For the last several months, I have not been able to put my weekly blog/newsletter on my website due to some technical difficulties. But that has been fixed. So Dee, the lovely lady who publishes my posts for me, has recently updated “My Blog” at www.lauriejohnsonpsychic.com with all entries going back to May. In case you missed a post or would like to reread one or recommend one to a friend, they’re all there.
THE BENEFITS OF DRUMMING
We’ve had a high anxiety level over the last two summers as we’ve been guided to look into our own mirrors, face ourselves, and fix or heal what’s been out of balance (or, at the least, be aware of it). Recently, I realized that I’ve been recommending drumming to quite a few clients to help them deal with that anxiety as drumming relieves stress, helps with digestive issues and helps lower blood pressure.
At first, I get a lot of skepticism, especially from clients not aware of, or on board with, all the “New” Age stuff I talk about. Something as simple as beating a drum to get those results seems to some anywhere from silly to non-Christian. But it does work very well. Drumming goes back at least 4,000 years to Egypt and Mesopotamia (and was very much a part of pre- and early Christian celebration). Drumming was used in ritual, for gatherings and was used to embolden warriors into battle with the sound scaring their enemies. It gave courage as it connected our ancestors with the heartbeat of the Earth. A cadre of drummers in the same beat was a powerful and frightening thing to encounter if you were on the other side of it.
In one of the books I read a while back, there was the story of Miriam’s true role in the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. She and her women drummers took to the mouth of the passage and drummed the scared followers through in true warrior fashion. (If anyone knows the book that came from, please let me know – I’d like to add it to my library.)
So, obviously, It’s not a new concept, even though it isn’t really a part of modern society unless it’s in music or a Native American setting. There’s so much more to drumming than we in the “civilized’ world are aware of. But many of us are getting there as evidenced by the growing popularity of Drum Circles.
When I was in Los Angeles, my coven held ritual Circles regularly. We always incorporated drumming into a good portion of our celebrations for High Holy Days, Esbats or Sabbats (or birthdays and anniversaries). It connected us with each other, with Higher Source, took us into altered states, and allowed us awareness of the non-physical energies that joined each of our Circles.
At one point, my coven-sister Kellie, brought a couple who were long-time friends who had shown interest in joining us. The husband was very “real world” and came along more because his wife wanted him to. He had a good time and didn’t mind the “woo-woo Wicca stuff”. A funny thing happened, though. He had had high blood pressure for years. After Circle, and others he and his wife came to (they became regulars and bought their own drums), he noticed his blood pressure had dropped and normalized. The vibration of the drumming itself had worked on healing his body without him realizing it.
We hold energy like stress, anxiety, worry and anger in different parts of our bodies – in our muscles or internal organs, specifically in the stomach. When we hit something (not someone) like in batting practice, or a punching bag while boxing, or our hands on a drum, that energy powers our muscles to accomplish the task. It runs up the spine to the shoulders, down the arms and into the hands. But when the hands/fists make impact and stop, even for a fraction of a second, the power energy continues out and is released.
When we drum, we not only get that release, we’re also creating a vibration that permeates our bodies (and the immediate area) and essentially breaks up dis-ease within, allowing us to re-harmonize with the healing energy of the Mother Earth. While drumming, as I mentioned above, recreates the Earth’s heartbeat, it also helps our own hearts to be in a healthy rhythm. Obviously, if we drum for 30 minutes, we can’t expect it to last for weeks. It’s like meditation, though. Repeated action balances and harmonizes our personal vibration. The more we do it, the longer the effect lasts.
For those who aren’t into the metaphysical reasons for drumming and need a little logic thrown in, I read an article in a teacher’s journal years ago that covered a study done on drumming and children with learning disabilities. In this case, the kids didn’t do the drumming themselves, but a ritual drumming soundtrack (the constant “duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh” heard in Native American ritual) was played at low volume under the study sessions of half of the class. That half started consistently getting up to 75 percent higher scores on tests than their classmates who didn’t have the drumming.
What drumming does, specifically in this case, is balance the left (logic) and right (creative) hemispheres of the brain, allowing us to learn and remember things viscerally, with all of our being (a very Aquarian Age balance/harmony awakening). This works for anyone – we don’t need to have special needs for it to be effective. Playing a low-volume drumming soundtrack under any study or need for concentration enhances what we remember and how we recall it. After I read that, I incorporated a drumming soundtrack with my guided meditations and found the experiences of all participants were much deeper and more profound than without it.
Drumming is easy to include in our lives. We don’t have to study drumming techniques, we don’t have to do specific ritual drumming, and we don’t have to wait to find a group to join. We just have to do it. Pick up a drum and beat it, for ten minutes, half an hour or as long as we want to. If we need a place to start, try listening to our own heartbeat and emulate that. Once we start, the drumming takes over. Change the rhythm as it comes with inspiration. Beat hard if angry, soft if meditating. It doesn’t take long to feel the effects, whether that be for health or spiritual practice.
If we have children who are having problems at school because they’re Aquarian Age kids in a still-stuck Piscean Age system, make a family night of it. Repeated drumming will not only relieve their stress, it will bond everyone in common energy. For a while, all the hearts of the family will beat as one. And it’s fun, especially for kids who can beat the hell out of a drum without being told to be careful and not break anything. It’s really hard to break a drum.
Choose a drum that resonates with the body, which can be identified by how we hear/feel the sound when we beat it. It’s better to buy a drum in person rather than online, although there’s a great site www.thedrumpeople.com where they will play different drums over the phone for customers before purchase. They help find the right drum for every individual.
Try drumming and see for yourself. It’s worth it on both a physical and spiritual level.
I offer this with love and gratitude…