The Wisdom of the Ancients
While the foundations of wellness are unique to each of us, when it comes to our basic needs, we share much in common. Physical, emotional and spiritual components of well-being are sacred and inseparable.
According to Alicia Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC, Professor and the Director of Music Therapy at the University of Kansas, "Customarily people have interpreted good health as the absence of illness or disease, but more recently wellness has come to a new meaning, feeling as good as one can feel regardless of diagnosis. This new interpretation of wellness is reflected in a shift from medical professional control and management to individuals' assumed responsibility for 'feeling good.' It is broadly understood that 'being well' results from engagement in activities that lead to and maintain health."
To a great extent, the lifestyle choices we choose today will certainly be reflected in the future we create one step at a time. For health is not a goal-- it is a journey traveled throughout our lifetime.
Barry Bittman, MD and Anthony DeFail summed it up in their book, Maze of Life: "It's the way you choose to live your life that counts. Ultimately it's a matter of choice."
And where do these choices lead?
They pave the way to a path of personal discovery where the elements that have particular meaning for us become the building blocks for creating a balanced and healthy life.
What are these elements?
While so many exist, the most basic ones are reflected in an "attitude" of wellness which includes diet, exercise, nurturing, social support, spiritual practice, intellectual stimulation, stress reduction, coping skills and creative expression.
The challenge for each of us is finding time for creating a healthy balance. It's not surprising that in our fast-paced society it's difficult to establish a routine that allows us to blend our wellness choices in a healthy manner. And that's precisely where this form of music-making fits in.
Group drumming harnesses so many elements of wellness in one activity that anyone can enjoy. According to Karl Bruhn, Father of the Music-Making and Wellness Movement, "without the obstacle of a challenging learning curve, group drumming is an enjoyable, accessible and fulfilling activity from the start for young and old alike. From exercise, nurturing and social support, to intellectual stimulation, spirituality and stress reduction, group drumming stimulates creative expression that unites our minds, bodies and spirits!"
It is truly an extraordinary blend of time-tested elements that simply make sense in the overall scheme of maintaining and preserving the gift of a healthy life. Yet there's more.
Group drumming can also serve as a rather effective means for restoring a sense of inner balance amidst the incredible challenges of life. Referring to a drum circle held for students and parents one year after a tragic high school event, Christine Stevens, MT/BC said, "Parents and children came to our drum circle silent, apprehensive and disconnected. At first it was difficult to even maintain eye contact. Knowing words could never communicate what each of us felt that day, we slowly began drumming together. The sadness we shared was overwhelming at first, as tears dampened our hands and instruments. Yet as we drummed, renewed support for each other and a collective sense of hope for a better tomorrow gradually replaced our despair. Our experience was more than therapeutic-- it connected us on many levels."
After all, our ability to connect with and support each other is why we're here in the first place. It doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to realize group drumming is an incredible unifying tool that simply brings out the best in us.
According to Remo Belli, the Founder and CEO of Remo, Inc., "It's time to stop thinking of the drum as a musical instrument. Start thinking of it as a recreational tool for every family, a wellness tool for every retiree, and an educational tool for every classroom."
We agree and encourage you join us and learn more about this incredible wellness strategy. That's what HealthRHYTHMS is all about-- learning, discovering, enjoying and sharing musical insights that can help everyone improve the quality of their lives.
On behalf of our HealthRHYTHMS team, thank you for joining us.