It is estimated that one in five Australians has had a mental illness as some point in their lives. At the Safflower Clinic we offer empathetic, supportive care to all of our patients. By taking an evidence-based approach, our patients may benefit from a multi-modality strategy which may be integrated with your medical treatment plan.

Of course, the term ‘mental health’ covers a wide range of states of the mind as humans are complex mental and emotional beings. Some people may be having difficulty managing a stressful job or family life, others may not be able to get a good night’s sleep, and others again may be diagnosed with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Chinese Medicine has classically related mental health disorders with the Mind or Spirit, called Shen in Chinese (this has no religious connotation). Treatment was focussed on ‘calming the Shen’ and ‘clearing the orifices of the head’ which effectively means that sight, smell, hearing and speech are operating clearly accurately and clearly, and that we connect to other people in an open and natural manner. In historical Chinese medicine texts, references to diagnosing and treating ‘panic, anxiety and agitation’ (kŏng huáng, jiāo lù) and altered moods (qíng xù bù wĕn) can be found.

Today, research has shown that acupuncture may be of some benefit to people wishing to improve their mental health. A review of research “showed positive and statistically significant effects from using acupuncture for treating subjects with anxiety.” In regards to depression, a systematic review found that study participants who were taking SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) had better results when also having acupuncture treatment, than taking SSRIs alone. “This systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that acupuncture combined with antidepressant medication is effective, has an early onset of action, safe and well-tolerated over the first 6-week treatment period.” For those who have difficulty sleeping, a systematic review found acupuncture was more effective for insomnia than either sham acupuncture or pharmacotherapy.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate help please contact:


Call 03 5909 0040 for more information or to make an appointment at the clinic.