Dr. Bill Thomas asked me to post this CNN video clip promoting the healing effects of drum circles for older adults in retirement communities.
Used by shamans and healers for thousands of years, drum therapy is the practice of using rhythm to promote healing and maintain physical, mental and spiritual health.
The ancient practice is seeing a resurgence in popularity as a growing body of research validates the therapeutic effects of group drum circles. Recent research finds that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being and release of emotional trauma.
One study by cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, indicates that drumming circles boost the immune system:
Led by renowned cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, the study demonstrates that group drumming actually increases cancer-killing cells, which help the body combat cancer as well as other viruses, including AIDS. According to Dr. Bittman, “Group drumming tunes our biology, orchestrates our immunity, and enables healing to begin.”
Dr. Bittman also led a study on the effects of drumming on nursing home staff. The BBC reported on his work at Westbury United Methodist Retirement Community in Pennsylvania showing participation in drum circles improved the mood of staff by 50 percent and reduced turnover.
Learn more about the therapeutic effects of drumming here.
Drum circles have long been used in Eden Alternative communities with great success especially among people living with dementia.
I shot some video of an Eden Alternative drum therapy presentation at the 2010 Eden International Conference in Denver. Look for it 1:12 into the video: