Benefits of Meditative Drumming

meditative drumming, cartoon drum on blue background

If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage your child to meditate, try introducing them to meditative drumming. Drumming, as a form of meditation, has been practiced for thousands of years, all over the world. 

Meditative drumming

One of the wonderful things about meditation, in addition to all its benefits, is the sheer number of types of meditation and ways kids can participate in the practice.  

There is certainly a time and place for quiet calming meditation practices that encourage silence and stillness. And then there is meditating with rhythm, or the practice of meditative drumming. Meditative drumming is a fun way to encourage your child to meditate with movement, music and sound. It’s a perfect practice for any child, but especially children who have trouble sitting still while meditating.

A growing body of research, from around the world, shows its many therapeutic benefits. Drumming is more than just making music: it has a significant impact on our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Some of these benefits include: 

  • increased immunity 
  • reduced pain 
  • improved mood 
  • reduced stress 
  • enhancing meditation and mindfulness practices.

Benefits of meditative drumming 

Let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more about the science behind these benefits.

1. Increased immunity

A study conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University found that drumming circles can increase immunity and encourage healing in people with cancer. Dr. Barry Bittman, a neurologist, and one of the lead researchers in the study, has been an author in many studies that show the link between rhythmic drumming and improved health.

2. Reduced pain

Rhythmic drumming is also shown to reduce pain, and the stress of being in the hospital. A study conducted by Wake Forest University showed that patients who participated in drumming had a significant reduction in pain,  stress and anxiety. In addition, rhythmic drumming increased their energy, mood and helped them feel more relaxed.

When people are relaxed, their perceptions of pain and pain symptoms decreases. Likewise, engaging in drumming, in addition to being fun and relaxing, is a great way for patients to actively distract themselves from pain symptoms.

3. Improved mood

Like a good workout, or maybe even eating a bit of chocolate, drumming releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones that elevate your mood. 

Even without the scientific research behind it, the very act of drumming just seems therapeutic. It involves using your mind and your body. It’s cathartic. Getting lost in the beat, you start to relax, and quite quickly, you start to feel better.  Happier.  More balanced. Studies have found that the repetitive rhythms and beats of drumming have a positive effect on the mind and this consequently relieves stress. A 2016 peer-reviewed article found that drumming releases endorphins, which can boost overall mood and also reduce pain.

4. Reduced stress

According to a study published in Evidence Based and Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that drumming, as part of a therapy plan, reduced stress levels in children. Drumming was also found to help children with behavior and attention problems.

5. Enhanced meditation and mindfulness practices

Many turn to meditation to settle their “monkey mind” that, like a monkey, hops from one thought to the next. The goal in meditation is not to become “thought-less” but rather aware of the times that your mind, like a monkey or an energetic puppy, begins roaming about. 

Remember, we will always think thoughts. That’s what the mind does. Meditation helps us become aware of the times our mind strays and helps us train it to focus on an object, the breath, or in this case, the drums. 

Drumming is an especially helpful meditation practice because the beat of the drum, like the steady rhythm of your heartbeat, encourages instant focus. When you hear the beat of the drum you get a strong focus point that is both calming and grounding. For this reason, drumming is perfect for children with ASD or ADHD. The combination of rhythm, movement, and concentration helps kids focus and calm down.

The next article in our meditative drumming series will show you how to introduce and foster a meditative drumming practice with little ones. If you don’t have a drum, no worries, they can clap, tap, or even stomp!

Wee Meditate

If you’re looking to get your child started with meditative drumming, try listening to our new mini meditation Heartbeats.

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