Meet Our Staff

Thomas Cowan, MD

Dr. Thomas CowanDr. Tom Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, as well as Rudolf Steiner’s work on biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Tom graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003.

Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation™.  During his career he has studied and written about many subjects in medicine. These include nutrition, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine and herbal medicine. He is the principal author of the book The Fourfold Path to Healing, which was published in 2004 by New Trends Publishing, and is the co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care, published in 2013. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three grown children and three grandchildren and practices medicine in San Francisco, where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith.

Dr. Cowan sees patients at his office in San Francisco and is accepting new patients. He also gives lectures and presentations.

Sabine Luisi, Therapeutic Diet Consultant, Manager

Sabine’s approach to healing arts and nutrition has been evolving during the past 20 years.  Her interest in holistic medicine began in 1994 when she began a 1,000-hour certification program in acupressure that included various styles of acupressure, Chinese nutrition, remedies, counseling techniques and guided imagery.  In 1999, she was introduced to the work of Weston A. Price through a presentation by Sally Fallon Morell and her book Nourishing Traditions.

After moving to San Francisco and implementing these diet principles for many years, she began working with Dr. Cowan in 2006, where she has continued to expand her knowledge in alternative medicine.  Since then, she has been helping Dr. Cowan create and research various diet protocols and offers consultation. In 2012, she was additionally trained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride as a doctor’s assistant for the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet.

Her passion for food, holistic medicine, and alternative-care accessibility have stimulated other projects, such as the Community Supported Healthcare Plan, developing in-office treatments and services, and organizing resources for patients.

Laura Lion, Receptionist, CNC

Laura is a certified Nutrition Educator and Consultant who completed her studies at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Berkeley, CA.  She discovered a passion for eating a whole-foods diet while searching for natural ways to take control of her health.  Laura has suffered family losses related to heart disease and cancer, and she has witnessed other family members' lives deteriorate even while working with their doctors to treat their diseases. In 2006 she, herself, was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. After two years of following her doctor’s recommendations to take Metformin and a Statin drug, a cholesterol-lowering medication, she decided there had to be a better way and ceased taking the medicines. This awareness led to many changes in her life that have contributed to her well-being today.

Laura’s passion to help others help themselves and her excitement about the field of healing through nutrition led her to Bauman College to embark on a journey of holistic nutrition and healing. Laura draws from many of the modalities she  learned at Bauman, as well as continuing-education courses, continual reading and research, and the wealth of information she learns by working with Dr. Cowan.  Laura’s personable nature allows her to reach individuals in a non-threatening manner and coach them through lifestyle changes so they, too, can take control of their own health.

Laura’s husband, two children and two granddaughters are important factors that keep her motivated to stay healthy. Other factors include her love for hiking, skiing, camping in the mountains, spending time in the outdoors with friends and family, and preparing wonderful healthy foods.  Her determination, courage and optimism have allowed her to be free of medication, feel more energetic, and live a much healthier lifestyle.


"I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroid) in 1992. Endocrinologists wanted me to ingest radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid. In the interim they prescribed propylthiourycil (PTU), which slowed my racing thyroid gland.

Before I was diagnosed, I had stopped jogging because of shortness of breath, I had very dry skin, and I couldn’t read a document from start to finish because my attention span was so short. I was anxious and irritable, and I was experiencing double vision.

I went to see Dr. Cowan in March 2008. He put me on the Special Carbohydrate Diet. By the first of September, I was off PTU, and my blood count was normal. It’s a huge accomplishment, and Dr. Cowan did it with a few supplements and diet."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"At 42, I was experiencing severe depression and a digestive breakdown. I had just stopped eating because everything made me feel sick

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet rescued me. Within 72 hours I was sleeping through the night without a sleeping pill for the first time in years. Within two weeks, my 25 years of depression was gone, and I’ve never seen it since. My digestive symptoms were immediately resolved. Overall, it took two-plus years for me to heal completely, but I went from just surviving with chronic migraines, depression, anxiety, ADD, Dyspraxia, adrenal fatigue, fibro myalgia, IBS, thyroid disorder, and a barely functioning metabolism, to now being symptom-free. I have my life back."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"When I first saw Dr. Cowan in June 2009, I had been in quite a bit of pain and with low energy, suffering from RA for three years. I was taking 5mg Prednisone daily, 12.5 mg Methotrexate weekly and 200 mg x2 of Plaquinel daily. I was not feeling well at all.
Dr. Cowan started me on Low-Dose Naltrexone and eliminated wheat, sugar and alcohol from my diet. I had already eliminated dairy. I have also almost eliminated all grains. I eat sauerkraut on most days, a lot of vegetables, a little fruit and nuts and some grass-fed meat and wild fish. Now, my energy is great, I dance, do Yoga, Pilates and I am back to work. I am no longer taking Prednisone (since August ‘09), and I have lowered the Methotraxate to 7.5 mg weekly."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"My family of four has been following the GAPS (“Gut and Psychology Syndrome”) diet for 10 weeks.
My older son has had behavioral symptoms since he was 3.5 years. He has been extremely willful and attention-seeking at home, and has experienced reading and writing difficulties in school.
Since starting the diet, we have noticed improvements in his willingness to take direction, make eye contact, and focus on self-directed tasks.
While my older son’s symptoms would not be termed “severe” and his recovery is clearly not yet complete, GAPS has certainly made a big difference in our lives in these few short weeks."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]