Karyn Shanks MD

Karyn has always been inspired by the beauty, power and healing potential of people’s life stories. Within each of us lay the clues and the wisdom to ignite our healing journeys.

It is through this guiding principle of the power of the story that Karyn was drawn to the genius of Functional Medicine and body-mind wisdom, which inspire her work, and which honor the uniqueness, innate healing potential and holistic nature of human beings.

Karyn is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine. She integrates the power of conventional western medicine, and its state of the art tools for addressing acute illness, with Functional Medicine, the revolution in healthcare that uses leading edge science to prevent disease, optimize health and treat chronic illness through its pioneering systems biology approach. Combining these approaches leads ultimately to individualized and sustainable root cause solutions.

The most sustainable healthcare must tend to all domains of what it means to be human. As such, Karyn has developed the Nine Domains of Healing as the organizing foundation for her work, both as a physician consultant and writer-teacher.

“I believe that health is about vitality and claiming our power, freedom and inner light through the healing process. It is my personal calling to partner with you on your healing journey, to bring the knowledge and experience of over 25 years of intensive medical training and treating clients with chronic complex illness to bear on our work together. But also to encourage you, restore your hope and provide you with tools and resources you need to discover your own inner wisdom about what you need to heal. In our work together we’ll fortify you through an individualized self-care plan and empower you with the knowledge you need to jumpstart your healing.”

Karyn believes that healing is ultimately about finding our whole, true, authentic selves and recovering our vital energy. It is through the care of the body, mind and spirit that we discover our true selves and that helps us each discover the deep meaning and purpose of our lives. Ultimately, this is what healthcare is all about—powering our journey to become our best selves and live our best lives.

Medicine and Healing Arts Iowa City | Functional Medicine in the corridor

Karyn graduated from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, completed her internship at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago and her residency in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. She has been providing comprehensive health care since completing her residency in 1994. She integrated Functional Medicine into her practice in 2001 and sees clients from all over the US. Her areas of expertise include chronic, complex illness, stress-related disorders, women’s and men’s health issues and medical therapeutic nutrition. She is currently working on her first book, Liftoff, a manual of healing and self-empowerment through self-care practices, inspired by Functional Medicine, body-mind wisdom and the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her 25 year career.


Visit Karyn’s website and read articles that inspire and inform.