Combating Corruption and Gang Violence thru Group Drumming and the Psychology of Human Behavior

Gang Violence leaves bullets riddled thru communities
Gang Violence leaves bullets riddled thru communities

With all the needless suffering, corruption, and gang activity today, I am reminded of the psychology of human group behavior, and the mechanisms of corruption and institutional control that is so pervasive today. They are similar mechanisms to group drumming and team building, except they are 180 degree polar opposites. In drumming, the energy and intent of the participants is based on a positive mindset of giving, and free will. No one is intimidated to follow the group. In fact, it boost your self esteem and resolve.

Crum circles serve as Drumming Solutions for community outreach
Crum circles serve as Drumming Solutions for community outreach

In drumming, the group message, or rhythm, often begins with the core leaders, but not always. It’s a dynamic process that welcomes all to initiate, then it spreads throughout the circle, expanding as far as its magic and influence allows.

In circles of corruption, the spread of influence is similar, except that the core leaders ALWAYS set the agenda and rules. And it is sometimes done in a quid pro quo format of favors in return for others cooperation. The agenda and message spreads based on intimidation and calling out favors from participants, opposite to drumming. And in doing so, the group makes unlawful compromises of their free will. It provides an air of momentary brotherhood, for as long as everyone stays signed on, and one step ahead of authorities. It requires that everyone compromise their morals and ethics in order to participate. There can be outer circles too, where participants support the group project, but may not be directly involved.

Brain health and mental health is the biggest challenge of the 21st Century.
Brain health and mental health is the biggest challenge of the 21st Century.

The behavioral and brain mechanisms at work are usually done FREELY, and also are remarkably similar to we find in a group drum circle. However, the image of corruption and gangs is that they have FREE WILL. When in fact, they don’t.

Drum Circles make for great Children's Activity as young as age 3.
Drum Circles make for great Children’s Activity as young as age 3.

In life, we are drawn to people and things that serve our needs and which we find interesting. The concept of being drawn to things is rooted in brain science and human behavior. We make decisions about which groups and activities we join. In a drum circle, participants freely come together and support a “core” rhythm and message. In corruption and gang activity, participants gather together for protection. Different choices. At numerous points along the way, participants have the opportunity to affect and influence the group activity or rhythm. The same also holds true for sports play like football, baseball, and basketball. But in corruption and gang activities, a misconception lies in the belief that participants do not have FREE WILL, which is not true. The truth is that FREE WILL comes from your mind out of the bigger understanding of life. And it is also contagious! Yes, there are pressures & influences to act a certain way. But if you are at peace with yourself, and confident of your choices, others will follow you.

Santa Ana Mayor Pulido joins us at the Carlos de Rosas Memorial at Artist Village in Santa Ana
Santa Ana Mayor Pulido joins us at the Carlos de Rosas Memorial at Artist Village in Santa Ana

The dynamics of group behavior & free will is that it is based on your mindset and moral framework of life. So, when faced with tough choices, you should know automatically what you’ll do, what you’ll play, and what you’ll say. The problem today is that too many people confuse “speaking up” with expressing yourself. You have to speaker with wisdom and authority, connect with your higher power. These practice actually take many years and trial & error. But you have to brave this course to discover your true voice!

Drum Circle helps this man express himself
Drum Circle helps this man express himself

Now I’ve seen many a drummer in a drum circle use free will to beat a drum so loudly and out of sync, it destroys the group rhythm. They expressed themselves. But did they “listen?” When unsure, ask, look around, watch others, then act. And never forget the most powerful voice you have is your FREE WILL.

Your actions actually originate from thoughts, or “thought intent,” first. In gymnastics, we used to say the trick happens in your mind before you ever do it. This same principle of thought intent is true for everything you do everyday of your life. You think, then act. Success comes when you learn to think, listen to the right inner voice. And then act on it. The more you apply this methodology, especially the listening part. The more success you’ll have.

Drum circles aid teens thru outreach activities
Drum circles aid teens thru outreach activities

In my drumming and drum circle facilitation, as Jack Black did in the movie, “School of Rock,” always watch your student’s eyes. This is the window to their soul, and watching the eyes will tell you if and how you’re connecting. The same holds true during the formative stages of corruption. But, if you are at peace with yourself, you will stand you’re ground and act bravely to protect yourself.

Music and drum circles keeps youth in school and out of trouble
Music and drum circles keeps youth in school and out of trouble

I’d like to share a message I often shared with my son when he was in high school during the 1990s, as for drinking and driving after there had been several horrible auto accidents with teen age drivers:

“Never get in an automobile if you’re not comfortable with the driver. If things go bad, all it takes is one member of a group to speak up in the right way and bring clarity at a time when the group is stirred into a wild & crazy hysteria. It only takes one to change the energy, the rhythm, or one’s awareness within a group. When that time comes, trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to speak up.”

My son was later voted most changed in high school and accepted a baseball scholarship to Pepperdine University. I often spoke to him on lessons in life thru psychology. In high school, I’m told he regularly received calls from friends facing difficult. I suspect he shared some of the intervention methods that I had shared with him.

Never stop being of sound mind. Always pay attention. Be aware. Call upon your higher self. Such principles are at the core of shamanism and most mind/body & religious practices today.

For more on my work, contact http://www.DolleCommunications.com

Stephen

Fun Web Site for Hydrocephalus features Super-Heroes and Art

Tribute to EMI Records and Godfrey Houndsfield for invention of the CT Scanner
Tribute to EMI Records and Godfrey Houndsfield for invention of the CT Scanner

In 2013, I obtained the HydroPowered.org domain and created a basic web site for sharing of fun, art, and culture on a technology platform for individuals and families affected by hydrocephalus. The image at top was created from one of my MRI brain scans, with editing from the Pic Say Pro app. I then added a tribute to Godfrey Houndsfield for his engineering vision, and EMI Labs (a division of EMI Records), for funding his project that led to the invention of the CT scanner – arguably the greatest medical invention we have to date.

I do all of this on a shoe-string budget. Still, I feel I could offer those affected by hydrocephalus a new and fun way to connect on art and fun topics.

I acquired the HydroPowered.org web site by researching domains that were available with the word “hydro,” short for hydrocephalus, which means water on the brain.

HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus
HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus

I created the above “blue swirl” image as my first logo from one of my MRI brain scans using the Pic Say Pro mobile app. Then, on my web site and Facebook group, I added additional art with the water or “hydro” theme, including, the Schick Hydro razor. The links below go to my web site and Facebook pages of “hydro” art.

Facebook “Hydro” Art

“Hydro” Art and Designs for Hydrocephalus on HydroPowered.org

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014

I am hoping to create fun and cool art for hydrocephalus, separate from the disabiling realities of the condition. This came together one evening in May 2013, though my original idea started back at a hydrocephalus conference in the year 2000. Since 2013, I’ve added HydroPowered art and super-hero stories, and am looking to add more stories and characters.

Hydrocephalus HydroPowered Super-Heroes

Spiderman Super Hero for Hydrocephalus stories at HydroPowered.org
Spiderman Super Hero for Hydrocephalus stories at HydroPowered.org

I want to expand on the “super-hero” theme. I’ve written a few tie-in super hero stories on HydroPowered.org. I actually envision a series of HydroPowered super hero characters. I’ve also created a Facebook Fan Page so other “hydros” (that’s a term we often call each other) can post/share their art and stories.

I continue to brain storm ideas to get this out to the masses without having to spend a lot of money or time. I have made custom T-shirts and polo shirts at Vistaprint online. I’d even be willing to try a “daring PR stunt” if that would bring awareness to this cause.

Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus
Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus

On Thursday Sept. 24, 2015, I along with HydroPowered.org will feature two drumming workshops for hydrocephalus to address balance, cognition, and movement at the NHF Patient Power conference at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, CA. SEE registration info in the flyer. The workshops are free. But there’s a $50 conference fee.

In addition, I am trying to put together a “Drum-off for Hydrocephalus” to help raise awareness and funding for hydrocephalus.

Drum-off for Hydrocephalus

Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.
Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.

In July 2015, I put together a photo collage with my NFL lookalike, JJ Watt, of the Houston Texans. Check out the similarities below of JJ to my photos at his age.

Photo look-alike collage of Stephen Dolle & JJ Watt of the Houston Texans
Photo look-alike collage of Stephen Dolle & JJ Watt of the Houston Texans

I am hoping this look-alike photo collage might create some social network interest in this cause. It was two years ago that I realized JJ & I look alike like. And he seems a lot like me too, with both of us growing up in the Mid-West. So, for Throwback Thursday, I put together this photo collage, and put it on several of the social platforms, hoping to bring attention to hydrocephalus and my efforts with HydroPowered.

Since 1985, I’ve provided quite a bit of outreach & CSR to Orange County area organizations. During the 1980s, my outreach and fundraising efforts were in little baseball, AYSO soccer, the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Hoag Memorial Hospital, community theatre, and arts in Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach. But since the late 1990s, my focus has shifted to hydrocephalus, and a variety of community causes I’ve undertaken with drumming, or drum circles. I also headed up the drumming Meetup, Orange County Drum Circle.

Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference
Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference

Since 1995, I’ve been a patient advocate for hydrocephalus, and have been answering patient, medical, CNS shunt, and FDA guidan questions on hydrocephalus. In 2009, I began offering consults in monitoring, since my DiaCeph Test for monitoring never became available. For several years, I was also a board member for the National Hydrocephalus Foundation, and helped with PR and fundraising.

In drum circle facilitation, I own enough instruments to put on drum circles for groups as large as 100 people. And I have facilitated groups as large as 250 drummers. I’ve been organizing and facilitating these drum circles over the last 7-8 years in spite of my own health challenges with hydrocephalus and CNS shunt brain surgeries from a 1992 auto accident, which now total 12 surgeries. But, it hasn’t stopped me from giving back, from being involved in CSR and being a pivitol part of Orange County area outreach.  Come Sept. 2015, I’ll be putting on two drum circles at the National Hydrocephalus Foundation conference in Anaheim, CA.

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Stephen Dolle receives award at Costa Mesa Chamber event.
Stephen Dolle receives award at Costa Mesa Chamber event.

Back in the 1980s for several years, I served as an independent consultant and helped in sponsorship of a number of area sporting and community events, including, the 1992 Great American Race. 1998 was my first big fundraising endeavor after my injury, where I headed up field sponsorship for the Foothill High School baseball program. Still today, I feel I understand cause marketing, though I always appreciate others’ feedback. If I had not gotten in an auto accident in 1992 and developed hydrocephalus, my plan was to leave health care completely and transition into sports & entertainment agent services.

Drumming for Wellness at the UCI Women's Wellness Day
Drumming for Wellness at the UCI Women’s Wellness Day

There comes a time when even the best of us become recipients of outreach. Since 2012, I’ve been overwhelmed by complications with my hydrocephalus. In March 2015, this led me to I put my own case study and complications up on my blog, knowing all too well I could face scrutiny for it. I felt like I had no choice. I was between a rock and a hard spot, struggling with my health, and struggling to work and take care of myself. You can find it under March 2015 topics.

Pain management and mindfulness in Shunt Revision
Pain management and mindfulness in Shunt Revision

I’d like HydroPowered.org to be a different take on hydrocephalus outreach, more about fun, cool, a mix of art, technology, and culture – with a super-hero theme too. I felt the platform might be helpful in fundraisers too much as the 2014 Summer ALS ICE Bucket Challenge that became a mainstream hit.

Since 2013, I have been brain storming and scouring the web for HydroPowered art and photos. It now includes hydropowered racing boats, monster waves, hydropowered damns, the Schick Hydro razor, and basketball. I’m an avid shooter and have even written a special blog on my insights into basketball.

Sports vs. Brain Science of Basketball

Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting
Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting

The plight of hydrocephalus, the stories, the data, and outcomes remain troubling today. It is the leading neurosurgical procedure in children, and affects individuals from in utero to very late in life. CNS shunts, which first came into use as its primary means of treatment in the 1950s, are still standard treatment today. Outcomes are often followed by disability, many numerous shunt malfunctions, and corrective surgeries. The average life of a shunt today is still about 5 years. Several leading programmable shunts in recent years have also been plagued with bizarre programming failures that added to the chaos. In fact, my own shunt implanted less than two years ago, has already been recalled. So hydrocephalus really needs a make-over!

As for famous individuals with hydrocephalus, the Reverand Billy Graham lived with NPH, a form of hydrocephalus, and a shunt for the last 8-10 years of his life. Rock & Roll guitarist, Dick Wagner of Alice Cooper, who passed away this past July, lived with hydrocephalus for several years. And former San Francisco 49ers player, George Visger, developed hydrocephalus after a series of concussions from football.

Incredible Hulk Inspires Kids and others with Hydrocephalus
Incredible Hulk Inspires Kids and others with Hydrocephalus
The DiaCeph mobile phone app would improve greatly improve hydrocephalus care Worldwide. But the U.S. lags in mHealth development.
Android DiaCeph App for Hydrocephalus would improve hydrocephalus care worldwide

As a neuroscientist who provides hydrocephalus monitoring and consults to families in this space, I am adament that CNS shunt technology, and all of its FDA regulations, are in need of an overhaul. We need to change the dynamics and philosophy of the medical field in hydrocephalus care, from “can’t do” to “yes, we will do!” Today, hydrocephalus care & CNS shunt technology remains dominated by a handful of old guard philosophy medical companies and physicians who have resisted the kind of progress we need for many years. Today we need more free-thinkers, more doers! More of an Apple or Google mindset. The same place, same thing, is not producing the kind of advances we need.

I also realize hydrocephalus research is in need of funding, and I believe the HydroPowered platform can play a pivitol role in this going forward. I can compare our plight a bit similar to that of spinal cord injury (SPI) at thetime actor Christopher Reeves became paralyzed. In his case, he almost single-handedly changed the dynamics & funding of SCI. In his brilliant campaign, he initially “called out” the old guard of SCI work that was holding back progress, and then went on to raise money & create progress in SCI treatment that’s not really been seen in any other disorder outside of AIDs.

For several years back in the 1990s, Christopher Reeves had been one of the highest paid speakers in the world, with both political parties vying for him to appear at their conventions. Those were “wow” moments in PR and cause marketing! Today, football players living with SCI, owe vastly improved outcomes to the dynamic efforts of Christopher Reeves.

Below, is my HydroPowered web site & Facebook links. Take a moment to read over it.

HydroPowered.org

HydroPowered Facebook Group

SpiderMan Movie Trailer

Contact me if you would like to speak with me. 

Stephen Dolle
Dolle Communications
Email: contact [at] dollecommunications.com
Tel. (949) 6424592
Dolle Communications

HydroPowered.org

Stephen Dolle Headshot in a Suit
Stephen Dolle Headshot in a Suit

Drumming Raises the Benefits of Zumba Classes

I put on a drum circle in conjunction with a Zumba class last Saturday in Los Angeles, and it was a hit.

Drumming is a great fit with Zumba because it also allows for creativity, initiative, and leadership. In addition, drumming is great for seniors, and Saturday’s drumming proved to be a fitness and confidence booster for all.

I have been facilitating drum circles for about 8 years now, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the importance of understanding the specific “needs” of your group. Once you do, you can introduce exercises to touch on these needs and strengthen their role with the group.

My drum circle group last Saturday responded well to team play, to call and response exercises, and to solo play that I rotated during the program. When combined with Zumba and similar fitness activities, drumming affords a unique trust, leadership, and confidence building experience that is hard to match.

I hope to have my new OrangeCountyDrumCircle.org site up and running soon. For now, my http://www.DolleCommunications.com site remains the primary web site for drumming.

Please contact me for any special needs or rate quotes.

Why rhythmic progressions are key to muscle memory, effectiveness, & reducing injury in the NFL

Proproioception of Movement
Proproioception of Movement

Athletic skill, like that necessary for everyday movement, is based on muscle memory, also known as “proprioception.” We ultimately achieve optimal muscle memory thru “rhythmic progression” of the patterns that are needed in an activity. I also discuss proprioception and movement in my blog on basketball.

Drumming for Basketball.ball drills1
Drumming for Basketball.ball drills1

Sports Science vs Brain Science of Basketball: Where does the Shot come from?

With newer limits on NFL workouts in the pre-season, there have been an increase in non-contact injuries. Why? Because of faded memories of the prioception of the movements innvolved. Too offset this, you need to do more rhythmic progression work to re-establish muscle memory of the required athletic movements. The Examine story below points to some of the problems.

Mysterious Non-Contact Injuries Plague NFL Teams

With the big increase of non-contact related football injuries felt related to not enough pre-season drills and such, I sensed the cause was due to insufficient rhythmic progression work this pre-season. These are the fine motor movements and timing needed in running and defending routes and such on the field. These need constant mental and physical re-connecting, especially 4-5 months off the field.

And I speak from not only having played and coached athletics, but also from my research and work with drumming, and in rehabing from a 1992 brain  injury. In the latter, I came to personally realize how important rhythmic movements are in everyday life.

Stephen Dolle speaking on drumming and rhythm at Wright State University
Stephen Dolle speaking on drumming and rhythm at Wright State University

Since 2004, I’ve been involved in drumming and have studied rhythm and movement, sensory processing and cognition, and mobile mHealth apps. I found drums & rhythm particularly beneficial in movement, balance, and coordination. I eventually created exercises with bells, shakers, and clave to help with sophisticated movements.

In 2008, I began incorporating basketball into my rhythm & movement work, and noted ways it helped body movement and spatial awareness, beyond drumming. I then began to use basketball “free throws” and outside shooting as “applied kinesiology” or AK in stress management and mental focus. AK is what chiropractors use in evaluations, and is also used by psychiatrists and psychotherapists in helping clients to overcome emotional trauma. At its core, AK is a “truth test,” as negative thoughts weaken you physically, and distract you mentally from an activity.

Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications
Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications

When you examine athletic preparation in sports from football to baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, and the like, the one constant pre-game work-out is rhythmic progression and repetition of the movements of that sport. Repetition helps to put the movements back into muscle memory, while making it easier to execute without “thinking.”

Drum circle beats helps players with timing, stress management, and symptoms associated with concussion.
Drum circle beats helps players with timing, stress management, and symptoms associated with concussion.

My advice to those involved in athletics is to never cheat on your rhythmic progression warm-ups. These warm-ups and AK methods also help prepare your mind so you play more effectively, using more of the mind more for strategy, and muscle memory for execution. Being in a clear mental state does the rest.

Whatever your athletic requirements or movement needs, never forget the importance of preparation with rhythmic progressions. Best way to reach me is by email.

Stephen Dolle
(949) 642-4592
contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
Dolle Communications

Drumming Therapy experience in a Child with Cerebral Palsy and Autism

Hand percussion instruments helpful in music and drumming therapy, and handy when traveling
Hand percussion instruments helpful in music and drumming therapy, and handy when traveling

As many of you might expect, I almost always have percussion instruments with me, even while on vacation. When I traveled to Northern Michigan in 2012, I brought the above claves, shaker eggs, a cylinder shaker, woodpecker, gongo bell, flute, and thunder tube. I travel with these should I be asked to entertain or do a drumming therapy session. This request came from a friend of the family for an 11-yr old girl with cerebral palsy and autism from a chromosomal defect. The child was quite challenged and could not walk or talk, and suffered from restlessness and difficulty sleeping.

Stephen Dolle, Neuroscientist & Drum Circle Facilitator
Stephen Dolle, Neuroscientist & Drum Circle Facilitator

The Patient Workup

In preparing for my sessions, I perform a brief patient workup that consist of speaking to the parent in the presence of the child – to get the relevant patient history and to let each see me speaking in the presence of the other – which establishes permission. I am experienced in doing clinical workups from my prior nuclear medicine work and current hydrocephalus consults and drumming work. All together, I have 17 years of clinical workup experience as a nuclear medicine technologist (10 years with my company Certified Nuclear Imaging), 15-20 years hydrocephalus and medical device consulting, more than 10 years in drumming, and 10+ years earlier experience coaching youth soccer and baseball where some of my kids had speacial needs

Next, I introduced myself and spoke directly to Eliza, the eleven year old child in this session. I wanted to assess her present state of mind and willingness to work with me- which was positive. I assess the eyes, body movements, and listen to any verbal responses to any nervousness or physical complaints that might interfere with the session. It is important to know any issues that might limit the session – so I can ideally adjust ahead of this. I shared with her mother that I would keep the instrument play simple and not too loud, and start simple and increase stimulation and complexity as long as she was agreeable and engaging. As the therapist, I must continually observe her engagement and adjust my interactions accordingly.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Cognitive Accessibility.org currently under construction
Cognitive Accessibility.org currently under construction

Most all children with autism also suffer from sensory processing disorder (SPD), as do many with hydrocephalus, ADHD, PTSD, Parkinson’s, post TBI and the like. IN SPD, the individual will become easily over sensatized to sound, light, motion, or scents. Sound is the most common, but lights and colors are often an issue too. The list of accommodations for individuals with SPD as a medical challenge vary, but now fall under “cognitive accessibility,” which medically and legally defines the neurologic functional needs of the individual. I have become increasingly involved in cognitive accessibility over the last 5 years.

As I sat down next to Eliza, I observed her to be drooling, a bit anxious but also curious about what I was about to do. She was cooperative. My approach is to be calm and assuring. In these sessions where sensory processing disorder is present, sound, color, my voice, and movements become a critical part of the music therapy session. I maintain my attentiveness to her responses.

Color, Movement, and Music

These shakers come in all sizes and flavors and are very handy in music and drumming therapy.
These shakers come in all sizes and flavors and are very handy in music and drumming therapy.

I began by playing a simple 1-2 beat on my wooden claves, and it immediately drew her attention. I followed this up with one shaker egg, and then two, and she responded with giggles and excitement the more I played. With the colored egg shakers, it was hard to differentiate how much of her response was due to the egg color and motion versus sound from the eggs. Then I played the cylinder shaker, which can be loud if not careful, and I got more positive response from her. Next, I played the woodpecker and shaker together, and she went bananas! Yes everyone likes the wood pecker. By this time, she had been awaiting and anticipating my every movement and instrument sound. It was as much fun for me as it was for her. She became a terrific student and fan!

Then I played the Remo thunder tube. And she became so excited, she reached out and grabed it. Her mother said she couldn’t hold things in her hands. But she pinned the thunder tube between her right hand and lap, and resisted a bit as I reached to take it and play again. However, at no time did she play any of the instruments. I tried to get her to hold a shaker egg, but without success. Eventually she held the thunder tube almost entirely in her hand. My session lasted almost 40 minutes, and I was very pleased at her attentiveness, willingness to engage me, and willingness to challenge her own limitations.

Music and the Brain

This music and the brain illustration depicts the areas of the brain involved in listening and playing music
This music and the brain illustration depicts the areas of the brain involved in listening and playing music

I believe the favorable response and attentiveness during this treatment was due to the child’s attentiveness to engage me and the sounds and colors of the instruments. By the end of the session, she had remarkable focus and level of excitement, and briefly drank from a bottle. And then stood up by holding onto the porch railing, and stretched in excitement. I explained to her mother that these type of therapies might be helpful in her walking or talking someday. The family has a piano where she and the other kids will gather around and play together. I’m told she likes the bass notes on the piano. So I suspected she’d love the sound of a bass drum (I did not have on this trip). I would be curious as to what an EEG would show of her brain waves since she craved active sounds. She’d also been to a Blue Man show where the performers made her part of the show.

Music & Drumming Therapy as Healing Arts

EMDR therapy is one related sound and movement therapy that comes to mind and is used in PTSD and sensory processing disorders to desensative the individual. I reflected on new EMDR methods in 2002 when I undertook my sound sensory study with the Boss metronome (discussed further below). As EMDR is also a “healing art,” I’ve shared my blog below on CAM and alternative medicine. It is from  2012. But it’s been updated. It is the first third or so of this blog, where I discuss my past mind-body methods, that I think is relevant to music and drumming therapy today. In these regards, I believe the benefits come from more than sound and interaction, they come from the authencity and “intent” of the therapists. And this is widely true thoughout the various alternative medicine modalities. There must be a BUY IN by the patient! The trust and optimism causes a release of neurochemicals in the brain and change in cell structure throughtout the body.

Healing thru Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Illustration of the Meridian fields used in Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine
Illustration of the Meridian fields used in Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine

Drumming for the Brain & its Effect on Brain Wave States

In EMDR Therapy, the therapists determines what to say and how to integrate sound and visual cues. It has been discovered via Parkinson’s Disease work that happy and relaxing activities please the brain and aid in the release of endorphins, particularly dopamine. Dopamine levels often run low in PD. I am uncertain as to the effect seen in cerebral palsy and autism. But I observed in my session with this child that she had a strong affinity for rapid stimulation thru musical toys, also confirmed by her mother.

The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration
The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration

I am unsure whether Eliza’s low functioning state kept her brain waves in a lowered state, i.e. alpha. But she craved rapid stimulation. I felt it critical that I engage her in a step-by-step method of rhythmic movements and sound so as not to overstimulate her, and maintain her focus and level of engagement. Most of what I played were slower rhythms. The most up tempo I played was a moderate samba on the bell and clave. And this was only one session. I didn’t have opportunity to stimulate her on multiple levels. And at the end of this single session, I could see she was tired.

I suspect a djembe drum or bass drum might also captivate her. I’ve observed a young girl with marked autism at the HB pier who will sit right in front of the large fast playing djembes. I’ve been concerned it may not be healthy for a child at her level, though she appears drawn to the stimulation. Children have lower brain waves until their teens. So any artificial attempt to speed them up could have adverse consequences. This is also why caffeine and sugar act differently in children.

The next day Eliza’s mother contacted me to share that she slept thru the night and seemed remarkably calmer after the drumming session. This experience is one of the reasons WHY I became involved in drumming. It has also helped me personally in managing many of my own challenges with hydrocephalus. Further below, I discuss some of the contraindications and research with sensory processing disorder, including, a blog with audio examples from YouTube of problematic machinery noise.

Group Drumming Events, Drum Circles, Drumming Therapy

Young children captivated by their play in a drum circle
Young children captivated by their play in a drum circle

I have been involved in drumming therapy since before I became involved in drumming in 2004. It was my 2002 sound sensory processing study with the Boss metronome which were my orginal efforts in sound patterning. After becoming involved in drumming in 2004, my interests were split between play and research. I authored this first web page on drumming entitled, What is a Drum Circle, which discusses some of the science plus my own views on drumming, or drum circles.

In 2005, I put on my very first drumming for the brain workshop at the High Hopes Head Injury center in Tustin, CA. From there, I began to put on a wide array of drumming for health events, though these were mostly for disorders of the brain and central nervous system. This drumming for wellness page below features some of these efforts.

Drumming for Wellness

Drumming therapy is finding success today in 1:1 and group sessions with ADHD, ADD, autism, hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s Disease, post TBI, aging, and more. What is critical in all of this is that the individual and group ENGAGE!

The information on my above drumming web pages discusss how you can obtain a drumming event, workshop, or therapy session with me.

Dolle Communications – Cognitive Neuroscience

The brain and sensory system during cognition.
The brain and sensory system during cognition.

I created the above Cognitive Neuroscience web page to encompass my neurosciences efforts from hydrocephalus to mHealth, sensory processing disorder, drumming, drumming therapy, cognitive accessibility, and related outreach. Like so many sites and pages, it is a work in progress to keep it up to date.

Generally speaking, decibel apps only help you with loudness or decibel level of surrounding sound before it might become problematic for you, your child, or parent. Unfortunately, the triggering aspect of sound, is more in its pattern and pitch than loudness, and is why I undertook this next study in 2002 on sound and sensory processing – to understand the types and effects of sound exposure on persons with hydrocephalus who also have SPD. I feel the types of SPD challenges I evaluated in hydrocephalus is similar to that of autism and other neurological and learning disorders.

Boss recorder and metronome were used in 2002 to evaluate sensory processing in individuals with hydrocephalus.
Boss recorder and metronome were used in 2002 to evaluate sensory processing in individuals with hydrocephalus.

Sound Sensory Dysfunction in Brain Injury and Neurological Disorders

Cognitive Accessibility in SPDs.Hulk Destroys Tree Shredder
Cognitive Accessibility in SPDs.Hulk Destroys Tree Shredder

As for balance, coordination, fitness, and sensory processing challenges, it doesn’t get much better than shooting baskets – which I began doing therapeutically in 2008. I eventually met up with another shooter, Al Massip, and our on court discussions turned to philosophy and brain science. One day, I posed the question, Where does the Shot come From? And this became a focal point of our shooting for several years, until 2015 when  I published this in-depth blog that now attracts 500+ monthly visitors from all over the world. This suggests a lot of people are trying to answer this question. The answer may be in part mystical too. On a therapeutic level, my basketball and drumming with basketball methods are very helpful for a number of neurological disdorders and brain health.

Sports Science vs Brain Science of Basketball: Where does the Shot come From?

Basketball allows participants to feel and move rhythmically with a touch sensitive ball
Basketball allows participants to feel and move rhythmically with a touch sensitive ball

My next blog discusses how mobile apps are helpful in managing sensory processing disorder in everyday life, no easy feat. This is a detailed blog with supporting links.

Mobile apps Helpful in Managing Sensory Processing Disorder

mHealth Apps in Neurology
mHealth Apps in Neurology

The final supporting presentation below was from my power point as part of a talk I delivered at Wayne State University on drumming and rhythm methods in STEM3 education. I discuss a range of implications from language and learning, to speaking tempo and entrainment of teacher/student, to health and sound sensory processing and classroom noise considerations.

From my 20+ years in living with hydrocephalus, research and writing about the brain, a lifetime of playing music, 17 years in nuclear medicine, and coach on 20 little league soccer and baseball teams, I truly understand how drumming helps others.

Please review my information and contact me if you are interested in drumming therapy sessions, consults, or speaking. The best method of contact is via email. Feel free to CLICK and SAVE my contact JPEG card.

Thank you.

Stephen Dolle
Neuroscientist, mHealth Inventor & Drum Circle Facilitator
Tel. (949) 642-4592 
contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
DolleCommunications.com

Contact Stephen Dolle
Contact Stephen Dolle

Drumming workshop May 11th 7pm on Rhythm, Fitness, and Aging at the TOL center in Lake Forest, CA.

There will be a Drumming Workshop Friday evening May 11th from 7pm-8:30pm on Rhythm, Fitness, and Aging at the TOL center in Lake Forest, CA. Cost is $10.

These drumming workshops are held on the 2nd Friday of each month at this metaphysical center in Lake Forest (Orange County, CA).

This is based on some of my own research, and attendees will learn tips & exercises to improve aging, fitness and youthfullness, and manage weight and body kinesthetics. Please also give thought to the question, “Why do I drum?” The more you understand this, the more attuned you will be to your inner voice and what you want from drumming.

Drum circles have been in use for thousands of years and today are used in team-building, health programs (cancer outcomes, stress relief, neuro disorders, fitness, wellness), spiritual practices, community outreach, and in personal and social development. By featuring a selected topic each month, you have the opportunity to dig deeper into your experiences thru drumming. I announce the topic ahead of time in the event information on the Meetup & Facebook calendars.

I provide instruments. But if you have your own, please bring it. No kit, Taiko, or large drums please. Also, no alcohol. Space is limited to about 75 people. So watch the RSVP’s for when the event fills up.

This event will provide a great opportunity to drum to bring positive intention into your life and manifest the kind of change and growth that many of you may be seeking.

Cost: $10.00 RSVP’s are encouraged. I have activated PayPal on the event panel for those interested in paying via this secure method.

Directions to the Temple: Take Lake Forest exit off 5 Fwy. Head East and go right on Rockfield, Take 2nd Rt. at Lake Center Drive, 1st Rt. into Driveway. Park in back lot. Enter thru double doors.

Stephen Dolle
Drum Circle Facilitator & Neuroscientist
Dolle Communications

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/323343091071219/