Health Benefits

Science View on Health Benefits of Drumming

The health benefits of drumming have been scientifically investigated and published in multiple scientific and professional journals.

It was shown that drumming helps to reduce adverse effects of several medical conditions:

  • Stress

Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (Bittman, et al. 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).

  • Depression

Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study with 30 depressed people over 80 years of age and found that participants in a weekly music therapy group were less anxious, less distressed and had higher self-esteem (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).

  • Cancer

Subjects who participated in a clinical trial using the HealthRhythms protocol showed an increase in natural killer cell activity and an enhanced immune system. While this does not indicate a cure for cancer, such results may be of benefit for those facing this disease. (Bittman, et al. 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

According to Clair, Bernstein and Johnson (1995), Alzheimer’s patients who drum can connect better with loved ones. The predictability of rhythm may provide the framework for repetitive responses that make few cognitive demands on people with dementia.

  • Parkinson’s Diseases and Stroke

Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, according to Michael Thaurt, director of Colorado State University’s Center of Biomedical Research in Music. Researchers have also discovered that hearing slow, steady rhythms, such as drumbeats, helps Parkinson patients move more steadily (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).

  • Chronic Pain

Chronic pain has a devastating propensity for progressively draining quality of life. Technology and pharmacology are falling short of the mark needed to improve quality of life and reduce pain, according to Dr. Barry Bittman in the Pain Practitioner. (Lingerman, H. 1995, Music and You. In the Healing Energies of Music. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House).



Composite Effects of Group Drumming Music Therapy on Modulation of Neuroendocrine-immune Parameters in Normal Subjects
Barry Bittman, MD, Lee Berk, MPH, DrPH, David Felten, MD, PhD, James Westengard, BS, O. Carl Simonton, MD, James Pappas, MD, and Melissa Ninehouser, BS
Alternative Therapies, January 2001, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp 38-47

Teach Kids to Manage Their Asthma Using Music
Debbie Bunch
AARC Times: RTs February 2001, pp: 52-56

Music and Medicine: Clinical Applications
Joseph R. Dunn Ph.D.
Psychology Online Journal : May 2001

Music-Making: An Integrative Strategy for Managing Chronic Pain
Scott Denny, DC, PhD,
The Pain Practitioner, Spring 2001, pp: 2-11

Advances in Mind-Body Medicine:Research Finding Abstract
James W. Pennebaker, Summer 2001, p 201

Drumming Boots Cancer-Killer Cells
Barry Bittman, M.D.
Up Front: Research: January 2001, pp 16, 180

Lost in the Rhythm
Sara Terry
The Christian Science Monitor, May 2001 p 14

Should Drums Be Sold in Pharmacies?
Christine Stevens
Percussive Arts Society, October 2001, pp 85-86

Drumming for Health
Robert L. Friedman
Percussion Notes , April 2001, pp 55-57

Press News and Web Publications

REMO HealthRythms Program

Drum circles seek to beat stress and promote healing

Drum circle helps community members beat stress, addictions
Jessica Kuderer
October 2011

How They Beat the Stress
Ann Trieger Kurland
Boston Globe,
January 29, 2005

Beating Stress- on the drums
Jim Morelli, 2001
WebMD :The Rhythm of Life
Garret Condon, January 2001

Group Drumming Boots Cancer-Killer Cells, 2001

The Genetic Mystery of Music
Josie Glausiusz
Discover Magazine, August 2001 pp 71-75

Women, Cancer and Community :Reviving Rhythm
David Pencek
MAMM, July/August 2001 p 16

Don’t Feel Funky, Be Funky !
Health, March 2001 p 24

Drum Up Your Immunity
Sara Altshul
Prevention, June 2001 p 54

Drumming Circles
Harriet Barovick
Time Magazine, May 2001

Drumming Up Good Health
Diane Cole,

In Touch, July 2002 pp 44-47

Reclaiming the Rhythm-An interview with Rick Allen
Christine Stevens
Percussive Notes, August 2002, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp 54, 56

Water, It Frees, It Heals, It Nurtures…
Marisa Fox ,
Oprah Magazine, June 2001, pp 172-173

Fighting Cancer? Bang the Drum Joyfully
Spirituality & Health, Summer 2001, p 17

Beat the Blues-Drumming Circles are New Wave
L.A. Justice
Examiner, June 2001

The New Vitamin D: Vitamin Drum
Christine Stevens
Natural Beauty & Health, Winter 2002, p 8

Music Company: Percussion Discussion
August/September 2001, p 8

Drumming up the Spirits
Christine Stevens
Christian Sound & Song, 2001, No. 9, pp 10-12

Happy & Healthy Music (Japanese Magazine)
August 2001, Pgs. 12-13

The New Beat Towards Wellness
Rick Long
Drum Business :Remo’s HealthRHYTHMS: May-June 2002 Vol. 9 No 4

Aliviar stress com Insturmentos de Percussao
David Carvalho
Medicina & Saude (Portugal Magazine): August 2002

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