Sattvic Bliss Health Blog



This blog is about healthy living, complementary therapies and the search for enlightenment.  


Life can be full of stresses and strains, but it is also full of joy, peace and happiness.  Sometimes we just need to know where to look !.


Namaste !

By Jo Scrimshaw, Mar 17 2020 09:13PM

As a child I didnt worry. There was no need. I was lucky.

As a teenager, I became concerned that I wouldnt pass my maths o'level. I also worried that I was an ugly duckling that would never have a real life. In particular I worried that I would be flat chested and skinny my whole life. I prayed to the stars and God to make me curvy. I realise now that i fundamentally misunderstood the role of the creator or the firmament in this matter. I was also truly scared about the relationship between the USA and Russia. They hurled insults and nuclear threats at each other with alarming regularity, whilst I was living as a child through the news reports of the Cuban missile crisis and the cold war. No-one thought to sit me down and explain it to me, perhaps no-one could explain how 2 great nations being cross with each other could end up with the world in dust. And as for the arguments over Northern fathers family came from there and it was bloody on more than just a sunday.

Sometimes while I was looking at the stars and wishing for curves, I would admit to abject fear that some random aeroplane in the sky was bringing the bomb that would end all life in a flash.

I married and struggled with fertility issues. Now my big worry was never being able to create a family. Then I had two wonderful babies and suffered post natal depression. Now my worry was that I would never stop crying or crawl out of the big dark hole that engulfed me.

I divorced, moved out, struggled with the financial crisis in the UK (jobwise) and found complementary therapies. I clearly remember the day that I danced around the living room to Fairground by Simply Red after selling my bike so that I could pay for private tuition in aromatherapy. But I digress.....

Then I married an angry alcoholic. That gave me a few real worries......but it turned out ok, after a few more worries about being homeless, broke and a bad mother.

Then I married my best friend. He has had cancer for almost 10 years. We have gone through radiotherapy, major drugs, chemotherapy, diagnosis of this, that and the other. He lost some sight in his left eye, had a heart operation, an argument with a pot bellied stove (bad burns - horrendous treatment) and go stuck in an MRI machine (this almost caused more issues than the rest of the medical stuff).

I work in an industry that is heavily regulated, dismissed as witchcraft (problem ?) and laden with other peoples issues with life. I wondered this week how witch hazel got downgraded but that is another story altogether.

So now I have to worry about the pandemic of a flu style virus that might end the world as I know it.

So..... what shall i do ?.

I believe that I will continue to care about my fellow man, work as much as I am able, do my yoga, meditate, light my candles, burn my aromatherapy oils, walk my dog, read my books, clean my hands and carry on.

I dont know any other way to do it. But I do know that this too shall pass...................

By Jo Scrimshaw, Jan 2 2020 08:43PM

How do you feel in the mornings? Bright and happy? Ready for the day?, Tired and irritable because its early, dark, Thursday ? or do you have no idea why life is impossible before coffee etc?

I have found a cure. I am now able to identify how I’m feeling, physically, emotionally and mentally. I can, as the Joker once said in the Batman film, “give a name to my pain”. I am also now able to turn a day from “its not looking good already….” into a much better one. How? … you may ask.

Well the answer has surprised even me. You see, I was born without any genes that make exercise a fun thing to do. I think my brother got them all. He has always been very sporty, Rugby, Tri-athlons, Running, Swimming & Cycling. He and his wife were once known as Mr & Mrs Motivator. Me… not so much. I did like Skiffing (wooden racing craft, often spotted on the Thames). I also spent many a Saturday (8 years worth) running on and off a rugby pitch administering First Aid. I developed a muscular physique performing sports massage treatments over the same period of time for the Rugby club. It was a tough job but someone had to do it…….. Apart from that I only had one love when it came to exercise and I didn’t regard it as exercise. Yoga. My favourite classes were the de-stress ones that allowed me to stretch my body and calm my mind. I have practised this amazing art, on and off, since I was 14. My yoga journal was always my favourite read and any chance to meditate or practice mindfulness made me a very happy bunny.

Due to children, work and family stuff, I always practiced yoga during the day or in the evening. Then in 2012 on holiday in Gran Canaria, I had the opportunity to practise in the morning. I knew that the ancient traditions of Ayurveda recommend morning yoga, but I had not truly understood why. After a few mornings I found a morning practice almost addictive. I would stand on the mat with my hands in prayer position, checking in with my balance, taking my attention to the heart centre, inhale and as I exhaled raising my hands up for a sun salutation. Then one morning I paused. Instead of one breath I allowed myself full awareness of the breath. My breathing became deeper and my focus moved naturally to the heart centre. Only I didn’t find peace, I found irritation and restlessness. I found my true condition on that day and I found honesty. It was our last day and I didn’t want to go home. I was happy in our peaceful, sunny, gloriously bright and shiny holiday refuge. I stood still with tears falling down my face as I realised that my body, mind and spirit were truly relaxed for the first time in many years. I also knew that if I wanted to feel tired and stressed again, that I had simply to return to the life I had left and make no changes. I wiped my tears away on my kaftan sleeve (as you do…) and made a mental note that changes were required. I set an intention to change. I’m still a work in progress (aren’t we all) but provided that the work is still in progress then there is a good chance for pleasing results.

Now my mat is a place for honesty. I pay attention to the way I feel. I pay attention to the thoughts in my head. When we sleep the subconcious seems to process all sorts of stuff and our body works on repair and renewal. Generally we don’t remember our brain activity overnight, but the quiet space on the mat allows the mind to offer up some thoughts for resolution. The physical space on the mat allows our body to communicate any aches and pains for attention. Our very presence on the mat allows the spirit space to breathe.

Me and my mat…. We are bff (best friends forever) and my mornings are happier because of it.

By Jo Scrimshaw, Aug 10 2016 04:41PM

500 miles to your next service. My car updates me when it is time to give it a little TLC. Car services are timed to make sure that the engines are running smoothly to minimise the risk of problems. Nowadays garages tend to check the car over at service time to anticipate any issues and review car fuel performance. Anyone with a new or fairly new car knows that this is a sensible thing to do.

I consider myself to be very lucky to afford the lease payments on my car. In the past I had older cars that had a service when I could afford them. Sometimes the cost of 2 or 3 services exceeded the cost of another older car, so I just ran it till it broke.

Computers have come down in value so much that most PC's are cheaper to replace than take to an engineer. Since I am self- employed, my time is now money. By the time I have tried to make it work, looked up fixes online, got frustrated with it and given in, I have lost a days work and I still haven't started to consider the engineers costs or the loss of time while the computer is away for repair . Best to order a replacement online and restore my data on to it quickly.

In common with many bits of equipment it is possible to simply put a new bit of kit in place of the broken car, computer, gadget or whatever. We live in a disposable world where replacement is common place .

But what happens when that broken piece of equipment is part of our bodies. Are our bodies now considered disposable too ? Or do we just think that illness will never happen us ? Maybe we believe that the NHS can fix anything. Advancements in medicine can leave us thinking that they already have a cure for everything that ails us. New heart - no problem! Replace my blood - sure ! New leg from genetic work ? - absolutely. What can't they do ?

Did you know that life insurance is relatively cheap ? And sickness insurance is very expensive ? It's because, statistically, we are much more likely to be chronically sick than we are to die. Death isnt expensive but living with an illness is !

A good friend of mine recently had an acute mental breakdown. Crisis team after crisis team were slow to respond and quick to tell her that they didn't feel that they could offer the kind of help she needed. It was the medical equivalent of having the wrong kind of wet leaves on a railway line. Wtf ? If you feel like you want to die you need immediate, comprehensive, compassionate help, not constant calls asking you to explain to sterile, note-taking strangers why your life has fallen apart. After much stress and many agonising days, my friend chose privately paid help which really worked. Despite having a compassionate doctor to hand out anti-depressants, the overall result was NHS failure.

One of my clients has random, wandering pains in her stomach. She is under investigation for cancer, bowel issues, circulation issues and anything else they can think of. She is in daily pain and coming close to the end of her tether. They have no idea what is wrong with her so she has been sent home with pain killers while they organise more tests. All these tests are at the end of long waiting lists. More pain. More painkillers.

In both these cases the women left their symptoms for a long time. They didn't want to make a fuss. No point in bothering people till it's really necessary ! Now they are left wondering if they have been forgotten or just ignored by the NHS system. Truth is, the NHS service is horribly overworked and under- funded. Staff are working longer and longer hours to be left dealing with illnesses that are advanced enough to require 4 times the attention that it would have done, had it been caught earlier.

As individuals we need to take responsibility for our own health. We need to respect the equipment (body and mind), that we have been given and stop abusing it to the point of breakdown.

Let's be clear. Sugar is bad for you. Many pre-processed foods have little or no nutritional value. Too much drinking, excess fried foods, microwaved anything, GMO, lack of exercise and too much stress will probably ensure that you spend a large portion of your life in a queue for some doctor to offer you a pill and tell you that the medical miracle you thought would solve your problems is not suitable for your particular type of illness.

So what is good for you ?. Living your life with a little joy !. Doing things that make your heart feel glad. Glad enough to radiate a smile that will fill a room. Finding happiness in family and/or friends. Doing things that make daily life easier for others. Truly listening when someone needs to talk. Getting some rest when you need it. Really tasting your food, savouring the flavours and appreciating their life giving qualities. Doing some stretching to free up your muscles. Breathing deeply and slowly. Sitting without a TV or radio or other outside noise and just "being". Having a lie in and waking later.

When you have done some of these things you might actually hear your inner voice telling you what you need to do to make it all feel better. That little voice is very intelligent. It knows you much better than you know yourself. Mine once told me to leave the house I was living in, the relationship that I was having and change my career. I dismissed this “voice” as sensationalist nonsense of the tabloid press variety. But 3 years later I had done all of those things. Who knew ? well me apparently ! The little voice is just like that computer in your car. If you listen it will tell you when you need some TLC or even when you need to make a big change in life. Listening to the inner voice is a key feature of mindfulness. To be aware of the needs of our body and our mind, is to be truly intelligent. So the next time you have a few minutes to yourself, listen to your body and see if it has something to say. You might well get a mental image of someone folding their arms and looking huffy while the voice says “oh ! get you ! after all this time ! you dont write, you dont call, yet you expect wisdom to just come flowing from me at the drop of a hat !”. or words to that effect. But even that is good news because you have started a dialogue with your inner self. And if you find yourself saying “I dont have time to talk to my inner voice”, then you should be very worried indeed because you are failing to pay attention to the only equipment (body) that you have been given.

Do you need a 500 mile service ?. you tell me !

#health, #mindfulness, #innervoice, #sattvicbliss

By Jo Scrimshaw, Jan 9 2016 12:06PM

I am told that dating has changed dramatically since I was last single. Apparently you have to do it online because there are so few opportunities to meet people. Having had my share of dating (in the past) and now being very happy in my 3rd marriage, I feel that I might have something to say to all the people out there who are looking for a “significant other”.

To be clear, I never liked the idea of online dating. I signed up for a couple of dating web sites, but managed to cancel both of them before the trial period was up. I blame disappointing nights out and a spot too much of the vino for signing up at all. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who found Mr./Mrs. Right on-line, I just don’t know any of them. Or if I do, they are not admitting it. On-line dating is so random !. You end up looking through a catalogue of (in my case) men in various selfie poses most of whom got too close the camera, or asked a friend to take a photo on the one day in their lives that they went to do something exciting. I have a photo of me abseiling in Scotland. I did it once because I wanted to be on holiday with my best friend and because I wanted to impress the abseiling instructor. I ended up dating him for a year, but that's beside the point. Strangely the abject fear I experienced on that day doesn’t show up on my face in the photo. But I could have used that photo on the dating sites to suggest that I was an outdoor girl who was up for adventure. In fact I was a single mum (of 2 young children) who was most often knackered and preferred a night in the pub with friends, to a day on the cliffside wondering if I was going to die. I suppose it depends on what kind of relationship you are after. Lets be honest a lot of people on dating web sites have a very flexible idea about what constitutes dating. From the “are we in bed yet?" variety, to the “I want someone to devote their life to making me happy” to the “I want romantic, sweep me off my feet, change everything type” and all the other varieties in-between. I suspect that some of my single female friends want the latter type. A life changing romance with friendship, sex and a chocolate box future. But just like that box of chocolates in the film Forrest Gump you really don’t know what you are going to get. When you meet someone really nice who thinks you are really nice you both give off pheromones. You literally need to smell your significant other to know if they are the right one for you. In the short term, it is possible for the hormones that control the sexual urge to override the pheromones of true compatibility. I guess you just have to persevere to find out which one it is. Anyway what I’m saying is that you can’t smell people on line, so you are going to need a lot of dates before you start finding possible matches. Think of it as looking through a supermarket shelf for the piece of cheese with the longest sell by date. There will be a lot to choose from. Some will be the wrong size, shape etc., and you may be in the wrong supermarket, but if you choose to shop for a partner on-line, then that seems to be the only way forward. So in order to get round that kind of lengthy selection process, here are some of my simple and sometimes old-fashioned ideas.

Rule 1: If you want to meet a man, go where men go! If you want to meet a woman, go where women go! Sounds obvious now doesn’t it. Yes, there are men in supermarkets and out walking dogs, but short of tripping one up down the vegetable aisle or sending your dog over to do something eye-catching and amazing, you are unlikely to achieve anything more than a smile. Also remember that people in shops and walking dogs have a task to complete. It would take something really silly to get more than 2 words out of another human being at the checkout. Admittedly I have had numerous conversations with people at checkouts, but they are always older women, who just want to be sociable or complain about something. No, you need a place where your “intended” will have time to play, talk and get to know you. No I don’t mean a gym either. Although it comes slightly higher up the list than supermarkets you have to consider why people are there. Maybe they do just want to show off their perfect gym bodies. If that is your kind of person then you are probably not reading this, you are in the gym posing, because if they have a perfect body then either they want a partner with a perfect body, or you do. The other 90% are in the gym because they are training for an event, trying to get fit to have a better-looking body or trying to lose weight. Besides it’s not easy to start up a conversation whilst heavy breathing, sweating profusely or trying to keep to your gym plan. Please remember that men seldom multi-task. Being in the gym IS the activity, so chatting up random people is a form of multi-tasking. And women often feel rather conscious of their body shape in gyms. I know a lot of women who would consider a man quite pervy if he was to start a chat up whilst they are wearing their cover-all t-shirt with sweaty hair and make up slipping down their faces. So, where are the men? Well, they are often with other men at clubs (sporting or otherwise). They are often in pubs. They go to work and they come to your home to fix things. The key thing is, that most of them have sisters or female friends

Rule 2: Yes ladies and gentlemen, make more friends of the opposite sex and accept invitations to events that involve men. (And vice versa for men) Then take an interest in the activity and be relaxed about it. It’s really creepy for a man to meet a female that interrogates him on the first meeting and won't leave his side. And boys, its really creepy for a man to be slimy around women they hardly know. This is a long-term plan to always have male and female friends. Expand your social circle!!! Then when someone comes along, you wont be alone and lonely if it doesn’t work out. If you don’t have a circle of friends then make a start on making one (or more). People who don’t have friends have issues (or they have recently moved). Making friends takes time but if you can’t do it then maybe there is something about you that is actually pushing people away

Rule 3. Be yourself! If you are really a tomboy who loves the outdoor life and doesn’t want to spend days in watching TV, then don’t tell people that you do. If you meet a Vegan, don’t go Vegan immediately, it just makes you look weak! By all means give it a go, but unless you want to be a closet meat eater, stick to your guns and see if the Vegan can cope with you eating meat whenever you go out. During my time with that abseiling instructor we went rock climbing in the Peak District. By the time I had clawed my way over the last ledge and rolled onto the ground breathing heavily, my instructor looked lovingly at the view and said "doesn't it make you feel glad to be alive?" "Yes", I replied, "but we maybe looking at that from 2 different perspectives! I'm actually glad to be alive” It all went down hill from there. He eventually married some downhill skier on natural speed. All for the best I think.

Rule 4. Don’t shit on your own doorstep unless you want to move. Having an affair with a colleague or casually sleeping with a close friend in one social group is a recipe for disaster. If you are going to do it, make sure it’s worth the risk. Getting together with people from other offices, or suppliers is acceptable, as is a friend on the periphery of a group of people. Someone you see from time to time is much easier to handle (if it all goes wrong), then having to look them in the face most days or weeks. Nothing quite splits a group like two regular people within it disliking each other intensely. One person will leave the group. Make sure its not you.

A very good friend of mine once said. People come together to create something. When that creation process is complete there has to be something left or the union will fail. Maybe this accounts for the high level of divorce after the children are born. The couple came together to create a family (to procreate). Once that task was complete there was nothing left to keep them together? The trick is for both parties to want to raise a family together. Some women want a man to create a family then take over the children, exclude the father from daily activities and send him to work to earn more. When men obey their new directive they detach from the mother and the separation begins because they no longer have a common goal. Having said that sometimes the father feels that his task is complete at procreation. When he is no longer the center of attention he goes to find the missing bit. Maybe we should ask each person at a wedding “what do you want to create?

Rule 5. Give a little. A relationship is not just about what YOU get out of it. It’s also about what you are prepared to do for the other human being. Give and take. I have learned that sometimes I have to close my mouth and listen. I know what my opinion is. I have been known to tell other people what my opinion is. The real stuff starts when you find out what THEIR opinion is. You can then work together on the middle ground. It's not a bad place to be provided the scenery is good for both. If it’s not good its not the middle ground so keep talking. This kind of exchange happens between friends; real friends who want the best for each other. It’s also a great way to start being closer friends with someone in your new social group. Everyone likes to be listened to. But if the other person isn’t listening to you then move on.

Rule 6: Like yourself. If you don’t like yourself how do you expect another person to like you? Constantly running yourself down with “I’m so fat”, “I’m so stupid” etc. It’s not attractive, so don't do it!! By the way alcoholics and drug addicts don't tend to like themselves much. If you suspect that you have acquired one take it from me. You can't fix them!!!! Get out now before they take you down too.

Rule 7: Get a life. Be interesting. Have hobbies and activities. There is nothing more oppressive and tiring than expecting your significant other to be your entertainments manager, supervisor and life coach.

So that’s it. My 7 rules for dating. I met my lovely husband through the sport of shooting. He was my best friend for 10 years and then he was lots more. We now run the club together and we shoot together from time to time. I love my complementary therapies and my sewing and I am happy for him to go off with his friends to do what they do. In fact I encourage it. As a result he encourages and supports me in my interests. We are both dominant characters and have strong opinions. Sometimes I shut up if he is expressing frustration. Then we talk it through the next day. Sometimes he tells me all about the issues he is having with a small piece of technical equipment, so I tell him all about the styles of sewing needles available on the market. We learn about each other every day and its fun. I look back on my single years with a wry smile and a knowing that I did my best to be a good friend to everyone in my social circles. I met lots of people this way and it enriched my life. In the process I met a lot of men. I chatted to lots and made friends with lots but dated only a few. There were some momentous disasters that taught me lots about characters that I don’t want in my life but they are outweighed by the fun that I had. I can’t say that I am still actively friends with any of my ex’s but there are only 1 or two that would make me want to disappear if I met them again. So out you all go and make friends, lots of friends, casual ones, close ones and occasional ones. Through one of those groups you might just find the perfect person for you. And he will smell good! I promise.


By Jo Scrimshaw, Dec 6 2015 10:08AM

On the news this morning, I heard that the latest idea is to make personalised drugs to protect our health. I wonder what those drugs might be ?. I wonder who might make them? I wonder who might profit from dishing out medication to people without any symptoms? I wonder how our local GP's might cope with patients making appointments for all their existing health problems, as well as all the long consultations on their potential health issues?

Healthy people are healthy because they are either lucky or because they pay attention to their lifestyle and their diet. I have to ask how people are to be assessed for their potential illnesses? My own family tree contains enough illness to tick most of the risk boxes. So, maybe I should take an anti-cancer pill, a heart diease pill, an arthritis pill, a diabetes pill ….etc etc. I wonder how that would work? I wonder if any of those pills might actually trigger the very disease that it claimed to control?

I consider myself to be healthy. I thank good fortune for the good equipment (body) I have been given. Then I take responsibility for my day to day living. I look to my diet and select foods carefully. I eat vegetables, pulses, grains, fruit and nuts. I also eat meat and dairy. I try to eat organic whenever I can, because I choose to limit the amount of chemicals that enter my body. A friend of mine recently argued with me over my preference for organic food, saying that, statistically, non-organic foods contained as many vitamins and minerals as the organic variety. Im not sure where her statistics came from and I don’t care. I’m sure that a non-organic carrot does still have vitamins in it. I just dont want to eat too many of them, because it probably also contains traces of the latest bug killer and growth enhancer. Maybe those chemicals won’t kill me but i’m sure that eating less of them is better than taking them into my body every day.

I have a theory about health. I believe that when a child is born they arrive into this world with a pair of health scales. On one side is health, on the other side illness. Problem is you can’t tell where the scales are set. For some people, the scales have so much health that they can smoke, drink and abuse their bodies, happily dying at 100 years old of just worn out body parts. For others the scales are (genetically) weighed down with so much illness that they have cancer (for example) by the time they are 1. For most people it seems that it depends on how you treat your body. By doing the best you can, you load the healthy side and hope it is enough to beat the genetic issues.

Looking at the bigger picture. What is health? A very wise man once told me that health is the blend of a body without pain, a mind without worries and a contented spirit. That sounds good to me but I can’t imagine a tablet that does all that. I’m not sure that I would even want one. I want to be healthy but I also want to experience my life, not walk through it in a haze. I like the ups and downs and not knowing what comes next. I want to feel excitement and joy and I’m prepared to pay for that with the times that life is not so good. Provided my base line is that healthy state, all is good with me.

My chosen health method is a combination of Ayurveda (for diet and herbs), Yoga (for exercise and a peaceful mind) and Polarity (for those stressful times when something malfunctions anyway). I listen to my body everyday. I pay attention when it grumbles and I do something about it. I take responsibility for my health.

A long long time ago, the job of a doctor was to protect health. If their clients became ill they were fired (or killed). Doctors assessed the inner environment of bodies, by taking the pulses, looking at the tongue, checking out the quality of the eyes and noting any smells that might indicate a body that had become too acid or alkaline. They then advised food and herbs to help them correct the imbalance before it became ill-health. These ancient arts are still alive today. You can find them in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, Herbalism, Homeopathy and Accupuncture amongst others.

It would be truly wonderful if trained doctors (G.Ps) could help people to be healthy. If they had time to really listen to their patients and advise them on health issues. If they had time…….. Isn’t that the real issue with doctors today ?. They are not allowed the time to deal with illness, let alone health. The drugs that are used today for illness, often have side effects and don’t always work, because we are all different. We are all individuals with differing needs, reactions and sensitivities.

So if the drug companies want to start medicating the whole population for some illness they might get, with some magic bullet of a tablet, then count me out. You will find me out walking or in a shoulder stand or eating something truly scrumptious and nutritious.

Namaste !


RSS Feed

Web feed