Good Health Centre clinic

Good Health Centre reopens its doors

We are delighted to inform you that the Good Health Centre is re-opening its doors on Monday 1st June and will be able to once again conduct face to face consultations and treatments.

Due to their popularity we will continue to offer our online video consultations.

You can rest assured we have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that every health and hygiene procedure has been implemented to deliver the very best care with the  minimum risk to your health and wellbeing. 

A few modifications will need to take place at this moment in time. 

  • The day before your appointment you will be emailed a form. This needs to be filled and submitted prior to your appointment. 
  • Please wear comfortable loose clothes for your treatment. 
  • When arriving to the clinic please stay in your car, call us (0113-2371173) to let us know you have arrived. 
  • A member of staff will take your temperature (remotely), ask some questions and guide you to wear a mask (if you haven’t got one we will provide you with such), apply hand sanitiser and show you to your treatment room. Please allow us to open all the doors for you.
  • Please feel free to use the toilets if needed. 
  • All practitioners will be wearing full PPE, including scrubs, gloves, masks and aprons. 
  • We have extended the time allocation between appointments so that each treatment room and touch points are fully sanitised following every patient.
  • We would appreciate if all appointments and card payments could be carried out in the treatment rooms between you and the practitioner. 

Finally, everyone at Good Health Centre is very excited to welcome you back and to be given the opportunity to once again deliver your treatment, care and support. 

Please click here to book your face to face or video appointment.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Warmest wishes,

Ami Sevi

womens health

Aisha’s Recent Women’s Health Training

March is Endometriosis Awareness month – a debilitating condition that affects over 1.5 million women in the UK alone. I thought it would be a useful time to provide an update on my ongoing journey with women’s health.

My passion for women’s health has taken me to complete an Advanced Pregnancy Practitioner certification by Jenny Burrell of Burrell Education. Jenny is one of the UK’s leading educators in the field of modern pregnancy and post baby, the 3rd Age (Peri-to Post-Menopause) as well as female fitness, wellness, massage and also bodywork therapies. It has been a really enjoyable and interesting learning experience. 

I look forward to go onto to the next phase in my pursuit of women’s health by attending a Mummy MOT course in London next month, which will be led by Maria Elliott, founder of Simply Pelvic Health, Simply Women’s Health and The Mummy MOT London. Maria has worked extensively in the field of Women’s Health for over 30 years and is one of the UK’s leading practitioners in women’s and men’s pelvic health.

The course is designed for working with new mums and their postnatal health and will help me to create pelvic restorative programmes, assess pelvic floor function and provide a progressive recovery plan, develop practical solutions for diastatis recovery, and help mums return happily to a pain-free sex life.

I can’t wait to undertake this next phase of my learning, so that I can continue to improve my work with women patients at the Good Health Centre.

pregnancy massage

The Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

As women, we are often taught to tuck the pelvis for stability and decrease the lumbar curve. This is often the focus of yoga and pilates to find a neutral spine. So what happens when this can’t happen to accommodate a baby whilst pregnant? The hormone relaxin does what it says on the tin and relaxes soft tissues in the body, often causing hypermobility. Hypermobile joints allow movement beyond their normal range which puts undue pressure on the muscles supporting that area.

What are the main issues treated?

As the primary focus of relaxin is to soften the pelvis this can result in lower back pain and for some women pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) can occur. This can also lead to sciatic symptoms where the nerve that runs down the leg gets intermittently trapped and is referred to as ‘lightning crutch’ by midwives due to its electric nature. Some women will be advised to wear maternity support belts and others find pregnancy yoga very effective to keep the pelvis comfortable.

How can Massage help?

Pregnancy Massage is a wonderful complementary choice for pre and postnatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellbeing. Massage can reduce some of the discomforts experienced during Pregnancy such as back ache, neck stiffness, leg cramps, headaches and swelling. When performed during pregnancy, massage therapy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscles aches and joint pain.

How will the treatment be performed?

– During the treatment a side lying position is adopted with appropriate cushioning.

– Massage is only performed after the first trimester.

– Postnatal includes the six week period after birth.

Here at Good Health Centre our therapist Harriet has 17 years experience of working with pregnant clients through both Massage and Reflexology.  She has helped many women through their pregnancy and even some in labour! To book in online please visit https://goodhealthcentre.co.uk/book-an-appointment/.

 

Ten Tips for a Healthy Heart

There’s nothing like Valentine’s Day to focus the mind on matters of the heart. And while we at the Good Health Centre are looking forward to the cards, flowers and romantic sentiments of the day, we’ll also be thinking about the heart as a vital organ. This 14 February, why not show your heart some love? 

Here are the top 10 things you can do to promote good heart health.

Reduce stress

It’s easier said than done, when it can sometimes feel like life does all it can to keep our stress levels high. But nothing puts the heart under greater pressure than stress, so it’s important to find a stress-management technique that works for you. It can be something structured like yoga or meditation, or something unstructured, like going for a walk somewhere away from it all – the important thing is to find something that helps you relax and de-stress.

Ditch the added sugars

Sugar is highly inflammatory, and that’s never a good thing when it comes to the heart. A high-sugar diet can contribute to a range of cardiovascular conditions, so reducing your total sugar intake is a simple strategy for promoting good heart health. Ditch the processed meals (which are often full of ‘hidden’ sugar) and fill your plate with heart-healthy vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats instead.

Cut down on salt

Salt is another major contributor to cardiovascular problems – and another reason to ditch the ready meals. Too much salt in the diet can lead to increased blood pressure, which puts unnecessary stress on the heart. Many of the processed foods on supermarket shelves contain high levels of salt, so try swapping them out for wholefoods like mineral-rich vegetables, nuts, seeds, bananas and avocados.

Limit alcohol

The health implications of excessive alcohol intake are wide and varied, but the effects on the heart can be substantial. Not only does excessive alcohol consumption contribute to damage to the heart tissues themselves, but the process of detoxification required by the liver can raise the heart rate and act as a stressor. Public Health England recommends a maximum of 14 units of alcohol per week. Reduce your intake in line with that, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier heart.

Reduce caffeine intake

Most people know caffeine is a stimulant – that’s why so many of us reach for a pick-me-up coffee first thing in the morning. But too much of anything can be a bad thing, and caffeine raises the heart rate and acts as a stressor. Limiting your caffeine intake will mean your body is better able to benefit from specific phytonutrients, as well as reducing cardiovascular stress. Swapping out all but your first coffee of the day for a decaf alternative will do wonders for your heart.

Be active

The heart is a muscle, and all muscles benefit from being gently overworked from time to time. One of the easiest ways to promote good heart health is to undertake gentle daily exercise that gets the heart working a little bit harder. Walk to the shops instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Anything you can do to add a bit of movement into your day will improve your cardiovascular health and boost your heart’s output.

Laugh and smile more

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? That’s because laughing is one of the best stress relievers there is. It’s also contagious, so try and surround yourself with smiley, happy people. Social studies have shown that those who smile more are not only more likely to feel less stressed, but they generally have improved blood pressure.

Breathe!

It might sound like a silly thing to recommend, because you’re not about to stop your involuntary breathing. But it can be incredibly beneficial to really pay attention to how you breathe. We’re often unaware of how we’re breathing and can revert to taking short, sharp breaths or gasps. Concentrating on your breathing and taking long, slow, deep breaths can be a great way to wind down and relax, which will make for a much happier, healthier heart. Try to introduce some breathing techniques into your daily routine and you’ll feel the benefits immediately.

Sleep well

Poor sleep – and even insomnia – is associated with increased cardiovascular disease, so getting a good, restful night does more for you than simply letting you wake up feeling refreshed. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Try making your bedroom as dark, cool and quiet as possible, as this will promote restfulness. It’s also a good idea to stay away from all digital devices for at least two hours before heading to bed, as they are prone to whipping us up into a state of heightened stimulation. You could also try meditation or calm time, and even a magnesium-based drink like prune, passion fruit or pineapple juice.

Consider supplements

With the best will in the world, it’s difficult to ensure we’re getting as much of everything our bodies need on a regular basis. Food supplements are a great way to plug any gaps in your nutritional intake, and can help prevent a range of ailments and diseases from developing. Health professionals may even recommend a therapeutic amount of a certain nutrient for some conditions. If you’re predisposed to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or other heart conditions, it might even be that you require a greater amount of specific nutrients than your diet is ever going to provide. Your doctor will be able to point you in the direction of the right supplement for you.

How we can help:

Here at the Good Health Centre in Leeds, our practitioners offer a range of services to help you on your way to better heart health. Our osteopaths, massage, reiki and reflexology therapists can help you find a way to relax, de-stress, and head back out into the world feeling refreshed and re-energised. Maybe you need help to kick a bad habit or overcome a phobia that is causing you distress? An appointment with our hypnotherapist might be just the thing you need. Or for guidance on implementing all-round healthier eating habits, our nutritionist will be able to help you plan a diet that is good for your heart – and your peace of mind.

Our osteopaths will improve your physical wellbeing, improving your mobility and reduce muscle restrictions which in turn will allow you to perform more cardiovascular exercise.  The GHC osteopaths also have bespoke treatment plans to reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing.

Book an appointment with us today, and let’s start showing your heart the love it deserves.

A Happy, Healthy Vagus Nerve

WHAT IS THE VAGUS NERVE?

The word ‘Vagus’ means ‘to wander’. So it’s a fitting name for the Vagus Nerve, which wends its way from the brainstem to the abdomen and passes through many of the body’s vital organs on its way. 

The longest nerve in the body, the Vagus Nerve is an integral component of the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps the body re-regulate following periods of heightened stress and anxiety. It carries anti-inflammatory signals between the brain and vital organs like the heart, gut, lungs, liver and spleen, and is a key player in the body’s in-built ‘rest and digest’ response system. 

So it’s pretty important that the lines of communication are kept open at all times.

But what happens when the Vagus Nerve’s ability to function is impaired or restricted in some way? 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY VAGUS NERVE IS IMPAIRED?

Because the Vagus Nerve passes through so many of the vital organs, the symptoms of vagal nerve impairment are wide-ranging and varied. If you suffer from any of the following, it could indicate that your Vagus Nerve is not functioning optimally:

  • Regular heartburn
  • Digestive issues
  • Acid reflux
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Migraines

HOW CAN I HELP PROMOTE OPTIMAL FUNCTION AT HOME?

There are loads of things you can do at home to help the Vagus Nerve function optimally. Because it is central to the body’s stress-response system, lowering or limiting stress is one of the most important things you can do to keep the Vagus Nerve working at its best. Anything that helps you relax is going to have benefits in this respect. You could try:

  • Regular exercise, while maintaining a strong breathing pattern through your nose
  • Undertaking relaxation activities, such as meditation or yoga, while breathing deeply through your nose
  • Getting monthly or fortnightly massages to promote relaxation and fluid movement
  • Eating your meals in a relaxed environment

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

There are small things you can do daily to keep the Vagus Nerve functioning well:

  • Activate your gag reflex using your toothbrush
  • Gargle with salt water after brushing your teeth
  • Practice humming, deep in your throat
  • Breathe through your nose, especially at night
  • Laugh lots, and often

 

HOW COULD OSTEOPATHY HELP?

Here at the Good Health Centre, there are lots of things we can do that might help you find homeostasis in your body – and this is going to be key to promoting optimal vagal nerve function. We understand there’s a perfect balance to be found between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and our practitioners may be able to help you find that important equilibrium. If your body is in sympathetic overdrive, we will try and help you re-engage your parasympathetic nervous system, which could help the healing begin. If your parasympathetic nervous system is working too hard, we may be able to help you regulate it. 

Potential benefits include:

  • Helps manage blood pressure
  • Helps with heartburn
  • Helps limit digestive problems
  • Helps maintain body temperature
  • Helps decrease heart rate
  • Helps suppress inflammation
  • Helps boost your immune system

 

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

We have a variety of tools to measure heart rate variability (HRV) which does give an indication to vagal tone. We use visualisation, breathing and biofeedback to improve vagal tone. This particular useful with patients with chronic pain and PTSD. Every patient requires a bespoke approach to improve resilience via accessing the autonomic nervous system.  Reducing sympathetic arousal and hyper vigilance and at the same time increasing the parasympathetic nervous system.

Ready to start your journey towards a happier Vagus Nerve? Book an appointment at the Good Health Centre today.

Myofascial Release and the Treatment of Pain

My recent post about the magical world of fascia, today I explain myofascial release, how it works and why it can be so successful in treating injuries, pain and core dysfunction.

What is myofascial release?

 Myofascial release is a very gentle, no-invasive technique that works directly on the fascia to release tension and adhesions. When fascia is functioning well, it slides and glides, facilitates movement and supports the structure, like the guy ropes of a tent.

If one area is pulled too tight, the structure may unable to support itself fully, with some areas weakening and others being rigid and stuck. Over-use, under-use, injury, inflammation and scar tissue can all cause fascia to solidify, thicken and shorten, becoming restricted, less mobile and tight. As the body compensates, tissues and muscles adapt by over-working, weakening or tensing. One example of this is in a condition such as diastasis-recti. If there is significant tension along the outer abs, the inner abs and connective tissue may struggle to return back together. For pelvic floor injuries such as prolapse, releasing tension or adhesions in the fascia of the pelvis can often help the organs return to their optimal alignment. 

 As fascia is continuous, adhesions in one area can transfer to other places along the ‘thread’ and cause a distortion in the shape of the tissue (postural patterns) and restriction around the nerves (pain) in much the same way that a snagged jumper can change shape, or show a pull elsewhere in the fabric. Releasing any part of the chain can have a profound effect on the entire structure, allowing the fascia to unwind, regain its elasticity and release the pressure it may be placing on a nerve, organ or joint.

For Optimal Release:

In order to release and unwind, fascia requires the following conditions:

Warmth – ever noticed how bendy you feel after a warming yoga class?

A light touch – fascia tenses under force. The more rapid the force, the more it will thicken. 

Gentle, sustained pressure – no pummelling, blasting or elbowing: that will simply cause it to tense even more

Plenty of fluid – it needs to slide and glide, not drag and scrape

Correct application:

Unlike massage, which works by applying rhythmic and mobile pressure to the muscles to increase blood flow and soften the muscle fibres, myofascial release works by applying light pressure to the skin – fascia’s outermost surface –  and waiting for a sense of the tissues yielding or changing consistency. Once the fascia has ‘let you in’, applying gentle pressure and allowing the hands or fingers to follow the line of fascia will enable it to release, lengthen and regain its elasticity. 

There are many devices and techniques available that claim to release fascia. Using something like a foam roller may provide short-term relief from tightness in the muscles, as it increases blood flow and can mobilise some of the tissues. However, if the casing that runs in and around the muscle (i.e. the fascia) has not released, it’s like trying to squeeze into an item of clothing that’s too tight. Like cornflour solution, fascia yields under gentle and soft pressure, but will solidify to resist force. Pummelling tense shoulders, digging elbows into tight glutes or whizzing up and down on a foam roller to release tight hamstrings are more likely to cause more tension in the fascia, rather than release it.

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!

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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.

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Meditation

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

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Depression
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!

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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.