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Healing with the Drum


Drum therapy is a profound way to restore the vibrational integrity of body, mind, and spirit. Through the natural law of resonance, the sound waves produced by the drum transfer their energy to the resonating systems of the body, mind, and spirit, allowing these to vibrate in sympathy with the drumbeat. When we drum, our living flesh, brainwaves, and spiritual energy centres begin to vibrate in response. The various frequencies of the drum interact with our own resonant frequencies, forming new harmonic alignments. According to percussionist Dru Kristel, this process “leaves reverberating effects up 48 to 72 hours after a session.”

Science is now largely in agreement regarding the therapeutic effects of drumming. A recent medical research study indicates that drumming boosts the immune system dramatically after only one session. Other studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing, and healing effects of drumming on Alzheimer’s patients, autistic children, emotionally disturbed teens, substance abusers, trauma patients, and among the prison and homeless population. Results confirm that drumming is a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, headaches, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, as well as for sleep and emotional disorders.

The process of drumming activates the heart chakra. This chakra forms a bridge, linking the three upper and lower chakras. From the heart, these harmonious energies resonate outward into the web of life. Researchers have discovered that drum rhythms affect the heartbeat. The heart’s pulse may speed up, slow down, or gradually align with the pulsation of the instrument’s rhythm, until the heart and drum are locked in perfect synchronization. Shamanic cultures often use a healing heartbeat rhythm of around sixty beats per minute, which is the average heart rate of a person when at rest. The heartbeat is one of the reasons why people connect so strongly and naturally with the drum.

Many shamanic cultures place great emphasis on drumming, believing that the drum unites masculine and feminine energies, generating the force that weaves the web of life. Drumming cultivates life force energy in the lower energy centers of the body, which is then stored in the area of the solar plexus. This energy can then be directed back to the higher chakras or toward healing and creative endeavors.

Deer skin drum
wightmagik / / CC BY-NCm

Shamans around the world believe that the drum is once more returning to prominence, to awaken our hearts, since today we must learn how to truly live from the heart. For far too long, most of us have been living from the navel centre, focusing our ego and will power on mastery, control, and conquest. If we instead concentrate on the heart centre, we can hear divine will. Our actions then spring from that divine will, rather than from the ego. To live from the heart means that we can walk the “rainbow path,” in balance like the colors of the rainbow, respecting all pathways to wholeness.

The rainbow symbolizes unity, wholeness, and balance. Mongolian shamans believe that this balance, called tegsh, is the only thing that is truly worth pursuing in this world. When humans lose this, they create imbalance within the web of life. It then requires the unity of all colours and cultures working together to restore the web’s balance. After all, each of us enters the world after listening to the drumbeat of a heart while in the womb. We are imprinted with rhythm from the very beginning of our existence and rhythm is indeed the heartbeat of life.

Enjoy the Shamanic healing meditation below:

Phoenix Ravenspirit

Meinl Native American-Style Hoop Drum 12.5 Inch

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