If you are reading this, it is likely you have been practicing Reiki energy healing or considering learning Reiki. Perhaps you have even left Reiki, due to disillusionment. Maybe it didn't work well enough or even seemed to make things worse! Reiki can be a very nice, gentle form of healing, but it has its drawbacks. This is where Qigong - an ancient Chinese form of energy cultivation and healing - comes in. (Qigong is pronounced "chee gong" and is often spelled Chi Kung.)
For many years, my primary method of energy healing (for myself and others) was Reiki. Reiki was sold as being safe and gentle; yet, many Reiki "attunements" (or energy transfers) can be extremely powerful and cause disruptions in the system.
These "disruptions" (or side effects) can be as minimal as feeling disoriented or lightheaded, or as drastic as a full-on stomach flu with fever. These side effects are labeled a "healing crisis," and we are often told that this is just toxic energy being released from the body. But is this really how healing is supposed to work?
What this tells me now, after learning more about energetic anatomy, is that if a major healing crisis has occurred, it is possible the body was unprepared to receive the energy "blast" of the Reiki attunement. Instead of healing the person, the attunement may have just overloaded the energy circuits. Sure, sometimes a healing crisis does just clear out the blockages and things get better afterwards. But not always. This is when we've put too much energy through a human system not strong enough to handle it.
In my experience working with Reiki - and receiving a lot of Reiki attunements, as many people do through the Internet - Reiki as a healing system has three major problems:
1) A General Lack of Knowledge of Energetic Anatomy
The number one problem - which also makes Reiki the accessible healing form that it is - is that you don't need to know anything about energy anatomy to do Reiki. Many Reiki Masters will teach a cursory look at the chakras, which come from the Indian energetic tradition vs. the Asian. But in-depth knowledge of energy centers, meridians and other aspects of life is not taught as part of the standard Reiki curriculum, and each practitioner is on their own when it comes to deeper understanding.
Not knowing much about energetic anatomy can lead the Reiki practitioner to poor choices in terms of energy management for themselves or even clients. While we are told that Reiki energy is "intelligent" and "knows where to go," in the least, there may be times where an energetic blockage or imbalance is beyond the ability of basic Reiki to heal. This is where we might inadvertently end up with major healing crises that often aren't resolved with more Reiki. More knowledge can lead to better choices.
2) A Tendency to Use Reiki Attunements in Lieu of Regular Healing
I have been as guilty of overusing Reiki attunements as any Reiki practitioner. The Internet has given us tons of Reiki attunements for any sort of malady or energy we might want to work with. Reiki attunements can channel energies from ancient lost civilizations or work on broken hearts.
At their best, these boutique Reiki attunements can help with a specific issue, but not all are created equal. When some Reiki attunements are being developed to actively manipulate the energy of others ("Vampire Reiki"), it is no wonder that some healers charge that Reiki energy is simply "contaminated" now and not to touch it.
With the expectation of a powerful Reiki attunement to clear up lifelong issues in a single energetic cleansing session, the person who needs healing is dissuaded from doing the daily work that often results in a deeper, more lasting healing. One big "energy blast" cannot take care of years of negative emotional and physical patterns.
3) Disconnection from the Physical Body
When you step into the world of Internet Reiki, you are enveloped in a magical world of spiritual energies and beings (some which may or may not exist). It can be tempting to escape the natural world we live in - let's face it, the world is a very dark place right now! - and live in a fantasy world in our heads.
We could be so busy talking to "spirit guides" or "ascended masters" that we neglect our bodies, forgetting to exercise, eat right or take care of business in the here and now.
I myself went down that rabbit hole by escaping the reality I was in for a vision of a future that never materialized. I watched one friend get so caught up in her fantasy - of an energetic connection with a soul mate she had never met - that she neglected her body and sunk deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression. Another friend of mine became obsessed over the idea that her soulmate was a famous movie star she had never crossed paths with in the real world.
I regularly get emails from people who have become extremely frightened and paranoid by the idea that the people in their lives are mounting vicious spiritual attacks upon them. While I don't discount the possibility of psychic attacks in the least, the amount of space the Reiki practitioner gives in their head to the perpetrators most definitely exacerbates it. Real world solutions - such as cutting physical communication off with the perpetrators - seem to become impossible once the individual becomes too mired in the etheric (head) realm.
How Qigong Can Help
Ultimate, the modern practice of Reiki as found on the Internet can sometimes do more harm than good - because it doesn't have enough checks and balances. Yet, not being someone to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I personally don't see the need to totally trash Reiki or claim it is forever contaminated and never works. That is simply not true, and Reiki has become so mainstream it is now being practiced in major medical centers in the West. Reiki in its simplest form is still a wonderful healing system.
Qigong can bring balance to Reiki in the following three ways:
1) Qigong Brings 2,000+ Years of Knowledge to the Table
As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong offers a vast wisdom tradition that includes a complete map of the human energy system as well as guidelines for keeping the energy system in balance. By learning about meridians, acupuncture points, and Five Element Theory, Reiki practitioners can be more informed about what they are doing and why.
2) Qigong Focuses on Daily Practice, Not Quick Fixes
The core of Qigong involves daily practice. This is often in the form of gentle movements that can be done for people of any age. Meditation and visualization are also a big part of Qigong. Daily cultivation of energy in Qigong is the best way to achieve results, and the discipline learned through such practice can be of great benefit to the Reiki practitioner. Instead of quick fixes, Qigong teaches perseverance. This is a tremendous benefit to all, especially in our shallow modern culture.
3) Qigong Connects You to Your Physical Body
Because Qigong centers around physical movement, the Reiki tendency to have the head in the clouds can be counterbalanced. Qigong allows for grounding. This is crucial for long-term health and particularly mental health. Even for people who are paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Qigong offers practices that involve visualizing the energy (chi) running through the body. This not only provides physical grounding but some patients have seen an improvement in movement after doing such visualizations!
Additionally, the energetic practices of Qigong strengthen the aura. This means that it is harder for incoming psychic attacks to hit their target. It also means that the Qigong practitioner is much more likely to fully live in their body than a Reiki practitioner with their head in the clouds.
The great thing about Qigong for Reiki practitioners is that it is entirely complimentary to Reiki. You can do both and achieve great results. Qigong also has its own forms of hands-on energy healing that work quite well. Many of these practices are simple to learn.
Unlike Reiki, however, Qigong cannot be learned in one weekend. It would actually take many lifetimes to fully master everything Qigong has to offer. Fortunately, with the Internet, we have a vast array of Qigong resources at our fingertips. Start by reading books, websites and watching Qigong videos. If instructors are not available in your area, many Qigong teachers offer online courses.
As for me, finding Qigong was the "missing piece" I had been searching for after many years of struggle. While it is not a quick fix, it is a wonderful process, and the personal growth you will experience through its study is well worth the time you put in to learning it.