Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Hit Me With Your Stupid Stick

I'm all for new methods to help people conquer stress but when someone comes out with statement like this:
"There is strong evidence to suggest that drumming may actually be a healing activity " - Simon Lee, Musician.
My ears prick up a bit. It's words like "may" and "healing" that worry me particularly when they're connected with the phrase, strong evidence particularly when it's not cited and comes from someone who doesn't appear to have a science background!

Healing isn't word you hear uttered by real doctors unless they happen to alluding to fake faith healers. It's one of those wishy-washy verbs employed by people with no formal qualification who rely on people's fear to make a fortune.

As the BBC reports:

"Musician Simon Lee, from Kent, is called on to teach drumming to patients with problems ranging from addiction to autism, and learning difficulties to mental health issues.

"He has even offered help to terminally ill patients needing palliative care.

"And he says the results are amazing."

Fucking genius - more snake oil attached to autism. It's not bad enough that we have to copy with the idiotic MMR scandal still rattling on, now we're going to cure it by drumming. To be far, Simon doesn't say that... in so many words, but people will read such things into it.

There some evidence that we all have a natural rhythm, although real science has been unable to prove it either way, so it's fair to assume that some people will be able to find some solace bashing the shit out of a piece of tautened skin, in Analyse This (or was it the sequel, Analyse That?) Robert DeNiro's character took out his frustrations on a pillow: with a pistol.

Personally, I find that a couple of miles on a bicycle clears out the cobwebs, we all deal with it differently. My wife throws crockery - usually at me.

We have to be extraordinarily careful to confuse the correlation (people feeling better) with the actual cause. It may be that rhythm has something to do with it, but it's equally likely the cathartic effect is purely derived from the physical exercise.

I don't know - but I rather doubt Simon does either.

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