Can Drumming Help Ease PTSD?

Can Drumming Help Ease PTSD?

As we approach the end of PTSD Awareness Month, it is a great time to discuss new remedies for those dealing with the condition.

In a 2013 study, it was estimated that 70% of Americans have experienced some type of traumatic event at some point in their life, with 20% of those developing PTSD. Those who experience the condition may have difficulty coping or adjusting for a period of time, but may recover with the proper care. For others, however, the more severe symptoms—nightmares, sleeping difficulties, etc.—may worsen and interfere with daily functioning.

Conventional treatment for PTSD includes behavioral or talk therapy and medication, following an appropriate diagnosis by an expert. However, researchers are indicating alternative therapies.

Mindfulness therapy, which helps place focus on keeping thoughts in the present rather than the past or future, helps keep sufferers centered and calm. Yoga, massage and acupuncture are some techniques that may be used, for instance.

Drum therapy, however, is also gaining popularity through Community Care Services. Research has verified therapeutic effects of ancient rhythm techniques as a valuable treatment for issues such as stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and more.

Drumming has been used to offer a present moment experience for clients to address emotions and the effects of the trauma experience in a safe environment. The facilitator guides the group into a circle where the patients choose their drums, participate in a brief discussion, and call for an intention within each person for the drum circle. The goal involves the use of the music to enhance group bonding, as well as the individual health and recovery goals defined within the group dynamic.

Results of demonstrations indicate that the activity accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system, and produces feelings of well-being. Other studies demonstrate the same effects of drumming for those with Alzheimer’s, autism, and addiction.


This article is based on a piece by Jacquie Soulliere for News-Herald, and can be found here:


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Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing his second BA at the University of South Florida in psychology with a minor in education. He is the former host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity. He also currently works for Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.