The drum is ancient, universal and almost certainly the oldest instrument in the world. It has been used ceremonially and shamanically in almost every culture. Its power is strong and deep. I have been using the drum for many years and I find its ability to clear and connect me to myself amazing.
I have recently trained in the BAST method of drum therapy. There is on the body, off the body, drum journey and a wonderful drum massage included in their method. Drum massage can be particularly helpful for pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. As well as described as being very relaxing, calming, focusing and centreing, clients report enjoying the feel of the strong vibrations on their body. The Rhythm of Life is a wonderful tool to explore the feel of your day to day activities and to then prescribe a specific therapeutic rhythm which I will play in the session and which you can then use between sessions (you do not need a drum but if you have one it is great to use to play this for yourself). The rhythm can be played close to the body or as in the drum journey, played away from the client’s body. All the techniques help induce an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC), a deep trance-like state, akin to deep meditation during which numerous physical and psychological benefits can occur.
Drum therapy can be good for muscle or bone pain (not headache or broken bones), arthritis, muscle tension, stress-related symptoms, general relaxation and physical pain. A recent study by Barry Bitman MD showed drum circles – a group of people drumming together – boosts the immune system and actually increases cancer killing cells. Other studies have shown group drumming to have a calming, focusing and healing effect on autistic children, and alzheimer’s patients.