karyn shanks md

Thanksgiving Contemplation of Blessings

grateful, gratitude, blessings, thanksgiving, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

I like to use Thanksgiving as a time to beef up my daily practice of gratitude.

It’s been looking like this lately…

I’m grumpy and annoyed to be displaced from my kitchen and living spaces (two months now!) while new flooring, lighting, and paint go in. The rest of the house is cluttered, dusty, and I can’t find anything!

But I get to do this. I get a new floor, gorgeous lighting and new wall…

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Lyme Disease: An Unsung Epidemic

lyme disease, lyme, tick-born illness, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

I’ve been off the grid again. This time immersed in the science and wisdom of Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBD) at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) annual international conference.

I learned so much to help me care for these chronic, complex, long-suffering clients, increasingly showing up at my door.

I wanted to share some big themes.

ILADS clinicians and…

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Body First

body first, self-care, self-empowerment, self-healing, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

We get the truth of body-mind-spirit integration, don’t we?

But in our rush to get to the bliss and awe we forget about the work we have to do first. Right?

I think it starts with the body.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I don’t eat well, or skimp on sleep, or slack off—or push myself mercilessly—it’s hard to access bliss and awe.

That comes with the discipline and vigilance of self-care.

When I…

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The Paradox of Hope and Honesty

hope, honesty, paradox, empower yourself, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Nine Domains of Healing

Do you ever think about how it’s possible to dare to hope and believe in a better future AND stay honest about your feelings as they are right now (which may be a soup of misery!)?

It’s a paradox!

On the one hand, we want to hold onto faith that our possibilities are endless, and our potential infinite. We want to drive that faith with the kinetic energy of hope. To make things better.

But we…

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Self-Care is Subversive

self-love, self-care, love yourself, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, Big Energy

I saw this powerful quote the other day:

Self-love is a subversive act.

In trying to find who said it (I think it was Brene Brown), I came across this:

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

-Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light (1988)

Nailed it. Both of them.

This is our trouble with self-care. It’s what I work the hardest on in…

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Favorite Shoes to Support the Feet-Brain Connection

feet-brain connection, minimalistic shoes, strong feet, heal feet, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

Yah, I know, I know, Word and Google don’t like “feet-brain” connection. They insist on “foot-brain” connection!

But they’re wrong.

It’s not foot. Not for most of us. It’s feet. We have two feet and our brain relates to two feet. I stand firm. Feet-brain connection it is!

The best way to strengthen and enliven your feet, and increase the sensory information they send your brain to support you,…

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Ibuprofen: Friend or Foe? Learn the facts about this dangerous drug.

ibuprofen is toxic, safe treatments of pain, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

Ever checked out the pain reliever isle at the grocery story? Seen the many shelves of Ibuprofen bottles lined up in all shapes and sizes? Labels promising to relieve practically everything that ails you?

Ibuprofen, part of a family of pain-relieving drugs known as “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory” drugs (NSAIDS), is the staple go-to pain and inflammation remedy in most American households, and…

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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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She Reclaimed Her Feelings (and Discovered Her Power)

karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, Big Energy, Nine Domains of Healing, feelings, feel, emotional healing,

One of the dangers of suffering is what happens when we distance ourselves from how we feel—when we numb the pain.

And it makes sense that we do this, right? We want to feel better. We need to feel better. We do whatever we can. What we know.

But with persistent suffering—the kind that comes with chronic pain, illness, depression, or trauma—(before we discover—and address—the root…

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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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