Drumming For Stress Relief

The Drum Sent Out The Healing

New Workshop!! Drumming for Stress Relief

Stress is one of the biggest health issues facing our society and our modern workplaces. Group drumming offers a very powerful tool for combating the effects of cumulative stress. Research has shown that group drumming can lower levels of stress hormones in the blood like cortisol. Playing music ‘in the moment’ is a fun and engaging activity that naturally lends itself to joy and release – a perfect antidote to the stressful workplace. Toby Christensen and his staff offer this program as an intervention to combat cumulative workplace stress. Toby uses drums and other percussion instruments as tools for channeling stress energies into beautiful music. The program has two main components the one involves channeling and release of stress into some pulsing rhythms. This is a fun and exciting part of the program where participants get to release their stress on the drums and instruments. Another part of the program involves synchronization of breathing and rhythm, which induces a calm meditative state that slows the mind down and promotes relaxation. This engaging program delivers both stress release and stress relief in its two phased approach.

Through basic science research soon to be published, we’ve recently taken the first step toward scientifically documenting group drumming’s benefits on the cellular level. Our project, funded by Remo Drums, Inc. and designed by our research team that includes David Felten, MD, PhD and Lee Berk DrPH of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Department of Neuroimmunology demonstrates statistically significant boosts in cell-mediated immune function associated with group drumming facilitated by a music therapist.

Learning Objectives:
• Identify stress, stressors, and stress reactions.
• Develop basic skills of drumming to facilitate the release of stress, increase relaxation and the creation of new emotional patters for long-term resolution of stress related conditions.
• Achieve balance through rhythm of the body, mind, and spirit by understanding how stress effects an individual and how to implement simple exercises at the onset of stress symptoms to immediately detour unhelpful activity
• Integrate the exercises and information into their professional and personal lives to create a happier and healthier workplace and life.

Learning Process:
• Identify stress, stressors, and stress reactions.
As we begin the process we take an assessment from the participants as to their symptoms of stress for example, cognitive symptoms such as memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, seeing only the negative, anxious or racing thoughts, constant worry. Emotional symptoms including Moodiness, Irritability or short temper agitation, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, sense of loneliness and isolation, depression or general unhappiness. We also work with the awareness of physical symptoms like aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, loss of sex drive frequent colds. We also work with behavioral symptoms like eating more or less, sleeping too much or too little, isolating yourself from others, procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax, nervous, habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

As we become aware of the stressors and identify each participant’s own stressors we begin to create some helpful ways of addressing the stress and the stress reactions.

• Develop basic skills of drumming to facilitate the release of stress, increase relaxation and the creation of new emotional patters for long-term resolution of stress related conditions
During this part of the process, each participant will learn how to strike the drum properly, learn the three basic hand positions of hand drumming and four basic rhythms on the hand drums provided. One rhythm is designed for relaxation another to bring awareness of our body and mind connection and how these two energies can be brought into harmony. Other rhythms are to release tension and bring the mind back into focus. The techniques are simple and an instrument is not required to initiate these practices. Participants will be taught how to activate the stress relieving exercises to re-pattern emotional responses to stressors.

• Achieve balance through rhythm of the body, mind, and spirit by understanding how stress effects an individual and how to implement simple exercises at the onset of stress symptoms to immediately detour unhelpful activity
As the participants become familiar with the rhythms we take them through a series of exercises to retrain the body mind connection so that the natural response triggers are re-channeled. This transformative proactive process creates a powerful sense of accomplishment and support ingraining the tools of helpful action and response as the first line of action when stressors are present. Teaching the participant breath rhythm awareness as well as drum rhythm is one of the features in this part of the program.

At the end of the program we have Q and A time and have the participants engage in an in-depth evaluation of the course allowing time for input and feedback.

The standard format for this workshop is six hours for optimal impact but has also been utilized in a short 3 hour version and expanded to a 2 day weekend residential workshop

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