Qi Gong and Reiki: What Are The Similarities and Differences?

Holden QiGong
4 min readMar 14, 2023


The similarities between Qi Gong and Reiki aren’t a mere coincidence. In fact, the two practices are even based on the same concept of Qi, and masters of each offer valuable wisdom to the other.

Both share similar principles and are used to cultivate health and healing, among other powerful benefits. In fact, some of the exercises appear to be nearly identical to beginning practitioners. In this blog, you’ll learn about the similarities and differences between Qi Gong and Reiki, as well as the benefits that both practices offer.

How Are Qi Gong And Reiki Similar?

Reiki and Qi Gong are both practices that focus on natural healing and well-being by using the body’s innate, life-force energy. Each is based on the understanding that this energy can be channeled through specific practices that lead to elevated states of being. In Qi Gong, this energy is known as “Qi,” and in Reiki, it’s referred to as “Ki.” Not surprisingly, the two words are a direct translation of each other.

Healing With Your Hands

In addition to sharing similar principles, both Qi Gong and Reiki offer practices that focus on healing yourself or others by channeling energy through your hands. In Reiki, this is one of the primary focuses of many healing practices.

Shared Principles

Both Reiki and Qi Gong also abide by the values of treating others and the world with respect and seeking to release emotions that cause harm or suffering. This includes taking a proactive approach to working with feelings of anger, stress, or other internal experiences that prevent you from fully enjoying the gifts that life has to offer. These values may not be as apparent to first-time practitioners, but they form the foundation of these practices and are a significant element of both teachings.

Overlapping Benefits

Not surprisingly, practitioners of Qi Gong and Reiki enjoy many of the same benefits.

Emotionally, both practices generally help reduce stress and anxiety. This benefit alone has significant effects on all aspects of your life, from work to relationships and to your overall feelings of joy and happiness. There are many daily practitioners who use Qi Gong or Reiki every day.

Both practices also have important healing benefits that can be tailored to your individual needs. This makes Reikie and Qi Gong two effective natural healing modalities that allow you to reduce your dependency on external healthcare.

How Are Qi Gong And Reiki Different?

While Reiki and Qi Gong have some important similarities, there are also some clear differences that separate the two.

Places of Origin

One clear difference between Reiki and Qi Gong is their places of origin. Qi Gong was developed in ancient China, while Reiki originated in Japan. But, this didn’t prevent each practice from significantly influencing the other.

Differences in Channeling Energy

Although both Qi Gong and Reiki work with your life-force energy, each practice primarily focuses on a different source. Qi Gong, focuses on nourishing and circulating energy that already exists within you. This includes cultivating the Five Elements and other natural energies that help you feel healthy, relaxed, and energized.

On the other hand, Reiki focuses more on harnessing energy from the universe without as much attention to the energy that already exists within you.

It’s important to note that Qi Gong also offers practices for cultivating energy from the universe, but it just isn’t as much of a focus in most exercises.

Qi Gong Offers More Movement Exercises

Another key difference is that Qi Gong offers more movement exercises than Reiki. For the most part, Reiki is practiced either sitting or lying down. While some Qi Gong practices and meditations include those postures, many exercises are physically engaging and active.

The movement element of Qi Gong makes it a better choice for those seeking physical exercise as opposed to just its healing qualities.

Self-Healing Vs. Healing Others

While Reiki and Qi Gong can be practiced alone or with others, the primary focus of each practice is slightly different. In Reiki, practitioners often use their skills to direct healing energy through another person. This means that Reiki can be a great choice for healing others, even if those you’re healing have no experience or knowledge of the practice themselves.

On the other hand, Qi Gong is primarily a personal practice that you use to cultivate health and well-being on your own. You might choose to practice Qi Gong in a class with others, but you’re usually working with your own energy as opposed to someone else’s.

Again, it’s important to note that some Qi Gong practices do focus on healing others. Buddha Palm Qi Gong is one such practice that integrates many exercises for healing partners similar to Reiki.

If you’re interested in giving Qi Gong a try to see if it’s the right practice for you, check out our free Two-Week Qi Gong Trial.

Experience The Benefits Of Qi Gong For Yourself

Signing up for our free Qi Gong Trial gives you immediate access to online Qi Gong classes taught by master teacher Lee Holden. Most students notice Qi Gong’s healing benefits almost immediately, including reduced stress, increased energy, and experiencing greater emotional balance.

Learn more about the free two-week trial and let go of stress today.