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Autogenic Relaxation Training

Autogenic Training is the brainchild of a German psychiatrist named Johannes Heinrich Schultz.

The term ‘autogenic’ is derived from the Greek words ‘auto’ meaning ‘self’ and ‘genus’ meaning ‘from within’. So the term ‘autogenic’ implies ‘self-generated’ desensitisation relaxation technique.

Scientific studies on Autogenic Training

A study on people afflicted with migraines in the age group of 17-26 found out that 93% of those who underwent autogenic training reported 50% less headaches. A study also found out that AT reduced the anxiety of infertile women. A meta-analysis of AT studies in 2002 found out that it helped people cope with emotional and psychological issues.

The Autogenic training practice

Find a silent place. Wear loose clothes and remove your footwear. Lie on the floor or sit on a chair. Rest your arms on your lap or on the arms of the chair. You can listen to soft music. Abstain from eating, smoking and drinking alcohol before autogenic practice.

Breathe yogic breaths for a while.

(a) Stage I

Pay attention to your right arm. Silently and slowly, repeat each of the following statements, six times in chronological order.

  1. My right arm is heavy.
  2. My right arm is heavier.
  3. My right arm is completely heavy.
  4. My right arm is completely calm.

Now shift your attention to the left arm and repeat the process.

After this, repeat the statements in connection with legs.

(b) Stage 2

Again, pay attention to your right arm, and repeat each of the following statements, six times in chronological order.

  1. My right arm is warm.
  2. My right arm is warmer.
  3. My right arm is completely warm.
  4. My right arm is completely calm.

Repeat the process for your other arm and both the legs.

(c) Stage 3

Now, focus on your heartbeat and repeat the following statements six times.

  • My heartbeat is calm and regular.
  • I am completely calm.

Now, focus on your breath, then stomach and then the forehead and repeat the above statements six times each in connection with the areas you focus on.

Importance of Autogenic training: AT can help..

1. Enhance mental functioning

2. Achieve optimal blood pressure

3. Lower heart rate and breath rate

4. Elevate level of joy, happiness and confidence

Caution when practicing Autogenic training

If you have a history of hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, you should consult your physician before starting autogenic practice. Moreover, it is always recommended to learn AT under an expert.

Most of the traditional yoga schools follow the traditional form of AT, which has been mastered for over thousands of years. Please attend any sessions, classes or workshops on relaxation techniques, auto suggestion, self hypnosis or yoga nidra near to where you live.
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