What is the Difference Between Usui Reiki and Kundalini Reiki?

“What is the difference between Usui Reiki and Kundalini Reiki?” – This is a question I get very often from my clients, students, and social media followers. There are a few distinct differences, so let’s dive in!

What is Usui Reiki?

Usui Reiki specifically refers to a type of Japanese energy healing – “Usui” referring to Mikao Usui who developed a specific way of working with Earth and Spirit energy in the 1920’s. Japan has a rich history of indigenous folk medicine and energy healing. Mikao Usui took those traditions and developed a more systematic way of working that was easier to teach, practice, and pass on to others.

Over time, and as the practice of Usui Reiki was passed down to different students who became teachers, additional techniques and structures were added and put in place that further defined Usui Reiki as a specific practice. Things like using symbols, hand placements, having three degrees (or levels and attunements) all developed over time and became unique to this style of energy work.

What is Kundalini Reiki?

Kundalini Reiki is an energy healing technique developed by Ole Gabrielsen in the 2000’s. With Kundalini Reiki, you are not only utilizing Earth and Spirit energy, but your own Kundalini life force energy is also activated. The idea being that when your own life force energy is activated, you will receive more self healing as you channel this energy (whether for yourself or others) and it will help to progress you further in your spiritual development. See the image below for a breakdown of how Kundalini Energy moves through the body.
Kundalini Reiki does not utilize symbols or hand placements in the same way that Usui Reiki does. It is more intuitive, with less structure. Additionally with Kundalini Reiki, you are also attuned to eight other energetic frequencies throughout your training. These frequencies are to be utilized for self healing and healing others with specific ailments. You receive and learn to channel the frequencies for the following: Balance All Meditation, Karmic Band Healing, Past Life Healing, Situational Healing, Diamond Reiki, Crystalline Reiki, DNA Reiki, Location Reiki.



What’s the bottom line?

What’s the Difference Between Usui Reiki and Kundalini Reiki?

What is the difference between Kundalini Reiki & Usui Reiki? While both techniques are simply different ways to intuitively work with energy for the purpose of healing, the primary difference between the two is that with Kundalini Reiki, you are not just working with Earth and Spirit energy, you are also working with and activating your own life force energy. Kundalini Reiki also does not use symbols, nor does it place emphasis on hand positions.

The final major difference is that with Kundalini Reiki, you are attuned to eight additional frequencies which you can then utilize in your healing practice. Usui Reiki specifically works exclusively with Earth and Spirit energies.


As a Practitioner, Do These Energies Feel Different to Work With?

As someone who has been attuned to each system and has worked with both, I do notice that the systems not only feel different, but work differently and have different benefits. I want to note that this is purely subjective and based on my own experience – you may find your experience differs from mine.

In my opinion, when I utilize Usui Reiki energy, I feel it more in my gut/belly (Hara). It has a grounding and stabilizing force. It feels fuller and “heavier” in some sense. I personally tend to utilize this particular energy more for working on physical bodies and physical spaces (for example, bringing in grounding energy, helping someone to heal a physical ailment, or clearing energy in a room.) 

For me, when I utilize Kundalini Reiki energy, I tend to feel it more along or just in front of my spine, in my throat, and through my bones (so to speak). It feels more electric and fast moving to me, it also feels “lighter” in a sense. I tend to use this energy more for mental and spiritual matters in my healing work. I also find Kundalini Reiki energy to be slightly more efficient or fast moving – I find a lot more can be accomplished in a five minute session utilizing Kundalini Reiki energy vs. Usui Reiki energy.


As a Recipient, Do the Energies Feel Different During a Healing Session or Treatment?

Yes and no. In my experience, after receiving a lot of healing work from a lot of different practitioners, every session is different and feels different depending on the practitioner I am seeing, what energy systems are utilized, how I’m feeling that day, the intentions that were set, how sensitive I am feeling, what work is done, etc. In my experience, I have not noticed a major difference between each energy system as a recipient on a sensation level.


Final Thoughts on the Difference Between Kundalini Reiki and Usui Reiki

Ultimately, these are both simply methods to intuitively work with energy and the non physical for the purpose of healing and personal & spiritual growth. When it comes down to it, all lineages of Reiki and different types of energy healing are all doing the same thing – channeling and manipulating energy for the sake of healing.

I want to be clear that Reiki is a Japanese word specific to that particular tradition of energy healing meaning universal life force energy. Cultures from all over the world have worked with energy in some shape or form since the dawn of time. You will often find different types of “Reiki” healing modalities (like Kundalini Reiki) that simply use the word Reiki because it is what is most widely recognized and known when it comes to energy healing – even if they have little to nothing to do with traditional Japanese energy healing.



If you are interested in learning how to work with energy for healing for yourself and others, you can look for healers in your area who offer trainings. I encourage you to study with someone you admire, trust, and vibe with. I also provide high quality online trainings & attunements, which can be found at the link below.


The BEST Kundalini Reiki Online Training & Attunements



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