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Reclaim Your Energy Using The Nine Domains of Healing

The Nine Domains of Healing® is the roadmap we use to claim our Big Energy.

There are many avenues to our energy recovery solution. I work with many tired and sick people experiencing difficult problems and there are always inroads to their healing, we just have to consider the high priority places to start our work.

Our complexity means that we are incredibly interesting and that there are always options no matter how stuck we may feel.

It’s all fine and well to have a food plan to support our healing, but what if we just can’t figure out how to make the change? What if we are someone who places everyone else in our lives before ourselves so we never get around to the self-care practices that would help us heal?

We have to tend to our whole selves by exploring all nine domains for deep and sustainable healing to occur.

I like to organize our energy recovery strategy by the Nine Domains of Healing®, each representing human attributes and experience that are foundational to who we are, and all impact our ability to generate and sustain energy. Supporting each domain helps us to heal and achieve our highest potential. We start with the domains where there is the most need.

Many of my clients have to start with self-love. They put themselves last. They can’t possibly jump start sustainable changes in their lives until they make themselves their top priority. This is a skill and a practice that requires working with the Domain of Love and Connection. It is the foundation of happiness and healing.

The Nine Domains of Healing®

Nine-Domains of Healing - graphic

1. Nourish: The Domain of Nutrients (food, water, air). In this domain we explore the foundational elements that make us, quite literally, what we are. We learn about optimal nutrition to meet our unique needs and preferences.

2. Restore: The Domain of Sleep and Rest. We must hug in before we extend out. We will learn about the vital transitions from one day to the next—sleep—and from one endeavor to the next—rest. We must restore to rise up.

3. Balance: The Domain of Balancing Stress. We must learn to balance all of our efforts with ease, or pause, and embrace the power of stress (you’ll see!).

4. Move: The Domain of Movement (exercise, activity and posture). We were designed to move. We’ll learn how movement is how we express all of who we are and helps us dial in our health and wellbeing.

5. Connect: The Domain of Love and Connection. This is the domain that supports and inspires all others. This is where we begin: with honoring ourselves and cultivating love and connection in our lives because love heals all.

6. Discover: The Domain of Mind and Our Stories (and of infinite possibilities). If we can just get our stories out of our way and engage our minds to support our highest intentions! This is the section about what makes us utterly human and how to work with it.

7. Flow: The Domain of Our Emotional Wisdom. The wild and, perhaps, most challenging part of ourselves. We’ll explore the emotional realm and practical ways to access the wisdom of our emotions.

8. Let Go: The Domain of Removing toxins, irritants and negative energy. After spending most of our efforts addressing what we need, we’ll look at what we need to let go of—what does us harm and keeps us down.

9. Rise: The Domain of Meaning, Purpose, Grace and Awe. This is where all of our efforts lead, eventually. Where our calling, curiosity, inspiration, intentions and practices take us. To the miracle of the present moment, where our humanness meets Divinity. The miracle of healing and transformation.

We are amazing in our complexity and beauty as human beings! By tending well to each of The Nine Domains of Healing® our health will improve, our energy will recover, and our lives will soar.

Karyn Shanks MD


Karyn Shanks, MD, is a physician who lives and practices in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by the revolutionary science of Functional Medicine, body-mind wisdom, and the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her twenty-eight year career. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves.


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