The Healing Power of Drum Circles
If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE drumming! It is truly the heart beat to my soul. Since the beginning of time people have been using sound as a potent tool for healing and transformation. One of the oldest and most powerful forms of sound therapy is drumming. Beyond just entertainment, drumming can produce a wide range of benefits, including physical and emotional healing, relieving stress, and enhancing clarity and focus. In this blog post, we'll delve into the history of drumming, explore its various styles and techniques, and shed light on the healing power of drum circles.
Basic History of Drumming
Drumming has been a centerpiece of many cultures across the globe, dating back to ancient times. Native American cultures have a longstanding tradition of using drums in their spiritual rituals and healing practices. African tribes also have a rich history of drumming, using the rhythms to communicate with one another and enter altered states of consciousness. The drumming tradition holds significant importance in South Asian nations like India and Nepal, where it is used in classical and religious music.
Not just limited to spirituality and cultural exchanges, drumming has a genuine place in human evolution. Studies have indicated that humans have been drumming as early as 50,000 years ago, where they have been using drums and percussion-like instruments for rituals. It has been theorized that drumming has been used in ceremonies to help bring people together and to connect them with the natural rhythms of the Earth.
Healing Benefits in Drumming
Drumming has been known to have a transformative effect on the mind and body. It reduces stress, anxiety and is beneficial in the alleviation of depression and other mood disorders. Drumming also helps boost the immune system by increasing the production of bactericidal and cytotoxic factors. Several studies have supported drumming as an effective pain relief mechanism. The physical and vibrating energy it creates is incredibly helpful in releasing blocked negative emotional traumas. Ultimately, it enhances the overall wellness of an individual.
Different styles of drumming have different effects on the body and the mind. Hand drums, for instance, can stimulate the heart center, aiding in the release of emotions; while stick drums, such as a djembe, can invigorate and energize the body and mind. African Djembe and Conga drums are highly portable and perfect for playing alone or in groups, making them popular among drumming enthusiasts in recent times.
My Experience with Drum Circles
For about 2-3 years now, I've been dabbling in drumming among the local drumming community out here with the Aki and Joanne of the Muramid Art Center here in Oceanside, Ca. I don't even know where to begin to explain how the journey of drumming unfolded for me and the great love and passion I have for it.
It all started with getting a broken djembe from offer up during the pandemic. It was one of those hobbies that I figured I'd pick up and try out. I remember once visiting Venice Beach in Los Angeles and was instantly drawn the the spirituality behind the drum.
For me, drumming helps me connect with spirit. Aki refers the drum, the bass, the "boom boom", as he puts it. As the heartbeat of the earth, and I couldn't agree more. Something about that deep, rhythmic beat touches my soul and that of the drumming community. It unites us, it heals us, and creates something so profoundly magickal inside of through the unifying powers of the music.
Of course, I had to get the biggest drum (I had no idea they came in different sizes), so the journey of having grace while drumming has been a whole experience in itself. For my djembe to properly sound off, I HAVE to hit it hard, and with that, when I'm doing good, I can carry that beat, but my goodness, when I'm off, it's a disaster for all those involved.
Through the years, I've learned to take it less seriously, and it has given me the ability to laugh at myself through all my errors. Thank god I'm remotely decent enough to have a smidge of confidence in my abilities so I am able to have a good time, despite my performance. Drumming is so mystical for me because in a sense, the harder I try, the worse I do, but when I allow myself to feel the music and get lost in the rhythm, I can hold a beat like no other. Drumming hits that sweet spot of balancing both the logical brain and the creative brain for great musical harmony.
I could go on and on about how much I love drumming but if you're ever in San Diego please hit me up and I'll invite you to a drum circle out here! I'd love to introduce you to the amazing community out here!
Drumming in the Community
Drum circles have proven to be popular amongst people, especially beginners, who want to experience the interaction of playing alongside others and also the power of group drumming for ultimate relaxation and partnership. Apart from the feeling of togetherness and the energy they provide, drum circles can create a deep sense of unity that often goes beyond the music itself.
Drumming is undoubtedly one of the most powerful forms of sound therapy with its roots deeply embedded in our cultural history. The health, emotional, and spiritual benefits it produces are not limited to any culture or location. Anyone can take it on and experience its many benefits. The transformative effects on the body and mind have been researched, and drumming has created a unique space in the world of wellness. So, the next time you need to check your stress levels or find an outlet for your emotions, remember the power of drumming and the healing effects it produces.
Check out my Youtube Channel The Season of Anya to see future videos on Community Drumming!