Reiki vs. Chakra Healing: 6 Key Differences

Reiki vs. Chakra Healing: 6 Key Differences

Reiki vs. Chakra Healing

The basic tenet of spiritual healing practices is that the human body has the innate ability to cure itself and that the universal life force energy maintains this healing capacity. Sometimes, though, the body may need help when an imbalance or blockage occurs in its energy field. This is where Reiki and chakra healing comes in.

Reiki and chakra healing are different in that the former does not use special equipment, just the hands, whereas the latter uses materials like mineral salt. Reiki relies on the life force to direct itself and instigate the healing process, while chakra healing follows specific guidelines.

The body’s self-healing capacity lies in its spirituality and aura (energy field). Both are important aspects of Reiki and chakra healing. Continue reading to discover more of their similarities and differences.

What Is Reiki?

Also known as hands-on-healing, palm healing, or energy healing, Reiki is a branch of alternative medicine that focuses on the realignment of energy for optimal health and wellness. In 1922, Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui developed the modern version from its ancient form. He relayed his techniques to 2,000 students and 16 Reiki Masters. The latter formed the elite network who practiced the Usui brand and passed it on to their mentees as Usui Reiki.

Usui’s version spread to the US in the 1940s and Europe in the 1980s. Since then, various styles of Reiki have evolved. A hybrid has sprung from the modern format called Reiki massage, an amalgamation of massage therapy and Reiki. Generally, patients consult Reiki practitioners for relaxation, stress relief, and resolution of physical ailments.

The Japanese terms “Rei” (supreme celestial power) and “Ki” (natural life force energy) collectively mean “spiritually guided universal life force energy.” Despite Reiki’s Buddhist origins and its categorical reference as a form of spiritual healing, no particular religion endorses it.

The free flow of Ki ensures top-notch health. If its circulation is obstructed, however, the energy balance in the body is affected. This may give rise to diseases, either physical or psychological, or both.

How Does It Work?

Reiki is a spiritual therapy that transfers energy from healers to patients with either light touching or the placement of hands over specific parts of the body without touching them. Apart from hand motion, healers channel energy using visualization, sacred chants, and energy symbols.

Many people are drawn to Reiki because they see it as an alternative to taking potentially addictive prescription medication (or questionable drugs) for pain relief and treatment of medical conditions.

Practitioners clear blockages and expel pollutants by directing positive energy throughout the body using only their hands. They believe that these toxins, together with stagnant energy, cause physical, mental, or emotional diseases. They follow the laws of quantum physics to rebalance the body’s energy properties.


Reiki is one of many holistic healing therapies that treat not just physical but also psychological ailments because its ultimate goal is to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Healers claim that Reiki does not have side effects. This makes it accessible to the general populace.

Reiki has been shown to be effective in: 

  • Headache relief
  • Pain management
  • Disease management
  • Stress and anxiety management
  • Correcting sleep disorders
  • Treatment of mental health disorders
  • Restoration of emotional balance
  • Boosting mental clarity
  • Relaxation aid
  • Weaning patients off addictive painkillers
  • Energy revitalization
  • Establishing a better outlook on life
  • Improvement of wellbeing

Diseases healers claim Reiki can resolve: 

  • Coronary disease
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Various fatigue syndromes
  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Infertility
  • Autism

Potential Side Effects

Some patients claimed they got drained, spaced out, became physically ill, or felt worse after the first session. Practitioners assure potential clients, however, that these symptoms are common with most energy healing therapies. These will resolve once blocks are removed, and energy flows unrestricted again.

The side effects are an accepted part of the cleansing process, which is similar to detoxification, whereby toxins and impurities are expelled from the body. Symptoms disappear once the process corrects any energy imbalance.

What Is Chakra Healing?

This form of energy healing originated from ancient Eastern traditional medicine, involving returning the chakras to their original state. Chakra is a Sanskrit term meaning “circle” or “wheel,” alluding to the chariot wheels of an ancient ruler called Chakravartin.

The term is also a metaphor for the sun, which crosses the sky like a chariot. The sun also symbolizes Kalachakra, time’s eternal wheel, which represents “heavenly order in equilibrium.”

In energy healing, chakras refer to the body’s energy centers that process sensory data from the surrounding environment. They are made of discs of nerve bundles that spread out to the organs. They regulate the functioning of the biological systems, filter out negative energy, and protect the body from external disturbances. Healers believe that impaired chakras or unbalanced chakra zones cause ailments.

Chakra Healing


Like Reiki, chakra healing maintains the harmony of the vital life force energy. The Sanskrit term for this is “prana.” That’s why this modality is also called pranic healing. Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, a Chinese-Filipino bioenergy expert, formulated techniques from his exhaustive study of various esoteric sciences, including yoga, Kabbalah (mystic Bible interpretation by the ancient Jews), qigong (t’ai chi-influenced physical exercises and breath control), and Asian martial arts.

In ancient times, the Chinese practiced it as a healing modality, while the Rishis (yogis) of the Himalayas used it as a form of meditation. Only a select few could perform chakra healing then. Master Choa developed the healing process in such a way that ordinary people could learn it quickly.

When he conceptualized this therapy, he was thinking of how to bring relief to the sick masses who cannot afford modern medicine. With this intention, he established the World Pranic Healing Foundation, through which he and his followers were able to spread the healing modality to developing countries.

The Major Chakras

Reiki follows the seven-chakra system, while pranic healing recognizes 11 major chakras. The World Pranic Healing Foundation presents these as such:

  • Basic Chakra—aka root or Mooladhara chakra (the root of the tree). Found at the base of the spine, this chakra controls the adrenal glands and the musculoskeletal system. If your basic chakra is strong, you are in great shape.
  • Sex Chakra—aka Swadhistana chakra. Found in the groin, this chakra controls the bladder and the reproductive system. Impaired sex chakra may cause sex-related issues.
  • Meng Mein Chakra—aka the spine’s pumping center. It directs energy flow from the base chakra, regulates blood pressure, invigorates the adrenal glands, and controls the urinary system.
  • Navel Chakra—energizes the appendix and the intestines. A defective navel chakra may cause appendicitis, constipation, intestinal problems, and birthing issues.
  • Spleen Chakra—responsible for the health of the body’s blood purifier. This chakra is the entry point of air prana.
  • Solar Plexus Chakra—a.k.a Manipura chakra. The front solar plexus chakra is in the hollow spot between the back and the ribs, while the back solar plexus chakra is in the back. This chakra controls the heart, lungs, diaphragm, and gastrointestinal system. It regulates blood quality and houses the body’s cooling and heating system.
  • Heart Chakra—found in the chest, this chakra (with a front and back) controls the thymus gland and the circulatory system. An impaired back heart chakra may give rise to respiratory ailments.
  • Throat Chakra—aka Vishuddhi chakra, it controls the thyroid and parathyroid glands, throat, and the lymphatic system. A defective throat chakra may cause speech loss, asthma, goiter, or a sore throat. Since this chakra influences the sex chakra, it may cause sterility if impaired.
  • Ajna Chakra—found between the eyebrows, this chakra controls the eyes, nose, the endocrine and pituitary glands, and the respiratory system. When impaired, this chakra may cause diabetes.
  • Forehead Chakra—found on the forehead’s center, controls the nervous system and the pineal gland. If it malfunctions, this chakra may cause memory loss, paralysis, or epilepsy.
  • Crown Chakra—aka Sahasrara chakra, this chakra is found at the crown of the head. It is a primary energy entry point and controls the brain, the pineal gland, and the rest of the body. A defective crown chakra may cause brain or pineal gland disorders.

How Does It Work?

Chakra healing—unlike Reiki, which encourages free energy flow without strict guidelines—direct their cleansing, stabilizing, and harmonizing activities to specific spots or energy centers called chakras.

Chakra healers manipulate vital energy (prana) through the chakras of their hands and fingers. They first scan the patients’ bodies and internal aura for diseased spots and energy imbalances. Next, they absorb white energy via the chakra of one hand then transfer it to the patients using the other hand. Healers then use this transferred energy to revitalize the affected areas. Lastly, they stabilize the energy, healing malfunctioning organs, or systems in the process.

Advanced methods use colored energy, which the major chakras absorb. The patient’s condition determines what color prana is used. Every prana has its own healing characteristics.


Chakra healing can do the following:

  • Acceleration of healing up to five times the norm
  • Delivery of patients out of crisis mode
  • Eradication of infections
  • Relief from exhaustion, weakness, and pain
  • Prevention of fainting spells
  • Improvement in the symptoms of certain illnesses, both major and minor
  • Overall health maintenance
  • Creation of mental clarity
  • Generation of inner peace and strength
  • Elimination of negative thought patterns
  • Addiction management
  • Anger management
  • Resolution of depression
  • Development of intuition
  • Assistance in decision-making
  • Attraction of appropriate outcomes
  • Promotion of productivity and work fulfillment
  • Improvement of relationships and partnerships
  • Experience of a sense of connection with the greater good

Potential Side Effects

Practitioners of chakra healing claim that it has no contraindications because it is spiritual. However, healers should be absolutely sure about employing the appropriate technique for each chakra, as choosing the wrong one can be hazardous for patients.

 Now, we go over their key differences.

Origin and Semantics

The ancient translations of Reiki and chakra differed in their meanings. Reiki has always meant “celestially guided energy,” but chakra used to mean “universal order and balance.” Their modern definitions both mean “vital life force energy.”

Reiki originated from ancient teachings in Japan. Chakra principles came from ancient teachings in India.


Pranic healers scan patients’ bodies or get a feel for their aura to uncover congested spots or zones where energy is stagnant or has been depleted. This is meant to pinpoint diseased or problematic areas that require healing. Reiki, on the other hand, doesn’t employ energy assessment since it relies on the instinct of the healer.


Pranic healing employs a multi-pronged approach and tailors each tack to a specific health concern. It views each ailment as having a distinctive set of energy patterns that can be recognized in the 11 major chakras and many meridians. Conversely, Reiki uses a singular strategy to address all medical issues. Its sole energy technique channels the flow of ki into whichever region requires healing.

Healing Method

Pranic healers redirect free-floating energy from natural sources to patients’ aura. This move activates the chakras to facilitate the healing process. Reiki healers, on the other hand, use symbols and attunement levels from teachers to access the healing life force. Attunement is the process of recognizing and transmitting energy.

Chakra healing has a suite of practices called “energetic hygiene.” It includes breathing, diet change, and cleansing routines like sweeping, intended to maintain or replenish healers’ energy reserves.

Sweeping is a manual cleansing method for eliminating blockages and stagnant energy. This preliminary move before infusing fresh energy is absolutely necessary to the healing process. Failure to implement it (stagnant energy, negativity, or toxins are not flushed out) may result in physical side effects, like nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, loose motion, or flu-like symptoms. Reiki does not have an equivalent procedure.

Chakra healing follows specific guidelines in the energy transformation, whereas Reiki follows a more pragmatic process. But both have to be followed in the tradition of the Masters for optimal results.

Chakra healing uses colored energy to speed up self-healing, whereas Reiki does not allude to a particular color. The color used in pranic healing depends on the health complaint. Chakra healing practitioners do not claim that their method is supernatural, miraculous, nor paranormal. Instead, they follow natural laws.

Patient Contact

With Chakra healing, no physical touch is involved. Reiki employs both non-touch and touch techniques. Healing is possible even if the patient is located in a different part of the world. In which case, the Reiki healer projects energy to the patient over a distance. This is also known as remote Reiki, long-distance Reiki, or Reiki III.

Energy Flow Process

Chakra healing uses the body’s energy centers, or chakras, to cleanse unbalanced energy and stabilize it. Healers neutralize expelled negative energy with mineral salt. This process is said to cure physical, spiritual, and psychological ailments. Reiki focuses on clearing energy blockages from patients’ aura to reinstate free energy flow.

Reiki harnesses the healing life force within and surrounding the human body, whereas chakra healing obtains it from nature’s elements: air, earth, and the sun. Their pranas are called as such:

  • Air prana—energy absorbed through breathing, by the chakras, and through the pores of the skin. That’s why practices like yoga and meditation employ breathing exercises. These accelerate the intake of higher prana levels.
  • Earth prana—ground energy unconsciously absorbed through one’s feet
  • Solar prana—energy from sunlight that revitalizes the body

Note that although Reiki and chakra healing are effective healing therapies, they should not be used as substitutes for allopathic medicine but regarded as complementary modalities. Consult your primary care physician before starting any regimen with alternative medicine.


Both Reiki and chakra healing ideologies revolve around the theory that the universal life force energy—aka Japanese ki, Greek pneuma, Chinese qi (pronounced “chi”), Hebrew Ruach, Indian Prana, and Polynesian mana—flows within and around the body. This life force influences the operation and performance of its different systems.

The psychospiritual objective of both therapies is the rebalancing of chakras and the generation or return of clear energy. Both practices relieve tension within the body and cure its physical and psychological issues. Both promote spiritual self-healing. Both processes involve maintaining the health of a person’s energy field or aura.

Reiki vs. Chakra Healing: Which Is Better?

Both modalities are excellent for holistic healing, but preference depends on the individual’s current physical, mental, and emotional state. Regardless of the technique used, patient response varies per individual. What is effective for one may be detrimental to another. Successful treatment depends on the knowledge and experience of the healers, how comfortable the patients are with them, and how receptive the patients are to the process.

Final Thoughts

Our holistic wellness depends on the health of both our physical and ethereal (energy) bodies, which influence each other. As our ethereal bodies manifest our consciousness, they perform well if our physical bodies are healthy. This is why we should pay attention to our lifestyles. We should strive toward a balanced one to ensure the optimum operation of our chakras.

Now that the distinctions of Reiki and chakra healing have been laid out, you can choose which one is appropriate to help you achieve the ultimate in health and wellness.