Welcome to Health Connect Shen and Safflower Clinic

Safflower Clinic has been active in the community on Phillip Island for around 12 years. In the middle of 2019 current owner and Director, Dr Nicola Macdonald (Chinese Medicine) took it over after a lengthy and successful stint leading another Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine clinic in Brisbane.

For a long time, Safflower Clinic, a part of Health Connect Shen, has been the main Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic on the island, offering the highest quality support to its valued client community.

Our clients are literally from the full spectrum of the life span. We see babies through to the wise elders of the community. They visit us for a variety of reasons and our professional and highly experienced practitioner team like to support you with anything you have that you want to change.

Nicola has specialist interest and extensive experience in women’s health and fertility as well as pain management and has adopted a general practice approach to delivering Traditional Chinese Medicine. Being based in a rural location has meant being purpose fit to the community because we see people from all walks of life with all range of health concerns and wellbeing goals they want our assistance with.

We know our clients regularly choose the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic because of our reliable reputation. Having been present on Philip Island for so long, we have been able to build trust with both the local community and visitors alike.

In the future Safflower clinic will evolve to become an integral part of Health Connect Shen, offering a wider range of services to enhance the health and wellbeing of as many people as possible.

The primary purpose of Health Connect Shen is to offer a diverse range of solutions, while continuing to deliver high quality support for all our clients.

Our team consists of a number of key practitioners who support Nicola in her vision to support you. Together they are able to offer Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Mental Health Counselling, Yoga and massage therapy, as well as a growing range of other complimentary modalities. This provides you with a team who are ready and able to tailor the right treatment plan to help you to achieve optimum health and wellbeing for the long term.

Meet Dr Nicola Macdonald (Chinese Medicine)

With a life long interest in health and wellbeing, owner and Director at Safflower Clinic and Health Connect Shen, Nicola Macdonald has been in clinical practice as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, supporting clients all over the world, for more than two decades.

She was led to Chinese Medicine by a chance encounter while living in London and before long found herself studying in Sydney on her return home to Australia. Nicola’s training included a treasured six months working in China where she refined her skills and gleaned valuable wisdom and expertise from well regarded masters.

Nicola managed her own successful private practice in Sydney before accepting an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ to work for Canyon Ranch Spa Club on the Queen Mary 2.

After a five year adventure on the high seas treating and educating people on the benefits of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Nicola returned to Australia at the end of 2008. She then worked at an Acupuncture IVF Support Clinic in Maroubra, Sydney, until relocating to Brisbane in 2009. In Brisbane Nicola took up the role of Senior Acupuncturist at the Acupuncture and Natural Therapy Centre West End.

In June 2009 Nicola opened Acupuncture Emporium, operating from two locations: West End and Indigo Health for Mind & Body at Mount Gravatt. In January 2013 Nicola purchased the Acupuncture and Natural therapy Centre from Phil Vanderzeil and has continued his legacy to provide the community with an excellent complementary health clinic. Nicola now also owns Safflower clinic in Newhaven and has permanently moved into the Bass Coast Shire.

Nicola’s philosophy is focused on really listening to clients so as to give them time to share their health concerns. Nicola has found, over her multiple decades of experience, that empathy and compassion is key to effective practice that supports clients to achieve optimal results.

Continuing professional education is also imperative to keep abreast of the latest research and innovations in both Allied Health and Western Medicine. Nicola’s passion is ‘to bring this Ancient Medicine into the Modern world’.

When she's not in Clinic with her fabulous clients you can find Nicola taking time to explore the beautiful area where she lives on Philip Island. She'll either be at the beach, heading to a yoga class, in depth in learning about health, wellbeing and leading retreats, cooking up a storm or refining her new love, singing!

Nicola plans to begin hosting her own retreats in the near future so be sure to check back here soon or to follow the clinic on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest on her adventures and offers.

Nicola's Special interest areas:
• reproductive system including hormonal balancing, fertility, pregnancy care and after birth management
• treating children of all ages (starting from 6 months)
• acute viral infections, auto-immune disorders and long-term unresolved allergies and migraines
• digestive disorders and pain
• mental health concerns such as stress and anxiety related conditions

Nicola is a certified 350-hour yoga teacher with Yoga Australia in Hatha yoga with extra certifications in kids yoga, prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, and yoga nidra. Nicola opened Yoga Connect Shen in July 2018 in Brisbane and will be bringing the studio to San Remo in the near future.

Nicola's Professional Qualifications and Training:
• Masters of Health Science in Chinese Medicine 2016
• Yoga Australia certified 350-hour yoga teacher
• Graduated with High Distinctions in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1999
• Completed an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Intern at Nanjing 1st Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing, China, in 2000
• Certified in Advanced Constitutional Facial Renewal Acupuncture (Mary Elizabeth Wakefield)
• Certified in Level 1 and 2 Acutonics (Donna Carey)

AHPRA Registered CMR0001710922