|by Belinda Subraman|
THE DIVINE FEMININE
Ancient matriarchal societies used frame drums to celebrate and worship feminine divinity. Largely associated to goddess cults, these women used frame drumming and circle dancing to harness lunar energies, thought to be the symbol of creativity and fertility. Since rhythm was symbolized by lunar energy, the moon had goddess status for these women. Attuned to lunar cycles through their menstrual cycles, their rituals celebrated full moon and first moon to strengthen their creative forces. The frame drum was a symbol of this connection, and helped bring them closer to their divinity and the feminine natural mystique. Emblematic of the moon as the mother of rhythm, a woman holding a frame drum became the symbol of the moon goddess, considered to be the mother of natural rhythms... the one who governed the oceanic tides... the mother of creativity & transformation.
Echoes at Mystical House
Drum Jam Warm-up 12-6-14
"Drumming is an ancient technique that has been used to shift states of consciousness. In various ancient cultures chanting, rhythmic breathing and drumming constellated an ancient technique used to synchronize the body with the mind in order to explore varying levels of consciousness. The physical activity of creating repetitive sounds entrained right & left-brain activity to alter brainwaves to a relaxed theta state of consciousness. In this relaxed state creativity, intuitive insight, healing & spiritual awareness contributed towards a condition of healing of physical, psychological and emotional wounds." (Redmond, 1997) (www.layneredmond.com/index.html).
|by Belinda Subraman|
DRUMMING AND SHAMANISM
North American Indian shamans used the drum's rhythms to travel into ecstasy. They referred to the drum as a 'canoe' or a 'horse' that transported them into the underworld. Helping them connect with the healing spirit, the rhythms facilitated a journey into the future vision for the tribe. Rhythm anchored the connection to spirit, while keeping the vision alive long enough for shamans to recieve spiritual guidance in maintaining the balance for individuals and the group. In their belief system, the drummer was the gatekeeper between heaven and earth, the drumstick was the masculine device that ensured support from Father Sky, and the drum itself was imbued with feminine energy, symbolizing Mother Earth. The skin was most sacred, due to the fact that a goat had sacrificed itself to honour a 'giveaway'; an honoured gift.
RESEARCH ON THE HEALTH PROMOTING PROPERTIES OF DRUMMING
Research studies conducted by the Rhythmic Entrainment Institute (REI), of the U.S.A. show that drumming can advance the following areas of psychological well-being:
- language and communication skills,
- social interaction and engagement,
- sensory defensiveness,
- attention span,
- improvement of eye-contact,
- containment of aggression,
HealthRhythms is researching the benefits of drumming in cancer treatment
|By Muriel Thomaz|
Neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D. and his renowned research team discovered that a specific group drumming approach significantly increased the disease-fighting activity of white blood cells. These 'Natural Killer cells' seek out and destroy cancer cells and virally-infected cells. Along with conventional medical strategies, Dr. Bittman includes group drumming in all of his disease-based programs at the Mind-Body Wellness Centre. (www.remo.net)
Roskam, (1993; 1995), studied the effects of drumming with groups of troubled adolescents. Results show that drumming positively influenced self-confidence, body image, emotional tone and general mental health.
Psychotherapist Friedman uses drumming as a therapeutic modality to assist in the treatment of various conditions. Drumming activities have benefited the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Speech Difficulty, Substance Addiction, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Post Traumatic Stress
|by Belinda Subraman|
A pilot study conducted with the children of the Red Cross Paediatrics Burns Unit in Cape Town, South Africa, offered them half-hour drumming sessions over a 3-month period. After two months of drumming, a sensitivity to group dynamics and the beginnings of a group identity began to form. Most of the children showed an increase in concentration span and attention. Interpersonal growth, varying degrees of emotional release and increased self-esteem were also evident (Argyrou, Albertyn, Spence, 2001).
Drumawé used drumming to increase self-esteem in adolescent boys in Cape Town, South Africa, in an extra mural art program, Just Africa. Most of the boys showed increased self-confidence which enabled them to demonstrate their rhythmical skill to the rest of their group. Group solidarity and group support also grew (Drumawé: Just Africa, 2002).
(Article excerpted by http://www.druminspire.com/index.htm?page=drumming.htm)