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New Times / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on March 19th, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 34 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 34

Drum circles have great benefits

Sean Shealy - Arroyo Grande

I feel the need to respond to Diane Smith’s letter (“Dear rational Shredder:” March 13), specifically her comment “Logic and rational thought is [vital] … I find it tragic that something … has driven the masses to the kind of hysteria that leads to …drum circles … .”

As a HealthRhythms facilitator, trained in this medical protocol developed by neurologist Barry Bittmann, I must appeal to Smith’s logic in evaluating the proven benefits of group drumming.

Overall, the published and reviewed research shows that group drumming improves the function of the immune and cardiovascular systems, reverses cellular stress, improves mood, reduces burnout rates among workers, and reduces anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Bittmann’s own peer-reviewed research demonstrates the following:

   • a statistically significant increase in the activity of natural killer cells, the white blood cells that seek out and destroy cancer and virally-infected cells.

   • that of 46 genetic markers studied that are activated in response to stress, and thought to be responsible for initiating disease processes, 19 had been found to be deactivated as a result of Recreational Music Making, as published in the Medical Science Monitor in 2005.

   • a six-month employee retention and satisfaction study conducted in accordance with the HR protocol demonstrated a 46 percent improvement in total mood disturbance, increasing to 62 percent six weeks post-intervention. Employee turnover, very high in the long-term care facility taking part in the study, dropped by 21.8 percent post-intervention.

   • an hour of drumming burns more calories (540.8) on average than an hour of downhill skiing (365).

Aside from these objective measurements, I have also witnessed and experienced the personal transformations and emotional release brought about by drumming.
The logical, rational thing for Smith to do would be to observe and learn before drawing conclusions. We happen to be having a drum circle at Dinosaur Park in Shell Beach, on Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. We’d welcome your presence, Diane.