© 2016 by Angela Stringhini

Health & Wellness Practice of the Year

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Shamanic Drumming & Schumann Frequency, what is the Health link?

Shamanic journeys reached to repeated drumming are associated with an ancient spiritual practice to reach shamanic trance states, typically described as “journeys to a non-ordinary reality”. The shamanic trance is generally described as an altered state of consciousness .


Altered state of consciousness (ASC) has a brainwave frequency measured between 7Hz-8 Hz. This frequency is associated with particular psychophysiological changes such as parasympathetic dominance. That is roughly the same as the Earth’s natural frequency, known as part of the Schumann Frequency. A 7.83 Hz frequency is an alpha/theta brainwave frequency in the human brain. Alpha/Theta brainwave frequency is relaxed, dreamy, sleepy state, that is also when cell regeneration and healing happens.


Notably, repetitive drumming has been identified as a form of sonic driving that can facilitate ASC. Harner showed that shamanic journey instructions accompanied with repetitive drumming led to an increase in salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA). Pohler et al. showed the benefits of a shamanic intervention done by shamanic practitioners for cancer patients. Shamanic interventions over a period of several months have also been shown to help alleviate pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorders. Moreover another study has shown that shamanic drumming sessions can reduce salivary cortisol levels. Cortisol is released in response to stress and low levels of blood glucocorticoids. A sudden increase of salivary cortisol is linked with acute stress; inversely, a decrease in the concentration of salivary cortisol has been associated with relaxation, yoga and meditation, aromatherapy, and exposure to music and choir singing, and most recently to shamanic drumming.


We all know the detrimental impact of stress in health and wellbeing, and we also know some therapeutic interventions we can be exposed to which could help us to aid health and wellbeing. With more health, we have more energy and stamina to deal with the challenging nature of life, and yet be able to happy, calm, resilient and focused on the things that are really important for us to thrive. 


This article was extracted and adapted from the scientific study done by Gingras B et al, at University of Vienna, Department of Cognitive Biology. For more information please visit: