DRUMMING Offers Health Benefits While Having Fun!

By Susan Meny

The Shepherd’s Center of Winston-Salem works to respond to the social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs of a community of actively-engaged older adults, which is an ongoing, ever-changing and, frankly, exciting challenge. Programs are often born out of one person’s passion or calling, and their desire to find like minds who share that same passion/interest/hobby.

Such was the case recently when Abdul Mohammed approached the Vital Living Program of the Shepherd Center with an idea for an inclusive drum circle that would welcome anyone of any age, background or ability who wished to participate and enjoy some much needed community bonding. With drumming, there is little need for talk, but a large need to connect at a very basic level.

Drumming is therapeutic and its benefits are communal. Drums have been used in every culture for many purposes, from religious rituals and other ceremonies, to sporting events, and as a way to communicate or signal. Shamans use drumming as a means of reaching an altered or trance-state so that they can connect with the spirit dimension. Drumming was also used therapeutically in ancient times.

In addition to being a cardio workout, modern research has shown that drumming has many positive effects on your health. The “medicine” drum is still used in many Native American ceremonies today for good reason: drumming can promote physical and emotional healing, boost your immune system, produce feelings of well-being, and – all drummer jokes aside – it can even make you smarter!

If this sounds like something you would like to do, please join us on Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the Shepherd’s Center, 1700 Ebert Street, Winston-Salem. Bring a drum or you can borrow one.

You may also enjoy the drum circle at Arbor Acres Retirement Community, 1240 Arbor Road, the third Wednesday of every month at 3 p.m. in Piner Hall with Highlife Coordinator Hayden Cramer. Call 336-748-0217 to register for Arbor Acres’ drum circle.

Susan Meny is the Vital Living Program Director of The Shepherd’s Center of Winston-Salem, an interfaith ministry that promotes and supports successful aging by providing direct services, volunteer opportunities and enrichment programs for older adults. For more information, call 336-748-0217 or visit ShepherdsCenter.org.


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