5 Tips For A Healthy Heart

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September is Vascular Disease Awareness Month! Every clinician we have working here at IMC from our doctors to our nutritionists will tell you the importance of keeping your heart healthy. It really is the heart of you, without which nothing would function. With this in mind we list our top five tips to help you keep your heart healthy….

Make sure you’re managing your weight. Extra weight means your heart is having to work harder to pump blood around your body which puts strain on it. If you struggle with weight management and would like some help, book in with one of our nutritionists today.

Don’t drink too much! Yes, we all regularly hear that ‘one glass is good for you’ but the problem is that one glass every day can start adding inches to your waistline which, as we saw in tip one, is bad news for heart health.

Make sure you eat enough fish. At least two portions a week is the recommended intake to help prevent heart disease. And make sure one of those is an oily one!

Cut down on saturated fat. The ‘baddie’ of the food world – eating a diet too high in saturated fat can lead to increased cholesterol in your blood stream. Not all saturated fat is bad though so make sure you choose wisely! Avocados, despite being a source naturally rich in fat, have actually been shown to lower cholesterol so make sure you include these in your diet.

Quit the smoking habit. With most things in life there are usually arguments for and against it but with smoking this is not the case. No part of smoking cigarettes has been found to be beneficial and it is now thought to be solely responsible for 14% of deaths from heart disease in the UK. However, the most important thing is that it is preventable! So give up today and start reaping back the benefits, in your wallet and in your health.

If you’re concerned about your heart or just want some advice on anything, from nutrition to giving up smoking, book an appointment today and we will find the right specialist for you!

Alternatively you can give us a call on 02037 949 108

5 Foods To Help You Have A Great Autumn

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Once the weather starts getting colder you can wind down your healthy eating plan, right? Think you can reach for the chocolate now the shorts have been put away? Wrong! It is more important than ever to eat healthily during the colder months. Coughs and sneezes are on their way so a careful consideration of nutrition keeps your immune system in tip-top condition. Keep healthy with these nutritional powerhouses from the autumn harvest…

Autumn brings plenty of local pears! Pears contain an abundance of essential phenolic phytonutrients. These phytonutrients are used in the body for their anti-inflammatory properties, as antioxidants and for their role in preventing cancer. But make sure you’re eating those skins! Studies show that there are up to four times as many of these nutrients in the skin as in the flesh.

The local hedgerows are full of juicy blackberries! Not only are they low in sugar and virtually fat-free they are also bursting with manganese, a nutrient that’s vital in maintaining and improving brain function. Plus, picking them gets you up and out and breathing in that fresh autumnal air!

Rhubarb does more than look pretty in pink. One serving contains 45% of your daily requirement of Vitamin K which, as well aiding healthy bone growth, has been shown to limit neuronal damage and help to prevent Alzheimer’s. Just make sure that you leave the toxic leaves out of your crumble!

Kale seems to be the apple of the nutritionist’s eye at the moment but with good reason. Kale’s health benefits are hard to beat and the nutrients it contains play a role in everything from the formation of blood to maintaining healthy skin and vision. 

Finally, it’s pumpkins! Perhaps the most well known of the autumn harvest but definitely not one to be kept just for Halloween! Pumpkins are good for your mood as they contain tryptophan, an amino acid which is essential in the production of serotonin-your favourite feel good friend! So whether you roast the seeds or make pumpkin soup with the flesh just make sure you’re doing something with it after you’ve carved it!

For information on how you can optimise your health this autumn book an appointment with our nutritionist Claudia Gravaghi here.

Alternatively call The Italian Medical Centre on 0203 794 9108.

Our New Dermatologist: Dr Davide Altamura

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We are pleased to announce that Dr Davide Altamura, Consultant Dermatologist and member of the British Association of Dermatologists, will also be joining The Italian Medical Centre team. Davide’s primary professional interests cover skin cancers and the management of mole mapping, as well as skin and aesthetic surgery.

Davide received advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, and his work covers the full range of acute and chronic skin conditions in patients from paediatrics through to adulthood. Through his advanced training and experience, Davide has published several internationally recognised scientific articles on these topics.

Following his postgraduate master’s degree in dermato-surgery, Davide obtained his European Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training. This included focus on Venereology, extending his professional expertise in the areas of male genital disorders.

If you would like to speak to a professional for advice about a skin condition, or book a consultation, call us to make an appointment with Dr Altamura on 020 37949108.

Every Hour Matters: How much sleep does your child really need?

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Sleep is an essential part of our lives and we all know that it is crucial that our children get a good nights sleep.  Without it, our children’s behaviour is impaired and a bad night’s sleep can create monsters out of our little angels!

According to The Sleep Foundation, it is difficult to tell when your child is getting an insufficient amount of sleep as drowsy children do not necessarily slow down the way adults do. When tired, children will often display hyperactive behaviour and resist bedtime. This can lead to a very negative pattern of behaviour for the entire family with stressed parents and upset infants.

If you believe your child isn’t sleeping enough then speaking to a paediatrician should be your first step. It’s important to rule out any form of sleep disorder or medical condition and they will be able to advise on tips for a better night sleep. There are many steps you can take to improve the sleeping habits of your child, for example setting aside a time before bed to wind down properly and limiting the use of technology.

Dr Augusto Palombi, The Italian Medical Centre’s Paediatrician recommends that a good bed routine is important whatever the age. He has provided some essential tips that will help us get the best night sleep:

– Try to go to sleep at the same time every night, a good routine is crucial.

– For babies, they should have a bath and be changed into comfortable night clothes. A lullaby and a cuddle also helps!

– Avoid using screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed.

– Avoid any form of caffeine for the last 3/4 hours before settling down to sleep.

– Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind and can also help us to get a restful night sleep.

– Ensure the bedroom is kept cool (18/19 celsius). Keep the room dark and calm, better to not keep any technology in the room that has flashing lights as this can interfere with sleep.

– CDs with hypnotic music are also worth a try as they can help relax the mind.

The sleep foundation have put together the following guidelines indicating how much sleep your child requires to be fully rested:

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At The Italian Medical Centre, we offer a variety of services for young children and adolescents, from paediatric care to psychological support and medical advice to help your children and ensure they get the best care and support. To contact us and view Dr Augusto Palombi’s profile follow this link:

Food Safety Tips This Christmas

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With the Christmas countdown now in full swing, many of us may be turning to cookbooks and magazines to plan our festive feast. To ensure your big day is joyous and smooth sailing for all the family, we’ve put together some food safety tips and guidelines below.

Avoid cross-contamination – Ensure all raw food is kept completely separate from food that is ready to eat. Most definitely use separate chopping boards! Raw food can contain harmful bacteria and spreads incredibly easily.

Wash your hands – Bacteria and bugs are easily spread between food and kitchen surfaces so be sure to wash and dry your hands before handling food. ESPECIALLY when handling raw meat.

Wash your veg thoroughly – Be sure to remove all the soil attached to your vegetables as this is where most of the bacteria is. Rub them under fresh water thoroughly and then an extra final rinse for extra precaution!

Cook food thoroughly – To avoid food poisoning ensure your food is steaming hot all the way through. Triple check meat such as poultry, pork, kebabs, burgers and pork are cooked until steaming hot with no pink meat in sight.

Cleaning up – Wash all your worktops and chopping boards before and after cooking thoroughly and remember to replace your kitchen clothes and sponges regularly – studies have shown they contain the highest rate of bacteria and germs in the home!

After you’ve indulged in a successful clean healthy festive meal, sit down and relax for some down-time!

We hope you have an amazing day.

Are You Familiar With The Bowen Technique?

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Are you familiar with Bowen?

The Bowen technique is a holistic therapy that releases the body’s energy to heal itself using gentle rolling movements over the surface of the skin, using thumbs and forefingers. The Bowen practitioner makes small, rolling movements over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue at precise points on the body, applying only a very light pressure. No hard-tissue manipulation or force is needed or used. Rather than ‘making’ the body change, Bowen ‘asks’ the body to recognise and make the necessary changes. Between each set of moves, the body is allowed to rest for a few minutes, allowing it to absorb the information it has received and initiate the healing process.

Bowen seek to help with a wide range of conditions including sport injuries, digestive issues, anxiety and stress. Bowen can be of assistance in many cases of emotional stress, where relaxation is a prime factor in easing pain and anxiety. In fact, many clients become so relaxed that they fall asleep during the session. It can also aid during seasonal changes, as some the procedures assist respiratory issues such as simple colds and coughs. Bowen strengthens the immune system and makes our body more resistant to viral conditions. 

The therapy is suitable for all ages and issues, from a baby with colic to an elderly person with arthritis, and there are no known contra-indications. Clients are advised not to have other hands-on therapies while receiving Bowen, as this can confuse the body’s response and inhibit the healing process.

The first step to take when considering Bowen therapy is to book an initial consultation with one of our therapists. This will give us an opportunity to find out about your medical history and which problems you would like to get treated for.

Find out more about our Bowen Therapy specialist here:

Or call us on: +44 (0) 203 794 9108

Are You Boosting Your Children’s Natural Immunity This Winter?

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Winter is fast approaching, alongside this comes a variety of colds and winter bugs that spread around schools like wildfire. Avoiding a cold during the Winter is almost impossible, however, we have some top tips that will help you keep your children’s immunity up this Winter.

Wash hands – Ensure your children wash their hands regularly with antibacterial soap, it sounds simple but it is one of the most effective ways to prevent cold and flu bugs – especially in a school environment where germs are high.

Eating the right diet – Immune boosting foods such as ginger, garlic, spinach are all full of vital immune-boosting vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Keeping the body well nourished is important so when viruses do strike the immune system has fuel to work efficiently.

Vitamin C – There is evidence that Vitamin C helps make cold symptoms less severe and may shorten the duration of a cold. Foods that contain a high level of vitamin C that you can incorporate into your child’s packed lunches are dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes and papayas.

Keep sugar to a minimum –  Sugar has been known to decrease the immune response, so if your children are consuming lots of sugar on a regular basis this could lower their immune system making them more vulnerable to flu’s and viruses.

Plenty of sleep – Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is vital, sleep is the way our bodies repair and heal. So, during cold and flu season it is immensely important your child is gaining the sleep they need. Diffusing essential oils like lavender and chamomile before bed is the ideal way for you and your children to unwind and relax in preparation for a deep sleep.

Anxiety and stress levels can be high when you’re looking after a poorly child, however try to remember that most illnesses pass in a week or so and remember it will all ultimately help strengthen your child’s immune system – The Italian Medical Centre offer a variety of services for young children and adolescents, from paediatric care to psychological support including paediatric nutrition, allergies and general medicine. If you would like to speak to us about how we could help you, please contact us today.

What Makes Integrated Medicine Different to Anything Else?

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Why is integrated medicine different to conventional medicine?

And why a holistic approach to integrated medicine will support you better

Complementary therapies are medicines and treatments that fall outside of conventional healthcare, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Bowen therapy and herbal medicine. Some people choose these therapies to reflect the values of their lifestyle; however, these approaches can be combined with mainstream medical treatments, which is known as integrated medicine.

At The Italian Medical Centre, we wholeheartedly believe in a bespoke, holistic approach to medicine, so that we can address you as a whole person and strive to support you in the best way possible. It is this approach to medicine and healthcare that sets us apart from so many other private clinics in London, as it is clear that one treatment is not always the most suitable, and other factors in your personal environment, such as your psychological wellbeing and emotional state, will also need to be taken into consideration to understand the most effective way of supporting you.

It is for this reason that many have turned to integrated medicine, as it is believed that complementary therapies are adept at improving emotional states and overall quality of life, drawing a very significant connection between the body and the mind.

Have you experienced integrated medicine for yourself? Take a look at the services we offer on our website at or contact us to discuss how we can help you.

5 Tips to Help Maintain Positive Thoughts

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Maintaining positive thoughts is crucial when you want to achieve something. Here at The Italian Medical Centre, we understand the power that positive thinking has upon your mental health, ensuring that you gain the best quality of life.

1. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good from within! Exercise is a great way to release these positive chemicals making you feel better about yourself and your life.
2. Start your day strong. Create a healthy morning ritual and get into a routine. You’ll find it easier to get up in the morning!
3. Be around positive people, it’s contagious and will give yourself and others a positive lift.
4. Show your appreciation for others each day. Offering compliments to other people can create a positive chain reaction.
5. Live with gratitude. Try not to focus on the negative aspects of your day, instead, concentrate on the positives, however small or big they may be.

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