Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: Drums pound rhythm to the brain

June 18, 2014 

Whether you're a flamboyant Buddy Rich-type (self-proclaimed "The World's Greatest Drummer") or a reliable gatekeeper of rhythm like Ringo Starr (James Brown said you could set your watch by him), if you're a drummer, you're not like everyone else. But you already know that.

Research shows that being a talented drummer indicates a natural intelligence and exceptional knack for problem-solving. Drummers even seem to have a larger volume of white matter in their brains, facilitating communication between the left and right sides. But (being generous of nature) it turns out that when drummers lay down a rhythmic beat, it actually can boost the natural intelligence of listeners, too! That's because they create rhythms that are in tune with the innate tempos of your heartbeat and brain waves.

So it's no surprise that research has found that both playing and listening to rhythms in sync with your body can improve brain wave frequency and cerebral blood flow, help heal damaged brains, boost students' grades and improve cognitive function in the elderly.

So are there drums in your future? And should you encourage your kids to play drums? Well, there doesn't seem to be a downside to learning how the beat goes on, but there is an old proverb: "If you have an enemy, give his children drums." So you might consider - for yourself or your kids - learning the rhythm guitar or piano.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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