But...why drumming? It turns out that drumming has extremely ancient origins, for several reasons. Even certain species of insects, some of the first animals to live on land, use drumming for communication. In some cases, antennal drumming can even alter the development of larvae, determining whether they end up as workers or reproductive females! It is theorised that drumming, by its rhythmic vibration/sound, could affect epigenetic expression. Studies on humans have also found other health benefits. In one trial, both older and younger drummers showed a drop in stress and anxiety from taking djembe lessons, and in the older participants systolic blood pressure dropped. In another, active participation in music, whether it be singing, dancing or drumming, resulted in a higher pain tolerance through increased endorphin levels. Simply listening to music had no effect. Others have found some quite shocking improvements with drumming lessons. Huntington's disease is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder considered to be fatal and irreversible. However, two months of drumming lessons caused improvements in executive function and improvements to white matter structure, especially in the tissue that connects both hemispheres of the brain. Drumming could also boost immunity: a trial on 111 people found that it increased DHEA-cortisol ratios and improved immune cell activity. Despite being a fun hobby and not a medical intervention, drumming has actually been shown to improve multiple aspects of physical and mental health, though more research should be done to determine any specific benefits from specific styles, frequencies or rhythms.