Mark Fielding Acupuncture

Acupuncture Background, Clinic & Treatment Details

Contact Details:
Mobile 07717 718038
Middlesbrough 01642 888755
Saltburn 01287 281053
Email mark@markfielding.com


  1. - including waiting/seating area
    Acupuncture Clinic
  2. Clinic Entrance
    Clinic Entrance
  3. Clinic Room
    Clinic Room

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ('FAQ')


Q: Acupuncture - what is it ?

A: Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles into acupuncture points on the body. According to acupunctural teachings this will restore health and well-being. Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Other types of acupuncture (Japanese, Korean, and classical Chinese acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.



Q: What will happen on my first visit ?

A: Your first consultation may be longer than subsequent sessions. The acupuncturist needs to assess your general state of health, in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony and give you the most effective treatment.


You will be asked about your current symptoms and what treatment you have received so far, your medical history and that of your close family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. To discover how the energies are flowing in your body, the acupuncturist is likely to feel your pulses on both wrists, noting their quality, rhythm and strength.


The structure, colour and coating of your tongue also gives a good guide to your physical health. Once enough information has been gathered to determine the likely causes of your problems, the acupuncturist can select the most appropriate treatment.
The aim is to discover which energy channels need adjusting for your specific complaint to improve, and which require treatment to boost your overall energy and vitality.


Loose, comfortable clothing should be worn, and you should be aware that the acupuncturist may need to access points on your torso as well as on your arms and legs.


Stimulation of specific areas on or beneath the skin affects the functioning of certain organs in the body. However, those areas may not be close to the part of the body where the problem is experienced. For example, although you may suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.


(Traditional acupuncture involves the use of high-quality stainless steel, silver, or copper needles)

There are around 500 such acupuncture points on the body, and a properly trained and experienced acupuncturist will use a selection of perhaps ten or twelve of these for each treatment. It is quite usual that, during a course of treatment, different points will be selected as the patients condition changes.

The acupuncturist may supplement the needle treatment with moxa, a smouldering herb which is used to warm acupuncture points to encourage the body's energy to flow smoothly. Other methods of stimulating acupuncture points include using lasers or electro-acupuncture. Massage, or tapping with a rounded probe, are techniques particularly suitable for small children or for people with a fear of needles.



Q: What does it feel like ?

A: Most people's experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much finer and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. Needles are inserted either for a second or two, or may be left in place for 30 minutes or more, depending on the effect required. During treatment, patients commonly experience a heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.



Q: What should I do before treatment ?

A: Try not to have a big meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse. Also avoid alcohol and food or drinks which colour your tongue (such as coffee) immediately prior to treatment.



Q: How will I feel after acupuncture ?

A: Usually rather relaxed and calm. Occasionally you may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the treatment has been particularly strong or there may be a short term flare up of your symptoms as your Qi clears and resettles itself.



Q: Should I tell my doctor ?

A: If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it makes sense to tell him or her about your plans to have acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but your doctor should be consulted regarding any change of prescription. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.



Q: Is acupuncture available on the NHS ?

A: Not generally. In cases where your local Primary Care Group(PCG) or Primary Care Trust(PCT) have agreed a contract with a local acupuncturist, your GP may make a referral. However, you should always enquire as to the training of an acupuncturist and ensure that they have studied for a minimum three years full-time or the part-time equivalent. Many GP's/Physios have just done a weekend or two training.



Q: What should I look for in an acupuncturist ?

A: Aside from assurances that the practitioner is trained thoroughly, registered, and has appropriate insurance cover, your personal relationship/rapport with your practitioner is important. Find a practitioner with whom you feel comfortable, who understands what you want from treatment and who can explain clearly what they expect acupuncture treatment to be able to do for you.



Q: What can acupuncture do for me ?

A: It depends on whether you have specific symptoms or want to use acupuncture as a preventative treatment. Contact one or more of the practitioners in your area to discuss your condition. They will be able to answer specific questions and will be providing and monitoring your treatment.



Q: How many treatments will I need ?

A: This varies between patients. Certainly a course of treatment is required, one off miracle cures are unusual! Some changes either in yourself generally, or in your condition directly should be noticed after 4 - 6 treatments.



Q: Can I buy an acupuncture machine for self-treatment ?

A: It is not recommended to self-treat either with needles or other gadgets. A fully trained practitioner is needed in order to objectively diagnose and administer appropriate treatment for each individual. Gadgets sold with manuals indicating 'certain points for certain symptoms' do not use traditional acupuncture theory and may cause the patient to overlook other relevant symptoms.



Q: What is the difference between the BAcC and the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) ?

A: We understand that the BMAS takes members who are doctors who have an interest in acupuncture. The BAcC registers practitioner members who have an extensive training in acupuncture (irrespective of any prior western medical training) of at least 3 years full-time (or the part-time equivalent) and which includes the requisite western medical sciences.



Q: Should I continue with my prescribed medication while undergoing a course of acupuncture treatment ?

A: Yes, at least until careful discussion is had with your doctor or the practitioner who prescribed the medication. Many people seek the help of an acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment - because it does not seem to be working or because the side effects are unacceptable. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.



Q: Does it hurt ?

A: Acupuncture is not painless but neither can it be described as painful. Most people's experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much finer, and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling.



Q: What about the needles used ?

A: Members use single use pre-sterilised disposable needles, which are disposed of after each treatment. British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) members observe the Code of Safe Practice which lays down stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation for other equipment.


NB. Details extracted from British Acupuncture Council publication


  1. - including waiting/seating area
    Acupuncture Clinic
  2. Clinic Entrance
    Clinic Entrance
  3. Clinic Room
    Clinic Room

BACKGROUND TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ('TCM')


Brief History


Ancient Chinese history is said to have begun between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago. This was the age of the Five August ones, or the Five Emperors, legendary figures to whom much in Chinese culture is attributed. In particular, three of these are accredited especial significance in the development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Fu Xi created the 'I Ching' (The Book of Changes), on which the principles of Chinese medical philosophy are based. Shen Nung systematically tested on himself several hundred herbal, mineral and animal compounds to ascertain their properties, classified them into 'superior', 'general' and 'inferior' drugs and compiled the first written work on herbal medicine. To the Yellow Emperor is ascribed the 'Nei Ching' (The Yellow Emperor's Classic on Internal Medicine), which is a highly perceptive work covering the diagnosis and treatment of disorders, and which is still considered essential reading for students of TCM today.

TCM, in fact, embraces several different, but mutually compatible therapies; these are acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, massetherapy and remedial calisthenics. Depending on a patient's problem, one therapy may be used instead of another, but more frequently they are used in combination because of the value of their mutually supporting effects. They all work with the same fundamental theories and an explanation of these in simple terms, before describing the therapies themselves, will help in understanding how they can restore and promote good health in a person.



View of The Body in TCM

The body is traversed by lines of energy running beneath the skin. There are several types, but the two most important are 'meridians', which run along the body, and 'collaterals', which are branches of the meridians and which run across the body. There are 12 meridians and 15 collaterals. Meridians, along their length, approach the surface of the skin at various places, these are acupuncture points. Apart from a superficial course each meridian also has a portion going deep into the body and entering an organ. A meridian is named according to the organ which its internal portion The lung meridian penetrates, its superficial portion generally bearing no relation to this name. Thus, all parts of the body are covered with a network of energy lines which communicate internally with the organs. If there is a disharmony with a certain organ, then symptoms may result directly from that organ, or from some other part of the body along the associated meridian. For example, anxiety could upset the stomach resulting either in stomach ache itself, or perhaps in a rash of spots on the face - since the stomach meridian has branches on the face.

In addition to this simple relationship of disharmony and Creation symptoms is a more complex one. The internal organs are related as five pairs (the so-called 'five elements') and, not only do the two members of each pair interact, but also the five pairs themselves are co-ordinated in cycles of mutual creation and control. This allows the body to remain in balance in the face of many disturbances because when one organ's harmony is upset, the other organs help to pull it back into line - in this respect they behave like shock absorbers. This does mean, however, that if one organ is repeatedly disturbed, then the organs acting as shock absorbers may also start to show signs of imbalance. In such a case, there may be a range of symptoms, some relating to the organ primarily disturbed, and others to any organs secondarily disturbed. For example, prolonged mental agitation may have primary effects oil the heart (which houses the 'mind' in TCM) causing insomnia, and secondary effects on a person's appetite, digestion and frequency of urination. It is the job of a practitioner of oriental medicine to see the clutter of signs and symptoms, to establish the nature of primary and secondary disharmonies, and to provide therapy to redress the observed imbalance. An understanding of the causes of disharmonies is essential if an appropriate course of treatment is to be prescribed.

In addition to this simple relationship of disharmony and Creation symptoms is a more complex one. The internal organs are related as five pairs (the so-called 'five elements') and, not only do the two members of each pair interact, but also the five pairs themselves are co-ordinated in cycles of mutual creation and control. This allows the body to remain in balance in the face of many disturbances because when one organ's harmony is upset, the other organs help to pull it back into line - in this respect they behave like shock absorbers. This does mean, however, that if one organ is repeatedly disturbed, then the organs acting as shock absorbers may also start to show signs of imbalance. In such a case, there may be a range of symptoms, some relating to the organ primarily disturbed, and others to any organs secondarily disturbed. For example, prolonged mental agitation may have primary effects oil the heart (which houses the 'mind' in TCM) causing insomnia, and secondary effects on a person's appetite, digestion and frequency of urination. It is the job of a practitioner of oriental medicine to see the clutter of signs and symptoms, to establish the nature of primary and secondary disharmonies, and to provide therapy to redress the observed imbalance. An understanding of the causes of disharmonies is essential if an appropriate course of treatment is to be prescribed.