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Natural Awakenings Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley, CT

Drumming for Connection and Expression: Many Intentional Benefits of Drum Circles

Nov 01, 2016 11:55PM ● By Herman Olivera

We have the natural inborn ability to optimize our health through the power of sound and participating in drum circles. We don’t need to own an expensive drum and skill; all we have to do is show up and fully participate by expressing our current feelings through the drum or percussion instrument. Although it’s more about participating than performance, intentionality is key.

There is no accurate evidence to prove when music actually began, but early indigenous tribal civilizations around the globe have all recognized that the world has a vibration and an infinite amount of different sounds. Modern-day scientists are in agreement that everything in the universe is in the state of vibration. Our bodies, the planets and all things found in nature—such as gorillas pounding their chests and or even the chair we are sitting in—are in a state of sound. Music is all around us. Even before we were brought into this earth, our very first sound was our mother’s heartbeat.

We live in a fast-paced technological world where we are unconsciously distracted and disconnected from the true communication with others. It’s imperative to get back to basics and allow ourselves to get primal to restore our natural rhythm. The term, “being of sound mind and body,” comes from our bodies and mind being in a healthy state of resonance. The human body is designed to heal itself, but it does require routine maintenance. When we aren’t mindful and neglect to take care of ourselves, this is where things become unbalanced, leading to a state of “dis-ease”, which causes us to vibrate out of harmony and ease.

We can’t fully diminish modern medicine and its vital role. But just imagine that there is natural way to restore our rhythm and harmony simply by participating in a drum circle. The basis of sacred drumming is its noninvasive, transformative and therapeutic healing approach.

Drum Circles Create Connection with Others

In today’s world, we like to think we are super social beings because we have hundreds of friends on social media. However, it’s actually quite the contrary as society today is often fragmented and lacking in human interaction. More people have the option to work from home, shop online, and traditional family and community systems of support have changed dramatically by taking the human equation out of routines. Drum circles provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded people at a deeper level when there is a shared experience of participating in a community setting or event.

Drumming Enhances Overall Wellness

In order to perform at our best on a daily basis, we need to actually create time to slow things down and unplug our overworked mind and bodies. Drumming induces deep states of relaxation, meditation and healing experiences. It reduces stress, anxiety and tension, which studies have shown that, if left untreated, can lead to diseases and life-threatening illnesses.

Beating the drum helps in endorphin production, which eases certain individuals that experience chronic pain or discomfort. It also aids participants to reframe and get into a mental zone where they aren’t focused on their pain but rather become engrossed in the synchronistic rhythm of the circle.

Drumming activity strengthens the immune system, which studies have shown not only defends us from catching a common cold, but also increases T cell counts to help the body fight viruses and cancer. It also aids in releasing negative feelings and emotional blockages.

Drumming is all about intention and expressing our current emotional state on the skin of the drums. If we experience a challenging day, take it out on the drum and speak through it. The natural phenomena of the frequency we create—combined with our pure intentions—will lead to healing.

Drumming is Simply Fun

Drumming has many more benefits, such as allowing our brainwaves to reach a higher consciousness. At the end of the day, what’s really important is that drumming and participating in a drum circle is simply fun. We need to experience it for ourselves. We also need to know that we are a vibratory instrument all on our own. We can spontaneously express ourselves with simple home-made instruments—such as an empty coffee can, placing a few beans in a bottle to rattle, hitting two sticks, splashing in the tub or simply slapping our knees, chest or any body part. The feeling is even more intense and exciting when we share with a community of drummers. Drumming is fun for all ages and provides a great way to integrate the mind, body and spirit.

Herman Olivera is a certified life and business coach, shamanic practitioner and drum circle facilitator. He is a featured teacher at Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, where he facilitates regularly scheduled drum circles. Connect at or [email protected].

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