Playing drums and percussion for health and wellness in a corporate environment? Are you serious?
Yes we are. The instruments are a tool to help employees de-stress, boost their immunity and re-connect with themselves and their co-workers. This is not a drum class and we do not teach drum technique or parts because that actually increases stress. Our approach is based on proven scientific studies and advances in neuro-scientific understanding. Research has also shown the link between stress and heart disease and cancer, two of the top three killing diseases in Australia today (the other being dementia).
You mean there is actual, proper, research about the effects of rhythm on the mind and body?
Most certainly and most of it has taken place in the last 15 years. In 2001, a study showed that a group that undertook even just a one hour session of composite drumming and self reflection activities showed a statistically significant increase in killer cell and immune response activity. The researchers, Bittman et al, concluded “Drumming is a complex composite intervention with the potential to modulate specific neuro endocrine and neuroimmune parameters in a direction opposite to that expected with the classic stress response.”
This was followed in 2003 with a study that demonstrated that recreational music making made significant improvements for multiple parameters associated with burnout mood states (including tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, fatigue and inertia) and total mood disorders in long term care workers. This continued for weeks after the program had finished.
A further study in 2005 demonstrated that recreational music making modulates human stress response at the genomic level. The expression of 45 immune response related genes was determined following the music making resulting in 19 out of 45 showing reversal compared to 6 out of 45 for the control group and 0 out of 45 in the ongoing stressor group.
Other studies have shown rhythm to be more effective that meditation or yoga in inducing states of relaxation, particularly with hypervigilant populations.
The bottom line is that rhythm and drumming is effective to reduce staff stress levels, enhance wellness and improve mood and this is good for a company’s bottom line as well. Stress can manifest itself as bullying, disenchantment, disengagement, absenteeism, lower personal and group productivity, reduced creativity, reduced teamwork and higher rates of staff turnover.
Why is rhythm a good choice for a workplace wellness activity?
A Drum Therapy corporate wellness workshop is a fun way to de-stress and boost immunity that leaves participants with tools that they can utilise in their daily routines to help manage stress.
- it is a very simple activity that anyone can participate in and achieve results immediately. Participants do not need to be fit nor flexible. It is not necessary to have any musical experience or have ever even touched a drum before. In just a few minutes, participants will start feeling different
- a range of different techniques are showcased and practised that can easily be utilised at home or in the workplace
- no special clothing is required. No changing rooms are needed. A regular meeting room, presentation area or auditorium is will suffice. All instruments are provided
- playing together is a mindful experience which brings people into the present moment and helps to re-connect the mind-body and relieves the focus on stress-related issues
- using facilitated games, creativity and self expression are highlighted that releases the work focus on rules, regulations and procedures that are often a source of annoyance and frustration
- percussion is tactile, visual and sensory experience engaging the whole brain and a mild form of exercise. The cerebellum, the primary processing area for rhythm, is connected to all parts of the brain, including the limbic system (for regulation of emotions). Percussion can be a non-verbal outlet for stress using the drum to communicate when words are inadequate or unable to be expressed
- other facilitation techniques promote listening and support, dialogue and a sense of self awareness growing into a group appreciation
- it is a social activity that engenders a sense of communality and group achievement promoting teamwork and social cohension
Isn’t it super-noisy with all those drums?
Not nearly as much as you might think. In Drum Therapy corporate wellness programs, we limit the group size to 25 persons. Most participants elect to use a foam mallet rather than play with their hands and this reduces the ambient noise while some choose to play hand percussion (like shakers or a scraper) rather than drums. Participants are free to play or not play whenever they wish, further limiting the sound.
Is it sustainable?
We can help your organisation with regular events or empower your staff to create their own stress management drum and percussion program with training and supply equipment to make it self sustainable. We also offer rhythm events for health and wellness in the community which your staff are welcome to attend and, if in training with us, try out some of their new skills.
Call 0423721828 for a chat about how we can help you or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be delighted to assist.