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.

Pain is my wise teacher.

Unbroken, Karyn Shanks MD, Science of Directable Human Potential, epigenetics

Pain is my wise teacher. But not my destiny.

When I was 50, I completely decompensated from surgery to repair a torn tendon in my shoulder that left me exhausted, sick, and with such exquisite back and hip pain I struggled to walk. The simple bending and twisting of unloading dishes from the dishwasher or reaching for a book on the shelf—all my ordinary everyday activities—were…

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Re-Energize Your Immune Resilience

heal, unbroken, karyn shanks md

This is part 3 of my Body-Soul Resilience 2021 series. Become a subscriber to have these drop right into your in-box.

 

Dear One,

Did you know our bodies manufacture a million new white blood cells every ten seconds?

And get a completely new immune system—literally trillions of cells and immune molecules designed to rejuvenate and keep us safe—every few months?

What does this tell us?

There’s…

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Body-Soul Resilience

Body-Soul Resilience

Shine, Grow, and Stay Safe in the New Era

Every life challenge pushes us toward mastery over our circumstances.

2021 is on our horizon.

We’ve got six weeks ‘til the new year and none too soon, eh?

I so need the hope and inspiration of this new beginning, don’t you? Like a portal to our rich future—filled with promise and potential.

2020 was hard. For everyone. On all fronts.

We’re exhausted. We’ve worked our tails off.

Many of us have…

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There’s Only One Reason We Don’t Heal

self-care, heal

Dear One,

I’ve come to realize there’s only one reason we don’t heal.

Or succeed.

Or get ourselves unstuck from our problems and predicaments.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

That’s right—it’s in our stories.

Our stories about what’s possible and not possible.

That’s it. Nothing else.

You know these stories, right?

They go like this:

I can’t. I don’t have time. I’m stuck in…

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Heal Your Stories, Heal Yourself

heal, healing stories, karyn shanks md,

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…

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Reclaim Joy

I want you to remember how joyful life can be. And how it’s possible to live both a hard life and a joyful one at the very same time.

I’ve come to learn that joy is a practice.

It’s not an innate state of mind. Or a gift for the lucky few.

Rather, it’s the result of a steady daily practice to reclaim the energy sapped by the hard work of living.

Living has been hard these days, eh?

Pandemics,…

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How to Survive Storms, Pandemics, and, Well, Everything.

soothe, settle, heal, be present, chop wood

Here we all are.

Global pandemic with no end in sight.

School, no school, or home school?

Working from home, not working, where will the money come from?

Racial injustice come-to-Jesus right now. Educating ourselves to step up best we can.

Inland hurricane. Trees down, roofs crashed, crops ruined. Lives upended here in Iowa.

And this is only part of the chaos and uncertainty in our lives,…

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Everyone’s Got Stories to Get Out of Their Way

heal, story healing

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…

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Soothe and Settle

flow, soothe and settle, heal

I just finished writing in my journal about two minor but painful events that I just couldn’t let go of. They kept swirling around and around in my mind without resolution and left me feeling inadequate, disempowered, and uncomfortable. As soon as I unloaded my story on the pages of my sacred journal, I then wrote these words to myself, “Good job on the feelings, K! Now, let’s soothe and…

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We are Unbroken.

Unbroken, science of human potential, heal

My entire philosophy of healing and medicine can be summed up in one word: Unbroken.

This is how I approach every single one of my clients (and myself!)—that in spite of our pain, suffering, stuckness, and longing for things to be better, we are inherently unbroken.

Instead, through our pain, suffering, stuckness, and longing for things to be better, we’re called to discover what we need to…

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