Will you do an investment of 12 African drums, many small hand held drums, Ocean drums and special flutes with the sole purpose of bringing struggling communities together and help them in their healing through positive joyful experience!! Well it’s a huge outlay compared to the donations or small fees she gets or charges and if further compared to the efforts she puts in. It takes her 2 hours for 1 hour of session. The way it works is, she loads all her drums into her truck and drives to the place and shares her personal drums with the people, attending the session for a paltry sum.
I met her in March 2015 at Wellness Fair in Reno where she was offering everyone a free experience on Health Drumming. I joined the session, and honestly the experience unsurpassed my expectations. At that time, a child’s WHY questions started coming to my mind. I pondered, WHY someone would offer such an amazing experience for free? I had followed her on the Facebook ever since to find out WHY? According to the book, ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Grant, she isn’t a taker or a matcher, as it’s not for big monetary gains. From my perspective, she fits into a GIVER category, a person who finds success in collaboration and as a signature on OTHER FOCUSED. Givers generously share their time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and find pleasure in social justice and acting in the interest of recipient rather than their own interest.
Well, I am not going to hold her name any further, her name is Laurie Martin. She made Reno, her home ever since she got retired serving as a teacher and administrator for 20 years in Public School District, Tahoe. Upon her retirement she felt the urge to continue contributing to special needs families and kids, though this time from outside. This new found purpose, however, has its roots laid out 15 years ago in a Women’s Health Fair where she felt an instant connection with the gathering playing African style guided drums. Those drumming rhythms took a special place within her heart. She bought her first DJembe for $400, handmade by Jason Flynn with goat skin. Her kindergarten musical passion for classical piano, strings, guitar and choir was already part of her life. Now her new found passion was shaping into empathy. She then spends her next 3 years learning Drum Circle Rhythms at Tahoe and got further training via research based protocol called HealthRHYTHMS (trademark) from world’s largest drum maker, Remo. The training rolls out as 10-Steps, to unfold a complete drum circle.
The research says, drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system. In addition specific studies conducted by professionals in the fields of music therapy and mental health show that drumming: reduces tension, anxiety and stress, helps control chronic pain, boosts the immune system, releases negative feelings, blockages and emotional trauma. In a specific study conducted by Barry Bittman, MD, group drumming actually increases cancer-killing cells, which help the body combat cancer as well as many other viruses.
Drumming is a path of healing that guides us into our own experience with the flow of our mind and emotions so we may grow to experience more about our soul. Currently Laurie works in collaboration with Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (NNAMHS) for population with special needs such as Alzheimers, Memory Care, Senior Residential Living and transition students. She says when these individuals join the drumming circle, ‘they calm down, becomes creative and creates their own rhythms’. Laurie further adds, ‘the essence of healing is not only felt by the individuals but by the whole organization through creative visualization’.
Photo Credit: Laurie Martin
Writing on ‘Conscious Healthy Drumming’ is in continuation of my reflection to contribute to Vibrant Healthy Communities. Would love to hear your your experience or thoughts on drumming!