This Is Us: Drumming It Out

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“Are we Drumming today?” is the very first question I get asked on Monday mornings at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

“Absolutely!” I say with a smile, and join in on cheers, high fives, and fist pumps.

A Green Mountain Favorite

Drumming at this women’s retreat center has become a highlight of many of our participants. Every Monday afternoon, the women of Green Mountain flood into the beautiful 3rd floor studio where there is a breathtaking view of the picturesque Vermont mountains.

We use a version of drumming called Drums Alive, which was created by Carrie Ekins to help her keep her body and mind working as she recovered from a devastating hip injury. Her first drum set was a bunch of boxes in her basement. She later found the stability ball as her drum of choice.

Here at Green Mountain, large stability balls are placed on top of buckets to create our drum sets. We use drumsticks, pool noodles and our hands to pound out rhythms, move our bodies and pretend we are rock stars.

This is what happens next (in no particular order):

  • Music starts
  • Smiles appear
  • Hands clap
  • Spontaneous dancing erupts
  • Clicking of drumsticks sound
  • Bodies move
  • Laughter is heard
  • Drumming rumbles
  • Teamwork ensues
  • Pure joy emerges
  • No one is left out

It is for all these reasons, and more that we hold Drums Alive classes here every week.

What the Research Tells Us

We get women of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities moving and smiling at the same time in our Drums Alive classes. These women experience many of the researched benefits that come from drumming, including:

  • Reduces stress
  • Releases an increase in alpha brain waves, which are associated with general feelings of well-being, euphoria, creativity and concentration
  • Helps release negative feelings and emotions which helps reduce anxiety
  • Grounds you to the present moment (increased practice in mindfulness)
  • Creates a sense of connectedness to others through shared teamwork, laughter and joy
  • Improves overall health through improved cardiovascular output, strength and flexibility and increased blood circulation
  • Increases self-confidence and improves overall sense of well-being.

We also know that those who have impulsivity around food are often those who have difficulty with impulsivity in general, such as those with ADHD. Drumming has been shown to help heal the executive functioning of the brain, reducing overall impulsivity.

Since over 50% of those women attending Green Mountain at Fox Run identify with having problems with binge eating and 70% of the women attending admit to emotionally overeating, adding drumming to our program was a “no brainer”.


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Drumming and NBC’s This Is Us

It is no wonder that we see the character Kate in This is Us participating in drumming her very first day at her immersive weight retreat. The site, sound and rhythm of the sticks as they hit the floor or click in the air in unison is mesmerizing.

Kate’s first experience with drumming illustrates the emotional release that is possible. The physical hitting of the sticks combined with the sound they make stimulates the body to release negative cellular energy. It can be a very liberating experience for some.

Kate’s life’s journey, which leads her to this drumming class, parallels the experiences of the women who walk through the doors at Green Mountain at Fox Run. Their stories are similar, even though experiences differ. Exposure to an emotional outlet like drumming can be an intricate part of the healing process.

Finding Joy through Drumming

The drumming class does much more for our participants than they realize. It connects their minds and bodies through a shared, joyful experience. Also, this may be the first time a participant connects pure joy with moving the body.

This joy they find in movement is one of the main philosophies here, beginning a link to the idea that moving can be fun. Moving the body becomes a “want to do” instead of a “have to do”.

All the other benefits of drumming just come along for the ride as women hit, click, clap, dance, laugh and smile their way to become less stressed, healthier and more self-confident.

Many women take this activity home with them too…a set of noodles or drumsticks, a ball and our DVD, and they are ready to rock.

Our goal is to educate and empower women to live healthier and more fulfilling lives…while leaving behind worries about weight and body image. Come visit us and bring your inner drumming rock star with you.


drumming fun dvdWant to try drumming?

Our inspiring program director Anne guides you through energizing drumming rhythms in our new Drumming Fun DVD ($17.95 + S&H) to ground in you in the present moment and connect you to the natural rhythms around you — while having fun. For pricing or to place your order, please email jennifer@fitwoman.com or call (800) 448-8106.


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About the Author

Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, CIEC

By sharing experiences and lessons learned through her writing, Anne’s goal is to first, help women finally feel free enough to break away from their dieting chains and learn how to listen and honor their body’s internal cues. Second, to discover and experience more joy in moving their bodies and finally, understand the importance of taking time for themselves. Her philosophy of strengthening the connections among participants’ minds, hearts and bodies fits perfectly with Green Mountain’s philosophy of lasting change through comprehensive, integrative health programming. Anne is the Program Director at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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