Reiki and Chi-Kung are both Eastern Asian forms of energy transmutation. On the surface, they might seem similar, but they are entirely different. This article will explore the differences and discuss how they can be combined together for practitioners to have the most balanced approach.
Reiki therapists open themselves up to universal energy. This energy flows from the ethers, through the body of the Reiki practitioner, and culminates in the body and auric field of the client. Reiki energy feels like the idea of light streaming in from above, around, and centering both in the physical, and energetic. This Reiki energy flows into the practitioner through the higher chakras such as the crown, head, throat, and heart. This is very different from Chi-Kung. A Chi-Kung master draws this energy from the ground into their body through the feet into the lower Dan Tien (lower energy center encompassing the sacrum to the diaphragm). Chi-Kung was designed as an adjunct to Kung-Fu. One definition of Chi-Kung is “Internal Kung-Fu.” Masters of Chi-Kung would draw the energy up from the earth and into their feet and circle this energy like the spinning of a ball in their midsection. In martial arts, this energy is focused by intent into strikes and blocks. For the healing aspects of Chi-Kung, namely the health and wellbeing therapeutics, breathing and movements would flow this Dan Tian energy to organs for balance and longevity. Various forms of breathing, stretching, and movement is the foundation of Chi-Kung for therapeutics. In Chi-Kung, there are specific hand positions that direct the flow of energy throughout the body. One the points used was the thumb touching at the base of the ring finger, and this was to help tolerate pain and physical strain.
This tolerating pain finger position exists in martial arts physical conditioning. In Uechi-Ryu Karate, this is one of the energetic connections that the advanced students would use while we were punched, kicked, and struck with sticks. This connection is just one of many used in martial arts. Ninjutsu has many laced finger combinations that, combined with a circulation of Chi throughout the body, was able to help awaken this pineal gland, resist pain, and cause other desired connections. These are examples of Ninjutsu hand positions that grew out of the knowledge from Chi-Kung and Chinese medicine:
The overall goal of Chi-Kung is the centering and rolling of the energy in the Dan Tien, and flowing this energy throughout the body to organs and transferred to others. In Reiki this would be calling in the lower chakras from the root (sacrum) to the third chakra (solar plexus).
Reiki, by contrast, is the opening up of the self to higher frequencies of energy and the channeling of this energy into the self and others. The fundamental goal of both of these energy practices are identical, but the focus behind them are different. Reiki was not designed as a martial art. Usui Reiki was designed only for the healing of self and others. In Reiki, this might be why the lower energy chakras of the practitioner had not been believed to be important. I have found that my sense of grounding is essential when doing any energy therapy. Shamanism that originates in the ancient traditions of the first nations community also uses the idea of deep grounding before doing healing work. In Shamanism, the balancing of the body is the coordination of the upper energy center (head, neck, and shoulders) and the lower (tailbone to mid thoracic area).
When I begin a Reiki session, I combine both ideologies or Reiki and Chi-Kung. I open up all of my seven chakra points in sequence from the crown to the base, followed by a rooting into the earth and a drawing up of Chi energy into my Dan Tian. I connect the “heavenly circuit” which is the tip of my tongue on the roof of the mouth (behind the teeth). When I am full centered, my hands ignite with energy.
There is a lot of benefit to studying both of these modalities.