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  • Resilient Practice

The Power of Drumming

“You know the drum was the first instrument besides the human voice”

– Billy Higgins


Much of the practical toolkit of the modern therapist has its roots in old knowledge. Many old practices such as EMDR suggestion therapy, meditation and acupuncture have been studied by modern scientists and been found to be effective. They have become evidence based.


We have written several articles about the lasting positive effect that ancient historical Shamanic Practice has had on modern therapy.


As modern clinicians we both apply ancient philosophy within our therapeutic sessions. We also enjoy weaving into our daily rituals to boost our own mental wellbeing.


One such personal practice for us is journeying and healing with the Shamanic Drum.


Chrissie runs a twice-monthly Shamanic Drumming circle which benefits both of us along with many members of the local community in so many ways.


Altered States of Awareness

There is scientific evidence that listening to the repetitive sound of a drumbeat will invoke an altered state of awareness similar to that which is evoked during meditation, EMDR or hypnosis.



The use of altered states of awareness during therapy is widely prevalent in the West. We know that engaging in regular meditative practice is conducive to good health and wellbeing. We also know that suggestion therapy is more effective when combined with altered states of awareness because it gives us enhanced access to the subconscious mind.


When we engage in drum therapy, we benefit from both of these effects.


Community and Connection

Becoming a member of a local drumming group also offers the immensely enjoyable advantages of community and connection. There is something magical about it. When we participate in chosen activities in a collective way, we can share our experiences, generate fellow feeling, garner support and build lasting friendships.


The Drum

In the world of Shamanic Healing, the drum itself is key to the whole practice. The materials used to make a shamanic drum are carefully chosen and aligned to its purpose. For example, Chrissie used an ethically sourced buffalo hide which would have otherwise been thrown away as a waste product. The buffalo is a large, heavy creature which lives as a member of a herd for safety and protection. The purpose for her drum was to be grounding – no-one could ever tip a buffalo – and to bring together a tribe of like-minded people for healing – or a herd if you like. She used white mulberry for the hoop. Symbolically this wood is thought to attract abundance and beauty. The Shamanic Journey is widely described as a beautiful experience and, this along with abundance is something we would wish for the tribe that we have been blessed to create.


The drum is created in ceremony. This means that the making of the drum is a meditative experience which requires huge reverence and respect. Whatever we believe we are tapping into when we journey, be it wisdom of the higher Self or Spirit – and nobody can give you this information because nobody knows – we are wise if we honour and respect it. It is very powerful. That is not to say that we do not invoke humour and light-heartedness within these sessions. Both of these have a great deal to offer in raising our spirits and transmuting anything negative that has come up. The sense of community and sharing helps hugely here too.


The Drum is synonymous with heartbeat. It draws us together. One of our members recently shared that she was shown during a journey, how the drum connects us with one singular heartbeat and dissolves the human delusion of separateness – when we journey, we are one.


The drum takes us away on journeys and then brings us home. The drum is our voice. Even when we set the intention not to travel via the drumbeat but to remain present and immersed in the rhythm, there is a healing and cleansing effect. Many practitioners, including Chrissie, perform drum healing sessions as part of their work. It is widely described as a deeply relaxing and enjoyable experience.


The Journey

When we journey with the Shamanic Drum, we have better access to the subconscious mind than when we are wide awake. This means that, not only can we construct suggestions, but we can also access information.

Shamanic Journeying is an ancient practice involving exploration of the Shamanic Realms. Again, none of us know exactly how we come by this information - we only know that by engaging in the journey, we can receive insightful messages and symbolic gifts that we would otherwise not enjoy.


Whilst there is a structure that is commonly taught for reaching the Shamanic Realms – we are wise if we do not allow ourselves to become bogged down by rules. Better that we see them as guidance for improving the experience rather than as doctrine. Each journey and experience will be unique to the individual. This mindset made it easy for Chrissie to throw out the notion when she was once told by a teacher that there can only be one power animal.


Does this mean that I have to choose?


Who says?


The most commonly voiced concern is:


Am I imagining this?


The answer is simple. As humans we have access to a vast array of images and concepts within our memory and experience. By journeying out of the physical and into these unseen places, the use of our imagination is of paramount importance. We need those images and references to get the message. The higher Self or Spirit (whatever you believe) needs you to recognise a familiar thing, so that you can see the symbolism. The more creative the imagination, the better. It gives you access to more material.


What might you see on a journey? - Anything that has touched human consciousness.


There are no coincidences – if you are seeing it, then it is for you!



Try this:

Below is a link to a Shamanic Drumming track.

You will be listening to a repetitive drumbeat which will help to invoke a deeply relaxed state followed by a change in rhythm which will signal for you to return to full awareness.

Find a window in the day and a place where you will not be disturbed.

Take your awareness to your breathing.

Allow it to slow and deepen.

Notice the sense of calm stillness that settles over you.

Listen to the Shamanic Drumming track without expectation.

Allow yourself to become immersed in sound.

Pay particular attention to any body sensations that arise as you allow yourself to drift into a state of deep relaxation.

Are any emotions arising?

Sit with them.

Allow them to be felt and then released with gratitude.

Do any images float into your awareness?

Do any words or messages reveal themselves to you?

Sit with them.

Breathe deeply.

Continue to enjoy being immersed in sound and stillness until you hear the recall via a faster rhythm which will signal you to return.

As the track ends, take a moment to offer up gratitude for your experience and connection to a higher source.

Over the next few days, sit with any signs or symbols without judgement or analysis and allow them to crystalize.



Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to experience this in person or as part of our community.


If this calls to you and you would like to experience Shamanic Drumming or join our Shamanic drumming Circle events, please contact Chrissie on 07716219091 or click on the following event links:


For more insights and a host of tools and techniques for exploring the Self and improving your

human experience see our book:

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23 mar the lyrics go, "You light up my life!" xoxoxo

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