Women in business: we see you! In honor of Women’s History Month

I thought being a business owner was tough enough, and then I also became a mom.

As a solopreneur, I didn’t get a “maternity leave;” I was simply lucky that the timing of our pregnancy was such that the postpartum months were slow (mostly unpaid) ones for my business. This gave me a chance to establish a round-the-clock nursing routine with our son, feeding him every 2-3 hours, and to figure out how to deal with his extremely intense colic and reflux.

I can’t imagine the new levels of stress and anxiety we all would’ve gone through if I’d have had to go back to work in an office environment with a 9-5 schedule. I feel incredibly lucky that we had those first few months (and then subsequently a painful pandemic lockdown) to bond and establish a routine. And, I have immense respect for the mamas that do leave their little ones to work outside the house, taking them to daycare or caregivers before they’re ready.

Women business owners, CEO’s, essential workers, those that are trying to find a job to support your family – I see you.

Moms working at home, and those of you educating yourselves for a better career – I see you.

Stay at home moms, and those caring for an elderly or sick family member – I see you.

Mamas who’ve been out of work raising children are are re-entering the workforce, sometimes with few opportunities – I see you.

Mamas experiencing guilt for working, or for not working – I see you.

LGBTQIA+ women, transgender women, and gender nonconforming individuals – I see you.

Women and individuals experiencing identity or racial microaggressions at work – I see you.

I recognize that each of us has her or their own path to walk for personal and professional gratification, each of us with unique challenges and experiences that are downright painful or unfair. I know many times it seems like we’re taking one step forward and 100 steps back, professionally, politically, and societally.

But, I’m also proud to be living at a time when we have, and are creating, more opportunities for ourselves and for future generations.

Women, you’re out there every day kicking butt in so many ways. I am so proud, and so grateful for you.


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Drumming & health – a curated list of clinical studies

Late in 2020, after a harrowing year of COVID, I led several groups of hospital chaplains in a self-care group drumming activity. This was a group of frontline workers who, while not strictly in the medical profession, worked day in and day out comforting patients and loved ones during a particularly scary time in the pandemic – pre-vaccine.

Then, in the spring of 2021, we were feeling a bit more hopeful as the vaccine became widely available for adults in the U.S. I led an evidence-based group drumming workshop for two teams of Emergency Department doctors, nurses, and staff members. The atmosphere was more relaxed, but I could see the stress and burnout of the past year written on everyone’s faces.

And recently, I led a virtual drumming and wellness session for a local healthcare organization’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation support group. Virtual programs are old hat now and the group’s rapport was so strong that I felt I fit right in. I applauded them for showing up for each other and themselves.

What did these three groups have in common? They came together – to support each other, live in each other’s experiences, and take care of themselves. And they believed in the clinically proven ability of rhythm to provide them with real health benefits.

So, I’ve rounded up a list – a curated list of clinical studies highlighting the various physical, mental, and emotional benefits of drumming as a group. I invite you to use this list in a few ways:

  • For your own education – to see how adding rhythm to your life can enhance your health
  • For your organization – to highlight the importance of group rhythm programs for employee wellness initiatives
  • For your community – to start a regular drum circle in your community for bonding and stress reduction

Drumming to improve health outcomes in cancer care

My colleague, percussion and professor John R. Beck at Wake Forest University, conducted a 4-week study in 2021 with a hospital oncology department for patients receiving treatment.

The numbers don’t lie; the drumming program improved patients’ mood and relaxation state and decreased pain: “100% of participants reported that the drumming sessions increased their satisfaction with their hospital stay.  Patient energy improved in 81% of the sessions, mood improved in 88%, relaxation increased in 84%, and 49% of the sessions resulted in decrease in pain. Patients’ distress decreased in 63%, and anxiety decreased in 68% of the sessions.”

Read more here.

Drumming to increase social resilience among mental health service users

A 10-week group drumming study conducted among mental health services users in 2016 showed that “group drumming could improve depression, anxiety and social resilience among service users compared with a non-music control group.”

By week 6, participants reported decreases in depression and increases in social resilience, with further improvements in week 10, along with significant improvements in anxiety.

Read more here.

Drumming to improve social-emotional behavior among low-income children

In 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) conducted a study of 101 5th-grade students on the effects of drumming on social-emotional behavior. The 12-week counselor-led program focused on social-emotional problems linked to chronic stress that are often found in low-income youth populations.

The study found that “participation in group drumming led to significant improvements in multiple domains of social-emotional behavior. This sustainable intervention can foster positive youth development and increase student-counselor interaction. These findings underscore the potential value of the arts as a therapeutic tool.”

Read more here.

Seminal studies in immune response, stress response, bonding, and more

Lastly, the Remo percussion company conducted a series of clinical studies in the early 2000s that focused on specific outcomes in a variety of populations. From this data, they were able to develop and hone their evidence-based HealthRHYTHMS(R) protocol, which is utilized in environments from classrooms to boardrooms around the globe.

Remo conducted studies on improving immune response in older adults, reducing anxiety and depression in mental health service users, reversing stress on a DNA level, and more.

Read all study abstracts here.

A parting note

Reading study abstracts can be daunting, especially if your background isn’t an academic one. Just Add Rhythm’s goal is to provide opportunities for you to experience the benefits of group rhythm firsthand. We want to empower you to learn how to use rhythm to reduce your stress or anxiety, lower your blood pressure, make more meaningful connections, and rediscover your inner child.

Reach out to us to learn how we can bring rhythm to your organization or community. You’ll love finding your beat!

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Here’s one way to help healthcare workers this fall – sponsor a wellness session

Stress. Burnout. Compassion fatigue. Pandemic fatigue. Helplessness, anger, and frustration. Many of us have experienced these lately, but it’s amplified for those in healthcare.

First of all, if you are a healthcare worker, thank you for the lifesaving work you are doing and continue to do every day. I understand it’s become increasingly more difficult in the face of so many unimaginable challenges lately. And I know that’s a huge understatement.

I recently thought about some of the dedicated healthcare workers I’ve come into contact with over the course of my life. I had a wonderful pediatrician who always had toys and fun stickers at her office. My allergist was always available for me, throughout all my ENT issues in my 20’s. The nurses who took care of me when I had a kidney stone removed and later, my c-section, were always patient and compassionate even during my worst pain.

Have you thought back to the influential healthcare workers in your life?

This fall, your company or organization can help some of these dedicated heroes. By sponsoring an evidence-based, interactive drumming session focused on stress and anxiety management and combatting burnout, you can help a team of healthcare workers add one more tool to their self-care toolbox.

Here’s how it works

Option 1 – buy one, give one

For every corporate teambuilding or wellness session we facilitate from October 1st through December 31st, 2021, we will donate one self-care and stress management session to a partnering local healthcare organization. If you have a partner healthcare organization you’d like to donate a session to specifically, let us know!

Reach out to us for a specialized quote that’s tailored to your needs.

Option 2 – sponsor a session

If your organization currently doesn’t have a need for its own teambuilding or wellness session, but you’d still like to make an impact, you can sponsor a program at a local healthcare organization – one of your choosing or ours. See pricing options below.

Sponsorship investment

$300 will give a group of up to 100 healthcare workers a one-hour virtual interactive session. $400 will give a group of up to 30 healthcare workers a one-hour in-person interactive wellness session. We offer discounts on multiple sessions.

Our in-person session fees include COVID cleaning protocols, use of drums and percussion instruments for all participants, travel to and from the site up to 100 miles round trip, sessions tailored to the team’s specific needs, setup, and program delivery.

Our virtual session fees include session planning tailored to the team’s specific needs, collaboration with a co-presenter, live virtual support (for questions, tech needs, or additional support), and program delivery.

Try it out!

Research as recent as 2019 and 2020 shows that group rhythm sessions can help participants reduce and manage their stress and anxiety, improve professional relationships with their colleagues, and improve mental acuity. Drumming can offer an effective means for combatting the pandemic fatigue that’s creeping in, not only in healthcare settings, but in so many businesses across the U.S.

Want to sponsor a program? Call us!

Know a healthcare organization that could benefit? Let us know!

Ready to give?

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