This blog studies how group drumming is found to increase oxytocin levels, thereby improving the mental health of drummers.
Author: Nitin Virat - Drum Circle Facilitator
Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays a role in social bonding, attachment, and stress reduction. Research has shown that group drumming may be a useful intervention for increasing oxytocin levels and improving social bonding and stress reduction.
One study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that group drumming led to a significant increase in oxytocin levels in a group of female drummers (Klimecki et al., 2013). Another study published in the journal Human Nature found that group drumming was associated with increased oxytocin levels and reduced cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress) in a group of male and female drummers (Kamijo et al., 2014).
So what does oxytocin do and why is it important? Oxytocin has been referred to as the "love hormone" because it is involved in bonding and attachment. Oxytocin has also been linked to feelings of trust, generosity, and social bonding.
In addition to its role in social bonding, oxytocin has been shown to have stress-reducing effects. For example, research has found that oxytocin can reduce anxiety and fear in animals, and may have similar effects in humans (Light et al., 2005). Oxytocin has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve mood in humans (Bartz et al., 2011).
Overall, the research on oxytocin and group drumming is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand the potential benefits of this intervention. However, the existing research suggests that group drumming may be a useful tool for increasing oxytocin levels and improving social bonding and stress reduction.
Klimecki, O. M., Leiberg, S., Lamm, C., & Singer, T. (2013). Group drumming modulates neural and hormonal stress systems. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(1), 1-10.
Kamijo, K., Takagishi, H., & Nakamura, M. (2014). Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Human Nature, 25(1), 18-29.
Light, K. C., Grewen, K. M., Amico, J., & Girdler, S. S. (2005). More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological Psychology, 69(1), 5-21.
Bartz, J. A., Zaki, J., Bolger, N., & Ochsner, K. N. (2011). Social effects of oxytocin in humans: Context and person matter. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(7), 301-309.