Feel the Beat: Gym Ball Drumming in our Wellbeing Centre

Published on: 17/02/2023

Sometimes, when you visit our Wellbeing Centre, you’ll find our therapy assistant, Tracy, engaging our patients in quiet relaxation sessions using gentle music, low lights and soothing words to encourage rest and recuperation. It is, truly, a calming experience.

The idea is that our patients can take the time, when they’re back in their own home environments, to take the potential stress out of their days.

However, if you sit in on some other days you’ll see a total contrast!

Gym Ball Drumming anybody? Bish-bash, boom-a-bang, wallop!

Suddenly, the whole room is rocking to an upbeat drumbeat. Yes, it’s an idea our physio, Miriam, working with hospice colleagues including the aforementioned Tracy have brought to our Wellbeing Centre sessions.

This week’s drum bonanza was held on a Wednesday afternoon with Miriam, Tracy, and a sixth form boy from Wirral Grammar School for Boys, Lucas, who is with the hospice on enrichment/volunteer placement duties, were all facilitating our patients’ drive to drum. (Ryan McGuiness, pictured above, our Wellbeing Centre team leader was also having a bash).

Exercise balls are placed in a stable position and then, drumsticks in hand (and an exhilarating music track playing in the back ground) the patients start drumming in rhythm.

Bam, bam, BAM!   Bam bam BAM!   “We will, we will, Rock You!”   Bam bam Bam!   Bam bam Bam!

It builds an intoxicating atmosphere and, spontaneously, if you know the rhythm, or words (or even if not), you’ll be bashing or singing away!

It’s fun, it’s engaging and, actually, as some patients reported, “it’s a nice workout.” It gets patients moving, enhances cognitive function and memory, increases their range of motion and coordination, which is known to benefit mind, body and encourages people to express themselves.

Soon after there’s a discussion about the music, the artists, reminiscences, which songs people had had for their wedding day first dance, the conversation meanders across the room, back and forth. Everyone has a story, everyone is engaged.

People become comfortable in each other’s company, friendships form, leading to mutual empathy and support for each other’s interests and, of course, illnesses.

Before heading home at the end of the session someone suggests one more track…

It’s Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

Very apt in the circumstances.