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The Healing Power of Indigenous Medicine Songs

Spiritual Connection | 0 comments

Indigenous medicine songs hold boundless healing power. Medicine songs can relieve or sometimes even completely release pain or health conditions. Healing Indigenous music can uplift you, energize you, calm you, soothe you or help you to remember who we are. They can take you on a spiritual journey or ground you and bring you back into our body. How does that happen?

Why are these songs so powerful and healing? How do you get the most out of this kind of healing music?

First off, you might want to know how to tell what a medicine song even is, right? The simplest way to tell is how you feel emotionally and physically when you listen to it. For example, there are Indigenous social songs for hand drumming, but they aren’t necessarily healing songs. They still might lift you up and make you feel good, but you won’t necessarily get deep or lasting healing from them.

Most music is like candy. Tasty but not much substance. Medicine songs are like a delicious organic home-cooked meal. You can FEEL the song singing YOU.

You’ll often feel physical sensations like goosebumps and you can feel the song inviting you to receive what it has for you. My Medicine Song album is an invitation to live life fully. Another one called Thunder Mountain Healing Songs offers the healing medicine of thunder and rain, with a song that actually does bring rain. One of my favourite Indigenous artists David A. Maracle has a very healing CD called Spirit World. I feel soothed by it every time I listen and I use it to get me to sleep when I’m stressed out. Each song has its own medicine.

Know that what you find healing might not be healing for everyone. Trust your intuition and your spiritual guidance. Consider it like going into a crystal store. Pay attention to what is calling you the most.

Here’s How To Get the Most Out Of Your Native American or First Nations Healing Music

1. The singer’s intentions express the meaning and purpose of the song. When I channel medicine songs, the original prayers, intentions and emotions are embedded into my songs. Whether you listen to them, sing them alone or sing them with others, the original prayers, intentions and emotions infused into the songs will reach you.

2. True medicine songs originally come directly from the spirit world to the song catcher, which means they contain spiritual medicine. When you connect to the healing energy of Spirit and the sound medicine that is created from it, you may experience…

    • Joy
    • Inspiration
    • Goosebumps
    • Visions
    • “Chills” or Energy running through you
    • Tears Coming to Your Eyes
    • Emotional Release, immediately or later in the day
    • Other physical or emotional sensations
    • Healing (instant or gradual)
    • Pain Relief
    • Stress Relief
    • Improved Sleep

3. Your intentions (prayers and/or positive thoughts) as you sing or listen will add strength and meaning. Even just simply having gratitude as you sing or listen will amplify the healing power of the song.

4. The song’s original story will help you understand the meaning of the song, especially with the hand drum songs that don’t have English lyrics or other kinds of instrumental music. For this reason, I follow the protocol of indigenous hand drum songs always being shared with their story.

Keep In Mind When You Intend To Listen To or Sing or Share Medicine Songs:

  • Do you have permission to sing the songs? We have song-sharing protocols. You can always contact me about my original songs and I may or may not give you permission to share it, depending on the song and the context of your sharing. Some songs are intended for ceremonies only. Others are meant to be shared within certain contexts by specific groups of people. Others are meant for public sharing.
  • Drink water before and after you listen. Water carries memory and its physical structure changes with the thoughts we carry, so give thanks for the water first and then drink it. Water also flushes out toxins and old energy that you are ready to release. Know that you might experience an energy shift. That can come in the form of someone making you mad that day (which brings up something you need to release), or it could be a sensation you feel, or you might cry, you could experience some kind of physical healing, or you could even suddenly just feel a little bit better.
  • Listen to Indigenous medicine songs especially when you need healing, uplifting or if you’re grieving. Listening to Indigenous conscious healing music can help you to be present to whatever emotions you are carrying and begin to move them through your energy system and body. By using your voice to sing along, you’re literally vibrating old energies right out of your body and becoming more in alignment with your soul.

HOT TIP: I strongly suggest that you share/sing with or for people ONLY when you’re feeling well and abstaining from alcohol or other recreational substances, and if/when you feel good about sharing them. When your mind is clear and you feel good, you have a much better, more positive effect on people with your singing. I’m not talking about perfection here. Your voice, emotions and intentions carry vibration. The better you feel and the more clear your mind, the better the effect you will have on whatever/whoever you are singing for. Focus your thoughts on your prayers and/or intentions and on the good feelings you want people to experience.

For my songs, it’s not about singing a song perfectly or having a perfect voice. It’s about intention. If you’re singing, do your best to sing the song how it is on the recording (or in the circle if you’re live) but intention is the priority. A good way to hold intention is to hold the thought that all is well, you are safe and protected and that you and whoever is listening will get from the song exactly what your/their spirit needs at that time. Or you can borrow my main intention that I say when I wake up and before every client session or medicine song channeling: “I intend that this be for the highest good of all life everywhere.”

When you sing, think of your prayers and intentions as healing ingredients you sprinkle into the song.

In other words, for a water song, focus on healing for the water. If the song is about getting through rough times, be with whatever comes up for you, and through your singing, focus on what it will feel like to be already through those rough times. Or if you are singing the song for a specific person or family or community, focus on their wellness. Hold space for yourself while you hold space for others.

It’s important to get permission, and to share the story and teaching of the song before you sing it (in public or with others) so that they know and understand what to expect, and the origins of the song.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS get grounded back to Mother Earth after you listen to or sing medicine songs. Good ways to ground yourself are eating something, sitting for a while with your feet on the floor, lying down on the ground or floor, going outside, feeling the weight of your body on the surface below you, taking some deep breaths and stretching, and laughing.

TIP: Medicine songs hold powerful medicine but you can apply many of these practices to any kind of music so that you’re receiving healing, rewiring your brain using chosen lyrics as affirmations or messages to shift your mindset. Example: My song “I  Love You” from my Picking Up the Pieces album came out of an affirmation I wrote for myself to remind me not to be so hard on myself and to have self-compassion. I often repeat the lyrics in my head to shift into being kind to myself: “I love you, I see you, I feel you” are the only words in the song. That way I can rewire my brain for more resilience, self-compassion and self-love.

Want To Experience The Power of Indigenous Medicine Songs For Yourself?

The Medicine Songs: Brenda MacIntyre has 3 albums available on all the music platforms. You can get Brenda’s music here.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman



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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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