Reiki and massage are two popular healing techniques that aim to relieve stress, pacify the mind and spirit, and provide relaxation to improve one’s mental and physical well-being, and both massage and Reiki are natural techniques that utilize body energy to achieve those goals.

When a massage therapist has performed an effective massage treatment on you, you feel rejuvenated and your muscles relaxed, therefore the flow of energy throughout your body has been normalized. Similarly, when the Reiki healer has successfully done a Reiki treatment, there is relaxation and peace from within, the result being that the individual’s ‘chi’ or energy is freely flowing throughout the body.

To understand how similar – and different – Reiki and massage are, let us first define each of these entities.


Reiki and Massage Defined

Massage is a therapeutic technique of manipulating one’s muscles, joints and other soft tissues. A massage therapist uses pressure and performs different methods using his hands, fingers elbows, feet or a specific device to relieve pain and promote relaxation. Examples of popular massage types are Swedish, deep tissue, facial, and shiatsu.




Reiki therapy, on the other hand, is a Japanese form of alternative healing that also produces relaxation and pain relief but does this by transferring energy from the therapist to the patient through ‘laying on hands.’ What this means is that the Reiki practitioner positions his hands just a few inches from the individual’s body or perhaps lightly touches the body to be able to allow his ‘chi’ or vital energy to flow through the individual’s own body to help him release the negative barriers or blocks that are keeping the individual unwell. Reiki is often interchangeably referred to as palm healing.





Differences between Reiki and Massage

Here are some of the most common differences between Reiki and Massage.

  • With regards to principle, massage uses physical therapy, meaning that it is done through physical contact by applying pressure to the patient to promote healing and relaxation. Reiki, on the other hand, works on channeling energy, which doesn’t necessarily involve physical contact.
  • Reiki practitioners can perform their healing from a distance, while individuals who turn to massage will need their therapist to come to their homes or they visit their clinics.
  • To become a massage therapist, you must first be able to take units in Anatomy and Physiology and pass state examinations before you are allowed to practice. Reiki practitioners don’t have state examinations or courses that need to be taken in order for them to be able to practice. However, the Reiki Licensing Commission has formulated certain standards that are more strict to enhance training and encourage practitioners to improve on their techniques.
  • As it does not involve physical contact, Reiki does not require the use of liniments and essential oils, while massage therapy is made more relaxing and rejuvenating by using aromatic oils and lotions when they are manipulating their patients’ soft tissues.
  • Reiki is safe for everyone because it does not entail manipulation by pressure. Massage, however, may not be safe for people who have cancer and other debilitating conditions.


Similarities of Reiki and Massage

Reiki and massage, though different in their techniques and methods, both intend to provide relaxation, healing, and peace of mind. They both aim to regulate oxygen and blood flow by attempting to normalize our body energies through therapists’ therapeutic hands.

Finally, both Reiki and massage are alternative forms of medicine that have become the go-to for thousands of people around the world who want to heal physically, emotionally and mentally – the natural way. Their effects would actually be even better if they are utilized together, to complement each other, and to fully reap the positive benefits of these two practices.