5 Reasons Why Keeping a Beat can Keep You Healthy
21st century living isn’t for the faint of heart. Exhaustion, intense stress, and chronic pain seem to be a part of daily life, but recent studies in both the UK and here in the US are beginning to reveal something that our ancient ancestors likely knew instinctively – that drumming is about more than just making music.
Like music, drumming has therapeutic qualities, but there is something about the physical and communal nature of drumming that makes its benefits so much more far reaching.
1. Relieve Stress
What better way to decompress than to hit something? The act of drumming, at its very core, is an ideal way to vent the daily stresses of life. Drumming, especially in groups, has been proven to lower blood pressure, lower anxiety, and improve mood.
2. Reduce Inflammation
Modern foods, stress, and poor health habits can set the stage for chronic inflammation that leads to digestive issues, chronic pain and other ailments. By reducing the control that stress hormones have over your body, drumming can also help lower your body’s overall inflammatory response.
3. Boost Your Immune System
In addition to reducing stress hormones that can suppress a healthy immune system, studies have also shown that drumming can actually increase the body’s natural killer cell activity, turning you into a more effective virus and cancer cell killing machine.
We’ve all heard the old “right brain – left brain” story before. Human analytical and creative sides often function in a semi-independent fashion, but drumming can foster what is known as hemispheric coordination. Activating and synchronizing both hemispheres of the brain can open the door to more insightful and creative thought patterns.
5. Build Social Connections
Finally, group drumming is an incredibly powerful social activity. By engaging in a positive (not to mention fun) collaboration with others and sharing a common goal, you can create meaningful and surprisingly deep connections. Group drumming has been used in team building activities, group therapy sessions, and of course, just for fun. No matter why it’s applied, the practice creates and authentic sense of connectedness that can boost your mental and emotional well-being.
How Can You Start Drumming for Well-Being?
You can start drumming by yourself (organically or via videos on youtube.com), within a group, or via a local class in your area. If you prefer to try out drumming without an investment, maybe a public drum circle is your best direction, there are many groups all over facebook that you can find local circles nearby. Local drum circles usually have a variety of extra drums, and many are actually facilitated by an instructor who goes over drumming practices and techniques, which is beneficial to novice and seasoned drummers. If you think you’re ready to invest, stop by a local music store and try out a few drums to purchase, so you can practice on your own. Anyone can drum, and can start drumming for well-being and it’s benefits, all it takes is a drum and some time.