Trevor Salloum: The Art of Rhythm and Healing
The use of percussion-based therapy is becoming very popular throughout the world as people recognize the power of rhythm. More and more individuals are joining drum circles and playing percussion instruments to express their individual creativity and improve general health.
Drums have been used historically to influence human behavior. Tribal healers in Africa, Asia and native America have used drums to induce trance-like states in healing ceremonies as well as for helping resolve illness. Drums have been used to motivate soldiers and others such as rowers in canoe races. More recently music therapists such as Barry Bernstein RMT of Kansas has documented the use of percussion to enhance well-being in patients with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Dementia as well as Vietnam war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. In Texas, a program called "Drums not Guns" was developed in elementary schools for inner-city youth at risk as a means to reduce crime. In 1991 the U. S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging supported the development of a program called "Rhythm for Life". Their goal was to focus on the therapeutic benefits of percussion with elderly Americans and proposed the formation of drum circles as an aid to health and well-being.
The benefits of percussion-based therapy includes stress reduction, improved motor coordination, relaxation, group interaction, group cohesiveness, individual creativity, increasing concentration and overall enhancement of general well-being.
Physiological changes that have been observed after music/percussion therapy include increases in melatonin, growth hormone, and in the immunoglobulin IGA.
Trevor Salloum is a retired naturopathic physician who focuses on teaching, writing and performing jazz, Afro-Cuban and Middle Eastern percussion. See www.trevorsalloum.com