Therapy can be done in a group setting instead of a one-to-one format. Commonly done in group therapy is group drumming and singing. In drumming it is believed that “the magnetic pull to the drums breaks through resistance and the barriers that block our healing journey” and “drumming is the ultimate be here now strategy.” (Hanser 2016)
“In the early 1960s, researcher Andrew Neher studied the effects of Shamanic-style drumming on the central nervous system and discovered that the steady rhythm altered activity in “many sensory and motor areas of the brain, not ordinarily affected. . . .” Neher theorized that this occurred because the many frequencies within a single drumbeat can stimulate numerous neural pathways in the brain. As well, the brain can receive a greater amount of the low-frequency stimulus normally produced by a drum because “the low frequency receptors of the ear are more resistant to damage than the delicate high-frequency receptors and can withstand higher amplitudes of sound before pain is felt”. (Gaynor 2002)
Research conducted by Wolfgang Jilek on shamanistic dancing found that the polyrhythms and low frequencies can help to induce theta brain waves which are often linked to trance states in human beings. (Gaynor 2002)
In group singing, the blending of voices can allow individuals to experience a reality higher than themselves for example in a community choir, Waldorf class singing and church worship sessions just to name a few. In the blending of voices, a new sound is created between all the various unique voices which can create the experience of a higher reality. Such platforms can also support the social well-being of individuals.
The singing of vowels is good for sickness of heart and blood circulation. When mantras are sung, it has been found that the heart adopts a musical structure like the fundamental frequency with its overtones which can be measured and observed by ECG. When there are many overtones like the singing bowls’ sound, the brain will pause in its analysis of the fundamental frequency as there are too many overlapping frequencies which are not the usual expectation by the brain. According to Nordoff and Robbins, “singing is a direct expression of the ego living simultaneously in its emotional life, its mental life, and in its physical vocal apparatus”. (Nordoff & Robbins 1973)