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Drum circles to stem chronic pain? UNG giving it a shot
UNG students and faculty participate in a drum circle Thursday, June 6, 2019, inside the Health and Natural Sciences building. Through a grant from Move Together's Pro Bono Incubator, the school's physical therapy and music departments collaborate on a 10-week research program to explore the link between drumming and a possible decrease in chronic pain. - photo by Scott Rogers, DCN Regional Staff
The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega is trying to beat the need for pain medication. After receiving a grant from Move Together's Pro Bono Incubator, professors from the physical therapy and music departments teamed up to research the link between chronic pain and drum circles. “When you have chronic pain, it gets a hold of your life,” said Don Walsh, associate professor of physical therapy at North Georgia. “Drumming allowed people to, for the first time, not have many rules, to be part of a socialization of people, professors and students coming around a common goal … People were surprised in a way that they could do that for 45 mintutes and it didn't make their pain worse.” Not only did the pain not get worse, in many cases, it got better. Many participants were taking their pain medications less frequently and some stopped taking their medication altogether.