heal, epigenetics, karyn shanks md

You Were Born to Heal

You were born to heal. No exceptions!

How do I know?

It’s science-y stuff, but it’s the message of hope we all search for to end our suffering, to improve our performance, and to deepen our experiences as human beings.

It’s the science of human potential applied to our daily lives:

  • epigenetics,
  • neuroplasticity,
  • core biology,
  • body-mind-spirit integration, and
  • Functional Medicine (the science of hope).

This healing story goes something like this:


Your genes (you know, your genetic code—the purine base pairs that make up your chromosomes) are fixed—you get what you’re born with. However, their expression—how they make you who you are—is not fixed, by virtue of signals from the environment and consciousness that turn genes on and off.

This symphony of genes turning on and off (we call this “epigenetics”), codes for proteins that lead to function—function that is you (the symphony of you) in present time.

Your genetic expression—your you—changes continuously—often in very predictable ways.


Neuroplasticity is an example of how tissues in the body (in this case, your brain and nervous system) change according to epigenetic shifts in gene expression. Your genes change expression according to the environmental and consciousness influences they’re exposed to, then your brain literally changes: it grows and becomes more complex, or shrinks and loses complexity, all according to the quality of your epigenetic symphony.

Core Biology

Your core biology operates 24/7 to optimize function. Every cell in your body operates to maximize its best function, regardless of the resources available or challenges they face, and will reach a state of best equilibrium. Epigenetic changes resulting from those resources and challenges control core biology and will alter the cells’ “best function,” or “equilibrium,” accordingly.

Mind-Body-Spirit Integration

Your you is the integration of a body, mind, and spirit.

We are a physical, biologically alive beings. We are also consciousness—the mind within our bodies. And we are energy—what makes us spiritually alive, vibrant, curious people who thrive through meaningful and purposeful lives (regardless of how we define those).

What does this mean for our discussion? We—all body, mind, and spirit of us—are influenced by epigenetic changes created by our environment and consciousness (how we think and feel). And we drive our epigenetic expression—our healing—with our energy, intention, and action.

Functional Medicine (the science of hope)

Functional Medicine is the revolutionary applied science of our human potential to heal. It shows us the roadmap for taking care of ourselves in ways that optimize function through a conscious relationship with our environments and personal behavior. It’s how we direct epigenetics to our advantage.

Healing is Your Destiny

What’s our bottom line?

You were born to heal. Epigenetics is the mechanism of that healing. You are the engine.

You will heal even when you passively wait.

But imagine what you can do when you’re an informed, active participant in your own healing? When you create positive changes in how you live, how you interact with your environment, and how you manage your thoughts and emotions?

That takes healing to a whole new level … by consciously harnessing the power of your epigenetic potential.

The science of human potential applied to your life and powered by you, is the relief of suffering, the improvement of performance, and the deepening of your experience as a human being you may be looking for.

As Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph Tanzi, PhD say in their book, Super Genes: “When you use your genes for transformation, they become super genes.”

Name three ways you’ll harness your “super genes” today:




I’d love it if you’d click “reply” and share these with me!

Me? Eat beautifully, meditate, affirm love.

Have a Beautiful week!


p.s. Do you struggle to make progress with your healing? Do you feel stuck or hopeless about the outcome of your efforts to heal?

Sometimes there are tenacious stories that get in our way (who am I to heal or make myself my top priority, this is my diagnosis—this is who I am, my doctor says there’s nothing more that can be done, I just don’t have time to…).

Join me for an exploration of the healing power of our stories in my free ebook, Your Healing Story. We’ll look closely at the 5 most common stories that get in the way of our healing and learn what we can do to rewrite them into stories that heal.


Deepak Chopra MD and Rudolph Tanzi PHD. Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being. 2015.

Karyn Shanks MD. Empower Your Healing Story. 2019.

Karyn Shanks MD. Heal: A Nine-Stage Roadmap to Recover Energy, Reverse Chronic Illness, and Claim the Potential of a Vibrant New You. 2019.


Is there a story that keeps you sick and tired and stuck?

My free ebook, Your Healing Story, will show you how to write a new one.

Learn More

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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