Regardless of upbringing, gender, religion, and race, music can bring people together. It has become a universal language that anyone can understand no matter what dialect.
It is only natural then that music, like drumming, has many therapeutic effects on the body and can be a potent tool against addiction.
Music gives us a medium to express ourselves. The melody, the rhythm, the beat are the elements that give us the freedom to be in touch with who we are and everything that surrounds us.
Music inspires us to be creative and produces a positive feeling about ourselves and others. Playing the drums has encouraged me to channel all my energy towards producing the melody and getting the flow of the rhythm to fight against my addiction.
It’s About Going Back and Becoming Sober Again
Addiction is the accumulative effects of surrendering to small things turned ugly. Pleasure motivates us. Other sources of pleasure are sports, food, art, music, sex, and the likes. All in all, our brain seeks these “positive feelings”.
The puncher is really what’s happening physically, particularly the brain. Addiction is not limited to material things. It could also be a pursuit that eventually leads to “happiness”. When we do something that’s pleasurable, it sends signals to our brains that release the feel-good hormone called dopamine. This triggers the “happositive feelingy” feelings we get from “likes” on Facebook and Instagram, the pleasure of sex, winning a game, and yes, the ultimate “high” of addiction.
In non-addicted brains, the dopamine levels usually go back to normal after a time. With drug addiction, it lingers for a long time and prolongs the feeling of pleasure. Over time, however, you develop a tolerance to the drug, and you need more and more drugs to hit the same high.
My addiction story is similar to other people’s stories. We long for this pleasure and it keeps pushing our old life away and starts making alcohol our new life.
The Therapy in Music
There is evidence that music therapy may have a deep impact in promoting healing and breaking from addiction.
Playing the drums is just one of the many tools in music therapy that allow the client to grow holistically. Humans are instinctively drawn to melodies and rhythms; by listening to songs and learning how to play to the beat of it, you let your body be changed in the process.
Your brain starts to process these rhythms by drumming the beats. It also helps you to get connected to fellow individuals who also are journeying towards recovery from whatever holds them in bondage, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, social, or mental chains.
Dealing with my addiction has been a constant battle between what I felt was right and what I felt was good. It has been a tug-and-war issue until, finally, I wanted to resolve it. In this case, I placed all my energy in music and used it as the channel to get me back on track.
Playing the drums became my medium for inspiration, motivation, and focus. It helped me develop the discipline to play along with the rhythm. It helped me relax and get my groove into the whole exercise.
Music as a Medium for Therapy
There are many treatment facilities that are using music therapy as a medium for promoting physical and mental well-being as well as a therapeutic tool for treating addiction. Music therapy is now being increasingly used also by alcohol rehabs.
Playing the drums is the type of music therapy that works for me. It is an alternative therapy to help manage my physical and mental issues dealing with drugs, but it took many sessions to make this treatment start working for me.
Qualified music therapists should create treatment plans depending on individual needs. During the sessions, the people taking the therapy will be part of creating, singing or listening to music.
Music therapy may provide a way to encourage and get patients engaged in their therapy. Through learning the rhythm of playing drums, people can express their feelings and achievements as they learn to go with the rhythm. Since it’s a group therapy, there’s an element of peer support as well.
Holistic Healing Through Playing Drums
At the cellular level of your body, dopamine is the root of every cause of pleasure we experience. Studies have shown that while dopamine is artificially created with drugs, music awakens the same feeling naturally. In my case, playing drums helped me get over my addiction by delivering the same pleasure sensation without harm.
Music has been known to be a therapeutic healing tool that can also act as a pain reliever in the ancient days. In some medical surgeries, doctors often play soothing music so the patient and everyone present during the procedure will feel relaxed and focused. Patients often exhibit less pain with less anxiety that comes with dealing with operational procedures.
In a rehab treatment setting, music can be used as a supplemental therapy for any addiction program.
How Playing Drums Can Help You Be Free From Addiction
Playing drums targets three aspects that often accompany addiction: stress, depression, and anxiety. As pointed out earlier, music is known to encourage relaxation and bring down stress levels.
Just like winning any game, you feel good about yourself and what you’ve accomplished. During my journey in learning this new skill, I was able to feel fulfilled about this journey in life. It’s not just focusing on what I can get out of it. When you learn to love music, you feel more motivated to keep learning and upgrading your skills.
You feel good about yourself and you start to look at the world in a different way. Suddenly, you will find yourself liking to learn new music, new rhythms, and new beats.
Best of all, it’s not just a feeling that will go away as drugs do. It gives me something to look forward to every time I get into another session with people, whom I’ve come to love, encourage, and help heal through this journey.
Learning a new skill requires concentration and focus. At first, I was all clumsy, then I got the hang of it. Now when I play, I get into a zone of “flow” where my creativity and skill meet, which gives me confidence.
Our group consisted of different people coming from different backgrounds, but success isn’t a zero-sum game. My win is everyone else’s win. When someone relapses, it is that bond we created through music that gets us through it. I’ve never felt happier, satisfied, and purposely driven and it is all thanks to music and my set of drums.
Probably your journey is a difficult one. It is a distressful time in life and you need to find hope. When you listen and feel the beat of the drums, it is like being in a state of meditation, allowing yourself to express yourself through the rhythm and be part of the whole as you play along with the music. It was life-changing for me, and it could be life-changing for you.