Monday, June 30, 2008

To the beat of many drums

Last Wednesday The Front Porch had its first Wellness Day with over thirty people in attendance. The program was organized in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore and was held at Congregation Ahabat Sholom. There were opportunities for everyone to try some new things and to learn about some quick, healthy foods to prepare at home.

We started out the day warming up with Cindy's rousing introduction to Zumba Gold. Who said exercise had to be boring?!

After all of that dancing and moving, a massage therapist gave shoulder massages and taught a meditation technique that could be done at home. To demonstrate the practice of aromatherapy, everyone was given a small bottle of a natural scent chosen to promote relaxation as well. While that was going on, we made individually designed fruit smoothies from fruits and juices that each person chose themselves. We also screened the film "Surfing for Life" about surfers in California and Hawaii who are in their 70's-90's!! Very inspiring to see, though this blogger prefers to keep her feet on the ground!

We had a beautiful salad bar for lunch--there was so much to choose from! What you see here is only a small sampling from the very long table that was laden with salad-makings.

The afternoon closed with a rollicking and moving drumming session with Mamadou of Marblehead. Mamadou came with two other talented drummers and a variety ofdrums for anyone who wanted to join in. We learned about the role of drums in Africa--about how people from one village can know what is going on in neighboring villages just by listening to the rhythms of the drumming since specific events have different drumming patterns associated with them.

Messages can be sent from one village to another much as many people use email! We had several opportunities to join in with the drumming and everyone got caught up in the rhythm. If people didn't have drums they were drumming on the tables, on their knees, with their feet...The energy was wonderful.

A brief perusal of the Internet turned up many references about the health benefits of drumming for people of all ages...and it's fun! It also doesn't matter what language you speak. Drumming circles are popping up all over. For a peek at some of them take a look at:

Thanks to all who helped to make the day a success, including the following:
Everyone who came and participated

Whole Foods Market in Swampscott

Trader Joe's in Swampscott

Congregation Ahabat Sholom

The Jewish Community Center of the North Shore

All of our wonderful instructors