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Difference Between Reiki and Qigong

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Reiki and Qigong are two of the most popular energy healing techniques, and yet they are incredibly different. Reiki and Qigong provide natural and non-invasive methods for attaining balance and well-being, but the two have distinct differences.

The main difference between Reiki and Qigong is that Reiki is from Japan and Qigong is from China. Reiki is a hands-on healing technique, while Qigong has a variety of purposes including medical, scholarly, martial, and spiritual expansion.

Reiki VS Qigong

In this article, you will learn about the eight differences between Reiki and Qigong, so that you can choose the energy healing practice that is right for you.

1. Origin and history

Reiki is a Japanese healing technique rooted in Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism. It was developed in the early twentieth century (1914) by Mikao Usui, a Buddhist monk who studied Qigong in his youth. Reiki is based on the premise that the body has an energy field that a Reiki practitioner can manipulate to promote healing and balance. The Reiki practitioner uses their hands to channel this energy and direct it to the client.

woman during a reiki session
Woman during a reiki session

Qigong is a Chinese healing practice developed around the 5th century by a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma. It is based on the belief that the body is composed of energy called qi, which is believed to flow through the body along pathways called meridians. Qigong practitioners aim to promote health and well-being by manipulating the qi through breathing exercises, postural stances, and meditation.

man performing qigong on the beach sand
A man performing a Qigong movement on the beach

2. Practice and Techniques

Reiki and Qigong differ in their practice and techniques. In Reiki, the practitioner channels universal energy through their body to the recipient. It usually involves placing their hands on the recipient's body and can also be done without physical contact. On the other hand, Qigong involves physical movements and breathing exercises designed to cultivate qi (or chi) energy and improve physical and emotional health.

Qigong is sometime used as a means of healing, but its focus is on developing energy, whereas Reiki's primary focus is on healing.

3. Benefits

Reiki and Qigong offer various mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. Both practices can also help reduce negative emotions and promote peace and harmony.

Reiki helps with stress relief, relaxation, and improved clarity of thought. It is also thought to reduce physical pain and inflammation. Additionally, practitioners of Reiki believe that it can help to balance the body’s energy, or “chi”, for improved overall health.

On the other hand, Qigong is thought to improve circulation, reduce stress and tension, and increase energy levels. It is also believed to improve coordination, balance, and flexibility.

4. Energetic Differences

Reiki energy is gentle, subtle, and nurturing and works on the body’s energy system to promote healing. On the other hand, Qigong is a more powerful and active form of energy. It works on the body’s energy system by circulating and balancing the body's Qi, or life force energy. This helps restore the body’s natural balance and can strengthen the body’s immune system.

5. Spiritual Components

Qigong is more focused on spiritual healing, as it often includes meditation and chanting to connect with the energy and spiritual forces of the universe. Reiki, on the other hand, is a hands-on healing method that uses light touch to transfer energy, and it has no spiritual aspects. Reiki is often combined with other healing techniques, such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

6. Physical Movements

Reiki and Qigong are two holistic healing practices involving physical movements to balance the body’s energy.

Reiki consists of placing the hands gently on various body parts to promote relaxation, while Qigong involves gentle movements such as stretching, rocking, and shaking. Qigong practitioners may use a variety of postures, such as standing, sitting, or lying down.

7. Aims of the Practices

Both Reiki and Qigong have some similar aims, including healing and wellbeing.

For Reiki, the ultimate aim is to balance the body’s energy system, while in Qigong, the aim is to harmonize the body’s energy with the environment's energy. Reiki also emphasizes the importance of the practitioner’s energy to nourish the recipient’s energy, while Qigong focuses on the energy in the environment and how it can be used to nourish the body.

Comparison Table

Country of originJapanChina
FounderMikao UsuiBodhidharma
Founded in19145th century
Primary focusHealingDeveloping energy
Main benefitsStress relief, relaxation, improved mental clarity, alleviation of physical pain and inflammation.Optimize circulation, reduce stress and tension, boost energy levels, improve coordination, balance, and flexibility.
Energy usageWorks on the body’s energyWorks on environment energy balancing the body's Qi, or life force energy
Healing typeHands-on healingSpiritual healing

Similarities between Reiki and Qigong

  1. Both Reiki and Qigong are based on the concept of Qi, which is often translated as the vital life force or energy flow that is central to our overall health and well-being.
  2. Both practices have their roots in Asia.
  3. Both practices involve the use of physical touch or near touch to transfer energy.
  4. Both practices are often used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.
  5. Both practices involve the use of breathing techniques and meditation to enhance the flow of energy through the body.
  6. Both practices are based on the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, and that energy healing can facilitate this process.


Can someone practice Reiki in addition to Qigong?

Yes, it is possible for someone to practice Reiki as well as Qigong or any other energy practice simultaneously or to switch between them as they see fit.

There is no inherent conflict between these practices, and they can complement one another. For example, someone may practice Reiki for physical healing and Qigong for spiritual expnsion, or they may find that both practices support their overall well-being differently.

Is Qigong more powerful than Reiki?

It is not accurate or fair to say that one energy practice is more powerful than another. Reiki and Qigong are both energy practices that can benefit the practitioner, but they are not necessarily superiors to one another. Reiki may be more effective for some people, while Qigong may be more effective for others.

If you want to find out which practice is most suitable, there is no secret; you should try both. This article can also help you determine which practice would be most effective based on your goals.

Is Qigong Reiki?

No, Qigong and Reiki are two different energy practices. There are many similarities between these two practices but don't be fooled, they are very different. There may also be confusion between these two disciplines since Usui Mikao, the founder of Reiki, was a student of Qigong.


Reiki and Qigong are two different energy practices from Japan and China.

Reiki is a form of healing that involves laying on hands and focuses on physical healing. Qigong is an umbrella term that encompasses various energy arts in China and has a long and varied history with various purposes, including medical, scholarly, martial, and spiritual expansion. Qigong also tends to work with the meridian system, while Reiki tends to work with the chakras.

It is also important to understand the histories and contexts of these practices to understand their meanings and purposes fully.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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