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Drumming Is More Effective than Antidepressants, Study Suggests

Shamanic Drum Journey, Health Mind Happy SoulGuest Writer

As our scientific and cultural understanding of mental health continues to progress, finding solutions for people struggling with depression become increasingly important. Long gone are the days when people who were struggling with mental health issues were locked up in prison-like asylums. However, modern drugs can often have a similarly oppressive effect on sufferers, as people’s emotional responses are numbed and they become unable to experience highs as well as lows.

These drugs are often thrown around without caution, and they fail to acknowledge the circumstances behind the individual’s depressive state. They attempt to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. A group of UK-based researchers seems to have found an unlikely cure – group drumming.

The study, which was conducted earlier this year, worked with a group of 30 adults who were already being treated for depression but had refused the use of antidepressants. The participants were split into two groups, one being assigned a 90-minute group drumming session once a week and the control group enrolling in quiz nights and other social activities. All drumming sessions were conducted on traditional African djembe drums, with the group sat together in a circle.

The ten-week study involved participants who were matched exactly regarding their ethnicity, gender, age and employment status. Over the course of the ten weekly observations, the groups were monitored psychologically and physically for signs of depression. The results were overwhelming!

After ten weeks the drumming group had significantly improved their mental health. There was a clear reduction in depression and anxiety, as well as a vast improvement in the social resilience of each individual involved. Physically, every member of the drumming group shifted from a pro-inflammatory immune profile to anti-inflammatory. The study proved both the benefits of communal drumming and the link between mental health and underlying inflammatory immune responses.

The control group saw very minimal improvements and in the follow-up tests three months later; the drumming group had maintained their improved state of mental health. One theory as to why the drumming circle works is that the activity of producing music, alongside the sense of community that the circle gave the participants, led to an increased feeling of fulfillment and gave them something to look forward to each week.

The reason for the vast improvement is open for debate. However, the results are indisputable. The ancient art of group drumming helps people with depression and boosts your health. These findings and other associated research could continue to alter the way we view and treat mental health issues.

It is a move towards a future where doctors recommend drug-free solutions that treat us all as individuals rather than treating mental health sufferers as broken cogs in the machine.  A future set to the rhythmic sound of drums.

Study link

*Article originally appeared at The Hearty Soul.


The drum, sometimes called the shaman’s horse, provides a simple and effective way to induce ecstatic trance states. When a drum is played at an even tempo of three to four beats per second for at least fifteen minutes, most novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt.

Shamanic journeying may be undertaken for purposes of divination and for personal healing. Its a way of communicating with your inner guidance and spirit self and receiving information.

Your inner self is in constant communication with all aspects of your environment, seen and unseen. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions.

If you are curious about the healing art of shamanic journeying and shamanic practices, you might be interested in exploring The Four Directions Apprenticeship.

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

Why Engaging In Work You Love Could Save Your Life

Be who you want, Healing, Health Mind Happy Soul, Life LessonsLissa Rankin
You are a badass motherfucking sorcerer of divine light.jpg

You probably know that having a toxic job that stresses you out and sucks the soul out of you isn’t exactly good for you. As a physician who has experienced work stress myself, as well as witnessing it in my patients, it’s obvious to me that work stress is poisonous and can translate into physical symptoms. You know this already. Anyone who has ever gotten a migraine after a deal went bad or stiff shoulders after the boss criticized him can attest to that.

But did you realize that work stress can actually kill you?

In Japan, they even have a word for it – karoshi – which is defined as “death by overwork.” Karoshi usually happens to relatively young, otherwise healthy people who are burning the candle at both ends in a less-than-dreamy work environment.

The first case of karoshi was reported in 1969, when a worker died of a stroke at the age of 29. But it wasn’t until 1987 that the Japan Ministry of Labor began collecting statistics on karoshi. Since that time, Japanese officials estimate that approximately 10,000 cases of karoshi occur each year.

This should be big news! Some lawyers and scholars even claim that the number of karoshi deaths in Japan equals or exceeds the number of traffic accident fatalities each year. But when was the last time your doctor added “Alleviate work stress” to your preventive maintenance or treatment plan?

What Happens Physiologically When People Die of Karoshi?

Karoshi is not a single disease. It’s a constellation of what are believed to be stress-induced physiological changes that usually lead to either sudden cardiac death or stroke, most likely caused by repetitive triggering of the “fight-or-flight” stress response that activates the sympathetic nervous system, raises blood pressure and heart rate, and overstresses the cardiovascular system.

Just before dying, most karoshi victims complain of varying combinations of dizziness, nausea, severe headache and stomach ache. In 95% of karoshi cases, death occurs within 24 hours of the onset of severe symptoms, though milder symptoms sometimes precede the severe ones. (If you’re stressed at work, do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you? If so, listen up. That’s your body telling you your work could be harming your health.)

Death by Overwork in the United States

It’s not just the Japanese who are working themselves to death. Although most of the data on karoshi comes from Japan, the International Labor Office released statistics showing that the United States far exceeds the Japanese when it comes to overwork. Our doctors and our government have yet to recognize karoshi as a distinct disease or award workman’s compensation benefits the way the Japanese do, and because we don’t track it, it’s hard to say how frequently work stress manifests as death in the United States. But you can bet it affects the health of many.

One study found that one in five Americans came to work, whether they were ill, injured, or seeing a doctor that day. The same sort of work obsession keeps about a third of employed Americans failing to use accrued vacation time. This failure to use accrued vacation time has actually been proven to predispose to early death. One study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2000, looked at 12,000 men over nine years and found that those who failed to take annual vacations had a 21% higher risk of death from all causes, and they were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. Yikes!

It’s not just early death that work stress can cause. Another recent study found that disenchanted, burned out employees developed heart disease at a 79% higher rate than those who liked their job.

And there are financial costs to all this burn out! The New York Times reports that health issues related to job stress costs the American economy $200 billion annually – roughly the economic cost of Hurricane Katrina. It is an epidemic that just might be affecting… you.

How Your Toxic Job Can Harm Your Body

You probably know that work stress isn’t good for you, and you probably know that if you hate your job, stress reduction would be a plus. But do you understand how work stress harms the body?

Here’s how it goes. Your boss yells at you when you did nothing wrong, and you get pissed. Or you’re on the floor of the stock market – or in front of a jury – screaming until you’re red in the face. Or you’re up all night, faced with the repetitive stress of performing a perfect surgery when you’re exhausted, like I did for over a decade. Or someone steals your idea and doesn’t give you credit. Or your job requires you to try to sell cigarettes – and when you do, you also sell out your integrity.

You keep quiet when you want to speak up. You lack the power to make the change you know needs to happen. You’re trying to please an office full of narcissists. Or whatever.

Sound The Alarm

It doesn’t matter what the stressor is. All that matters is that the amygdala in your lizard brain reads “THREAT!” and signals the alarm that lets your brain know you are in danger, probably because a tiger is chasing you. Your amygdala isn’t very smart. It doesn’t really listen to your intelligent forebrain and fails to realize that your boss isn’t actually a man-eating tiger. (Or maybe she is…)

Either way, your amygdala sounds the alarm and the “fight-or-flight” physiological stress response is triggered, flipping on your sympathetic nervous system, exposing every cell to harmful stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, elevating your heart rate and blood pressure, and worst of all – deactivating the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms, the ones that kill cancer cells, fight infections, repair broken proteins, slow aging, and help you live to be a hundred.

The Relaxation Response

Fortunately, your body has a natural counterbalance to the potentially poisonous stress response, which Dr. Herbert Benson famously named the relaxation response, which is also the title of his bestselling book from the 1970’s. The relaxation response shuts off the stress response, turns on the parasympathetic nervous system, and flips on the body’s self-repair mechanisms so the body can do what it does best – heal itself.

Follow Your Visionary Dreams

So if you think work stress might be putting your health at risk, what can you do?

As it turns out, the most effective way to optimize the health of your body is to reduce stress responses. The average American has over 50 stress responses per day, often caused by work stress.

But what if you were doing work you really loved? When you love your work like I do and you’re feeling a sense of mission and purpose, helping other people with the work you do, staying in alignment with your integrity, feeling a sense of personal power in an entrepreneurial business, working with people you admire, and expressing your creative gifts, you naturally experience fewer stress responses – and the body’s self-repair mechanisms have a chance to do their business.

What If You Can’t Quit Your Soul-Sucking Job?

Still mired in the cubicle or married to the golden handcuffs? Don’t worry. In Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, I walk you through the 6 Steps To Healing Yourself that include not only how to reduce stress responses, but very specific actions you can take to activate more relaxation responses – things like meditation, laughter, playing with animals, hanging out with friends, getting a massage, doing yoga, attending services as part of a spiritual community, giving to others, or hugging someone.

Ultimately, it’s all about the ratio between stress responses and relaxation responses in the body, so if you can’t reduce stress responses, you can still add relaxation responses – and my book will teach you how to do that.

Is Your Work Killing You? Or Do You Love What You Do?

 

Reposted with permission from LissaRankin.com


Lissa Rankin

LISSA RANKIN | PHYSICIAN & MYSTIC

Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective.

Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine."

Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.


Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

The Law of the Twinkie: Spiritual Enlightenment & Personal Freedom

Health Mind Happy Soul, Learning to Love Yourself, Life LessonsChloë RainComment

You eat Twinkies and you know they're not good for you, deep down inside you know.....

But you like eating twinkies and so you stay for a while in a state of confusion. You eat twinkies all the time. You think you love twinkies, twinkies make you feel satiated.

But deep down inside you know, something's not right.

One day you're feeling particularly bad about your eating of the Twinkies and so you start to get curious.

You educate yourself on nutrition and you are aware that the combination of flour and sugar has no nutritional value and is high in calories, but you still eat the twinkies.

Then doing more research you become aware that in fact there are worse ingredients in the Twinkies and that you like to numb yourself by eating the twinkies and you feel addicted to the twinkies. But you still eat the Twinkies.

Then you become aware that you numb yourself with food and you feel out of control of your craving because there is an emotional response trigger to not feeling comfortable in your body, so you eat to numb yourself and feel shame around your eating.

But you still eat the twinkies. Then you become aware that you started eating to numb yourself because you were violated as a child and it wasn't safe or comfortable to be in your body, so over eating protects you from being seen, protects you from being violated, numbs you from feeling the emotions in your body.  

Now every time you go to eat the twinkie you have a new insight about the choice you are making and you start to realize that it's really not about the twinkie, it's about how you feel inside your body and what emotions are attached to eating.

From this awareness, you can realize that the twinkie does not have power over you, the twinkie is not smarter than you, and you know that really what is occurring is an emotional trigger that you don't feel safe, you don't want to be seen, and you want to numb out in your body.  

From this place of awareness, you may still eat the twinkie.... the more you do the work the more clearing of the emotional trigger, the less and less the twinkie has power over your choices.

Then one day, it hits you. You no longer want the twinkie. You want to like yourself and feel good in your body. You start making different choices. You start to see the benefits of eating things that make you feel good about your choices instead of the twinkies, one day you even realize you enjoy eating things that make you feel good more than you have ever enjoyed eating twinkies.

Twinkies don’t totally disappear from your life, and every time you come up against the Twinkie you have to make the choice.
— The Law of the Twinkie

You start to feel better in your body. One choice at at time, you start to feel better. If one day you eat the twinkie, ok, no big deal, next time you have the opportunity to make an entirely new and fresh choice.

The key is that the twinkie no longer rules your life and your every decision. You are in control of your choices.

You start to trust yourself. 

Then One Day you realize many days have passed since you even thought of Twinkies, and you laugh at how silly and insignificant the Twinkie really is, and how powerful you have become.

In love and service,-logo-black (2).png
 
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Awareness is the key to making a different choice. Having awareness is 90% of what is needed to make changes. It is what you do with the awareness is what makes the difference.
Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Guide & Healer.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment by answering their calling, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!