"Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health."– Michael Drake
CAMMO's music therapists utilize this tried and true approach to harness each veteran's and service member's musical talents into a very effective therapeutic approach to healing with music.
Drumming has long been used in communities for rituals, celebrations, and communication. For the veteran community, research has found that drum groups can provide a means for empowerment and teamwork, togetherness, a feeling of belonging, connectivity, and to promote closeness and a sense of openness.
Other research studies published in peer-reviewed journals have demonstrated the health and wellness benefits of group empowerment drumming:
- Reverses Stress: A study conducted in 2005 determined that playing a musical instrument can reverse multiple components of the human stress response on the genomic level. There was not just a reduction in stress but also a reversal in 19 genetic switches that turn on the stress response believed responsible in the development of common diseases.
- Improves Mood: A 2003 study of one hundred twelve employees in a long-term care facility demonstrated significant mood improvement and a reduction in turnover.
- Encourages Creativity: A study conducted in 2003 found that five hundred seniors who participated in drumming reported far more favorable effects when compared with the use of anti-depressants or mood-stabilizing drugs.
- Strengthens the Immune System: A 2001 study of one hunred eleven participants showed a statistically significant increase in natural killer cell activity after a one-hour group session. Natural killer cells are the white blood cells that seek out and destroy cancer and virally infected cells. There appears to be reversal of specific neuroendocrine and neuroimmune patterns of changes associated with the classic stress response.