Drumming Therapy for Trauma


In a previous post we talked about the therapeutic properties of drumming, we also explained a bit about the principles of music therapy and musicology’s field of study as well as the scope that musicology has in the vast field of research and investigation.

This time we‘ll talk more specifically about how drumming can help after experiencing traumatic events. As you know, today people are opting for several musical practices as a therapeutic alternative to traditional medicine to treat health issues, whether physical or mental, the sessions allow patients to connect with altered states of mind produced naturally, which expands the range of therapeutic applications.

Playing drums according to a study conducted by Barry Quinn, Ph.D. can redouble the wave activity of the brain, thus allowing the reduction of stress and producing sensations of happiness and well-being. By playing drums, the patient can express and recognize emotional problems, repressed feelings and energetic blockages, the vibrations produced by the sound makes different cells of the body to react, promoting the release of encapsulated stress.

Moshe Bensimon, Ph.D. also conducted an investigation about the use of therapeutic drumming applied to post-traumatic soldiers, in his report he addresses that these individuals usually spend a long time of their lives fighting with the aftermath of war events and that in this process they tend to develop post-traumatic stress disorders, this can lead to serious symptoms of depression, isolation from society and mental instability.

During this research conducted by Bensimon nine soldiers aged between 20 and 23 years old were used as subjects of experiments in drumming therapies, all of whom had previously been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after witnessing shocking events during military service, some even presented serious battle wounds as burns and fractures in some of their extremities, during the tests three of them decided to quit the experiment leaving only six men. The ones who remained where monitored by cameras recording the sessions and interviews between the soldiers and the music therapist. Bensimon was able to observe a remarkable reduction in post-traumatic stress syndrome during the sessions, as well as observing the increased sense of fraternity, union, belonging and connection among the participants. The result could be achieved without having to access invasive processes of confrontation with unpleasant memories.

One of the participants admitted to find attractive playing drums because these must be hit and this helps to take out the contained anger and let the negative emotions out.

On Besimon’s results, he approves the therapeutic method as an outlet to negative emotions, without being necessarily an intimidating or invasive experience; he also observed how the participants exercising control over the volume, rhythm and timbre of the drums could regain control and self-confidence through the rhythmic synchronization that takes place during group therapies. However, he sees the pity of the possibility of relapses whenever the soldiers have to return to military service.

It is clear that music is capable of healing trauma and stress; As you can see, drumming is a method that is validated by the scientific community and that is gaining more followers every day, the differences (according to some testimonies) can be noticed even from the first session. If you know someone with post-traumatic stress don’t hesitate to suggest the drumming therapy, find out in your locality health centers, hospitals or communities where group sessions are offered and take the opportunity to be a participant too.

Drumming Therapy for Trauma Drumming Therapy for Trauma Reviewed by Respectful Beats™ on Saturday, February 17, 2018 Rating: 5

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