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Four Ways Listening to Hang Drums can Improve your Well-Being

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Four Ways Listening to Hang Drums can Improve your Well-Being

Many people enjoy listening and playing music that makes them feel uplifted. Various types of music invoke different feelings in us: the sound of a harmonica playing on a boardwalk, the melody of a saxophone playing in the subway station, church bells ringing on a Sunday morning, or the serene and relaxing sounds of hang drums on the street of a busy city. Music captures the attention of many. Not only does it capture our attention, but it can improve our overall well-being. Here are four ways the unique sound of hang drums can improve your well-being.

1. The Uniqueness Can Make You Smile

The hang drum, resembling a steel drum which has been inverted, has a one-of-a-kind sound that almost speaks to you with the harmonic delicacy of the sounds. The sound is almost hypnotic and innocent, and listening to this instrument can make you smile in enjoyment. When you smile, studies show that your brain benefits, as smiling releases those important neural messengers that greatly benefit your happiness and overall health.

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2. Hang Drums Can Enhance Your Mind

When listening to the many different pings from a hang drum, and hearing how they seamlessly blend with one another, the mind becomes more active. Studies acknowledge the powerful effects of music on our body and mindset, as listening to music has an effect on many different parts of the brain. Listening to music can motivate, facilitate creativity, and clarify your thinking. The music of the hang drum can be light and airy and provide a wonderful backdrop for any task that needs to be accomplished.

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3. For Relaxation

Some research shows that group drumming is good for the immune system. Drumming also reduces tension and stress. In today’s world, many feel the need to incorporate more options for relaxing in their lives. The sounds from a hang drum are almost hypnotic, and unwinding at the end of a long day or starting out your day by meditating can be coupled with hang drum music. Many hang drum melodies have pleasant, relaxing chords to invoke a stress-free period of time for you, whether it is enjoyed for a few minutes or a few hours. Hospitals and recovery centers incorporate music therapy; music as a therapeutic option for patients may even reduce the amount of certain types of medication needed. Music, especially in the form of soothing hang drums, may help manage your stress and keep you relaxed.

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4. For Exercising

If you are beginning an exercise program, you may discover that listening to music can give you the inner strength and motivation to keep going. An upbeat tempo from a hang drum song can increase your rhythmic movements while walking or running, while the slower and softer sounds of this instrumental form can enrich your yoga or stretching routine. Either way, having the motivation from this musical experience can increase your work output, both physically and mentally.

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The benefits of listening, or even playing, music have been studied, and it has been shown that music can positively affect our feelings, moods, emotions, and health. With the wealth of music that is in our world today, we are able to listen to the type that “speaks” to us. Hang drums have such an uncharacteristic sound that many find themselves drawn to the pings of the notes. Different types of hang drums, also referred to as handpans, are manufactured by different companies and can produce different sounds. Hang drum music can be enjoyed in the form of a CD, online videos, digital download, or even by learning how to play them yourself! The striking, almost magical sound will be sure to please you, awakening your senses like never before.

Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes Photography via flickr.com

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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