Drum Journeying and Neuroplasticity: A Healing Breakthrough?
My final paper topic was on Drumming and Neuroplasticity. Drumming has been used for centuries as a way to commune with spirit, bring people together in community and reach a trace-state. In the past few decades, studies have shown that drumming can also be a primary tool in healing and treating mental illness, trauma, cancer and more. My primary focus was on healing chronic pain. During research, I found that drumming has the ability to sync the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which promotes receptivity to new ideas and formation of new thoughts. For someone suffering from chronic pain, getting the brain into this theta state is an important first step. A lot of my research stemmed from the findings of Michael Moskowitz, M.D., is a psychiatrist-turned-pain specialist who dedicated his career to healing chronic pain. He found that chronic pain is primarily due to confused circuits in the body
still firing pain signals to the brain, long after the damage has been done. Through visualization techniques, Moskowitz designed a healing platform for patients to take a front seat in their healing process and “rewire” themselves back to health. It is hard work to rewrite pathways in the brain, since human beings are naturally habit forming individuals. But with good intention, and using drumming as an aid alongside his practices, I am optimistic that chronic pain sufferers could see results. My paper details my research and thoughts on this topic.