1. Drumming is for everyone
Drumming does not require advanced physical abilities or specialized talents. It does not require participants to read music or understand music theory. Drumming, even a simple pattern, offers benefits to a huge range of people. Drumming is a universal language. It transcends gender, race, age, and nationality. In fact, nearly every culture on earth has some form of drumming tradition.
Furthermore, group drumming and drum therapy is currently being used for people with brain injuries or impairment, physical injuries, arthritis, addictions, and more. Studies and therapeutic drumming programs are finding numerous health benefits from drumming for at -risk youth, seniors, as well as people with PTSD, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, hypervigilance, and depression.
2. Drumming reduces stress and boosts the immune system
Studies have shown that drumming lowers both blood pressure and stress hormones. The active component of drumming helps reduce stress in a number of ways. It’s fun, it’s physical, and it’s a great diversion from other stress-filled activities. If you need to vent, what better way than to hit something?
Drumming is also meditative, inducing relaxed mental states that reduce anxiety and tension. Drumming combined with deep breathing and visualization techniques offers even more stress reduction benefits. “We know that stress takes a toll on the immune system,” says Ann Webster, PhD. “When you’re under stress, blood levels of stress hormones go up and your body is no longer able to make killer cells and other cells of the immune system in the amounts it normally would, and that can lead to disease progression. Reducing stress is very restorative. It gets the system back in balance.”
But lowering stress levels isn't the only benefit. Group music making, including drumming, can actually reverse your body's negative response to stress on a genomic level. A 2005 study ( "Individualized Genomic Stress Induction Signature Impacts" - Barry Bittman, MD.) "looked at the effects of recreational music making at the genomic level and demonstrated not simply a reduction in stress, but a reversal in 19 genetic switches that turn on the stress response believed responsible in the development of common disease." So drumming can have positive effects on us even at a genetic level.
A 2001 study of 111 group drumming participants showed that after just one hour, drumming does boost the immune system. According to cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, the study found that group drumming actually increases cancer killing cells, which help the body fight cancer and other viruses.