Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Drumming Reduces Tension, Anxiety, and Stress
Drumming induces deep relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. Stress, according to current medical research, contributes to nearly all disease and is a primary cause of such life-threatening illnesses as heart attacks, strokes, and immune system breakdowns. A recent study found that a program of group drumming helped reduce stress and employee turnover in the long-term care industry and might help other high-stress occupations as well.
Drumming Helps Control Chronic Pain
Chronic pain has a progressively draining effect on the quality of life. Researchers suggest that drumming serves as a distraction from pain and grief. Moreover, drumming promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the bodies own morphine-like painkillers, and can thereby help in the control of pain.2
Drumming Induces Natural Altered States of Consciousness
Rhythmic drumming induces altered states, which have a wide range of therapeutic applications. A recent study by Barry Quinn, Ph.D. demonstrates that even a brief drumming session can double alpha brain wave activity, dramatically reducing stress.5The brain changes from Beta waves (focused concentration and activity) to Alpha waves (calm and relaxed), producing feelings of euphoria and well-being. Alpha activity is associated with meditation, shamanic trance, and integrative modes of consciousness. This ease of induction contrasts significantly with the long periods of isolation and practice required by most meditative disciplines before inducing significant effects. Rhythmic stimulation is a simple yet effective technique for affecting states of mind.
Drumming Releases Negative Feelings, Blockages, and Emotional Trauma
Drumming can help people express and address emotional issues. Unexpressed feelings and emotions can form energy blockages. The physical stimulation of drumming removes blockages and produces emotional release. Sound vibrations resonate through every cell in the body, stimulating the release of negative cellular memories. “Drumming emphasizes self-expression, teaches how to rebuild emotional health, and addresses issues of violence and conflict through expression and integration of emotions,” says Music educator Ed Mikenas. Drumming can also address the needs of addicted populations by helping them learn to deal with their emotions in a therapeutic way without the use of drugs
Drumming Places One in the Present Moment
Drumming helps alleviate stress that is created from hanging on to the past or worrying about the future. When one plays a drum, one is placed squarely in the here and now. One of the paradoxes of rhythm is that it has both the capacity to move your awareness out of your body into realms beyond time and space, and to ground you firmly in the present moment.
4 Steps To Implement A Successful Employee Wellness Program
When I stop and think about employee wellness, I have to step away from my day to day responsibilities and take a look from the employer perspective. I think it’s a no-brainer to install a wellness program at every company, no matter the size, demographic, location or what service or product the company provides. My belief is that no company can be successful without paying attention to the well-being of their people — and people can’t be successful without feeling good every day.
Yet many people view wellness as a privilege. Why do some companies create entire cultures around wellness, and others do not? What makes them special?
Healthy People = Better Business
Here are the facts: Healthier people work harder, are happier, help others and are more efficient. Unhealthy workers are generally sluggish, overtired and unhappy, as the work is a symptom of their way of life.
According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs.
It’s no wonder why: We live in a fast-paced, busy world, full of constant distractions. We’re constantly dialed in with technology and always on the move. Which is why it’s so refreshing to walk into a company where you feel the environment is different, one where people seem motivated, excited, inspired and really loving what they do.
My experience with corporate wellness leads me back to Google in Mountain View, CA. Google doesn’t just create jobs, they create a culture, one in which people are valued and appreciated every day. Google’s locations have full fitness facilities, daily classes and healthy food available throughout the day; as a result, employees feel cared for and valued.
Of course, not all companies are as lucrative or as large as Google, and perhaps resources are not as vast, but every company has the ability to place some type of wellness program in place. As healthcare costs continue to rise, and there is more demand to work around the clock, this is more important than ever.