Qigong vs. Reiki: What’s the Difference?

Qigong vs. Reiki: What’s the Difference?

Reiki vs. Qigong

If you are looking for a form of alternative medicine that can help you heal and find an even deeper connection with your inner self, Reiki and Qigong are among the first disciplines that come to mind. While radically different, the two practices share some principles that make them unique. They might not both be suitable for what you wish to achieve, so it is crucial to know the benefits that such practices can bring into your life and decide on the best one for you.

Reiki is an alternative medicine form that uses healing energy, delivered through palm healing. Qigong, a discipline also based on the “life energy” principle, focuses on the combination of movement, breathing, and meditation. The first is a healing treatment; the second is closer to martial arts.

Both disciplines claim to yield incredible benefits to their practitioners’ bodies and minds. Although, some of them have also been confirmed! Find out the best discipline for your needs.

Qi: The Life Force Behind Reiki and Qigong

Reiki and Qigong are essentially different disciplines, but they have something in common: they are both based on the principle of “Qi.” Qi is the life force, energy flow, or vital force at the core of our wellbeing – mental and physical.

When such a potent life force is impeded or influenced by daily events or unbalanced routines, it can cause severe consequences, which may appear on our physical and mental health.

Reiki is a discipline in which practitioners use palm or hands-on healing on patients to reestablish the right balance and allows this energy to flow freely. Instead, Qigong is the practice of balancing and cultivating Qi.

Below, we’ll explore the differences between these two disciplines. However, the comprehensive video below will explain the differences (and similarities) between the two practices if you are in a rush:

Reiki: An Overview

Reiki is an ancient Japanese practice based on the principles of alternative medicine. This type of healing practice is called energy healing and involves the use of techniques such as palm or hands-on healing performed by a Reiki practitioner.

The hands’ movements that are performed aim to transfer such universal energy, rebalancing, and freeing the flow of energy in the patient’s body and mind. In turn, this is said to have benefits on general wellbeing, encouraging and promoting healing.

While there have been some determining studies, there is a substantial lack of research regarding this practice’s scientifically-proven benefits. Nonetheless, Reiki is something that everybody can try – and many patients have reported that they do feel better after a Reiki treatment.

Who Is Reiki For?

According to the statistics gathered by the University of Minnesota, 1,2 million adults and over 160,000 children have been enjoying the benefits of Reiki. Today, According to a Washington Post article, over 60 hospitals across America offer Reiki as part of patients’ treatment options.

So, Reiki is a non-invasive, completely natural, and efficient practice that everybody can enjoy. Generally, this practice has been seen of use in treating episodes of pain, stress, anxiety, and emotional issues.

Speaking to a Reiki practitioner is the best way to understand what the right treatment course is in your case. Depending on your condition’s severity and willingness to commit to this kind of alternative medicine, you might opt for just a session or an on-going appointment.

Benefits of Reiki

If you have been feeling stressed, anxious, or fatigued, and you wish to avoid medicines and medical treatments, Reiki might be the kind of healing treatment for you. Indeed, this practice can have many benefits, and they don’t require you to follow medical treatment.

Some of the physical and mental benefits that have been linked to this kind of therapy include:

  • Relieving pain
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Inducing relaxation
  • Eliminating or inducing emotional blockages
  • Promotes natural healing
  • Balances bodily energies
  • It can help to cleanse the body from toxins and support the immune system
  • Might support other treatments and therapies you have decided to follow

This practice’s benefits are not limited to these advantages, but these are the most common ones experienced by patients.


What Is Qigong?

While also based on Qi’s principle (life force or vital energy), Qigong is an entirely different discipline from Reiki. As its literal translation explains, Qigong refers to the art and practice of cultivating and balancing this life-energy.

Qigong is also a practice that has been part of Chinese and Asian cultures for millennia and has been refined throughout generations. Today, this practice is still deeply inspired by martial-arts training.

However, it also involves deep breathing elements, spirituality, meditation, philosophy, coordinated body postures, and movements. All this also has roots in Chinese medicine.

When practicing Qigong, practitioners dedicate time to meditative and mindfulness aspects, as well as more physical features.

This practice promotes the use of slow-flowing movements, which, when coupled with meditation, deep breathing, restorative practices, and relaxation, can help you achieve a calm state of mind. Today, this discipline is used as a form of mindfulness, exercise, self-improvement, and alternative medicine across the world.

Who Is Qigong For?

Qigong is a practice based on slow, purposeful movements that encourage mindfulness and balance. While many of the principles behind it might suggest some similarities with yoga, the two practices are substantially different.

Indeed, yoga will require a higher level of flexibility, balance, and strengths compared to Qigong. While undoubtedly beneficial, yoga is an entirely different form of exercise. Qigong, instead, is a practice that anybody might decide to try.

Its benefits range from reducing anxiety to enhancing cardiovascular and immune system health. Since this discipline won’t require you to be particularly strong or to boast high fitness levels, it is suitable for anybody. And, it is traditionally practiced in parks—which gives you the chance to spend at least 30 minutes breathing in the fresh air and enjoying natural sunlight!

Benefits of Qigong

Just like in Reiki’s case, scientific research that can point out the specific benefits of this practice is lacking. On the other hand, Qigong has been practiced for millennia throughout generations, as it can help its practitioners look after their bodies and minds.

Some of the benefits this practice might yield include:

  • It can help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress
  • It can promote the health of our cardiovascular system
  • It can decrease chronic fatigue or tiredness
  • It can improve the functions of the immune system and with it, the immune response our bodies provide
  • It can encourage wellbeing in people who suffer from other medical conditions such as cancer
  • It can help fight mood disturbances and swings

While the experience of those who practice Qigong regularly shows us the benefits that this practice can yield, studies are still limited. Nonetheless, like Tai Chi, Qigong can be extremely beneficial and safe for nearly everybody to practice. Ultimately, given the benefits it can yield, there is no reason not to try it!

Final Thoughts

Both Reiki and Qigong are ancient disciplines based on the principle of “life energy.” However, the first one is closer in feel and look to a massage, where the treatment is delivered through the use of hands-on or palm healing techniques. It can feel more passive from the point of view of the recipient.

Instead, Qigong is a discipline originating from various ancient practices such as martial arts and meditation, and it has the primary aim to cultivate emotional and physical balance. Coordination, meditation, and deep breathing are only a few of the aspects that make this discipline so effective.