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February 21, 2012                                                      

Drumming for Health Classes Offered for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients are invited to register for “Drumming for Health,” a free, four-week class that will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, March 10, 17, 24 and 31 at Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University, 315 W. Carpenter St. in Springfield. Drums will be provided.

The class will use the HealthRHYTHMS program, an interactive drumming program with all participants involved in “in-the-moment music making.” Group drumming has been shown to lower stress levels, improve self-esteem and enhance the immune system.

“Group drumming and recreational music making has been proven to be an excellent tool for use in the health-care field,” said Dennis Maberry, who will lead the sessions.

“Landmark studies with cancer patients conducted by Dr. Barry Bittman demonstrated that group drumming causes a significant increase in disease-fighting cells,” Maberry said. Maberry received training in the HealthRHYTHMS method from founders Dr. Bittman, a neurologist, and Christine Stevens, a music therapist.

HealthRHYTHMS is an evidence-based program that has shown positive results in a variety of situations and populations including cancer patients. The program has also been used for the developmentally disabled, to offset other chronic illnesses, as a regenerative therapy and in team-building for large companies.

The program is open to any cancer patient, regardless of where they are being treated. To register for the program, call 545-0798. More information about Maberry’s drumming programs can be found at

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service.  Its website is