The Vibrational Healing Power of Traditional Drums

"The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe” Hazrat Inayat Khan

From Africa to Australia, drums have been around for thousands of years, providing people with healing on a holistic level. Cultures around the world used the percussion of the drums to cure diseases long before we were born. Shamans have also used it as a bridge to the spirit world for millennia. Drums convey messages in diverse forms. They can communicate to long or short distances, depending on the circumstances. Different cultures use them in celebration or as a warning against impending danger. Several cultures use percussion for rites of passage, ancestral worship, and social gatherings, to name a few.

In various cultures, the process of making a drum is quite sacred. There are instructions about gathering the materials to make the instrument. There are guidelines about who should have the privilege of preparing the drum, and rules about the behavior you can display around the precious percussion. Drum makers even pray during the making of the instrument.  These methods are in place to ensure the release of positive healing energy when the drums are in use.

In one culture, the drums signify the earth. “The round form of the drum represents the whole universe, and its steady strong beat is the pulse, the heart, throbbing at the center of the universe. It is the voice of Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit), and this sound stirs us and helps us to understand the mystery and power of all things.” Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux holy man. This spirit helps us to understand the mystery of all things. The beat creates awareness of the line between physical reality and the spiritual world.

So how does one heal diseases on a mental and physical level with drums? Let us explore the how’s and why’s.

Vibrational energy is the essence of our existence. Everything in this universe is energy. You cannot create or destroy it. We are energy in motion. We are a vibration.

Essentially, the real answer is because we are all energy. Energy also makes up all things great and small. It contains all possibilities; we are thus capable of change, and changing many times. We are not fixed; whatever we decide to do will manifest depending on where we direct the energy.
We all have a rhythmic vibration. As a matter of fact, we are all a rhythmic vibration set into motion. It brings new meaning to the  Different Strokes theme song’s opening lyrics: “Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum.”  We all have our own tunes, per se.

The physical and mental benefits of drumming come from rhythmic healing. This type of healing works with the natural law of resonance to restore vibrational integrity on a holistic level.

Drumming makes our bodies, brainwaves and energy channels (such as meridians or chakras) vibrate in response. The phenomenon looks like this tuning fork experiment in the following video. The beat doesn’t analyze, scrutinize or execute judgment. It is impartial and responds as such. Hence, the sympathetic resonance response forms new harmonious reactions in our bodies. This is how the healing begins.

Here is an example of this:

Below we will explore 12 of the health benefits you can enjoy by using the drums in your healing journey.


Cancer Fighting

A study by Barry Bittman revealed that using specific rhythm protocols help to increase NK cells (Natural Killer) in cancer patients. The protocols enhance the immune system, consequently helping patients to better manage symptoms. Having a heightened immune system helps to slow the progression of the disease.
Relief from Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and Strokes-

Research shows that when Parkinson’s patients hear slow steady rhythms, they begin to move at a steadier pace as a result. It also helps patients deal with the symptoms of depression often associated with Parkinson’s.
Brain Workout-

Drumming synchronizes the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Listening to the music of drums builds new neuronal connections throughout the entire brain. Having more access to your brain and more connections improves your overall cerebral function.
Cardio and Strength Training-

The constant tapping of the feet and rapid hand movements helps drummers to build more cardio muscles than non-drummers. It is an excellent way to get some exercise in for those who don’t like to workout. People have been able to burn an average of 252 calories per hour drumming.
Pain Reduction-

A study at the University of Oxford on the effects of drumming on pain showed how the act of drumming releases endorphins that increase the pain threshold.


Reduction of Stress, Anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-
Drumming is a useful tool for those living with the symptoms of the above named disorders.  Playing the drums helps to boost alpha-waves (supporting a calm and relaxed feeling). It also quiets the flight and fight response, consequently reducing the effects of anxiety and PTSD.
Increased Insight-

When we drum, the frontal and lower parts of our brains synchronize. This process of synchronization helps to produce feelings of insight, certainty, conviction and understanding. These benefits tend to last for a long time after drumming ceases.
Expression and Release of Emotional Issues-

The rhythm released while playing the drums resonates within every cell of the body. This resonation stimulates the release of negative cell memories. As a result, drumming provides a healthy outlet for liberation from trauma.


Puts You in The Moment-

The art of drumming involves timing and co-ordination, as a consequence forcing you to be in the here and now. Drumming grounds you.  It gives you a few moments to take a vacation from worrying about the future or lamenting the past.
Encourages Self- Expression-

When you play the drums, you can express yourself to the universe and others around you. You can speak to your own spirit. Touch the spirit of others and tap into the spirit of the universe itself in a way that words cannot express.
Increases Awareness of the Natural Rhythm That Surrounds us-

Rhythm rules everything around us on a cellular level. Plants, animals, the constellations, even dust has a natural pattern of rhythm it adheres to. The process of drumming connects us to cadence and makes us more aware of the beats that surround us.
Connects us to a Higher Power-

The superstring theory states that the quarks (particles that make up protons and electrons) that make up the entire universe are actually one-dimensional strings that vibrate. The different oscillations of the string produce different sub-atomic particles.

It stands to reason that the process of producing rhythm like that of the drums is a creative process in itself. Not the ‘creative’ of writing music, but actually creating different states in the body and perhaps the universe itself.

The meditative state that the sound of the drum produces helps us to access a higher perception. If used with mindfulness, it will give us a deeper understanding of the enigma of life.

There we have it, 12 benefits you can get from picking up a set of drums today. The best part of drumming is that it is accessible, has a fast learning curve, and is a universal language. The drums allow you to have fast results and they are inclusive. Whether you decide to be a listener or participator, you and your entire family and circle of friends can join in on the fun and reap all its advantages.

Remember “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” J. Krishnamurti

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