Breathing therapy, which is so popular in the world, is starting to spread in Armenia

April 10, 2024  16:10

Breathing therapy, which is in great demand in the world, is a practice of health restoration and preservation, has started to arouse interest in Armenia as well.

Breathing therapy։ What is it and what problems can it help to overcome?

Breathing is not just a physical act. Breathing practices have long been used in various cultures and traditions to access deeper states of consciousness and to heal certain ailments and for spiritual development. Today, many of these practices already have a completely scientific basis and are used by specialists to solve a number of somatic and psychological problems.

Breathing therapies, as Kristine Kirakosyan, a qualified international specialist in this type of therapy, said in an interview with Medicine, are used to reach different levels of consciousness and altered states, thanks to which one can overcome some past traumas and problems, improve the health of the body, get rid of fears and addictions.

“What do we do when we come into this world? The first thing a newborn does is breath. And when we stop breathing, we leave this world. The entire life takes place between inhales and exhales. There is nothing more important and powerful than our inhales and exhales. We use the power of our breath to activate the body's healing system, which in turn enables us to get rid of what we don't need in order to live life to the fullest,” she said.

Who is Kristine Kirakosyan?

Khristine Kirakosian is a certified breathing therapy teacher, Reiki energy healing master, and certified yoga and meditation teacher who blends ancient practices with modern knowledge in her work. She embarked on a spiritual journey of self-discovery in 2015 after completing her PhD in Europe, left her corporate and academic world to travel the world to practice meditation, yoga, shamanism, energetic and various spiritual practices.

Christine's path of meditation led her to a Buddhist temple where she immersed herself in the profound teachings. One of the most important avenues for her spiritual growth was the Wat Pa Sang Tam temple (Thailand), where she often visits and lives to deepen her meditation practice (Vipassana, Anapanasati).

The path of self-recognition and self-discovery also brought her to the shamanic path. Kristine participated in many shamanic ceremonies with highly respected shamans in Central America. She also traveled to Peru, where she had the honor of meeting and working with Papa Gilberto, a curandero shaman of the Mahua family, who has been healing people with shamanic rituals for over 60 years.

Kristine also traveled to many countries and parts of the world and lived in different parts of Europe, the East and Central America. She was alone during all her journeys, which provided opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth and harmony.

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Kristine has been practicing breathing therapies since 2015. She studied Holotropic and Rebirthing breathing therapies with the Italian master Prem Luca, who is a student of the forefathers of breathing therapies, Stanislav Grof and Leonard Orr, and the Sannyasin of the Indian mystic and spiritual teacher Osho. Now, they organize many courses with the Italian master.  

Kristine Kirakosyan's experience

Kristine also studied and was trained for working with trauma and traumatized people. While living in Thailand and working in one of the spiritual schools, she had the opportunity to meet many different international masters and engage in various spiritual practices such as Tai Chi, Qigong, Active Meditations, Dance Therapy, Art Therapy, Self-inquiry, Tantra, Mindfulness, etc. She also studied and practiced fasting and raw foodism.

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Kristine Kirakosyan currently cooperates with different teachers, schools and centers around the world, traveling and teaching in different countries of the world, such as Samma Karuna International School in Thailand and Greece, Nalanda Center in India, La Joya Health Center in Spain, Bedouin Yoga Camp in Jordan, etc.

Kristine recently received a Cosmic Vision Energy Transmission from Grandmaster Mantak Chia, who is one of the world's top Taoist masters and 18th in The Watkins Review's 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

Kristine also makes spiritual journeys in different countries of the world, during which people have the opportunity to get to know the given country, its culture, participate in various rituals, as well as engage in meditations, yoga and breathing therapies during the entire trip.

What are the benefits of breathing treatments?

Kristine Kirakosyan practices and conducts various breathing therapies, including the so-called holotropic and Rebirthing breathing therapies, which are considered to be the ancestors of all modern breathing therapies and have become popular all over the world in recent years.

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Holotropic breathing therapy was developed in the 1970s by Stanislav Grof, an American psychologist with Czech roots, and with his wife Kristina. It enables a person to achieve altered states of consciousness and a better self-understanding. It is believed that this breathing practice has a healing effect and helps a person get rid of fears, phobias, even addictions, as well as overcome traumas and other problems that impair their quality of life.

“Why do we want to turn off our consciousness and enter a field that can be called subconscious and superconscious? Because there are problems in our life with which we are not able to work on a conscious level, - explained the specialist. - For example, when you were 2-3 years old, your parents argued and you were afraid. You do not remember it anymore, but somewhere in your subconscious, there is something that makes your life difficult, especially if you have not had the opportunity to express those concerns and emotions in some way. Often we realize that we have problems, but we are not able to solve them on a conscious level. Therefore, there are spiritual practices that allow us to enter this unusual state of consciousness and ‘clean everything we don't need’.”

According to Kirakosyan, traumatic events in the past leave a mark on a person. Breathing practice gives a person the opportunity to express the emotions suppressed for years, to get rid of the negative energy accumulated inside, which makes their life difficult.

"Imagine that we are walking with a bag of stones on our shoulders. This is the emotional baggage that we have accumulated throughout our lives. We do not realize it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Breathing therapies can help us get rid of those stones and live an easier and fuller life," she said.

Getting rid of excess "baggage" happens differently for everyone: someone may start laughing during a breathing therapy session, someone may start crying.

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"A doctor who prescribes drugs to a patient does not have to try all those drugs on themselves in order to know how to prescribe them. However, a practitioner of breathing therapy has to go through it many times before they start working with other people. During the practice, we can face strong cathartic situations, very different expressions of emotions in people, and we need to know what it is, how to react and what to do," explained the specialist.

Breathing therapies improve a person's mental, emotional or physical state. They also boost the immune system, helping with depression, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, balance the nervous system, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, help to overcome addictions, balancing the nervous system and balancing the body, mind and emotions.

“‘The breath is medicine without using any medicine.’ I always say these words to all my students and add that ‘the power to heal yourself is within you. Do not give your power to anyone. Reclaim your power and you can rewrite your story. Moreover, breathing therapies are one possible way to regain that power. Just trust your breath, because the breath is the life force energy and has the highest consciousness’,” Kristine said.

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To whom are breathing exercises contraindicated?

Despite the benefits of breathing therapy for most people, it is not indicated for everyone: in the case of some problems and diseases, as the specialist mentioned, it is not recommended to engage in such therapies, and in some cases, one should be careful.

“The main contraindications to breathing therapy are epilepsy, schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder. If a person has recently had a surgery and needs to restrict movement, this may also be a temporary contraindication. In addition, if a person has heart problems or has had a major emotional trauma, we should definitely know about this in order to understand which practices are acceptable for them and which are not. We also work differently with pregnant women, so a pregnant woman must definitely inform about her condition," Kirakosyan said.

According to her, before starting the breathing therapy, people are talked to or they fill out a special questionnaire, where they have to honestly inform about their health condition, what medicines they take, so that the specialist who will work with them can make the right decisions as to what can be done and what is undesirable.

“If I don't understand something about a person's diagnosis or the medication they are taking, I always consult a doctor. After all, the goal is to preserve a person’s health and improve it without harming it," she said.

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Breathing therapies in Armenia

Kristine Kirakosyan started conducting breathing therapy courses in Armenia about three years ago, and since last year she has been conducting trainings and retreats for future specialists. This year, she plans to conduct specialist training for the second time in Armenia.

"I think that these treatments are more than needed in Armenia and not only for the current situation, but also for the difficulties that have come to us over the centuries. For example, because of the Armenian Genocide, we are all born with trauma that is passed on from generation to generation, and other traumas are added to it in life. If there are good breathing therapists in Armenia, it can bring many benefits to our people," she said.

In addition, she said, the development of this sector in the country would help attract tourists from abroad who can participate in retreats, qualification courses for future professionals and other events, and this will benefit the country. Moreover, about 60-70% of the participants of the specialist training course to be held very soon are from other countries, and they will come to Armenia specifically to participate in this course.

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Kristine Kirakosyan will conduct an "Intensive Breathing Therapies" retreat in Armenia on May 24-26. On June 1-8, she will hold an "Intensive Breathing Therapies” retreat with other specialists and doctors, which is also the first module of the training courses for breathing therapies teachers, dedicated to self-recognition and self-healing. In addition, on June 10-21, she will conduct training for those specialists who are going to work with people and conduct breathing therapy for them. And one of the upcoming spiritual trips will be a 15-day one to Nepal in October, during which people will have the opportunity to participate in Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies, trek through Annapurna (Himalayas) and other memorable places.

You can learn more about Kristine Kirakosyan's work on the following websites or or on her Instagram page

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