Mental health

3 Chinese men figures
Our Chinese Medicine team at the Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre (RACM) have a special interest in mental health.

What is good mental health?
“Good mental health is a sense of wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day-to-day life and our environment” (Mental Health WA 2016.)

According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

What is the difference between a mental illness and a mental health problem?
“A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, behaves and interacts with other people and may include: anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and depression.

One in 5 Australians will suffer from a mental illness in any given year.

A mental health problem also affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, but to a lesser extent than a mental illness” (Mental Health WA 2016).

Significant hormonal imbalance as well as any state of chronic pain and discomfort may also affect mental health.

Our team endorses the recommendations of the Mental Health team of the Western Australian government, that includes lifestyle tips to promote positive mental health.

  • Talk about or express your feelings
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Spend time with friends and loved ones
  • Develop new skills
  • Relax and enjoy your hobbies
  • Set realistic goals
  • Talk to your GP or a health professional

Chinese Medicine (CM) theory and mental health

For more than two thousand years CM has studied the development of mental health problems and mental illness. A foundation of the ancient theory is that the mind and body are interconnected, and that there are seven emotional states, intrinsically connected to the health of the five main ‘yin’ organs.

The five yin organs and seven emotional states include:

  • Joy or lack of joy, which is associated with the heart and Shen
  • Anger which is related to the liver and Hun
  • Anxiety and fear which is related to the kidneys and Zhi
  • Obsessive thoughts and over worrying which is related to the spleen and Yi
  • Sadness or grief which is related to the lungs and Po

Importantly, treating the organs associated with the seven emotional states is the basis of the CM complementary support of mental health problems and illness.

Our team of Chinese Medicine practitioners are very interested in:

  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Stress and Anxiety

From 2009 the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is conducting numerous research projects on Chinese Medicine including research into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), on a cross cultural group who had experienced torture and war.

This is a long-term ongoing study that is showing promising outcomes in the treatment group.

Depression

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is conducting research into Depression and Chinese Medicine (CM) and while the research is ongoing for a number of years to come, the initial results are promising. At this stage the study has shown clinically and statistically significant reductions on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores for the treatment group compared to the control or non-treatment group.

The average improvement is 15.5 points for the CM treatment group compared to 0.83 points for the control (non-intervention) group.

Insomnia

Chinese Medicine texts have discussed insomnia over many years and many research projects have been conducted on this subject over several decades. Our team of practitioners monitor best practice in this field and have a special interest in insomnia. The profession looks forward to larger high quality randomized clinical trials being conducted, in order to test evidence and efficacy.

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