What’s the Difference Between Massage, Reiki, and Holistic Healing?

Massage, Reiki, and holistic healing are different types of alternative health treatments. Depending on your health challenges, you could use one method by itself or in combination with other treatments. Here is some basic information to help you decide which type of healing is most beneficial and appropriate for you.

Massage Therapy

The history of massage therapy dates back to 2700 BCE in “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” There are ancient references to massage that appear in writings from India, Egypt, Arabia, China, Rome, and Greece. Health benefits of massage therapy include reduced muscle tension, strengthened immune system, improved circulation, reduced stress, and easing of chronic pain. Possible side effects of massage therapy are temporary swelling, bruising, or discomfort.


Reiki is a type of energy healing that seeks to restore balance in the body’s energy system. The type of Reiki widely practiced today was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui. He opened his first Reiki clinic in 1922 and taught others, so they could pass it on once he died. Reiki is osmotic, automatic, and all-encompassing. It automatically goes to the area in your body that is most in need of healing.

Health benefits of Reiki include improving your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It can also help with treating cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, infertility, Crohn’s disease, neurodegenerative disorders, fatigue syndromes, and autism. Potential side effects may include short-term fatigue, lightheadedness, or upset stomach.

Holistic Healing

Holistic healing seeks to address your body, mind, emotions, and spirit to heal an ailment. It’s based on the idea that health is comprised of the body and the mind, and that both need to be taken into consideration during the healing process. Holistic healing stems back to the 4th century BCE. According to Socrates, “the part can never be well unless the whole is well.”

Health benefits of holistic healing include better overall health, pain relief, and improved nutrition. It can also help improve your relationships with others through healing emotional and mental problems like depression, anger, and unresolved trauma. Side effects can vary widely because it depends on which treatments you use. If you use herbs, then there may be varying side effects depending on the type of herb.

Massage, Reiki, and holistic healing are excellent alternative methods that can supplement Western medicine. Massage and Reiki can be used alongside holistic healing with other alternative methods like taking herbs. They can also be used on their own. What treatments you choose comes down to your ailment and what is most beneficial to you.

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