Powerful self-healing woman

Get what I’m saying?

If your mind is set, your life’s outcomes are too. And they may not be what you want.

Our mindsets and beliefs are the most tenacious (“set”) and insidious (they can be so hard to see) aspects of the terrain we build to heal ourselves. They’re also the most powerful. They can keep us stuck in suffering or heal us in a heartbeat.

From my new book, Unbroken: Reclaim…

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unbroken courage heal

I’d be preaching to my choir of geniuses to say our lifestyle choices effect genetic expression, biology, and all our life outcomes, right?

But are they choices?

Many of them aren’t choices at all, are they? Which is both our problem and solution.

Read on.

From our review of the terrain of healing presented in my new book, Unbroken, Reclaim Your Wholeness (coming 2024!).

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heal, trauma, resilience, unbroken

Most of us know there’s a strong link between traumatic life events and chronic illnesses of all kinds.

The most important part of this story, though, is how the equilibrium of illness can be shifted in the direction of resilience and healing, away from being sick. Because the challenges of trauma and adverse life experiences can be repaired.

Not one of us are sitting ducks to bad…

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heal, unbroken, resilience

Dear One,

Isn’t that exactly what it is when we step up to our challenges and responsibilities—kissing uncertainty?

Uncertainty is risky business.

We might be wrong.

We might be criticized or ridiculed.

It might be excruciatingly hard.

Uncertainty scares us because that’s how our primitive brains are wired—the urge to stay put (or keep walking) kept our ancestors…

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self-care, heal

I spent the past three days attending the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Annual International Conference. This year’s theme was perfectly timely: Resilience.

A huge part of resilience—having the strength, energy, and adaptability to thrive through life’s challenges—is wellbeing.

Resilience is hard when we’re struggling.

I want to briefly share with you encouraging thoughts by the final…

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leaky gut

We’re always looking for these, aren’t we?

Those aspects of ourselves so pivotal to who we are and how we function, that with careful tending we unleash vast healing potential. To relieve all kinds of pain and suffering. To reverse chronic illness.

There is such a pivot point hidden within us.

Today I’m going to tell you about the gut mucosa, a powerful internal boundary between us and the…

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butterfly, unbroken, heal, trauma, Karyn Shanks MD

Dear One,

As I watched the inauguration this past week, I was amazed at the powerful shift I felt inside me. So hunkered down for the past several years, protecting myself in a bubble of soothing softness and prayerful hope for deeper understanding, peaceful reckoning, and global healing, I didn’t realize I was holding my breath. Just a bit. For years.

And that was it. I was able to…

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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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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…

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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, 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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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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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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freedom, heal

Dear One,

In the season of the United States’ Independence Day, I find myself reflecting on the meaning of freedom.

Even as a little girl I found myself confused by the words of the Star-Spangled Banner, written during the War of 1812—the “second war of independence” from the British—later becoming our national anthem and theme song of our independence and patriotism. To my young mind…

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cultural narratives, white supremacy, all is one

Dear One,

You know me as a physician and scholar of the cultural narratives that define what medicine is today. I’m fascinated by how the way medicine is practiced in America is profoundly influenced by dominant narratives about science, the human body, disease, gender, sexuality, race, and what we believe about our futures.

I’ve come to realize that it’s all narrative. Everything we think we…

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biodiversity, heal, resilience

Dear One,

Can we be honest with each other? Here in this space where it’s safe to do so?

The virus isn’t our problem.

There. I’ve said it.

I’ll say it again. The virus is not our problem. It never was. And until we get this through our fearful heads, looking for the simple story and simple solutions, we’re going to remain in a world of hurt. And tragedy. And sorrow. And it’s all so…

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breathe, soften, stay curious, heal, karyn shanks md

Dear One,

I don’t know about you, but I’m ditching all social media and news forever! And maybe all casual conversation with strangers while I’m at it. Have you ever heard so many locked down stories in your life? How things are. How we should behave. What must happen. Yada, yada. I’m sick of it.

You’re absolutely right—I’m being triggered. And that’s about me, isn’t it?

So, I pull out my…

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