Autogenic training (sometimes called "autogenics" or simple "AT") is a research-based relaxation technique developed by Johannes Shultz around 1932. Autogenic training is designed to promote self-empowerment over the body and mind to come together to relax.
Autogenic: generated from within.
Autogenics is an easy way to improve overall health and mental well-being.
It’s used by world-class athletes, NASA astronauts, and others seeking peak performance, yet surprisingly few people have heard of it.
The practice of autogenic training promotes balance between the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the flight or fight response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for restoring relaxation).
As a result, important health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, slower heart rate, and boosted immunity are some of the benefits of autogenics. Of course, an increased sense of control over stress management is an important psychological benefit.
Autogenic training teaches your body to respond to your commands.
You learn to gain control over body functions that you normally have
no control over such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, body
temperature, and breathing.
It’s not completely understood how autogenics works, but it’s considered a form of self-hypnosis.
During autogenic training, brain waves drop to the theta state — the same state experienced just as you fall asleep or during deep meditation. One thing that makes autogenics unique is that, unlike some other relaxation techniques, it works on your parasympathetic nervous system.
Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls involuntary body functions such as heart rate, digestion, and breathing. ANS is divided into two main branches, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. Normally the parasympathetic nervous system is in control. It’s your “rest and digest” system.
But when you’re under stress, the sympathetic nervous system takes over.
This induces the “flight or fight” state that you may know all too well.
Regular practice of autogenic training brings the activity of the two branches into optimal balance by calming down your overactive stress response.
Autogenics is so simple you might be tempted to think it can’t be that effective, but that would be selling it short.
Autogenics is very effective for managing stress, and it can do much more than that.
By helping you control your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and breathing, AT can help many kinds of physical and mental health conditions.
Dozens of studies have confirmed that AT is particularly useful for treating anxiety disorders.
Autogenics is a little-known relaxation technique that works by helping you gain control of your autonomic nervous system.
With regular practice, you can learn to alter involuntary body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and breathing.
It helps you balance your “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) and your “flight or fight” (sympathetic) nervous systems.
It’s one of the simplest and safest ways to combat stress.
It has many proven health and mental health benefits that go far beyond stress reduction, including achieving peak performance.
While autogenics is very simple, there are still some tips that can help you get the most out of it.
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Do a body scan.
3. Repeat the following affirmations (aloud or in your mind) while visualizing the following:
A. I am completely calm (1 time).
B. My Right arm is heavy (6 times).
C. I am completely calm (1 time).
D. My Right arm is warm (6 times). (Repeat this cycle for the Left arm.)
E. I am completely calm (1 time).
F. My heart beats calmly and regularly (6 times).
G. I am completely calm (1 time).
H. My breathing is calm and regular(6 times).
I. I am completely calm (1 time).
J. My abdomen is flowing and warm (6 times).
K. I am completely calm (1 time).
L. My forehead is pleasantly cool (6 times).
M. I am completely calm (1 time).
N. Work your way through the body this way, especially in the areas of your body you feel have the most tension.