Chronic Fatigue Resolution

Energy. This is the key. It’s who we are—our inspiration and ideas, passion, interest in the world around us, and connection to everything we care about in our lives. Energy is the very essence of who we are.

And it’s what we lose when we are ill, or depleted in the face of life’s complexities.

These articles cover the core aspects of creating energy and vitality, with a special focus on the key players within the body’s energy production system—the Brain-Thyroid-Adrenal-Mitochondrial (BTAM) Axis. We’ll dive into each of these power centers to teach you how to create beautiful energy.

And we’ll look at our stories—our life stories that get in the way of the healing that lead us to the energy and vitality we seek. Learn more.

On Being Calm and Strong: the Surprising Feet-Brain Connection

feet-brain connection, strength, calm, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Did you know that our feet give rise to nearly half of all sensory information transmitted to our brains?

Wow.

And this feet-to-brain relationship leads to powerful things (that make us powerful), like:

  • Support.
  • Stability.
  • Strength.
  • Safety.
  • Focus.
  • Clarity about where we are in space.

That’s right. Our feet strengthen us in our center. When activated, the feet-brain connection has the…

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Already Strong. Already Beautiful. Already Whole.

already strong, already beautiful, already whole, self-care, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

What if we think about self-care like this?

It doesn’t make us better. Not better versions of our selves. Not better than anyone else.

We may feel better, we may function at a higher level, we may experience life in a whole new and vibrant way, but we—who we truly are—was there all along.

Those savvy food plans and vigorous exercise regimens don’t make us stronger or more beautiful.

The…

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Healing is Not Always Curing

healing, healing is not always curing, curing, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

True, we all want to be cured. We all want our pain to go away, our wounds to heal, our function to be restored, and our energy to soar.

But I think there’s more. I hear this in what my clients blurt out when I ask them about their goals and aspirations. How they want to feel like their true selves, to live their best lives, and reach their full potential.

They’re talking about healing.

And…

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Get Out of the Way of Healing

healing, nine domains of healing, self-care, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

One of my greatest challenges as a physician is to get out of the way of my clients’ healing.

Inspired by wanting to help them feel better, to relieve their suffering, and achieve their goals, it’s tempting to try to “fix” things. To lock in on their pains and problems and employ every root cause-level magic bullet in the toolkit. When what they most need is for me to get out of their way.

What…

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Five Things I Must Do to Start My Day (Hint: Yep, Think Slow)

five things I must do to start the day, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, wisdom, start slow, practice slow, slow medicine

Aren’t those things we do—and say to ourselves—in those first minutes after awakening, the tone-setters for the whole day?

Jumping out of bed and racing out of the house, coffee in one hand, kid in the other—leads one direction. (Eek! The dreaded time pressure, high survival launching out the door—I remember those days! Oh my gosh—my chest is clenching!)

Versus slow. Slow start. Slow breaths.…

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Fewer Genes Than a Grain of Rice–Our Genetic Story

epigenetics, human genome, human potential, functional medicine

Yep. As humans, we have fewer genes in our books of life than a grain of rice. Or a worm. Or many of God’s smallest creatures.

Does that mean we’re just puny and insignificant? Do we have far fewer options than we believed? Less wiggle room as our destinies unfold? Did the genome project leave us high and dry?

Not at all. In fact, the truth about our genetic legacy is just the opposite.

Let’s…

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Coax the Gains

coax the gains, train smart, better performance, athletic performance, functional movement, life school

I love how Life School shows up wherever I happen to be—like at the gym the other day.

My trainer caught me “cheating” on my prescribed workout. I was working on chin-ups and dropped to a smaller band (less support for hoisting my upper body over the bar). I defended my actions by explaining that the larger band was “too easy,” I wanted more of a challenge.

Knowing me, and my tendency to cheat…

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Vitamin D: Support in the Dark Days of Winter

winter sunshine, vitamin D, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, fatigue, winter blues, winter depression, light nutrient

My story of vitamin D resuscitation.

I used to struggle with winter. And thought it was just how it was. The short days, long nights, unforgiving cold. Just awful! I felt sluggish and tired and blah about everything.

Each year I met the descent into winter with dread, and pined for the release of spring.

When I learned that the light nutrient, vitamin D, helped others with seasonal affective…

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New Year’s Resolution: Be Soft, Be Gentle, Be Kind (and start with yourself!)

happy new year, change, how to change, new year's resolution, self-care, self-empowerment, neuroplasticity

We all know how hard it is to get our New Year’s resolutions off the ground. Or harder still—sustain them for the long haul.

Why is that? Why is it so dang hard to create positive change in our lives? Change that we want? Change that we know will lead to better lives?

Maybe we start too big. We’re better at small changes—even the small things lead to big shifts in our lives.

Or maybe our…

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Inflammation: Beauty, Not the Beast

inflammation, heal inflammation, inflammation is good, how inflammation works, functional medicine, systems biology,

Inflammation is beautiful. It is not the beast. It is not bad, nor our enemy.

We need an intact, healthy immune system, capable of robust inflammation. When we need it. Whenever called upon–24/7.

In fact, we cannot survive without it. While inflammation results in much human misery, it does so as the wise and elegant response to real danger signals–from both internal and external sources–that…

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