therapy as well as recreational and school programs for children.
These days, companies and corporate executives are looking into professionally facilitated drum circles for stress relief and team building. In fact, Toyota has added a drum room to their building fully equipped with all types of hand drums and percussion instruments.
Drum circles are also used in therapeutic sessions. The music produces a sense of synergy and focus, quieting the noise of chaos that can be troubling for people. For family therapy, making music together has had great results in getting teens to open up and discuss difficult issues.
Many college campuses are hosting drum circles in their public areas. Faculty encourage the activity as a healthy way to reduce stress from demanding schedules, tight finances and testing anxiety. The drumbeat also brings all types of people together opening doors for new friendship and a support group.
No matter what your age, gender or background, drumming is an open door for all to try. When you plan your next family gathering or retreat, consider planning a drum circle as part of the event to bring the group together and open up a new form of communication.
by Caitlin McGuire