Reiki Or Deep Tissue Massage? Which Is Suitable for You?

There are different techniques used in massage therapy. It’s not unusual to wonder which massage is better for you. Are you confused to decide between reiki and deep tissue massage?

Cheer up šŸ˜Š In this article, we discuss everything about Deep tissue vs Reiki.

Reiki massage and deep tissue massage have different purposes. Deep tissue massage is great if you have muscle soreness and tightness. Reiki is great if you have psychosomatic pain from stress and anxiety.

We cover details of the below aspects in this article:

  • The origins of Deep tissue massage and Reiki
  • Deep tissue massage techniques vs Reiki techniques
  • The outcome of Reiki Vs Deep tissue massage
  • Which is better for you Deep tissue or Reiki?

The Origins of Deep Tissue Massage and Reiki 

Deep tissue massage has a mixed heritage. Its roots can be traced to ancient China, India, and even Egypt and Greece. Its origin in the West is traced to Canada in the late 18th century. During this period physicians prescribed deep-tissue massage for people with musculoskeletal injuries and pain. By the mid-19th century, deep tissue became popular in the US.

Reiki on the other hand has a strictly oriental heritage. Its roots are traced directly to Japan where reiki masters use hand positions to guide the flow of Reiki energy. Reiki became popular in the US in the early ’70s when Hawayo Takata opened the first reiki clinic in 1970.

Reiki Vs Deep Tissue Massage [Techniques Used]

Reiki vs Deep Tissue Massage - Techniques

Deep tissue massage is completely hands-on.

The massage therapist uses his hands, elbows, and forearms to perform techniques like effleurage and petrissage. Deep tissue massage uses slow and deep strokes to loosen tight and sore muscles.

However, in deep tissue massage, the strokes are very intense. And that’s because the massage therapist is not focused on the skin but on the muscles, tendons, and joints.

In a deep tissue massage, the therapist is unlikely to go heavy on massage oil or cream because he wants to use friction to his/her advantage.

When you are done with a deep tissue massage you would have broken into a sweat. Your muscles may feel sore but in a good way, kind of like when you are done with an exercise.

In Reiki, there is no touching at all.

The reiki master doesn’t hold, manipulate or sculpt any part of your body like in deep tissue massage.

The reiki master instead places his hands slightly above you and holds this position for as long as it takes. By doing this, Reiki masters can channel energy from their hands to your body, and even absorb negative energy that causes stress and anxiety.

While a deep tissue massage will make you break into a sweat, reiki will leave you very relaxed. It isn’t unusual to also fall asleep.

Deep Tissue Massage Vs Reiki [Key Differences]

Ā Deep Tissue MassageĀ Reiki
A deep tissue massage is a full body massage that lasts from an hour to an hour and a half.A session can last as long as an hour.
You can receive the massage undressed, dressed, draped, or undraped. This depends on your preferences.Unlike a deep tissue massage, you do reiki fully clothed.
At the beginning of the session, the therapist starts with light massage strokes to warm up the area, increase blood flow, and reduce the risk of cramps.   The therapist then proceeds to firmer strokes with more pressureThe reiki master positions his hands above your body, most likely starting from your head and then moving to your torso. A hand position can last anywhere from 3-5 minutes.   Unlike deep tissue massage where the therapist manipulates your tissues, in reiki, the master doesn’t make contact with your body at all.
At the end of the session, you may feel sore for the next 24-48 hours. This is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. If you feel increasingly sore, you should not hesitate to inform the therapist.At the end of the session, you feel exceptionally relaxed.   Feel free to let yourself fall asleep during the session.

Which Is Good for You? [Reiki Or Deep Tissue Massage]

When to Prefer Deep Tissue Massage Over Reiki?

deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage is great if you have sore and tight muscles caused by sports injuries, accidents, and work incidents.

It’s also great if you spend a lot of time at the office, hunching over the computer all day.

If you have conditions like plantar fasciitis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, a deep-tissue massage is great for you too.

If you spend lots of time at work lifting, pulling, and pushing equipment, a deep tissue massage is a great way to relieve stress from the pressure points in your musculoskeletal system. Let’s also say you are preparing for a race, or you are an active gym user, a deep tissue massage during your recovery days can boost your productivity and efficiency.

When to Prefer Reiki Over Tissue Massage?


Do you have a hard time falling asleep, do you have work/school deadlines? Do you feel stressed and anxious? Reiki may be just what you need.

Apart from insomnia and stress, reiki is great for patients who suffer from chronic pain from terminal illnesses like cancer.

Clients with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, neurologic headaches, and depression, can enjoy the psychological and spiritual effects of reiki.

What’s more, is that reiki massage is a great alternative for patients who are not ideal candidates for deep tissue massage. This includes clients with acute inflammation in their muscles, blocked lymphatic drainage, fever, swollen limbs, and so on.

My Recommendation:

It’s obvious that there is no winner in this comparison. That’s because no one is better than the other, they each have their uses and benefits.

I recommend a Deep tissue massage if you have sore muscles and joints from work-related or sports-related injuries, misuse, and overuse.

I recommend Reiki if your needs are more emotional and psychological than physical i.e psychological stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

And if you have the extra buck to spare, we recommend that you start with a deep tissue massage and then finish off with reiki. Your body will thank you for it!

Do you think having both massage sessions is worth it? Or would you rather pick a deep-tissue massage? Are you considering reiki? Let us know!

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