Drum therapy has been popular since earlier times to promote healing and community bonding. From the shamans of Mongolia to the healers of West Africa, calming rhythm practices have been used to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health. Modern research endorses the therapeutic effects of these ancient rhythm techniques. Julie-Ann, CEO Dubai Drums tells us more…
Our body is made up of cells and molecules that, by principles of physics, sustain some vibratory effect from a sound wave transmission. Every cell in the body and mind is in constant rhythm and when sound touches it, something unique happens. Rhythm has been with us since the beginning of time and even though the link between music, rhythm and healing is an ancient one, medical interest in sound was first aroused in 1896, when American doctors discovered that different types of music could stimulate blood flow and increase mental clarity.
Music, rhythm and sound work will have tremendous significance in the future as scientists, doctors and holistic practitioners continue to look to sound to enhance health and go further into the new arena of psychoacoustics, which is the study of how sound affects the human nervous system. There are so many ways to see how our lives and the natural world around us are profoundly influenced by rhythm. A great example is the increased velocity a flock of geese can gain whilst flying in formation. The rhythmic entrainment allows them to migrate across the oceans and cover thousands of miles that they would not be able to do if they were not in harmony.
A similar thing happens when people drum together in rhythm for a sustained time. They are able to reach alpha and theta brain states by virtue of their synchronised beat that is accessed through drumming and this allows them to destress and access altered states of consciousness.
THE POWER OF THE DRUM
Drumming connects us to rhythm, puts us in touch with natural cycles, and makes us aware of rhythm all around us. It allows us to become in sync with ourselves and enjoy a healthier state of being. The sound of the drum resonates with an inner chord that vibrates through the whole body, so that when you go through the act of drumming you energize every cell in your body. We were used to rhythm even before we were born from the moment we heard the heartbeat of our mother. In fact, it is not the drum itself that creates the stirring of the soul, but the rhythmic beat. The drumbeat imitates some kind of direct response into our cells by its vibratory effect. It has the power to de-stress, induce a trance-like state, and/or set the pulses racing.
According to famous neurologist expert, Dr. Barry Bittman, and the numerous studies he has conducted, drumming actually increases the body’s immunity by raising the leucocytes (white blood cels) in the blood stream and this helps the body fight cancer and other viruses and reduces stress and anxiety. Lets take a look at some of the other healing benefits:
• DRUMMING REDUCES STRESS AND LOWERS BOTH BLOOD PRESSURE AND STRESS HORMONES.
• DRUMMING IS MEDITATIVE; INDUCING RELAXED MENTAL STATES THAT REDUCE ANXIETY AND TENSION BY INCREASING ALPHA WAVES IN THE BRAIN.
• DRUMMING PRODUCES DEEPER SELF-AWARENESS BY ACTIVATING BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN AND INDUCING SYNCHRONOUS BRAIN ACTIVITY THAT CAN LEAD TO GREATER INSIGHT OR CREATIVITY.
• DRUMMING CAN HELP PEOPLE EXPRESS AND ADDRESS EMOTIONAL ISSUES. SOUND VIBRATIONS CAN STIMULATE THE RELEASE OF NEGATIVE CELLULAR MEMORIES AND REMOVE EMOTIONAL BLOCKAGES.
• DRUMMING PRODUCES A SENSE OF CONNECTEDNESS AND COMMUNITY, INTEGRATING BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT AND ALLOWS PARTICIPANTS TO ACHIEVE A MORE RELAXED MENTAL STATE.
• DRUMMING HELPS A PERSON GET GROUNDED IN THE PRESENT MOMENT: WHEN A PERSON IS FIRMLY GROUNDED IN THE PRESENT, STRESSFUL SITUATIONS IN THE PAST CAN BE FORGOTTEN AND WORRIES OF THE FUTURE ARE MINIMIZED.
• DRUMMING IS ENJOYABLE, CREATIVE AND FUN. IT RELEASES ENDORPHINS IN THE HUMAN BRAIN THAT CAUSE FEELINGS OF HAPPINESS AND EUPHORIA.
• DRUMMING COMBATS STRESS AND RELAXES AND CAN HELP TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE.
• DRUMMING IS BEING USED TO HELP ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS IMPROVE THEIR SHORT-TERM MEMORY AND TO HELP AUTISTIC CHILDREN INCREASE THEIR ATTENTION SPANS.
• DRUMMING IS BEING USED AS A HEALING TOOL TO HELP RELEASE PENT UP ANGER AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS FOR SUPPORT GROUPS SUCH AS BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS.
Modern life can be so stressful because time has become such a commodity. With the pace of life we sustain, it demands time for proper relaxation. Drumming offers that relaxation as a stress free activity where people can let themselves go and join in community. It is clear why drumming together as tribes has been around since the dawn of time and this ancient way of uniting through rhythm is sure to stay with us way into our future as a way of healing each other and ourselves.
THE DRUM LADY’S STORY – JULIE-ANN ODELL With a background in public relations, I have always loved connecting and communicating. When I came across drum circles in Canada in the year 2000, I knew that it was something that I had to bring to the Middle East, as it is all about community and family is such a strong value in this part of the world. A participant in a drum circle is part of a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts, it doesn’t matter where you come from, what you do for a living, or how old you are as it transcends boundaries and is accessible to an extremely wide range of people, so its perfect for the UAE that has so many nationalities in one place. This is what inspired me to create a drum circle community in 2002 that started off in the back garden of our villa and a few years later transformed into a very successful business. I created the Full Moon Desert Drumming six years later in 2008, when I realised that families and friends needed an event where they could get back to basics, gather collaboratively with other people, share in a common experience, and make something great happen through drumming together in unity. I have personally experienced and observed many healing incidents that happen within a drum circle. I believe that many of us are in a state of denial and have a lot of negative conditioning trapped in our subconscious. A drum circle creates a space where people rhythmically entrain and connect with themselves and each other, which allows them to process trapped emotions. Similar to meditation, drumming requires that you release any attachments to the “monkey mind” and stay present. The moment you let your mind get carried away, you lose the rhythm, so it forces people to be in present moment of awareness. It’s an amazing blend of feeling excited to play and at the same time feeling calm, relaxed and focused and it is tremendously healing.Personally, my favourite part about playing drums is the community. The word “djembe” comes from the saying “Anke djО, anke bО,” which translates to “everyone gathers together in peace.” So everyone contributes a unique sound or movement to create a powerful ensemble and everyone’s beat is equally important. Group drumming creates a sense of community and a powerful shared experience.Shortly after I started Dubai Drums, I started to use rhythm as a tool for unity in corporates and it became a successful team building experience to experientially show groups how to work together, to listen to each other, and to achieve common goals. With the introduction of wellness into corporations, many corporate employees can now be seen engaging in corporate drum circles as a way of uniting, collaborating, communicating and de-stressing. I feel extremely fortunate that over the past 18 years I have been able to drum with thousands of people and children and witness how drum circles can release stress, provide joy and create such a feeling of connectedness and unification, which is so needed in our modern day world. The soothing powers that drumming in rhythm can bring are accessible to anyone to tap into. After all, rhythm is ancient and touches a part of us that speaks of inner balance, self-expression and basic life force.If this superb energising and de-stressing activity sounds good to you, please join in with Dubai Drums regular weekly Monday Djembe drum class at Urban Tribe their studio in Al Quoz.
For more information: Call +971 (0)56 744 2129, Email: email@example.com. Visit: www.dubaidrums.com
To read more wellness articles grab your own copy of the 50th edition of Yogalife Magazine – the Nov-Dec 2018 Issue. On stands now !!