Southeastern professor co-authors text on complementary and alternative medicine

Linda Baily Synovitz

Contact: Contact: Rene Abadie


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     HAMMOND A professor of health education at Southeastern Louisiana University has co-authored the book “Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals: A Holistic Approach to Consumer Health.”
     Linda Baily Synovitz of Southeastern’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies is the lead author of the book, described as a combined introduction to alternative therapies and holistic approach to traditional consumer health topics. The book was written in collaboration with Karl L. Larson, a community health educator at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.
     “Over our years of teaching consumer health courses, we have both observed the increasing interest of our students in topics relative to alternative health care practices,” said Synovitz. “Unfortunately, there are few consumer health texts available that explore the topic of alternative health practices and methods of healing. We felt a new approach was needed.”
     The intent of the book, she said, is to increase an individual’s knowledge of various traditional and alternative therapies so he or she can make informed consumer health decisions.
     “We wanted to provide accurate and meaningful information on a vast array of practices, as well as information on how to evaluate treatments and recognize quackery,” Synovitz added. “Through this approach, the consumer can explore more and arrive at his or her own conclusions.”
     The text book provides case studies that apply the material and ideas to real life situations, “In the News” segments to demonstrate relevancy to everyday life, class activity suggestions and review questions on the main points of the chapters. Each chapter has a corresponding PowerPoint slide program, a text bank, and lesson plans for instructors using the book.
     Among the alternative medical approaches discussed in the book are traditional Chinese medicine, the traditional medicine of India called Ayurvedic, naturopathic, homeopathic and chiropractic medicine, and treatments involving botanicals, aromatherapy and energy therapies. The work includes a section on medical self-care, health insurance information, and a chapter on scams and costly treatments that have been proven ineffective.
     “Being a healthcare consumer today requires more than just knowledge of traditional medicine and health practice, but should include some background on the expanding fields of complementary and alternative medicine that’s available in the U.S.,” Synovitz said.
     The book is published by Jones & Bartlett Learning of Burlington, Mass. More information is available at

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