Autogenic training

health Dec 7, 2021

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique which is effective for a variety of stress-related conditions.

It is a mind-body therapy involving simple relaxation and body awareness exercise that can be taught to, and then practiced by the person.
It is developed by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz.
Autogenic training, also called autogenic or simply AT, is a non-drug method of mind-body healing technique.AT is a method that can be carried out by the person himself.
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.
The sympathetic nervous system which is considered “flight or fight” state decreases digestion and bowel movements, increases blood pressure, increases the heart rate, increases the functions of immune system.
The parasympathetic nervous system is considered "rest and digest" or "feed and breed" system.
The parasympathetic activity promotes digestion and bowel movements, lowers the blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and promotes the functions of the immune system.
Stress causes brain to shrink by inhibiting the formation of new brain cells.
Under stress, the sympathetic nervous system induces the “flight or fight” state.
A regular practice of Autogenic training brings the activity of the two branches into optimal balance by reducing overactive stress response.
Autogenic training is unique because it works on the parasympathetic nervous system. This technique can be used to lessen many stress induced psychosomatic disorders.

Autogenic training 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.
Surprisingly few people have heard of it.

AT is not meditation, but the meditative state which can be induced is very deep and brings main insights to the surface.

Through this training, the person learns how to gain control over body functions that are normally have no control over such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, body temperature, and breathing.
During AT, brain waves drop to the lower-frequency theta state — the same state experienced when a person falls asleep or during deep meditation.

Autogenic training teaches our body to respond to our verbal commands which “tell" our body to relax and control breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and body temperature. This leads to a state of deep relaxation by which the stress is reduced. Regular practice prevents the effects of chronic stress.

Those people who are motivated and committed to learning AT are likely to get some benefit and for those who master the technique, it can be an effective treatment for chronic stress.
Without regular practice, autogenic training has no effect.

Autogenic training consists of standard exercises that make the body feel warm, heavy, and relaxed. For each exercise, the person has to sit in a comfortable chair or lie down, concentrate without any goal, and then use visual imagination and verbal signals to relax the body in specific way

AT also helps to treat hyperventilation, asthma, constipation and diarrhoea, gastritis, ulcers, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, cold   hands or feet, headaches, thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism.
It increases general confidence and well-being, energy and creativity, improves performance in sport, music, theatre, and classroom, reduces the likelihood of serious illness in the future


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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