heal, healing stories, karyn shanks md,

Heal Your Stories, Heal Yourself

Everyone has stories to get out of their way.

Carrie’s Story

Carrie was told a story that nothing was wrong, though she was sick and suffering and knew in her bones what her doctor said wasn’t true. But the very same story was repeated many times by experts who must have known more than she did.

She was sick and suffering. She knew that. She knew her life had suddenly changed when she developed drop-dead fatigue, body pain, and brain fog. She did not make these up.

But it took five years for her to finally work with someone who believed her, acknowledged the very real dysfunction in spite of “normal” lab tests, and committed to a path with her to becoming well.

Five years!

Part of the delay was wading through those initial experts who were clearly the wrong fit.

Disempowering Stories Got in Carrie’s Way

But a huge part of why it took so long for her to become well was because of stories.

Stories she was told.

Stories she believed.

Stories she carried in her that diminished her capacity to scrutinize what she was told and act with personal authority and agency about:

  • her power,
  • her wisdom,
  • her worthiness, and
  • her unquestioning belief in a system of medicine that is, just like people (why would it be any other way?), built on stories.

When the experts said there was nothing wrong, part of her believed them. They were the experts after all, using their expert knowledge and expert tests to arrive at expert conclusions that must be right.

And in her ignorance about how the body works, it makes sense that she would defer to their judgements, doesn’t it?

Except, she was sick and suffering and she knew it.

In spite of her knowing, she gave her power away to those experts. She repeatedly ignored her own wisdom. She doubted her worthiness to receive something better than she got from them for five years!

How Carrie Healed Her Story

But the story of her truth didn’t die, because she kept reaching out to new experts. It took five years, but she finally got there, and now she is well. And she’s worked hard, as core parts of her healing, to upgrade her stories about her power, wisdom, and worthiness. For Carrie, five years of suffering will never happen again.

And through it all, Carrie has become savvy about the stories of conventional medicine. They will never let her down again. This scrutiny has helped her tell new empowering stories that support her lifetime of healing:

  • Suffering is never “nothing wrong.” Not ever.
  • She’s worthy of deep, root cause exploration of her suffering and individualized strategies to address it.
  • She’s worthy of commitment to healing even when her suffering is chronic and complex.
  • She’s worthy of being believed in spite of what the tests show.
  • She’s worthy of making any choice she wants, because she says so.
  • She is wise about herself, and that wisdom will be the driver of her healthcare and healing.
  • She is the agent of her own healing.
  • She can overcome all suffering.
  • She is powerful.

Dang. Gorgeous job, Carrie! I’m so proud.

Carrie not only healed, she blasted through the tenacious energy of those old disempowering stories that kept her sick and suffering for five years. Her new empowering stories are the foundation of the resilience she brings to all present and future challenges.

What stories of yours have gotten in the way of healing you’ve longed for? What stories are you grappling with right now? You can be sure we’re all grappling too! Everyone has stories to get out of their way.


Karyn Shanks MD. Empower Your Healing Story. 2020.

Karyn Shanks MD. You Were Born to Heal. 2020.

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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