In my previous post I discussed drum circles, providing a description and how they work. Today I would like take that discussion one step further and take a look at the benefits of drumming. While many people who enjoy hand drumming often find themselves in a drum circle, playing a hand drum alone can also provide many of the same benefits. In this post I will explore the ways hand drumming can be beneficial to the mind, body, and community.
Drumming for the mind
Through extensive research and study it has been found that hand drumming has a direct effect on a persons mind. In my own experience I have found that while drumming I seem to forget all the things that may be creating negative thoughts. I have also discovered that my students tend to be more well behaved and focused when participating in class drumming activities or drum circles. Drumming has many effects on the mind. New studies are discovering these effects everyday.
Express and Release Emotions -Many individuals who participate in drum circles or drumming activities have indicated that they are able to release emotions while playing hand drums. Many negative emotions such as sadness, grief, and anger can be expressed and released by playing hand drums. Releasing these emotions also removes the negative thoughts. leaving room to create a more positive thought process. On the contrary, drumming also allows participants to express positive feelings such as happiness. Hand drumming allows immediate expression thus providing a perfect avenue for self expression.
Builds Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem – Whether a person is playing alone or in a drum circle their abilities on the hand drum improve over time. As these abilities improve they become more willing to accept a leading role. For example, an individual joining a drum circle for the first time may choose to drum in the background focusing on keeping the beat. As they become more familiar with the drum they will begin to explore various rhythms and eventually solo within the group. As these abilities improve their self confidence and self esteem also improves. For many participants this new found self-confidence and self esteem can spill into other aspects of their daily life.
Provides Relaxation – Many people will emphasis on the relaxation provided when playing hand drums. This aspect is directly related to the release of negative emotions. When the body releases negative emotions such as sadness, fear and anger it begins to relax as tension and stress is greatly decreased by this emotional release. The soothing sound and steady beat also promotes relaxation. Individuals become focused on the act of drumming, forgetting about daily stress.
Drumming for the Body
Researchers have also found that drumming has a wide array of benefits for the human body. These are just a few of those benefits.
Lowers Blood Pressure – Studies have shown that stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure. By releasing negative emotions and thoughts the stress created by these emotions and thoughts is greatly decreased. This decrease in stress can assist in lowering blood pressure.
Control Chronic Pain – individuals who suffer from chronic pain have indicated that playing hand drums can help them temporary forget pain. Hand drumming provides a distraction from pain.
Boosts the Immune System – Research has shown that drumming can help boost the immune system. Boosting the immune system helps the body to fight a wide variety of illness’s and diseases.
Drumming for the Community
Drumming and drum circles provides many benefits for the community.
Brings the community together – By providing opportunities to participate in drum circles and other drumming activities a community can bring its residents together. This can promote citizenship and a sense of pride. It also allows community members to work together as a team.
Promotes Socialization and communication – Providing drum circles and drumming activities within a community provides a way for residents to come together and socialize with one another. It also encourages people to communicate with each other both verbally and non-verbally.
The Research Continues
There has been extensive studies regarding the benefits of hand drumming. Thus, the list of benefits is steadily growing. The benefits mentioned above are only a small selection. There are many websites dedicated to promoting hand drumming and outlining the many health benefits experienced by participating in hand drumming activities and drum circles.
The exploration and experimentation of the effects of hand drumming on the human mind and human body will continue. Many medical institutions incorporate hand drumming as an activity to assist patients with there recoveries and pain management. Therapist also use drumming to assist patients with severe depression and anxiety disorders.
The benefits mention above, as well as, the many other benefits discovered through research provides plenty of proof that hand drumming and drum circles is an extremely valuable activity for all individuals. If you have experienced the benefits of hand drumming I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment regarding your experience or if you have anything to add to the list above. I encourage everyone to consider participating in a drum circle or hand drumming. The benefits of drumming are worth the effort.