Osteopathy Leeds

Get a head start on your resolutions!

Whether you’ve committed to weekly winter walks or Monday meditation days, stick to your 2020 resolutions!


Regrettable resolutions

According to clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani in December 2015, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals, and roughly 80% fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Though we know you’re obviously not part of that staggering statistic… we thought we’d give you some good reasons not to give up in 2020! (Read Joseph Luciana’s article here: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail )


Get your walking boots on

If you’re making a resolution to take up weekly walking, take a look at these interesting facts that are sure to keep you motivated through the cold winter months and bouncing into spring:


  • Walking 6,000 steps a day will help improve your health and walking 10,000 will help you lose weight! 
  • Walking also increases blood flow to the brain and improves your mood. 
  • If you were to go walking for 10 miles every week, it would eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year. 
  • By walking an extra 20 minutes a day, you will burn 7 pounds of body fat per year.



Over the past decade, meditation has become an extremely popular practice. Below you will see that not only is meditation great for those who suffer from anxiety or stress, but also for those trying to give up tricky habits such as smoking. With more people becoming aware of the benefits of meditating, the more people want to get involved! Have a look at some of the reasons meditation is good for you, they’ll have you saying “om” in no time:


  • According to a study carried out by Harvard Medical School (How mindfulness can change your brain and improve your health, 2016), meditation can help reduce many of the health-related symptoms caused by stress. Read about them here: https://hr.harvard.edu/files/humanresources/files/mindfulness_now_and_zen.pdf
  • Research conducted at Wake Forest Baptist University discovered that meditation can decrease the intensity of pain by 40% and the general unpleasantness of pain by a huge 57%, making it a go-to for those with chronic pain. 
  • In multiple studies, it has been found that meditation has played an important role in encouraging people to quit addictions such as smoking. The results have been published in such notable publications as Addiction Research and Journal of Addiction Medicine


At the Good Health Centre, your wellbeing is the most important thing to us. To learn more about us, please visit our website: https://goodhealthcentre.co.uk/


osteopathy clinic leeds

 How to keep healthy in flu season! 

The Austrian berry that could keep you flu-free!


Organic Elderberry Throat Spray

The Good Health Centre is now selling the Organic Elderberry Throat spray which contains Manuka honey & Marshmallow. This does not contain Vitamin C but has been recommended by Viridian to be mixed with Vitamin C for the same great benefits. 

The Elderberry 

Organic Elderberry, taken alongside Vitamin C, is the newest remedy for cold and flu immunity. Suitable for both children and adults, this simple concoction is the ideal solution to those susceptible to flu in the colder months. The Good Health Centre recommends using medicine with elderberry in, from Viridian Nutrition, for example. 


What are elderberries and what are their health benefits?

Elderberries come from organic fields in Austria. Scientifically named ‘Sambucus nigra’, black elderberries come from the honeysuckle plant family. Black elderberries have been used consistently throughout history in medicine to aid the immune system. The elderberry is also high in antioxidants and zinc. 


Created by experts at Viridian for both adults and children aged 6+, the Elderberry Elixir is perfect for those who may have a low immune system. 


Who is at risk?

Anyone can get flu, however, some people are more susceptible to catching the horrible illness than others. This may be due to age, general health conditions or even medications. If you are one of those at risk, it may be worth investing in a remedy to help you overcome this. Those at risk include:

  • Children and infants: Children aged 5 and under are more at risk as their immune systems have not yet fully developed.
  • Older adults: Adults aged 65 and over are also at risk of flu due to the immune system weakening with age. 
  • Pregnant women: Women who are pregnant go through changes to their body which affect the immune system. This makes them more susceptible to flu.
  • Those with weak immune systems: Whether this is due to a condition (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus) or a treatment (E.g. Corticosteroids for arthritis, TNF inhibitors for psoriasis), those with lower immune systems should be prepared in case prevention does not work against the flu. 


For more information on the Good Health Centre, visit our website here: https://goodhealthcentre.co.uk/

For more information on Viridian Nutrition, visit their website here: https://www.viridian-nutrition.com/

Leeds Based Osteopathy

You Time this Yuletide

This holiday season is the gift of giving. Why not give back to yourself?

‘Tis the season to be…

…stressed? We hope not, but from cooking to making sure you’ve got all of your presents beautifully-wrapped in time, Christmas for some can be one of the most stressful time of the year.

Those of us who suffer from stress can rest assured in the knowledge that here at the Good Health Centre we have come up with a couple of suggestions to help you unwind and relax during this festive period.


Stress and your body

High-pressure events, like Christmas, can cause our bodies to react in a negative way. From common effects such as lack of sleep to more invasive symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches, stress can affect us all differently. Not only does our body react, but our behaviour and our mood may also change.

The best way to prevent stress from taking hold of your Christmas holiday is to recognise the signs of stress and know how and when to take time out for yourself.


Managing festive stress

Here are a few ways you can help yourself to manage the stress this festive period may bring:

  • Engaging in physical activity
  • Practising relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, (see our top tips to correct breathing here) meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage (to see how massages may help you by clicking here.
  • Spending time with family and friends.
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading or listening to music.

A really relaxing way of dealing with stress and anxiety is by practising meditation or yoga. Yoga combines physical poses and controlled breathing, and meditation is used for both the mind and body. Incorporating yoga into your holiday schedule may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate to help you cope with the frenetic party season ahead of you.


Osteopathic ‘Maintenance’

As we all know, our bodies need maintaining more frequently as we age. We need regular check-ups to ensure our bodies are performing to the very best of their abilities so we can enjoy our day-to-day activities as much as possible.

Osteopathic treatment is aimed at releasing the strains and stresses from our bodies that have accumulated over time, so remember at this time of year to be kind to yourself and get rid of some of those aches and pains. Having an osteopathic ‘MOT’ treatment with one of our practitioners every few months could benefit you and help you live an even more active lifestyle!

To book an appointment, or to speak to one of our osteopaths for some advice, please call us on 0113 2371173 or visit us here.

How Much Vitamin D Should You Be Getting?

Our guide to the “sunshine vitamin” in winter!

Vitamin D is a hormone that your kidneys produce to control blood calcium concentration and it also impacts the immune system. The best source of vitamin D is from the sun. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to osteoporosis, as those with low vitamin D levels are often people who are not exposed to the sun – for example, housebound or in a care home.


What if you don’t get enough?

According to the NHS, if you don’t get the right amount of vitamin D you could get a deficiency.

6 symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
Getting sick or infected often
Fatigue and tiredness
Bone loss
Hair loss
Muscle, bone and back pain

You can get vitamin D in a lot of everyday foods, oily fish – such as salmon, sardines or herring – liver, egg yolks and fortified foods.

Do I need to take supplements?

The recommended intake of vitamin D is at 10–20 micrograms per day. However, some studies suggest that a larger intake of 25–100 micrograms is needed to maintain optimal blood levels.

The Department of Health and Social Care has advised taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if:

You aren’t often outdoors – for example if you’re frail or housebound.
You are in an institution – for example, a care home.

You usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors.
If you have dark skin – for example, if you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background, you may not get enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Different types of vitamin D

The term “vitamin D” refers to several different versions of itself. The two versions important in humans are; ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). vitamin D2 is a synthetic form (man-made) and vitamin D3 is the internal form that we make.

A researcher called Adolf Windaus was first to discover 3 forms of vitamin D, which were called D1, D2, and D3.
It was later found out that the vitamin D1 was, in fact, a mixture of compounds rather than a vitamin D product, so the term D1 was made redundant.

Liquid vitamin D is another way of ensuring you get the vitamin D your body needs. In addition to supporting bone health, vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health and promoting an overall sense of well-being. It is also good for making sure the bodies immune function is healthy and working!


What happens if I take too much vitamin D?

Over a long period of time, taking too many vitamin D supplements may cause calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia), according to the NHS. This may weaken the bones and damage your kidneys and heart.

If you choose to take vitamin D supplements or are instructed to by a healthcare professional, 10 micrograms a day is enough for most people. The Department of Health and Social Care also advises you to consider taking a vitamin D supplement if you are pregnant.

If you suffer from osteoporosis, contact the Good Health Centre for more information on how we can help you by calling 0113 237 1173 or visit our website for more information about the treatments we provide.

The Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing – not just for meditating!


What does diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing do?

Diaphragmatic breathing has loads of benefits for your body. It’s widely used in meditation, which is thought to help manage the symptoms of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.

Here are more benefits this type of breathing can have:

  • Helping you relax, lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
  • Lowering your heart rate and helping to lower your blood pressure.
  • It improves your core muscle stability and your ability to withstand more exercise.
  • It slows your rate of breathing to expend less energy.
  • Improving mood and energy levels.
  • Minimising pain.

One of the biggest benefits of diaphragmatic breathing is stress reduction. When you are stressed, your body cannot perform at its normal levels and your immune system cannot work at full capacity. For people who suffer from conditions such as chronic stress, this takes a massive toll on the body’s performance over time. People with chronic stress are extremely likely to develop anxiety or depression. Deep breathing exercises could help you reduce some of the effects of stress and anxiety.

With regular abdominal breathing work, lungs are capable of expanding –  increasing your ability to exercise for extended periods of time (whether it’s running or swimming). Over time, practising abdominal breathing can help you to harness the full potential of your pulmonary system to take in and then distribute oxygen throughout your body.

Deep abdominal breathing alters your psychological state, making a painful moment diminish in intensity. For example, your breathing quickens when you are anxious or in pain. Then, taking a deep, slow breath, you experience a calming effect, reducing both stress and pain levels.

The brain makes pain relievers, called endorphins and enkephalins. These hormones are associated with a happy, positive feeling. During deep abdominal breathing, you will oxygenate your blood and trigger the release of endorphins, while also decreasing the release of stress hormones and slowing down your heart rate.


How to breathe correctly

Diaphragmatic breathing:

Lie on your back and place one hand on your upper chest and the other just under your rib cage. This is so you feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves, you will feel this against your hand. (The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.)
Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips.

Although this may feel strange at first, diaphragmatic breathing will strengthen your diaphragm and can be extremely useful for anyone suffering from chronic pain or stress.

The Benefits of Drinking Stout

7th November was National Stout Day!

While drinking too much can have detrimental effects on your health, as it was National Stout Day this month, we thought we’d take a look at the benefits of stout when this drink is enjoyed responsibly.


Stout contains antioxidants!

Yes, that’s right! And although they’re in all beers, stout contains nearly twice the amount of antioxidants found in light-coloured lagers. Stout is packed with flavonoids, the antioxidants that give fruit and vegetables their dark colour.

Antioxidants are molecules that neutralise free radicals – unstable molecules that can harm your cells. We usually find them in foods such as raspberries, kale and artichokes – amidst many other fruits, vegetables and nuts. The health benefits associated with a diet packed with plants are at least partially due to the variety of antioxidants they provide your body!

Getting enough antioxidants in your system is great for your heart. Slowing down the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls, this can help reduce blood clots and the risk of heart attacks.


Strong bones

Taking Guinness as an example, one pint is one per cent calcium, which can boost bone health. A study in 2009 found drinking beer in moderation can help improve bone mineral density, which is a large risk factor in osteoporosis. On top of building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract and our hearts to keep beating!


Vitamins and Iron

According to an article from the Institute of Brewing, a pint of Guinness is full of nutrients, including all the B vitamins, except B12. Vitamins play a vital role in helping our bodies convert food into fuel. Three pints of stout will give you roughly the equivalent of a single yolk egg and contain 3% of an adult’s recommended daily dose of iron, which can help boost your energy levels if you’re feeling a bit sluggish.


The lighter option

Although we don’t initially think of beer as a lighter option, stout is around 50 calories less than other beers – even with the average 8% abv!


Black Velvet – A weirdly delicious and royal cocktail

Taking a whopping 119.53 seconds (on average) to pour perfectly, it will definitely be worth the wait! If you’re a little more impatient you may want to try stout with sparkling wine. Yes, we’re serious. Commonly known as a “Black Velvet”, the drink was first concocted by the bartender of Brooks’s Club in London in 1861, to mourn the death of Prince Albert. Achieved with a champagne flute of sparkling wine, topped with flat stout to give it the dark, eerie look.


Be responsible

Although we’ve discussed the benefits of stout, we strongly advise being sensible and drinking in moderation. To keep health risks to a low level if you drink on a regular basis, men and women are advised to not routinely drink more than 14 units a week.

Skeleton stages from childhood to adulthood

The main purposes of our skeleton stages from childhood to adulthood.

Bone ossification

Bone ossification, or osteogenesis, is the process of bone formation. The early development of the skeletal system begins in roughly the third week after conception, with the formation of the notochord. The notochord is a rod-like structure on the back of the embryo that later develops into the spine, spinal cord and brain. In the fourth week, the first signs of arms and legs start to show. Between the fifth and eighth weeks, the limbs (the arms, hands, and fingers, then the legs, feet, and toes) begin to extend and take shape.

A baby’s body is born with around 300 bones. These eventually fuse to form the 206 bones that adults have. Some of a baby’s bones are made entirely of cartilage, whilst other bones in a baby are only partly made of cartilage. During childhood, with the help of calcium, the cartilage grows and is slowly replaced by bone.


When do bones stop growing?

Longer bones stop growing at around the age of 18 in women and at the age of 21 in men in a process called epiphyseal plate closure. This is when cartilage cells stop dividing and all of the cartilage is replaced by bone!


How age affects our bones

As our bodies age, our muscles, joints and bones affect our posture and the way we walk, leading to weakness and a slowing down in movement. Bones lose mass or density as they age, most prominently in women after menopause. Vertebrae also lose mineral content, making bones thinner over time. Osteoporosis is a common problem, especially for older women. In osteoporosis, bone mineral density is reduced and the integrity of bone proteins is altered, increasing the risk of fracture.

Over 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis and, according to Age UK, 1 in every 2 women and 1 in every 5 men over 50 years of age in the UK, will suffer a fractured bone due to poor bone health. There are often no indicators that one has osteoporosis until a weak bone is broken. Osteopathy and exercise may help with keeping bones strong and it is advised by the Royal Osteoporosis Society to co-ordinate weight-bearing exercises with muscle-strengthening exercises.

Osteoporosis is not a condition that just affects women, although this is a common misconception. The pathogenesis of osteoporosis is complex, and a different set of mechanisms may be operative in any given individual.


What are bones made of?

The surface of the bone is the periosteum. It’s a thin and dense membrane that contains nerves and blood vessels that help nourish the bone.

The layer underneath is compact bone. This is the part that gives skeletons their white-boned look.
Inside the compact bone, there are many layers of cancellous bone. Cancellous bone is not as hard as compact bone, but it is still strong.

The cancellous bone protects the inner part of the bone, the bone marrow – which makes blood cells.
Osteopaths at the Good Health Centre are highly trained and have the expertise to advise and guide you to better musculoskeletal health.

Your osteopath will apply specific gentle treatment appropriate to your age and condition to help you gain mobility and improve strength. In addition, your osteopath will provide you with a tailor-made exercise and movement programme which has shown to be effective in the management of osteoporosis.

For more details on osteopathy and how this may help with osteoporosis, please call one of the osteopaths based at our Leeds practice on 0113 2371173 or book online here.

For information provided by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, please visit here.

For information provided by AgeUK, please visit here.

world spine day

World Spine Day (16th October)

With an estimated one billion people worldwide suffering from back pain, it affects all age groups, from children to the elderly. It is the biggest single cause of disability, with one in four adults estimated to suffer from back pain during their lives. Prevention is therefore key and this year’s World Spine Day will be encouraging people to take steps to be kind to their spines.


Who gets back pain?

Anyone can have back pain, but some things that increase your risk are:

  • Back pain is more common the older you get. You may first have back pain when you are 30 to 40 years old, depending on your lifestyle.
  • Poor physical fitness. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit.
    Being overweight. A diet high in calories and fat can make you gain weight. Too much weight can stress the back and cause pain.
  • Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that affects the spine, can have a genetic component.
  • Other diseases. Some types of arthritis and cancer can cause back pain.
  • Your body may not be able to get enough nutrients to the discs in your back if you smoke. Smoker’s cough may also cause back pain. People who smoke are slow to heal, so back pain may last longer.


What can we do to help?

Here at the Good Health Centre in Leeds, we also recognise the benefits of osteopathic treatment for a wide variety of muscular and joint pains, and also problems caused by poor posture. As well as back pain, Osteopathy can relieve a number of other health complaints, including some that may surprise you:

  • Headaches arising from problems with the neck and migraine prevention
  • Generalised aches and pains including arthritic pain
  • Aches and pains during pregnancy
  • Work-related discomfort in the back, hands and arms
  • Joint pain, including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
  • General, acute and chronic back ache and back pain
  • Mechanical neck pain

Osteopathy treatment involves gentle, manual techniques. Our highly experienced Leeds-based osteopaths can ease your pain and improve your mobility by using these gentle techniques.

Take a look at our website for more information on Osteopathy and what it can do for you or a loved one today.

Osteopathy Leed

National Arthritis Week

This week is National Arthritis Week UK, so let’s look a little more closely at what arthritis is and how the Good Health Centre could help you, or someone you know who’s been affected by arthritis.

Arthritis is a common condition that can cause pain and inflammation in a joint. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, however, two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It can affect one joint or multiple joints and symptoms are often worse in colder weather – so if you have arthritic symptoms, have a read below and see how we can help you to keep your arthritis under control as the colder months blow in. The symptoms of arthritis usually develop over time, but they may also appear suddenly.


Who can get arthritis?

Anyone can get arthritis!

It often starts when a person is between 40 and 50 years old, but women are three times more likely to be affected than men.

Around 10 million people will seek help from their doctor with arthritis-related conditions each year! It is estimated that 8 million will have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the joints to become painful and stiff – it is the most common type of arthritis in the UK.


osteopathy Leeds

Osteopathy and Arthritis

At the Good Health Centre, we offer a variety of treatments for patients with arthritis – the main one being Osteopathy. Osteopathic treatments can help to reduce pain, ease swelling and, most importantly, improve the mobility of someone affected by osteoarthritis. Treatment is not painful and can often relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis immediately.

Manual therapy, such as Osteopathy, could relieve pain, increase flexibility and improve the quality of life for people living with Osteoarthritis.


What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

Osteopathy is a recognised way of improving the body’s own natural healing ability and is an established method of treating problems with muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. Trained osteopaths recognise that much of the pain and disability we suffer stems from abnormalities in our body’s structure and functions.

At the Good Health Centre, we offer Osteopathy for both adults and children suffering from arthritis. Have a look at our website for more information on Osteopathy and what it can do for you or a loved one today.

The 3 most common bike related injuries – Neck Pain

The final chapter – part three

In the final part of this blog series we are going to talk neck pain.

When all the power is being exerted through the legs, why, as a cyclist, would you experience neck pain? Let’s start with anatomy.

Attaching to the base of the skull, into the shoulders and down into the lower part of the spine, is the trapezius muscle (pictured below) which often causes a lot of discomfort for cyclists, but why?

In 1979 Dr Janda, a Czech physician, divided muscles into two groups; tonic and phasic muscles. The idea being that phasic muscles typically work eccentrically against gravity and are prone to becoming weak and inhibited by pain, stress, positioning, whereas tonic muscles are prone to becoming shortened and tight. An imbalance between these tonic and phasic muscles can lead to pain and instability in the body. Janda went on the classify certain predictable patterns of muscle imbalance. The ‘upper cross syndrome’ is an example of when tonic and phasic muscles become imbalanced with the facilitation of the levator scapula, upper fibres of trapezius, sternocleidomastoid and pectoral muscles and the inhibition of the deep neck flexors, serratus anterior and lower fibres of trapezius. These imbalances often lead to rounded shoulders and a forward head posture resulting in neck pain and often associated headaches.

So why do so many of us get into this pattern?

Again, it’s a multifactorial picture and accounts for a lot more than just what’s happening when you cycle. What we do with the rest of our day when we are not cycling has a huge impact on our mechanics when we get on the bike. Those with desk-based jobs are more prone to developing this type of postural pattern and with the rise of technology, we spend more of our time looking down at our phones or typing on laptops. After 8-10 hours of working in a poor desk-based posture, many will then get onto their bikes which can exacerbate the shortening of the tonic muscles including the upper fibres of the trapezius and the lengthening and weakening of the phasic muscles such as the lower fibres of the trapezius. No wonder so many of us suffer from neck pain. So, what can you do to prevent developing this posture and self-treat accordingly?

Prevention and self-care

Stretch and strengthen (Brugger exercise)
Stretch out those tonic muscles and strengthen those phasic muscles!

Pectoral stretch

Upper trapezius and levator scapula stretch

Suboccipital stretch

Latissimus dorsi stretch


During your working day this simple stretch and strengthen routine can really help to open up the chest and exercise the back. It’s named the Brugger Exercise and is shown in the video below here.

TheraBand pull backs for the lower trapezius and rhomboids (remember to squeeze the shoulder blades together at end range)

Thoracic mobility and foam rolling

Often the trapezius and erector spinae muscles that run up the back can become tense if the joints in the back don’t move to their optimum range. In the cycling position, the thoracic spine (mid back) is often locked in a flexed position and this can cause stress and fatigue on the muscles running up into the neck. This is then exacerbated if someone also has a desk job where, for the most of their day, they remain relatively immobile in the thoracic spine. Below is attached a video from British cycling used in the previous blog to demonstrate some ways to mobilise your upper back. Running a foam roller up and down the mid back can also help to open up the chest and mobilise the thoracic spine.

Mobility Video here.

Ergonomics and desk position

Make sure if you are desked based that you have had an ergonomics check, it could just be a bad chair or desk position causing your neck pain! Try to take regular breaks from the desk position, even just rolling your shoulder backwards regularly can help keep muscles looser. If you find this hard to remember just put a post-it note on your laptop or a reminder on your phone to keep moving.

Bike fitting

Bike fit errors can cause issues with the neck, for example having a reach too long or a handlebar position too low can force your neck into extension and lead to irritation of the joints in your lower neck. If you haven’t already it may be worth looking into a bike fit, very small adjustments can make a huge impact on the body when cycling.

Osteopathy. How can we help?

As Osteopaths we are very good at taking a global approach to treatment. We won’t just look at your neck pain, but we will look at it in relation to the rest of your body. Look at any muscle imbalances that may exist between the tonic and phasic muscles, look at your spinal mobility whilst taking into consideration all the factors above that may be linking into the persistence of your neck pain. We are also very good at tailor making home care advice to suit the individual requirements from what has been flagged up in the consultation/treatment. Thinking about sorting out that neck pain that has been bothering you? Find osteopathy at The Good Health Centre Leeds, why wait?

Brit Tate (Osteopath at The Good Health Centre Leeds. Ex-cyclist now triathlete.)