Reiki vs Massage: Similarities and Differences

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Reiki and massage and often practiced together. In fact, massage therapists who’ve taken Reiki attunements often report that the flow of energy just turns on by itself while they treat their clients.

Here are some similarities between the two techniques:

  • They complement each other very well.
  • They both have a relaxing effect.
  • Many times they both aim to “heal” something.
  • Both move the energy in the body.
  • Both have invigorating effects.
  • A massage table is quite effective for treatment for both techniques.
  • Both help the body eliminate toxins faster.
  • Both improve the flow of oxygen.

But there are also some differences:

  • Clothes: For Reiki, the client is fully clothed. This isn’t the case for massage.
Image by Muffet
  • Touching: For energy healing, no touching is needed, and simply hovering the hand over some areas is just as effective as touching. Whereas for massage, touching is a requirement.
  • Level of healing: Massage primarily works on the physical body. Reiki works on the energetic body, balancing the energies to help the body heal itself.
  • Regulations: In most locations, Reiki has fewer legal regulations than massage.
  • Prerequisites: Anybody can give a massage (no comment on the quality of the massage 🙂 ), even without formal training. But a formal attunement from a Reiki Master is needed to turn on the flow of Reiki.
  • Age of the technique: Massage is thousands of years old. Reiki is, at the time of writing this article (2013), less than 100 years old.
  • Lineage: Reiki has the concept of lineage, tracing from master to master, all the way back to Mikao Usui. There is no such concept in massage.