Skip to content

Usui vs Kundalini Reiki

Posted in Reiki and Other Modalities, and Reiki Blog

Kundalini Reiki is quite different from the traditional Usui Reiki that originates from Japan. In my honest opinion, it shouldn’t be called ‘Reiki’ as it is not from Dr. Usui’s lineage, but originates from a Danish healer and meditator, Ole Gabrielsen.  Kundalini Reiki has been around for about 10 years, and requires us to use our own mental energy to turn the Reiki ‘on’.

It is no accident that many ‘mental’ disciplines are becoming more popular at this time. The Law of Attraction movement made popular by “The Secret” coincides with the development of a wide range of healing modalities which can heal through intention, and thought. Kundalini Reiki sits in this ‘mental body’ area of healing and as such will appeal to those who are already exploring the power of intention.

How is Usui Reiki and Kundalini Reiki different?

Usui Reiki seems to work on the etheric energy level of the body, or the ‘blueprint’ of the body. Energy from the Universe travels through our hands and into the body automatically and without thought or intention. The healer can actually be asleep or can be an animal and the Reiki will still flow, as if by osmosis. Energy will travel from areas of high energy ie. the Universe, to areas of low energy ie our body. It is a very simple, natural and totally automatic response. The Reiki 1 workshops activate the Reiki in a person’s hands and allows this process to flow. As a result the Reiki practitioner does not need to be aware of energy, or of flow, or indeed of any sensations.

Kundalini Reiki seems to work through the mental body and requires mental thought to activate the healing. Practitioners are taught to think ‘Reiki’ to get the flow going. As a result the practitioner is more involved, and more influential in the healing process. The process is sometimes quickened and shortened because of this higher energy involvement. It also means that through intention, the practitioner can manipulate the energy and move it around the body, as well as harmonising situations and events, releasing emotions and conducting distance healing. These techniques are taught in Usui Reiki level 2, so Kundalini Reiki level 1 is a more ‘advanced’ workshop in that respect.

Some personal thoughts:

I trained as a Kundalini Reiki Master in 2010 and taught it alongside Usui Reiki for about a year, I was attracted to the quick time of treatments, and the definite shifts I experienced in a short period of time – I even referred to it as ‘Reiki 02’ in terms of the potential I thought it offered.  I still use my Kundalini Reiki for things I want to shift quickly, but I noticed over the year of teaching that when it came to deeper and more persistent change I always went back to my Usui techniques.  I eventually stopped teaching it altogether as I felt it wasn’t providing the long term pathway to peace that Usui Reiki offers.

My feeling as to why is based on some key differences:

1. Kundalini Reiki takes 5 minutes whilst Usui takes 1 hour, the benefit of taking time is that it develops discipline, dedication and self-appreciation.  Inner peace and long term happiness is not something that can be fixed like a pill, and Usui Reiki encourages us to take time with ourselves.

2. Kundalini Reiki relies on mental energy, and allows us to manipulate and charge the energy in different areas – this is great for short term shifts, but Usui Reiki encourages us to unpeel one layer at a time – again it may take longer, but the results are permanent.  Even at Reiki 2 when we can focus energy in different areas of our lives we are always encouraged to take an open view on the outcome.  Usui Reiki encourages us to detach from expectation and outcome.

3. Usui symbols are able to take us further than our mental energies, that is why I often refer to Usui Reiki as a pathway to enlightenment.  The symbols keep opening the door to universal source and over time we find ourselves staying in this energy for longer and longer.

4. The speed of the attunements, and training, with Kundalini Reiki can be very overwhelming for some people and I have noticed some people experience very uncomfortable detoxes, more so than I have noticed with Usui Reiki.  I worry that the attunements are too quick and too strong.  Ole also keeps ‘upgrading’ the attunements which I find keeps changing the quality of the energy coming through – the problem with this is that it is not yet a stable system, so you are never quite sure what you are getting!  I don’t personally have the same level of trust in this system as I do with Usui Reiki, but then I have been teaching Usui Reiki for 18 years and the system is much older and therefore tried and tested, but obviously I am bias in this judgement.

As I have been using Usui Reiki for so long, I have the benefit of hindsight and experience.  Of course I can see the initial attraction for a quick fix therapy, but I don’t think Kundalini Reiki currently has the same long term benefits as Usui, and I don’t think it is stable enough or naturally uncovers the same pathway to inner peace.  But as I stated, this is a purely personal opinion.