A personal view from a practicing therapist
Having practised both Bi-Aura and Reiki therapies since 2005 (as a Reiki Master since 2012) I am often asked how Reiki and Bi-Aura compare. Both are bio-energy therapies based on the chakra system that underpins Eastern medical philosophy; both involve the channelling of energy into the client’s body; both have wonderful and profound healing benefits for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues.
Reiki (Rei meaning ‘Life’, Ki or Chi meaning ‘energy’) is undoubtedly the better known modality around the world. The myths and legends that surround its ancient origins, its modern rediscovery, its secret symbols and its attunement rituals have fuelled its rapid spread around the world.
But Bi-Aura is in no way Reiki’s poor cousin. Indeed, they are highly complementary and compatible modalities, frequently used side-by-side by dual practitioners. But, in my experience as one of these dual practitioners, Bi-Aura as a discipline has several strengths not inherent in Reiki which, for me, gives it the edge.
Firstly, the healing mechanisms of the two modalities differ in subtle yet important ways. In Reiki healing, the practitioner places their hands on or above the client’s body at a dozen or so specific areas for a few minutes each. Universal (or ‘cosmic’) chi energy is channelled through the practitioner’s crown chakra and hands into the client’s body at the specific rate and frequency determined by the client’s own energy field. In my experience, Reiki is ‘pulled’ rather than ‘pushed’, so the client subconsciously draws whatever they need and the therapist merely offers themself as a channel or conduit for that energy. Indeed, I have felt Reiki being drawn out of me by strangers nearby, who I subsequently discover are nursing broken limbs. When the client has received enough energy, the pump ‘clicks off’ and Reiki ceases to flow.
The four main Reiki symbols which practitioners use do noticeably enhance the power and quality of the Reiki energy being drawn –clients may even subconsciously reject the male (traditional) form of the Master Symbol while accepting the female (modern) version. And the traditional approach of treating the client horizontally on a Reiki couch offers a more peaceful and relaxing experience. Those clients who don’t experience the subtle heat and tingling in their bodies have usually fallen asleep!
Bi-Aura, on the other hand, enables practitioners to bring both ‘cosmic’ and ‘earth’ energy – otherwise known as the Manifesting and Liberating currents – into the client’s bio field. A balance of both these currents is essential for physical energy, healing and overall well-being. In my experience, this is made much easier and more powerful when clients are treated standing up, particularly in the opening section of a Bi-Aura treatment when cosmic and earth energy are brought into the crown and root chakras and these chakras are appropriately aligned on the vertical. Bi-Aura clients can be treated sitting or lying down as well as standing, however; and therapists work mostly hands-off, with minimal touch only required for grounding and some advanced techniques.
Bi-Aura practitioners do channel energy too, just as Reiki therapists do. However, rather than drawing down this energy via the Reiki symbols placed in their crown chakra, Bi-Aura therapists consciously draw earth and cosmic energy into their own system using visualisations, before mixing it in the heart and sending it down their arms. This ensures they are not ‘injecting’ their own energy into the client’s bio field, but drawing on an infinite supply from the environment around them. Is this energy any less powerful than Reiki energy? Not in my experience, as focussed intention rather than symbols provides the energy with the healing information it requires.
More important, perhaps, is the fact that Bi-Aura therapy focusses as much on clearing out energy blockages as it does on channelling fresh energy in. Stagnant energy can either bind too much energy to a chakra leaving it ‘choked’ or ‘excessive’, or push fresh energy away, leaving it ‘empty’ or ‘deficient’. The balanced flow of chi through all the chakras requires the removal of those energy dams that block the energy river and Bi-Aura offers a particularly powerful approach to removing these blocks before chakras are filled with fresh energy. In my experience, this manifests as a much faster, deeper energy rebalancing than Reiki offers – but the flip side of this is often a more acute healing crisis or detox which can cause clients temporary discomfort.
The second, and possibly more profound, difference lies in the learning and development process commonly experienced by students.
Reiki is taught in three degrees or stages: Reiki I enables students to channel Reiki energy to heal themselves and others; Reiki II reveals the secret symbols that can be used to enhance or direct Reiki energy; and Reiki III reveals the Master Reiki symbol that enables a Reiki practitioner to attune others to Reiki and further empower their healing work. Students are qualified to practice on others after Reiki II – i.e. after only 2 weekends’ training.
Reiki attunements (the passing on by Master to Student of Reiki energy and one’s ability to channel it,) are conducted as a short, sacred ritual where the Reiki symbols are breathed into the hands and crown chakra of the Reiki student by the Master. This ceremony boasts a proud history of apostolic progression – almost all Reiki Masters can trace their lineage back to the original students and evangelists of Dr Mikao Usui who first ‘rediscovered’ Reiki during a spiritual epiphany in Japan in 1914.
These three degrees of initiation now commonly take a weekend each; with a minimum of a month or two’s gap between Reiki I and II, and at least a year of regular healing of self and others before Reiki III can commence. A good Reiki Master will explain the chakra system in depth, as well as teaching students the correct hand positions and protocols that are important for a successful Reiki healing session. However, Reiki is an oral tradition and there is no standard curriculum – the depth and quality of teaching very much depends on the depth of knowledge and experience of the Reiki Master.
In contrast, Bi-Aura therapy is delivered in the more classic academic format typical of many Diploma courses available in the Western world. For one weekend a month over seven months, students focus on the theory and personal experience of each of the seven major chakras in turn, learning in depth about the psychological and physical aspects governed by each chakra (as well as all the correct tools and procedures necessary for professional clinical practice). Reiki teaching traditionally focusses purely on healing ‘blocked’ chakras; Bi-Aura training goes further in enabling students to distinguish between deficient and excessive chakras, and even physical vs. emotional energy blocks.
Practical exercises and Bi-Aura techniques, along with an extended meditation on the relevant chakra, enable a very deep healing (or ‘whole-ing’) of that chakra for each student – with time for issues to be addressed and resolved before progression to the next chakra. Bi-Aura students also conduct and document 6 live case studies of four treatments each, which they submit as part of a larger dissertation, as part of their professional qualification.
Thus the 8-month Bi-Aura course is a profound journey of personal discovery, growth and healing that offers far-reaching transformation at a pace students can manage. All therapists need to heal themselves before healing others and the structure of the Bi-Aura course offers a more powerful, manageable and long-lasting opportunity for self-development than the described Reiki teaching format provides.
So is there a place for both Reiki and Bi-Aura? Definitely. Reiki is a very gentle, subtle approach beautifully suited to those clients who find change difficult and uncomfortable and need to take it slow, as well as those who seek a more relaxing, pampering treatment experience. Children and animals who struggle to stay still in one place for more than a few moments can really benefit from a quick Reiki session too. The Reiki symbols have a power that can be harnessed to enhance healing; and the practitioner always experiences receiving a dose of Reiki themselves when channelling Reiki for others.
However Bi-Aura, in my experience, delivers change more quickly and more intensively, both for acute and chronic cases of dis-ease. Clients are also more likely to report knock-on benefits in other areas of their life besides those they sought treatment for. Its comprehensive toolbox of powerful techniques can easily be adapted to suit children and animals, or those who want to sit or lie down for treatment rather than stand. Bi-Aura is a very relaxing experience too, even when the client is treated standing up. The four-step treatment approach also encourages a commitment to change and self-healing that empowers clients to understand and take responsibility for their own health and well-being – and make the necessary changes in their life to achieve lasting improvements.
Using Bi-Aura and Reiki together is perhaps the best of both worlds. Once attuned, Reiki healers cannot help but channel Reiki energy whether they like it or not, so I automatically channel Reiki energy whenever I am energising a client’s chakras during a Bi-Aura session. I use the symbols for enhanced healing power, for clearing negativity, for self-protection and even for diagnostic purposes.
But I am unable to deliver a Reiki session without using the clearing and frequency-raising techniques that my Bi-Aura training taught me, and I would feel greatly diminished as a bio-energy practitioner if I no longer had those Bi-Aura tools at my disposal.
Mimi McNally, September 2016