My First Experience with Reiki

Written by: Helen



I love trying out new things.  However, I must say that I was a bit sceptical about Reiki.  Like many people, I tend to carry tension around in my shoulders and neck so I’m a big fan of massage; and the rougher the better in my opinion, there’s no point doing it unless it makes you squirm.

That’s why I couldn’t quite get my head around the idea of a treatment where the therapist was simply going to lay their hands on me.  I wasn’t sure I would get any benefit.


What is Reiki?

Reiki was founded by a Japanese buddhist Mikao Usui, who is said to have discovered the ability of Reiki whilst fasting and meditating on Mt.Kurama.  It is a spiritual practice where the practitioner transfers energy to restore a person’s internal balance.  This allows for healing. It has to do with chakras (if you know about that type of thing) and, the way the therapist explained it to me, was that it was a bit like tuning an old-fashioned telly (where I’m the old telly).  She said we have an energy flow throughout our bodies and that sometimes this energy flow can get blocked.  As a Reiki practitioneer she is able to unblock me so to speak.

The benefits people are supposed to receive from Reiki include, as I’ve mentioned, dissolving energy blocks and restoring our natural balance, releasing stress and tension, clearing the mind and enabling the body to self-heal.


My Experience

It was actually a really strange experience.  Having never had Reiki before I didn’t know what to expect.  However, I assumed that I wouldn’t really feel anything.  I was willing to accept that it may have some benefit even though I don’t fully understand about chakras and energy flow.

Unlike massage, I didn’t have to undress at all.  I took off my shoes, lay down and, since it was cold, Maria (the practitioner) pulled a warm towel over me.  There was some relaxing music and she lay her hands at the top of my head.  My first thought was that her hands were a little cold and then, the best way to describe it, it was as though something surged through me.  It started at the top of my head and it felt quite powerful, as though my whole body tingled.  I remember almost asking her to stop a moment because it felt so odd and it had surprised me. 

At the time, I assumed this must be the normal sensation during Reiki.  However, afterwards Maria told me that it is different for everyone.  She said that some people see colours or some people see one specific colour.  She said some people may feel a certain sensation.  She said some people don’t feel anything but the Reiki practitioner knows if it’s worked or not because they can feel the energy.

I don’t know why my sensation was so strong (perhaps I had particularly blocked chakras or something!). I have since been reasoning with myself that maybe it was psychological and I imagined it.  But then I remember back to how shocked I was and know I didn’t imagine it.  For me, that sensation continued throughout the treatment although not as intense as at the start.

What I would say is that Reiki is very relaxing (rumours that I dozed off a couple of times during the session and woke myself up snoring may or may not be true).  At the end of the session I felt a little groggy and was glad of a glass of water and a moment to re-orientate myself before venturing back into the real world.

I would certainly say that Reiki is worth a go.  It is something I would like to try again and see whether I have a similar experience.  It’s also given me a further interest to find out more about it.

Have you ever had Reiki before? If so what did you think?  Or if not are you tempted to give it a try?  Leave me a comment below.

I visited By Ria in Nuneaton.  Here is the link to her website. You can subscribe to my website using the box above and thanks for reading 🙂


Fit Food Friday: Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Written by: Helen

I eat quite a lot of chickpeas, either in curries or salads or just on the side.  I’ve always know that they were nutritious but even I was surprised at some of the reported benefits of these small beans.

I feel as though the most burning question I have with regards to chickpeas is why they are also called garbanzo beans.  I don’t know why this is my most burning question but these little puzzles in life niggle at me.  After wasting valuable time looking into this I can now tell you that…I still don’t really know, except that garbanzo originates from Spain and any other explanations I found on the internet were far too long-winded and boring.  So let’s move on from pointless chickpea facts to 7 pretty awesome ones.




1) Fibre Content

Amazingly one cup of chickpeas can provide us with about 50% of our daily requirement for fibre (around 13g of fibre in one cup).  Fibre is important for keeping our digestive system healthy, as well as other benefits.


2) Protein

 They are an excellent source of protein, particularly for vegans.  One cup provides around 15g of protein. For a food to be classed as a ‘complete’ protein it has to contain all the essential amino acids (such as dairy and meat).  Vegans combine plant protein sources to form complete proteins.  Chickpeas lack methionine but can be used with wholegrains (such as brown rice) to form a complete protein.


3) Bone Health

The nutrients in chickpeas are important for the health of our bones. These include calcium, zinc and vitamin K.  A low intake of vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture.  They also contain a large amount of manganese which is necessary for a healthy bone structure (and leads nicely on to number 4).


4) Manganese

The amount of manganese in chickpeas deserves a benefit all to itself.  You can get around 84.5% of your daily requirement in one cup.  The benefits of manganese, apart from bone health as mentioned, are its antioxidant properties (helping to fight disease), it enables proper functioning of the thyroid gland and sex hormones, regulation of blood sugar and it aids the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.


5) Cholesterol

Studies have shown that chickpeas lower our amount of LDL cholesterol.


6) Heart Health

This is partly due to point 5, the cholesterol lowering effect, and also due to the fibre, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B content which all play a role in heart health.


7) Antioxidants

Manganese is a powerful antioxidant and, as I’ve said, chickpeas contain a high amount of this mineral.  As well as manganese they also provide smaller amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E and antioxidant phytonutrients.  The important work that antioxidants do in our bodies can’t be stressed enough as they play a key role in preventing disease.


Interestingly, during my research I came across a chickling or grass pea which causes brain damage if they are consumed in high quantities over a prolonged period of time.  I wouldn’t worry about getting the two mixed up as I doubt they are on the shelves at your local Tesco (if you do see them on the menu somewhere I would politely decline and stick with chickpeas!).

As usual here are a couple of chickpea recipe links.  Do you eat chickpeas? If not, will you be eating more now you know how good they are for you? Let me know below.  Don’t forget to subscribe in the box at the top so I can deliver more Friday Foody Goodness straight to your inbox.  Thanks for reading 🙂


Easy Chickpea & Quinoa lunch recipe

Roasted Chickpeas

Authentic Chickpea Curry



Organic facts


World’s Healthiest Foods

Get Ready For Breakfast Week 25th-31st Jan

Written by: Helen

There is a national Breakfast Week (Shake Up Your Wake Up) starting this Sunday the 25th January.  This means that, if your breakfasts are a little hit and miss, this is the perfect week to get yourself into a healthier morning routine.  We’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day so the start of the year is the perfect time to create those healthy breakfast habits.


breakfast week


Why is breakfast so important?

The clue is in the name.  In the morning we need to break the overnight fast.  If we rush out the house without doing this we are more likely to be snacking our way through to lunch and, studies show, that without a decent breakfast we tend to reach for sugary, calorie laden snacks.  Research has also shown that people who eat breakfast tend to be a healthier weight compared to those who skip breakfast.

Breakfast is also a great time to start taking in some of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need on a daily basis.  Our bodies require adequate daily amounts of certain nutrients and if we don’t consume any at breakfast it has been found to be unlikely we will make up for it later in the day.

Other reasons we should eat breakfast are because it gives us energy and enables us to concentrate better.  A six year study compared a group of adults who ate a nutritious breakfast to a group who did not.  Those who didn’t eat breakfast became less efficient as the day went on.  Their productivity improved after lunch but, overall, they were slower than the healthy breakfast eaters.  It’s also thought that starting the day with the right food lowers stress levels and can improve mood.  In children, breakfast has been linked to better behaviour and grades.


Healthy breakfast tips

  • The most important thing is to make a nutritious breakfast part of your daily routine.  There was a time once, many moons ago, when I really wasn’t a fan of breakfast.  I never fancied eating first thing and didn’t make time for it.  Now I can’t imagine starting my day on an empty stomach.
  • Eat at least 1 of your 5 a day.  Breakfast is an opportunity to get a head start on your 5 a day and means you can face what the day may bring loaded with the nutrients that fruit and vegetables provide us.
  • If you eat cereals make sure they are low in sugar and have added nutrients such as vitamin D and iron.
  • If you are pressed for time in the morning do some preparation the night before.  Chop some fruit ready to top your porridge with in the morning.
  • Be creative.  On the mornings when you have a bit more time cook something a little different.  If you eat cereal in the morning try different cereals so you don’t get bored.  Keep breakfast interesting.  I have some recipe links later.
  • Keep breakfasts you can ‘eat on the gofor days when you really don’t have time, such as when you sleep past your alarm clock (Sleeping in is not a problem for me as I have a toddler-shaped alarm clock that is always up far too early and yet my mornings are still a rush!).  These could be simple things like yoghurt or fruit.
  • Try and eat from  different food groups at breakfast ie. protein, wholegrains and fruit.  This gives you a wide range of nutrients and will be more satiating.


Healthy breakfast ideas

Here are links to 7 recipes you can use for Breakfast Week and beyond.  There are more recipes on the ‘Shake up your wakeup’ website.

Please leave me your comments below.  Do you make time for breakfast?  What’s your favourite breakfast? Subscribe & I’ll alert you of future posts 🙂

Guilt Free Pancakes (Eat Pray Cook)


Warm Porridge Smoothie (Shake Up Your Wakeup)


Poached Egg, Ham & Mustard on Toast (Shake Up Your Wakeup)


Banana, Coconut & Raspberry Baked Oats (SpamellaB)


Bakewell Tart Granola (Naturally Bee)


Winter Spiced Pear Steel-Cut Oatmeal (Use Your Grains)


Breakfast Bagels with 3 Toppings (Shake Up Your Wakeup)


Thanks for reading 🙂


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