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Qigong vs Reiki

Category: Date: 21 February 2022 Comments: 0

Reiki and Qigong are among the wellness disciplines that can help you find a deeper connection with your inner self. While they share some basic principles, they still have unique purposes. It’s essential that you know the difference between  Qigong and Reiki to know which would be more beneficial for your needs.

Qigong vs Reiki: General Overview

While both disciplines require energy, Qigong relies on specific movements and breathing techniques. Meanwhile, Reiki involves practitioners directing energy from the universe for healing purposes.

Both disciplines have a range of tremendous benefits to the body, spirit, and mind, when practiced. However, to determine which practice is best for you, you need to understand what they offer.An image of a person doing Reiki


Qigong is an ancient Chinese tradition of cultivating and balancing one’s life energy. It combines meditation, philosophy, coordinated body posture, and deep breathing techniques.

Historical references indicate that Qigong evolved from ancient shamanic meditative practice and exercises. The traditional Chinese medical community says that the origin of Qigong comes from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.

Qigong or chi kung uses slow and flexible movements combined with deep breathing to improve one’s health, as well as meditative and spiritual connection. A Qigong routine requires more mindful actions as you may likely have to repeat the same movements in a particular body part, much like when doing Qigong tapping.


Reiki is an ancient Japanese alternative medicine that encourages energy healing. It comes from the Japanese words rei, which means ‘universal’, and ki, which refers to the vital life force energy coursing through all living things. Mikao Usui invented Reiki in the early 1900s.

Practitioners use their hands to deliver energy to the body to improve flow and balance. It involves the transfer of energy from the universe through hand movements.

This method rebalances and promotes a free flow of energy in a person. Reiki practitioners do not use their personal energy for healing because they believe their surroundings or thoughts can pollute the energy. That’s why they channel energy through the universe for more effective healing sessions.

These hand movements are typically performed during a session. The main purpose is to transfer universal energy to help a patient with unclogging blocked energy channels. They also help to rebalance the body and mind as well as promote a free flow of energy.

When this is done, the patient can then enjoy a significant boost in their general well-being and health. Those with injuries both internally and externally can experience some type of healing too.

Some patients might prefer this practice because it is natural and non-invasive. It also requires very minimal effort from the patient. You can notice a quick turnaround from your emotional, pain, or stress issues after one session.

A Reiki practitioner is in the best position to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. The level and extent of the treatment also depend on the severity of each case as well as the patient’s willingness and commitment.

Qigong vs Reiki

Let’s get into energy healing and what both disciplines offer, as well as their similarities and differences.

Similarities Between Qigong and Reiki

Both disciplines follow the principle of Qi. Simply put, Qi is the vital life force and energy flow at the core of our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

  • Balance healing energy: Qigong promotes the art of cultivating and balancing qi. Likewise, Reiki encourages energy absorption from the universe for healing purposes.
  • Better body systems: By balancing the Qi coursing along the body, you can improve blood circulation, breathing, and heart rate to heal from within.
  • Calm the mind and body: The mindfulness of doing Qigong routines or Reiki helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
  • Expel negative energy: These wellness techniques, particularly Reiki, aim to cleanse the body of toxicity. Aside from physical blockage, they can also reduce emotional and spiritual blockage to improve the flow of positive energy in the body.

Differences Between Qigong and Reiki

The most notable differences between Qigong and Reiki are the healing practice and method. These differences can help to inform your choice when faced with which discipline suits your needs best.


While Qigong and Reiki both aim to cultivate balance, Qigong is closer to martial arts because of the movements, whereas Reiki is more of alternative medicine practice.

  • Qigong: Qigong combines a series of meditation, deep breathing, and coordinated poses to achieve energy flow. This distributes energy in the body through a change of pose and breathing technique.

Qigong practice requires different types of movements. Depending on the form and the type of Qigong exercise you are performing. This can either be done while sitting, lying, standing, or walking.

  • Reiki: Reiki requires absorbing energy from the universe. Reiki practitioners need to follow a structured pattern strictly. They would go through 3 Reiki learning stages before they can absorb and transfer energy.

Reiki practices are done while sitting, standing or lying down. They are a combination of very minimal movement with small hand performances.A group of people doing Qigong in a park


Qigong and Reiki are both forms of energy medicine. However, they still differ in some processes.

  • Qigong is a free and flexible form of wellness exercise. Regardless of your physical situation, you can practice specific breathing techniques. It doesn’t require strong fitness levels, so you can do much of the postures to boost the body’s energy and alleviate symptoms and ailments.
  • Reiki employs a relatively passive technique for healing. A master will do gentle hand movements to guide energy flow and promote healing. The motions facilitate the flow of healing energy, letting the channels remain open for you to benefit.
  • Qigong makes you more active as you won’t have to rely on another person. Since you can do Qigong by standing up or sitting, you have more options for doing the routines, whether in an open space or a room.
  • Reiki is somehow close to a massage treatment since practitioners use their hands or palms to administer the healing effect. It’s also typical to do Reiki in a private room or enclosed space to ensure calmness.
  • Reiki hand movements are not particularly performed in alignment with the breath. Qigong on the other hand cannot be successfully practiced without the breath. Breathing techniques are an important aspect of Qigong’s practice.
  • Reiki is mostly self-regulating in the sense that it cannot lead to an illness or energy depletion in the practitioner. Qigong can lead to injuries or energy loss when it is over-practiced or wrongfully done.

Major Distinguishing Factor

While both use energy healing, Qigong is more like martial arts because of the postures and actions, whereas Reiki is a more passive technique of harnessing and moving energy. Qigong lets you combine movements, breathing, and meditation to harness stagnant energy. Meanwhile, you need the help of a Reiki practitioner to deliver palm healing.

Although, a form of Qigong also permits third-party healing. This can only be done by a knowledgeable and certified Qigong instructor. It also requires expertise and patience so that it is done the correct way.

When to Use Qigong

Practice Qigong if you want to adjust the movements according to how you want the energy to flow. This is ideal for beginners as the actions are more straightforward to follow. Also,  Qigong is a good way to move without exerting as much effort as tai chi.

Qigong has wider forms than Reiki, and as such has an unlimited number of benefits. What you stand to gain depends on which form of Qigong you chose to practice, and for how long. There are also general benefits that come with the simple everyday practice of Qigong. Some of these benefits are:

  • Qigong helps to promote the body’s cardiovascular system 
  • With the practice of Qigong, one can effectively reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You can also learn better control over your emotions and overall mental state.
  • It helps to boost the functions of the immune system
  • Qigong helps to promote healing, wellness, and vitality
  • It can be used to unclog energy blockages and promote an uninterrupted flow of energy in the body

When to Use Reiki

Practice Reiki if you want a non-intrusive healing method performed by a professional. This is why over 60 hospitals in the U.S. offer Reiki as part of a patient’s treatment options. Reiki is suitable if you prefer to be still and relax, while another person harnesses the energy of the surroundings to awaken yours.

If you are experiencing an overwhelming rush of emotions or stress and you require an Alternative Medicine solution then you can try Reiki. There are several mental and physical benefits that can be gotten from undergoing a Reiki therapy session. Some of them are:

  • Encourages natural healing 
  • Provides relief from pain
  • Helps the body to get rid of anxiety and stress
  • Helps to balance the body’s emotions and energy 
  • It can be used to induce calmness and a relaxed state 
  • It helps to cleanse and recharge the internal organs 
  • It can be successfully combined with other treatment therapies or methods
  • It requires minimal physical effort from the patient. All you need is the patient is to be committed and interested in each session

Which Wellness Training Is Better?

Qigong is a better wellness style than Reiki if you want more control over awakening the body’s energy. It’s a more conscious effort of what’s happening in certain parts of the body. You can find a deeper self-connection to know how you can use energy to improve your well-being.

Reiki and Qigong are a little similar and complementary to each other. Qigong is ahead when it comes to a wholeness experience. It helps you to master the coordination of breath, movement, and balance. You also understand and learn the importance of energy as well as how to cultivate and channel it.

Reiki on the other hand is known for its quiet and subtle transfer of energy. It is associated with calm meditation, as well as the transfer of compassion and wisdom. Reiki also hammers on the importance of sending and receiving gratitude, harmony, and love. Most importantly, it is mostly about how to self-replenish your energy flow. 

Regardless of which discipline you choose to practice, the first and most important step is to consult a certified instructor with accurate expertise and knowledge. Both disciplines should not be attempted without proper supervision or guidance to prevent further injuries or illnesses.


Qigong and Reiki are healing processes based solely on energy cultivation, balance, and distribution. When practiced correctly, these can help improve both physical and mental health. Now that you know their differences, you’ll know which one to use depending on the situation.

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