The Amazing Benefits of Drumming

The act of playing the drums forms an essential part of the human experience in every single culture on the planet, without any exception. Rhythmic patterns have an undeniable power when it comes to bringing groups together. The act of playing the drums alone also has proven therapeutic benefits; it has been shown that playing even simple patterns on hand drums can reduce blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones. Lowering blood pressure and stress in turn promotes a healthy and properly functioning immune system, so it could very well be said that drumming promotes overall good health.

To be quite specific about the health benefits of drumming, the evidence makes it very clear that playing drums induces what’s called ‘hemispheric coordination’ in the brain. With hemispheric coordination, both the right and left halves of the brain become synchronized.

Normally, for any given activity it is almost always the case that one half of the brain is far more active than the other. For instance, when you are doing your taxes (or engaged in any other activity involving math and numbers) you activate the analytical left side of the brain. In contrast, when you are decorating your living room (or otherwise engaged in a spatial and creative task) this stimulates the brain’s artistic right side.

However, something delightfully curious happens when you play drums: as you play the drums, and as you become immersed in the rhythm you are simultaneously producing and hearing, the brain wave activity of both hemispheres of the brain become remarkably synchronized. This convergence of brain waves across both hemispheres leads to what mind scientists call an “integrative mode of consciousness”. It’s hard to describe this mental state in words, but anyone who plays drums is well aware of this uplifting, naturally induced altered state of consciousness. It can probably best be described as a feeling of “oneness’ with the environment, and an overwhelming sensation that one really is in his or her own skin. It is a meditative state of mind/body. At any rate, hemispheric coordination goes hand in hand with heightened insight and creativity.


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