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Music for Mental Health

Drumming Circle Cincinnati
Cincinnati VAMC Drumming Circle

Cincinnati VAMC offers drumming therapy for Veterans, employees.

Rain-filled clouds obscured the sky over the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) as thunderous sounds bellowed through the air. The rumble resonated within the people walking in and out of the medical center, as evidenced by the heads that turned with intrigue. A crowd quickly gathered at the base of the flag poles as they discovered the source of the sound—cadences played by a drum circle marked the introduction of drumming as therapy now offered at Cincinnati VAMC.

“We’re going to use drumming to draw Veterans back in,” Warrior Beat CEO and former U.S. Navy corpsman Trevor Meyer said about the isolation people experienced resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re going to learn how to celebrate one another again. Drumming is going to help us reconnect, help us shake off the cobwebs.”

According to Meyer, drumming can help relieve symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety, making it an ideal form of treatment for Veterans. Because of this, Cincinnati VAMC Whole Health employees trained to become drumming facilitator, offering drumming as an outlet to local Veterans and medical center staff.

During the event, passersby were invited to sit behind a drum or pick up other percussion instruments to get a firsthand feel for the “healing vibrations.” Veterans Nathan Puckett, Brian Grubb, and Jefferey Dubose liked the drumming so much they signed up to participate in future sessions.

“I’ve been playing drums my whole life, at least for 15 years,” said Puckett, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. “It really makes you feel good to drum. It’s very therapeutic.”

Medical center staff also got in on the fun, despite the gloomy weather. According to supply technician Samantha Samb, the drumming session left her rejuvenated and ready to continue serving America’s heroes.

“I loved the energy and it just helped me lift up my vibration,” Samb said. “I’m ready to go back in and finish doing a great job at work.”

For Veterans interested in learning about drumming therapy, call Whole Health at 513-861-3100 ext. 4881.

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