Do you live inside the rhythm or does the rhythm live inside of you? For thousands of years rhythm has been the great identifier of cultures and connections. But is there more to rhythm than meets the skin? What’s inside the skin and how deep does it go? How far does rhythm travel? Does it travel in or out or both? The healing power of rhythm projects from inside the body, inside the organs, inside the cells. Entrainment occurs inside the body and outside the body. We now know that certain parts of the body and the mind can be entrained. This rhythm link up is a powerful healing tool, for the body carries memory and memory carries emotion and emotion affects intelligence and health and how you relate to yourself and others. All this occurs in the name of rhythm.
I have an organization called the Drumming for Your Life Institute and we have created a system of learning using rhythm which dramatically improves students test scores and behavior. We also work with healing addiction and with cancer patients. Rhythm helps in these areas by creating energy constructs that enhance the focus of neurons in the brain while building positive relationships inside the body.
In your own life when your relationships are going well you feel healthy. When you’re in sync with your family and friends you feel healthier and happier. Your immune system is stronger. We live in a time of a lot of chaos, but chaos is powerful energy looking for relationships to link up to. The same is true for inside of you. Rhythm is the great provider of relationships through its ability to create order out of chaos. Rhythm is a powerful medium that can harness and sculpture energy. To work with rhythm at its deepest core is to invert yourself so that you no longer stand outside of the rhythm but invent emotion through your relationship to life.
Learning through rhythm helps children experience the energy of knowledge so that the relationship to learning becomes an heightened energy based experience that is both individualistic and communal. Teaching teachers the power of energy through rhythm creates a whole new dynamic that is both enlightening and powerful. Creating a rhythmic container also creates a relationship to the pulse that throbs at various volumes in a way that deepens their connection to students and to their own teaching experience.
Rhythm in the medical world has also taken some leaps. Dr. Barry Bittman a well known neurologist has done studies using group drumming (hand drumming) and visualization techniques. Findings show that it helps build the immune system by increasing Nk cell ability to attack cancer cells. Studies by Dr. Michael Winkelman of Arizona State University show that group drumming offers addicts a way “to achieve relaxation and natural altered states of consciousness that substitute for drug-induced high.”
Drumming (sticks or hands) has far reaching possibilities that can enhance your rhythmic relationship. From inside the relationship the possibilities in how you communicate and how rhythm communicates inside itself is a dialogue that can only take place if you open your heart to it. It is there waiting.