What Is Autogenic Training?
Autogenic training is a type of stress-reducing technique. It works by helping you to achieve a meditative state in which you can learn to control your body’s response to suggestion. From there, you can begin to take control of your life back from the ravages of stress.
In a nutshell, the technique works to reverse the stress response in the body. When we are stressed, the body reacts as if it is sensing danger. This is termed the fight or flight response. It is normally exhibited when we feel that we are being threatened or in danger of bodily harm.
It results in a heightened awareness. Pupils dilate to take in more light. The heart rate increases. Adrenalin is secreted into the system, preparing your muscles for a fight or to have to run for your life.
Well, imagine being in this state of high alert all the time. Whenever we are stressed, that is in essence what the body is doing. It can wreak havoc on our systems and lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety, tension, irritability, pain and headaches.
Autogenics uses the body itself to reduce the stress. Here is how it works. This meditative technique was first used by a man named Johannes Schulz in Germany in the 30s. By using affirmations spoken out loud, the body can be lulled into a more relaxed state just by suggestion.
The autonomic nervous system which regulates the fight or flight response is affected. Autogenics has been shown to have positive effects on those suffering from stress, seasonal affective disorder and other conditions in the body.
You can practice it with very little training. Begin by finding a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. It is important to be free of distractions of any kind. Remove tight clothing, glasses and even contact lenses. Relax in a chair or lie flat on the floor.
Control your breathing. If you don’t already know, learn how to breathe deeply from the diaphragm to increase your oxygen intake. Start with a positive affirmation. If you are trying to achieve a calming state, use that as your affirmation.
You are setting the stage, and then concentrate on your arms. State that they are getting heavy and then getting warm. Now, move to your legs and repeat the same statements.