Are you stressed? Feeling a little off, isolated or depressed? You might want to consider meditation with drums.
Many people are discovering the positive side effects of drums though StrongHeart DrumMedicine, also known as Ool Pardi of Fenton.
Based in Fenton, StrongHeart DrumMedicine offers drumming meditations, drum circles, sound meditation retreats, private therapeutic drum sessions, art therapy and drum making classes. In addition, Pardi makes and sells drums, with a special interest in large-scale drums.
“COVID19 has made it difficult for us to hold events, which is unfortunate because today, people need drumming more than ever as a result of social distancing,” Pardi said. “But we are hopeful that as we get closer to spring we will be able to begin filling our calendar again.”
Combine drumming and meditation and you have a very powerful healing tool.
“I struggle to find words for the profound healing and integration I experienced during the drum meditation. If you ever have a chance to attend a gathering like this, make sure you do. What an absolutely amazing and beautiful journey Ool and Kellie facilitate,” Jessica Lampkin said.
StrongHeart DrumMedicine also facilitates drum circles, which provide an opportunity for participants to feel connected with others and gain a sense of interpersonal support. A drum circle provides an opportunity to connect with your own spirit at a deeper level.
When Pardi began his journey into sound healing, he had no idea where it would lead. He said he did it because he found it transformational in his own life, which slowly began to spill over into the lives of others. Soon people began asking him to join group meditations, not because they understood all the nitty gritty of the effect of rhythm and vibration on the body, but because it felt good.
“There is a peace that is generated when people gather for meditation,” Pardi said. “That peace goes with them into the world and ripples through their lives making the world a better place. Drumming takes you to places in your mind that provide healing.”
Since the dawn of time, man has used drums for socialization, entertainment, dancing, communication and healing. Each of us begins life listening to the rhythm of our mother’s heartbeat. From that moment on we are surrounded by the rhythm of our own heart, our breath, our blood flow. There is even a sort of rhythm to our days, weeks and months. The rise and fall of the tide. So primal is the sound of a drum that our brains involuntarily respond to the rhythm and vibration, whether we like it or not.
The drum has played an important role in the development of the human spirit for a very, very long time, and for good reason. It releases endorphins, enkephalins, and alpha waves which are key ingredients for improving your sense of well-being. The sound of drumming also generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment. Drumming generates new neuronal connections in all parts of the brain, integrating our experiences and deepening our sense of self-awareness and therefore is being used in treatment of a variety of conditions, including Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s, autism, stroke victims, headaches, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
How does drumming factor into happiness? Turns out, a lot. You may have heard of Cortisol, a stress hormone. We need cortisol. It helps us adapt during “fight-or-flight” situations. However, sustained high cortisol levels destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down healing and normal cell regeneration, impair digestion, metabolism and mental function, and weaken your immune system.
Drumming has been shown to lower cortisol levels in the brain which allows serotonin, the happy hormone, to flow, but much more happens than just an increased sense of well-being. Lowering cortisol levels allows the immune system to kick in and the body can begin to heal. A healthy immune system is the key component to preventing infectious diseases. Stress, according to current medical research, contributes to nearly all disease and is a primary cause of many life-threatening illnesses.