Monday, June 11, 2007

Healing Power of African Drumming--Part 2

A Healer Looks at Drumming

After just one African drumming class, I was hooked. I felt relaxed yet somehow energized and inspired.

But why? Sure, it’s exhilarating to play jazzy multipart rhythms in a class where everyone from first-time beginners to professional musicians can play together and sound wonderful. (It’s addictive, in fact!) But there had to be more to it.

The comments of class members are summed up by this quote from visionary artist Yvonne Fitch, “Abubakr is like a loving father with a gentle discipline in teaching drumming and healing. After drumming with Father Abubakr. my heart is lifted and my root chakra is cleared out of any negativity. He is the best.”

I agree. Still, I wanted to know more about the effects of African drumming on drummers. A fascinating book, Mind Sculpture, by Ian H. Robertson, offered a clue.

Moment by moment our brains are changed by what we experience, think and remember. Our moods can even be affected by which side of the body we move….

In one study, people were more likely to come up with positive statements…describing an ambiguous picture [while] clenching their right hands than…their left.

That also brought up more questions. What about left-handers? If using the left hand stimulates the right hemisphere, does using the left hand also stimulate creativity? What happens when we use both hands equally in rapid djembe drumming? Could drumming balance the two sides of the brain?

Could African drumming have healing powers far beyond the relaxation and pleasure most people enjoy in it?

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