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-five-year career. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves.

Release Grief Meditation (2019)

meditation, heal grief, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We need tools to help us manage the challenging emotions of grief, like anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. While these emotions are entirely normal aspects of being human, they can get stuck. It’s important to give them assistance to flow and release.

I have used this simple breath visualization technique on difficult emotions that were too painful for me to take on with my mind. It’s easy to…

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It’s a Privilege of a Lifetime

be your true self, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Heal, Nine Domains of Healing

Do you ever wonder why we’re here? I mean really—why we’re really here?

How do we sum that up? Can we do it in just a few words?

I think Carl Jung did a pretty good job when he said this:

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.”

I like this because it doesn’t presume a particular purpose with a definable outcome. (Whew!)

And it includes all of us—excluding no one because…

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Declutter: Create Space to Heal

declutter, create space, heal, nine domains of healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

You’ve heard me say it a thousand times:  We’ve got to create space for healing to occur.

No matter what ails us, we go no where without focused attention to our problem and freedom from the toxins, irritants, and negative energy that get in our way.

An easy start is removing the clutter from our living spaces.

“Does it spark joy?”

You’ve heard those words, right?

The stuff whisperer, Marie…

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Mountaintop Wisdom: We’re Wired for the Climb

wired for the climb, resilience through challenge, strong, brave, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Heal, Nine Domains of Healing

What are the best solutions when life gets tough?

Stop our lives? Hang out on the mountain top? Get a divorce? Find a new job? Send the kids to boarding school?

Hmmm… sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

Yah, I want to get rid of the friction too sometimes.

I want to go straight to the bliss.

But what if I told you we thrive the most when we’re challenged? That we figure things out and grow our…

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Resuscitate the Fire in Your Belly

heal, nine domains of healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We all need to revive the fire in our bellies from time to time. I love the way inspiring words and acts of others drop into my life to do just that.

Let this one wash over you:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a…

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Beware of the Big Lie

heal, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

I like simple. And focused. It’s easy on my brain. And helps me grasp pieces of more complicated conceptual problems and ideas—like me and what I need to do to heal.

Give me three simple steps and I’m all over it.

But do I fool myself into thinking anything is that simple? Ever?

Those three simple steps get me started. It’s what I can focus on today. But we all know, with our mature minds,…

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They Did it Brilliantly (Paying Homage to Conventional Medicine)

healing, my healing, conventional medicine, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

I recently had an experience with conventional medicine excellence.

We tend to focus on how conventional medicine lets us down, but it can rise mightily when we are in urgent need.

I was hiking in a rainforest in Maui with my family when I noticed a floater appear in my right eye. Ugh. Annoying! I’ve gotten these on and off for years. They park themselves in the center of my vision, but with…

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Ugh, is that ME?

empowerment, self-love, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

Yes, sadly, those were my own words.

Uttered as I caught a glimpse of myself in my husband’s photos of our magnificent hike in the Maui rainforest. We’d come upon a waterfall spilling into pristine waters below and couldn’t resist going in. But rather than seeing the magic of what was all around us or the completely relaxed posture I stood in (like no one was looking, like I really was

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The Treachery of Going Slow

slow healing, slow medicine, self-love, feel, emotional healing, Nine Domains of Healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Yikes.

Slow can feel dangerous.

I’ll give you a hint:

When we go slow we feel. When we feel we hurt. When we hurt we may not know what to do.

So instead we go fast. Bypassing the hurt. Staying busy, achieving, climbing the ladder, collecting evidence of our worthiness, numbing what we don’t want to feel.

But here’s the rub:

No pain, no joy. We have to go slow to feel. And we have to feel to…

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Slow Healing Power Tools

slow healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Meditation, mindfulness, presence

Remember my mantra?

Show up.

Go slow.

Pay attention.

Going slow leads to Presence.

And Presence is the absolute, non-negotiable key to claiming a healing life.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Not for me!

But I’ve got power tools to help me.

Journal writing. Yes, I’ve been keeping some kind of diary my entire life. But as a young ‘un in my early thirties I started serious journaling. Julia Cameron…

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