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Drum Therapy is, in some ways seen as a new powerful expressive therapy, a new type of modality in the fight to improve mental health in our people. But this ancient method has been around for millenniaand been used across so many different cultures all over the world. It is an ancient and modern day healing approach to mental health.In ancient times, the earliest drums were used for religious rituals, social dances, sporting events, feasts, special ceremonies, in preparation for hunting, and as a prelude to war.
As stated By Michael Drake:
“Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.”
“Ancient Illustrations from Egypt and Mesopotamia suggest that drums existed thousands of years ago. Greek mythology track drums back thousands of years, linking frame drums to the goddesses Aphrodite and Athena, who played them to celebrate the divine feminine in Mount Olympian ceremonies. As a worldwide phenomenon, drumming has been practiced in Ancient Greece, Africa, Asia, the East, Middle-East and Far East, throughout history. Drum rhythms have been used by various cultures to invoke transcendental consciousness. Herein the drumming is intimately bound with the sacred and spiritual, acting as the conduate between the earthly domain and that of the divine.”
Drumming has so many benefits that have been recognised throughout the ages and is very much alive today as evidenced by the number of drumming circles emerging daily. It calms, focuses, treats stress, fatigue and a wide range of mental health issues. It can help with chronic pain and can boost your immune system. The drumbeat evokes many powerful forms of energy and is an aid in helping to focus one’s attention and to see clear intentions.
It provides people with a connection, which is sorely missed in these modern times. As our community disintegrates and becomes more fragmented - people become more socially isolated, suffer from a lack of direct interaction with others - social bonds are weakening and our society is becoming less cohesive. Worry over the tyranny of community has been replaced with a worry at the lack of cohesion and feeling of belonging. Therefore to have a powerfully connecting activity like drumming is important and essential. You can feel a deep connection with something beyond yourself, you connect with others through the rhythm and the group creates something greater than themselves.
SOURCE: Michael Drake is a nationally recognized writer, rhythmist, and shamanist. He is the author ofThe Shamanic Drum: A Guide to Sacred DrummingI Ching: The Tao of Drumming.Michael's journey into rhythm began under the tutelage of Mongolian shaman Jade Wah'oo Grigori. For the past 15 years he has been facilitating drum circles and workshops nationwide.
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Sheila Molloy | InRhythm