Beat the Stress
Drumming to improve our sense of wellbeing is not a new idea. “Beat the Stress” is a new, private venture in Beverley, facilitated by Gareth Winstone & Lynne Callaghan Walker.
Gareth & Lynne wanted to provide a space in Beverley to facilitate a drumming group - so they took a loan, bought 21 Djembe drums, made some shakers and found a venue that not only welcomes, but embraces this.
“Beat the Stress” is not a taught drumming class. We do give instruction on how to hold and hit the drums and we lead some warm ups. We facilitate a process that nurtures and encourages improvisation based on listening. Listening to our own natural rhythm and to each other because this encourages synchronicity with ourselves and the environment around us. Quite the opposite to many of the messages in our lives where the hours of school or work dictate such basic needs like when we can eat (hungry or not), need the toilet and can sleep. We hope to create a space where people can come together and have great fun beating the stress!
Drumming For Health & Wellbeing
Drumming is now well documented to have a positive effect on overall general well-being and several studies have been carried out which provide scientific evidence to support this.
Before looking at the science, we know drumming is fun! It transcends age, social, cultural and language barriers as rhythm is a universal language and has been a tradition in nearly every culture for centuries. Drumming grounds us in the present moment. When a person is firmly grounded in the present, stressful situations in the past are forgotten and worries of the future are reduced.
Studies show that participating in drumming circles boost the immune system. Barry Bittman, MD, neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute, has shown that group drumming increases natural T-cells :- blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (T-cells) (Bittman, et al. 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1). Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study with 30 depressed people over 80 years of age and found that participants in a weekly music therapy group were less anxious, less distressed and had higher self-esteem (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).
Further research has demonstrated that drumming increases alpha waves in the brain which are associated with meditative calming states and feelings of euphoria, as opposed to beta waves which relate to concentration. Drumming is a great workout for our brains and can make us smarter. When you drum, you access your entire brain. Research shows that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain, synchronizes the left and right hemispheres. So, when the logical left hemisphere and the intuitive right hemisphere of your brain begin to pulsate together, your inner guidance system – or intuition – becomes stronger. We also know that engaging the brain in this way can reduce (and in some cases, reverse) the effects of trauma. There is more research documenting how drumming helps many conditions such as PTSD, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Addictive Personality, Depression and chronic pain to name a few.
Rhythm is all around us and this seems to have been forgotten. The sun, moon, and the seasons follow regular rhythms. Our bodies have natural rhythms; we all have a heart beat! In our fast paced, demanding, social media driven lives, we often forget to listen to ourselves and what is around us. Recent scientific ‘string’ theories even suggest that on a subatomic level, the smallest particle of the universe (that which makes up all things) is nothing more than tiny vibrating ‘strings’ and that their vibration, or rhythm, is what makes things what they are. Under this theory, everything is rhythm – literally!
Participating in a drum circle connects us to our own rhythm, the group and the natural rhythms of the universe. It is a powerful shared experience which encourages us to listen to ourselves and each other. It has been used as a successful team building experience to teach groups to work together, to listen to each other, and to achieve common goals. It discourages isolation and promotes group involvement and connectedness. Anyone can benefit from drumming and enjoy an enhanced sense of well-being.
In a nutshell – drumming circles are fun and good for your health in every way.
Lynne Callaghan Walker UKCP reg. January 2017
Gareth completed his drum kit diploma in 1995, after which he travelled the world for five years with Riverdance as a performance drummer. He has also played with bands in London & Hull and for the last 12 years he has been teaching individuals
Lynne is an experienced psychotherapist with a special interest in trauma & body work. She has worked for the NHS, Adoption, Fostering and in private practice accumulating a wealth of experience over the last 22 years
If you would like more information or would like to host a drum circle or just want a quote, please get in touch on 07731614349