Blood donation following acupuncture

Patients who have received acupuncture are still able to give blood providing they meet certain criteria. The National Blood Service guidelines are explained here.

National Blood Service (NBS) Guidelines

1. Patients must not donate (obligatory):

  • If the condition for which treatment was given is not acceptable to the NBS.
  • If it is less than 4 months since treatment was completed for that condition.


2. Patients may donate (discretionary):

  • If acupuncture has been performed under
    the NHS.
  • If acupuncture has been performed outside the NHS by a qualified Healthcare Professional registered with a statutory body.

Statutory Bodies:

  • General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • General Dental Council (GDC)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HPC)


Our osteopaths and physiotherapist have all undertaken post graduate training in Western Medical Acupuncture (also known as Dry Needling) with the British Medical Acupuncture Society and can offer safe and effective acupuncture treatments alongside their conventional osteopathic approaches.

The WMA technique uses acupuncture needles inserted into specific areas of the body that may be associated with tender points known as 'trigger points'. These points are commonly located in regions of acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body's release of natural painkillers (endorphin and serotonin) in the pain control pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received, but acupuncture does much more than reduce pain; it has a beneficial effect
on health with patients often reporting an improved sense of overall
wellbeing after treatment.

When attending for therapy, your practitioner will assess your individual case and tailor the treatment to your individual needs. It is impossible to give more than a general idea of what treatment might involve. Typically, fine needles are inserted through the skin and left in position briefly, sometimes with manual or electrical stimulation. The number of needles varies but may be only two or three. The key thing to remember is that acupuncture should not be a painful experience! Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatment lasts 4 to 8 sessions.

Despite some treatment points coinciding with traditional Chinese acupuncture points, WMA does not use any of the diagnostic or treatment philosophy associated with traditional Chinese medicine. Dry needling and WMA is a discrete treatment system normally used in addition to or as an adjunctive method of pain management along side other musculoskeletal therapies such as osteopathy.

WMA is effective in a wide range of painful conditions and is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain such as back, shoulder, neck and leg pain. It has been successfully used to treat headaches, migraines, 'trapped nerves', chronic muscle strains and various kinds of rheumatic and arthritic pain.


However, there are some other situations, non musculoskeletal conditions in which WMA might be used and found to be helpful;

  • Functional bowel or bladder problems such as IBS or irritable bladder
  • Sinus problems and chronic catarrh
  • Stopping smoking
  • Menstrual and menopausal symptoms
  • Stress and anxiety syndromes

Book this treatment
at the Hertfordshire Clinic

or call 0208 441 8352

Book this treatment
at the Ayrshire Clinic


or call 01292 260334


Marcus Webb

BSc (Hons) Ost Med, DO ND

PG Cert (osteoporosis)

Marcus qualified in 1988 from the British College of Osteopathic medicine (formally the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy) where he served as a part-time lecturer for four years. He has a special professional interest in the nutritional management of osteoporosis and chronic pain disorders using medical acupuncture. He continues to lecture to special interest groups as well as writing and broadcasting for the public in magazines. Marcus is also a chartered Biologist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.


Josh Lam

BSc (Hons) Ost Med, DO ND

Josh graduated as an Osteopath from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002 and began
practising in a multidisciplinary
clinic where he gained invaluable knowledge and experience.

He has always had a keen interested in martial arts, which brings with it many, many injuries… most he admits, are of his own doing! Thankfully, all the knocks and sprains have not been too substantial, but injury did drive him to seek osteopathic care in his youth. Josh feels this kindled his interest in musculoskeletal therapy and ultimately set him on the path to train as an osteopath.

Josh takes a structural approach to treating people and always provides naturopathic advice where appropriate. Hw uses electrotherapy such as ultrasound and interferential as well as using acupuncture as part of his osteopathic approach when it is suitable. He works alongside a group of varied and highly experienced practitioners at Hadley Wood Healthcare, which has given him a marvellous opportunity to share skills and develop a more personalized, and in depth approach to each individual patients’ treatment.
Josh is an independent self employed practitioner.


All the osteopaths at Hadley Wood Healthcare who use WMA have completed their clinical training with the British Medical Acupuncture Society and are registered by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). A certificate is available if required for presentation to your local blood donation clinic, just ask at reception when booking your appointment.