Upon the birth of their children, the Guarins decided not to use vaccinations and felt they needed strong preventative care. They say they found it in Northfield homeopathy practitioner Sujata Owens.
“In other cities we have lived, we have found homeopaths who were also medical doctors,” Dana said. “However, in the Twin Cities, we were not able to find such a person.” After doing research, Dana learned that many of the homeopaths in the Twin Cities go to Sujata Owens to learn from her.
“She is the preeminent practitioner in the state,” Dana said, and she happens to be the president of the Minnesota Homeopathic Association.
Owens describes homeopathy as, “Safe, effective, complimentary health care that works with the root cause of symptoms. It is different that conventional medicine in that it treats the whole individual, not just an organ or a symptom. Homeopathy recognizes the unique way each person reacts to illness as an expression of disharmony at the core level. Physical, mental and emotional symptoms specific to each person are the body’s attempt to heal itself, and homeopathy works by enhancing the body’s natural ability to do this. A single, carefully chosen remedy helps restore a state of balance and well-being.”
When a patient comes to see her, Owens said she takes a detailed case history, including questions about past and present illness, childhood temperament, appetite, sleep, sex, dreams and how factors such as weather, exercise, lunar cycle and stressful situations affect them. A 28-page case history enables Owens to “select remedies that restore a balance of health.” The first meeting can take three hours, Owens said, with her goal being to “deeply understand the totality and essence of the patient”
Owens graduated from the Homeopathic Medical School in Pune, India in 1982 with outstanding honors. She has been practicing in Northfield since 1987 and has been certified by leading homeopathic organizations, including the North American Society of Homeopaths and Council for Homeopathic Certification. She also has studied extensively with influential teachers Vega Rozenberg, Rajan Sankaran and Jayesh Shah.
Homeopathy originated in German in 1796 with physician Samuel Hahnemann, who was concerned with then-current practices of blood-letting, leeching and purging. The word “homeopathy is derived from the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease). Hahnemann developed the “Principle of Similars,” or similia similibus curentur, where patients are treated with diluted plant, animal and mineral agents that, in diluted doses, produce similar symptoms in the healthy.
Owens says she treats approximately 1,000 patients worldwide, with about 20 percent of them coming from Northfield. Patients tend to stay with her long-term, although she is not there to “replace” traditional physicians in the community. Regionally, homeopaths and medical doctors do not typically share medical information, although Owens believe this would be beneficial to the patient, as is the practice in India.
An example of the results Owens has obtained with homeopathy includes a case in which a patient was suffering from multiple sclerosis lesions on the brain. In 1994 the Mayo Clinic was expecting this patient to live another four to five years, Owens said, but now, 13 years later, under her care the patient is well and showing no evidence of MS.
Homeopathy is not without controversy. Many in the medical profession believe its effects are unreliable and baseless. Of interest is a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association in 2005 that states that “Contrary to popular belief, complimentary and alternative medicine offerings were most common in the Midwest and less common on the West Coast.”
Owens is married to John, a processing engineer at Malt-O-Meal, with whom she has three children, Jayanti, Siddhartha and Devendra.
—Clarice Grabau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507.645.1117
Sujata Owens talked to Alejandro and Dana Guarin, a couple who travels from Minneapolis to receive Owens’ services, about the development of their sons, Leonardo, left, and Paolo (in Dana’s lap) at her Northfield office. Owens spends hours talking to her clients to discover the needs of “the whole individual” and to find remedies specific to their needs.
While visiting his home country of Columbia, if Alejandro Guarin becomes ill, he goes to a third-generation homeopath for his medical care. Having grown up in a country that more widely accepts alternatives forms of medicine, he and his wife, Dana, tend to seek out more than the traditional Western approaches to health care.
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