Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Complementary Therapy for Addiction: 'Drumming Out Drugs'

Complementary Therapy for Addiction: 'Drumming Out Drugs'
by Michael Winkelman, American Journal of Public Health; Apr2003, Vol. 93 Issue 4, p647
Objectives. This article examines drumming activities as complementary addiction treatments and discusses their reported effects.

Methods. I observed drumming circles for substance abuse (as a participant), interviewed counselors and Internet mailing list participants, initiated a pilot program, and reviewed literature on the effects of drumming.

Results. Research reviews indicate that drumming enhances recovery through inducing relaxation and enhancing theta-wave production and brain-wave synchronization. Drumming produces pleasurable experiences, enhanced awareness of preconscious dynamics, release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self. Drumming alleviates self-centeredness, isolation, and alienation, creating a sense of connectedness with self and others. Drumming provides a secular approach to accessing a higher power and applying spiritual perspectives.
Conclusions. Drumming circles have applications as complementary addiction therapy, particularly for repeated relapse and when other counseling modalities have failed. (Am J Public Health. 2003;93:647-651)

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