Drumming with Mamadou Diop
Why Should You Drum?
Throughout history, indigenous people have implemented drumming into various healing rituals. Specifically, djembe drumming has been used as a therapeutic rhythm technique in West African cultures for centuries. Today, research has verified that drumming is still an antidote to our modern-day ailments. In fact, people of all ages and walks of life are picking up a djembe and discovering the multitude of benefits this activity offers. Listed below are just a few of the reasons why it will benefit you (whether you think you have rhythm or not) to pick up a djembe and begin your drumming journey!"
Drumming Reduces Stress
Did you know that stress is the leading cause of life-threatening illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, and immune system break-downs? In fact, according to current medical research, stress causes 98% of disease. Says Ann Webster, PhD.: "We know that stress takes a toll on the immune system. When you are under stress, blood levels of stress hormones go up and your body is no longer able to make killer cells and other cells of the immune system in the amounts it normally would, and that can lead to disease progression." With such staggering data, it's no wonder why so many people are looking for various stress outlets.
Fortunately, reducing stress is very restorative, and djembe drumming has been proven to be just that. According to modern-day research, even just a few minutes of drumming can change brainwave patterns, which can in turn significantly reduces stress levels. A recent study reveals that drumming works on clients with the highest stress levels. In the study, the alpha brain waves of high-stress clients doubled after participating in just one drumming session.
In addition, a recent medical research study conducted by cancer expert indicates that drumming boosts the immune system. As indicated in the study, group drumming actually increases cancer killing cells, which help the body fight cancer and other viruses.
So, how can you implement drumming as a stress reducer in your life?
The answer is simple:
Start out by drumming to the beat of your heart. So many people claim that they don't have rhythm, but your heat beat is the most essential of all rhythms! Drumming to the beat of your heart (or to other simple beats) is a great way to begin your drumming journey, and you don't have to be a musician to do it! Once you're comfortable recognizing this rhythm, just start drumming (on a djembe or even on your lap, a pan, or a chair will do). Once you start, empty your mind of all outside thoughts and concentrate on the rhythm at hand. You'll be amazed what this simple act can do for you!
Drumming Builds Community (And Provides a Sense of Belonging)
Group drumming, or drum circles, produce a powerful sense of connectedness with others. Group drumming also allows for self-expression, and at the same time discourages self-centeredness and isolation from the group. It provides an authentic experience of unity and physiological synchronicity. If we put people together who are out of sync with themselves (i.e., diseased, addicted) and help them experience the phenomenon of entrainment, it is possible for them to feel with and through others what it is like to be synchronous in a state of proverbial connectedness.
So how can you get involved in group drumming?
There are many great resources across the internet that allow like-minded people to get together and explore their passions. In particular, meetup.com is a great way to find, or even start a drum circle near you. All it takes is one motivated person to round up a few people and drums, and start a drumming group!
Drumming Is Fun! (The Best Part)
Perhaps best of all, drumming is a blast! Drumming causes you to release endorphins in the brain, which in turn produces feelings of well-being. Aside from that, it's fun to get together and share an activity you enjoy with others. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your djembe, congas, bongos and start drumming.