Autogenic Training

Autogenic training, an easy to learn self help method that promotes relaxtion, reduce stress and restore emotional well being.

With autogenic training, an easy to learn self help method that promotes relaxation, you can reduce stress and restore emotional well being. The technique was developed in 1915 by the German neurologist and psychologist Johannes Schultz. Although the method is better known in Europe, it is becoming popular in the United States today.

Autogenic training is also known as "yoga of the West", the procedure involves repeating a series of stock phrases, thereby inducing a meditative state of complete relaxation. The exercises should be carried out daily in a comfortable and quiet place. Eight to ten weeks of training is often sufficient to restore mental equilibrium, enhance coping skills and overcome sleep troubles. Because stress can have a negative impact on the body's immune defenses, autogenic training can also strengthen immune function. The techinique may thus prevent illness or shorten the course of a disease.

The most important prerequistite for autogenic training is to make time for the exercises. Beginners should practice the basic phrases for five to fifteen minutes three times a day. Start by eliminating any distractions, let the answering machine take calls, leave a note on a door for privacy and refuse to open door to children during your training period. Then get yourself in a comfortable position, such as lying down on a padded surface or sitting in a chair with a sturdy back. Stay away from cold drafts or overly warm rooms.

Basic training starts with six simple phrases that must be practiced repeatedly in sequence. At advanced level, additional suggestions may be incorporated into the training program. The six phrases to use are:

1: My body is very heavy (promotes muscle relaxtion)

2: I am very warm (relaxes your blood vessels and enhances circulation)

3: My heartbeat is calm and regular (regulates your pulse)

4: My breathing is calm and regular (relxes your lungs and airways)

5: My abdomen is warm and relaxed (relaxes your stomach and exercises the abdominal wall)

6: My forehead is cool and clear (relieves tension in your head)

Start procedure in the Driving Position:

This is a sitting procedure as if you were driving a car. Sit in a chair with your back straight, arms resting loosely on your thighs, eyes closed and feet set parallel on the floor. When exhaling let your head and shoulders droop.

Say the above six phrases.

Repeat phrases after you are relaxed, add in a phrase that relates to your ailment. (ex: my head is cool and clear if you have a headache)

When you are finished, keeping the eyes closed, take deep breaths, make a fist with each hand and bend your arms toward your chest.

This should take five to 15 minutes to do, and for beginners it is recommended to do training three times a day to start out with.

Scientific studies have been demonstrated that when autogenic training is done properly and is practiced on a regular basis, it has a beneficial effect on the autonomic nervous system and thus on all the organs of the body. This simple technique can therefore help to relieve a wider ange of problems caused by stress or nervous tensions, such as palpitations or sleep difficulties.

Autogenic training is also an ideal method of relaxation for those with test anxiety. Practice every day for two weeks, planning the last session for the day of the test.

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