From slowing the decline in fatal brain disease, to generating a sense of oneness with one another and the universe, drumming’s physical and spiritual health benefits may be as old as time itself.
Drumming is as fundamental a form of human expression as speaking, and likely emerged long before humans even developed the capability of using the lips, tongue and vocal organs as instruments of communication.
To understand the transformative power of drumming you really must experience it, which is something I have had the great pleasure of doing now for twenty years. Below is one of the circles I helped organize in Naples Florida back in 2008, which may give you a taste of how spontaneous and immensely creative a thing it is (I’m the long haired ‘hippie’ with the gray tank top drumming like a primate in the background). Anyone who has participated in a drum circle, or who has borne witness to one with an open and curious mind, knows that the rhythmic entrainment of the senses[i] and the anonymous though highly intimate sense of community generated that follows immersion in one, harkens back to a time long gone, where tribal consciousness preempted that of self-contained, ego-centric individuals, and where a direct and simultaneous experience of deep transcendence and immanence was not an extraordinarily rare occurrence as it is today.
This experience is so hard-wired into our biological, social and spiritual DNA that even preschool children as young as 2.5 years appear to be born with the ability to synchronize body movements to external acoustic beats when presented in a social context, revealing that drumming is an inborn capability and archetypal social activity.