Many different “well-meaning” people (usually parents of fledgling drummers) complain about how hard drumming is on your hearing. It’s bad for your ears. It’s tough on your wrists. If your posture is off you can develop back problems. It can leave blisters on your fingers. There are a plethora of excuses people come up with to explain why they haven’t tried drumming or why they gave up on it. But if you recently bought a shiny new drum set – such as, for example, this: www.kickstartyourdrumming.com/pearl-roadshow-review/ – then you’re in for good news: drumming isn’t only lots of fun – it’s also healthy.
Drumming to the Rhythm of the Brain
Most naysayers of the great percussive instrument family would be appalled if I accused them of arguing against brain health, but that’s just what they’re doing when they criticize drumming as unhealthy.
Understanding rhythm, and taking part in it, can engage your entire brain! Most cognitive activity takes place more in either the cold logical left hemisphere or the emotional and creative right hemisphere. However, music and language are the two subjects that have been proven time and again to access your whole brain, rather than just one section.
Drumming regularly will actually strengthen the connection between the two hemispheres over time, improving your neurological health and encouraging a more engaged mindfulness. For those who have studied the benefits of meditation (there are many) drumming regularly can be understood as having the same effects on the brain as consistent meditation!
Drumming for Joy
Drumming is great for your mental health. The process of drumming releases a flood of endorphins which can help you achieve a feeling of happiness and well-being. Drumming also helps with pain management. In cases of chronic pain and stress, drumming has been proven to distract patients from their pain.
Not only does it take their mind off of it, but it also promotes the release of natural opiates in the body which relieve pain. When accompanied by those endorphins I spoke of before, this creates a state of relaxation. helping you to de-stress and return your mind to the present.
Drumming Up an Immune System Response
Drumming, and especially group drumming, can actually strengthen your immune system! It seems almost unreal, but the president of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Dr. Barry Bittman, studied the effects of drumming on groups. His findings indicate that group drumming leads to an increase in the number of natural T-cells in your body. This translates to a stronger defense against bacterial and viral infection, faster recovery from illnesses, and an overall stronger immune system. Drumming can very literally improve your life.
Beat Your Negative Feelings
Combatting the residual effects of emotional trauma is a lengthy and difficult process. Whether you have PTSD or some other diagnosis for the scars a difficult experience left you, you know that it takes a lot of healing and time before you can truly do away with the negative feelings it leaves you.
Luckily, Drum Therapy can help you in this as well! Apparently, the physical stimulation of actually striking the drums, as well as the resounding noise you create, can help release negative emotions and thoughts while simultaneously empowering you to express yourself how you want. There’s no quick fix to PTSD, but I know that drums have been an important coping mechanism in my own life.
Next time someone tries to tell you how bad drumming can be for you, remember these facts and smile. You know that your brain is likely functioning more effectively, healthily, and happily because of this “unhealthy” habit. Now go hit some drums and feel happy!