Healing Touch vs Reiki – What Are The Differences?

Healing Touch vs Reiki:


When people talk about Healing Touch vs Reiki, one of the main reasons why they do so is because they’re unsure about how they differ.

Both reiki and healing touch may sound like new-age healing techniques.

Still, the truth of the matter is that these alternative holistic techniques have been around for centuries and have been proven to provide a plethora of health benefits.

With a history that can be traced back centuries (more on that later), both Healing Touch and Reiki are still practiced to this day and are arguably more popular than ever.

As more and more people seek more natural, holistic, and alternative methods of improving their health, interest in both healing techniques is growing.

Designed to heal the mind and body and realign a patient’s energy fields, it’s important to understand that, although similar, when it comes to Healing Touch and Reiki, there are plenty of things that set them apart from one another.

Here’s a look at Healing Touch vs Reiki and what it is that makes each one so different.

What is Healing Touch?

To break down the main differences between these two holistic therapies, we first need to take a closer look at what each technique actually is.

Starting off, we have Healing Touch.

Healing Touch, sometimes abbreviated simply to HT, is a natural form of energy therapy that uses either close-to-body touch or very light touches on the skin to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and wellness.

Healing Touch, much like Reiki, has both Far Eastern and Asian origins, with heavy influences coming from Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

It is all to do with what is known in TCM as qi or ki (pronounced chee) and prana in Ayurvedic medicine, which is the body’s life force energy.

To promote the perfect synergy between spiritual, physical, and emotional wellness, lifeforce-specific healing practices have been utilized across Asia in many different Eastern cultures for many centuries.

As the years have ticked by and more and more people have discovered the many benefits that life force energy healing practices can promote, these holistic strategies have gradually found their way into Western culture.

While there is a lot more to it, in basic terms, the ultimate goal of healing touch is for the practitioner to help promote healing and assist with treatment by correcting any deficiencies or imbalances within the body’s natural energy fields.

Ultimately, qualified, trained, and experienced healing touch practitioners help to restore harmony and balance of the patient’s life force energies.

In Western medicine, healing touch is not typically used as a stand-alone form of treatment. However, it is combined with other various treatment methods to provide optimum levels of wellness.

What is Reiki?

Well, as we’re looking at Healing Touch vs Reiki, because we’ve looked at healing touch, it’s only fair that we now look at what Reiki is.

Reiki, like Healing Touch, is another form of holistic therapy and alternative medicine that has become increasingly popular in Western society.

Some people believe that Reiki is a new-age healing technique when, in reality, it’s anything but.

Reiki is a type of energy healing that again uses qi/ki, also known as the universal life force energy, to enhance people’s everyday lives and treat a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments.

Reiki again originates from Eastern Asia, though this time it has Japanese origins as the name is derived from the Japanese words ‘rei,’ which translates to ‘universal’ and ‘ki,’ which means, roughly speaking, ‘vital life force energy that flows through all living beings.’

The treatment is based upon the Eastern belief that every living being has an energy field that supports its vitality, health, and wellness in general.

A very popular form of healing, Reiki is a holistic treatment method that is often compared with acupuncture, except without any needles involved.

Again, just like Healing Touch, practitioners will either ever-so-lightly place their hands on the patient’s skin or, just above, on different regions of the body where the treatment is being carried out.

The idea behind Reiki is to ensure that a person’s, or being’s, life force energy is flowing freely and healthily around its body or vessel. There are what are known as ‘energy blocks’ that can impede the flow of qi energy and lead to a wide range of issues, both physically and emotionally.

Not only that but it is believed that energy blocks of qi can also lead to negative impacts on an individual’s life in general.

Those with blocked energy paths, for example, may experience relationship troubles, financial difficulties, poor mental health, or other negative everyday life circumstances.

Reiki helps to free up these energy blocks and helps qi to flow freely. Imagine the body as a set of plumping pipes.

If there is one blockage in the plumbing setup, this can lead to all manner of problems elsewhere in the system.

As soon as a plumber clears the blockage, the water can again flow freely as it should.

Now, if you replace the plumber with a Reiki practitioner and blocked pipes with blocked life force energy flows, you can understand why Reiki is so popular and what the basic principles are based upon.

It isn’t just human beings that have life force energy, or qi, either. It turns out that all living creatures and beings, including animals and even plants, also have qi and consequently can be treated via Reiki.

A Brief History of ReikiIt’s easy to talk about Reiki and use it as a universal term when, in reality, there are more than 30 different branches of Reiki currently being practiced.

The most common form, by far, is what is known as ‘Usui’ Reiki.

Now, unlike some other forms of holistic therapy and alternative medicine, Reiki is not as old as some people believe. In fact, it is only a little over a century old, as it is thought it was first taught in Japan in the early 1900s.

Makao Usui was the world’s first Reiki practitioner and is credited as being the founder of modern Reiki.

This form of Reiki made its way to the West relatively quickly, and three decades later, by the 1930s, it first made it to Hawaii.

This was because of a Japanese-American businesswoman who went by the name of Hawayo Takata.

Takata was suffering from a number of ailments, including asthma and a lung condition.

To make matters worse, following the death of her husband, she was afflicted with very poor mental health and was in the midst of a nervous breakdown.

She decided to travel back to her home country and seek treatment.

While in Japan, she was treated by a student of Usui’s, with the treatment being considered a huge success.

She returned to America and decided that she wanted to teach Reiki herself. And that is precisely what she did.

Now, around that period of time, there was a great deal of tension between the USA and Japan, so Takata decided to avoid using the word ‘reiki’ and instead opened up what she called a ‘healing studio.’

She began not only treating people but also teaching Reiki to others, adapting it slightly for her Western students. This gave birth to the modern Reiki we know and love today.

What are the benefits of Reiki and Healing Touch?

Though different from one another, both Healing Touch and Reiki share many similarities and offer a wide range of benefits to those receiving the treatments.

If you’re considering Reiki and healing touch treatments but aren’t sure whether or not they’re right for you, here are a few benefits of both to consider.

Improved mental health


Considering the fact that the last several years have been some of the most stressful in recent memory, it’s safe to say that people’s mental health is on the decline.

Looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health, which is one of the main reasons why Reiki and healing touch are proving to be so popular.

Reiki and Healing Touch have been found to help improve mental health in numerous ways.

Not only can they help lift your mood, but they can also promote relaxation and tackle mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

If you’re looking for ways of not only boosting your mood but also warding off more serious mental health conditions, both Healing Touch and Reiki are treatments that have been hugely successful over the years.

Improved quality of life

Another huge reason why both healing techniques have been found to be so popular here in the West is due to the fact that they can improve the overall quality of life.

Nobody wants to go through life feeling miserable, tired, in pain, lacking energy and motivation, and generally unhappy. This is where both treatment options really come into their own.

Both Healing Touch and Reiki can not only boost mental health, but they can also help ease pain and discomfort and improve overall quality of life.

Those suffering from chronic pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, for example, may find that Healing Touch and Reiki can noticeably ease their pain and discomfort.

The treatments also help improve your mood, boost your energy, ease pain and discomfort, and generally improve your quality of life.

These things alone mean that the treatments themselves are well worth it, especially if you are unhappy in any way about your overall quality of life.

Improve your life

As we mentioned earlier, an energy blockage of your qi can not only affect your physical and mental health. Still, it can also disrupt other aspects of your life and can have numerous negative connotations.

A qi energy blockage, for example, could lead to a series of bad luck and unfortunate life events, which would then negatively impact your mental health.

Whether that’s problems at work, personal life issues, money troubles, or anything else, these could very well be caused by an energy blockage.

By seeking out a healing touch or Reiki practitioner, you can unblock this life force energy blockage and get your life energy flowing freely in the right direction.

Once you do so, you’ll find that other aspects of your life begin falling into place, and your streak of bad luck should come to an end.

Promotes relaxation

Finally, if you are struggling with a lack of sleep, or if you find that your mind is racing and you simply can’t seem to settle down and relax, a reiki or healing touch treatment should help put things right.

Both treatments have been found to help promote feelings of relaxation and help you to sleep at night, which in turn will help with other aspects of your life.

Healing Touch vs Reiki – Final Thoughts

Okay, so now that we’ve looked at what these treatments are and why they’re so beneficial, all that’s left is to look at healing Touch vs Reiki and see how the two differ.

Primarily, the main difference between the two is that Reiki is much more about spirituality and has much more of a spiritual component to it. Reiki is also more about the practitioner, as each practitioner will have their own unique style and preference when it comes to treatment. Healing Touch, however, is much more universal.

As well as Reiki being more spiritual, the two also have slightly different hand placements. Healing Touch is also much more Westernized and stems from medical treatments and techniques utilized much more commonly in the West.


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