Through autogenic training you can learn to switch your body into a relaxation mode without external influences. It is not for nothing that "autogenic" means "arising from itself. The scientifically based method was established by the psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz (1884-1970) and helps with stress-related tension, pain, insomnia and phobias. But as the name suggests, it is a workout. With a little time and good guidance, this weakened form of self-hypnosis can give you strength for mental and physical challenges.
You'll learn about that and more in this article:
– With the help of guiding principles you can consciously guide your body into well-being.
– Unlike in externally guided hypnosis, you talk to yourself – even your thoughts are enough.
– All you need: a quiet place and some instruction.
How does autogenic training work?
This method is based on the scientifically proven connection between psyche (thoughts, mind) and body. That means, the power of thoughts is used to positively influence the vegetative nervous system. The exercises correspond to a kind of self-hypnosis. People who are under a lot of stress, who suffer from insomnia, whose body is tense and who cannot find rest from a state of exhaustion can return to relaxation through self-hypnosis. And thereby also to a more pleasant, perhaps even complaint-free life. Before we introduce you to a few exercises, we would like to explain the differences between self-hypnosis, hypnosis and autogenic training.
Difference between hypnosis, self-hypnosis and autogenic training
Hypnosis is performed by a hypnotherapist together with the patient. With this already 1.000 years old form of therapy the therapist gives verbal instructions. These suggestions help the patient to change old behavioral patterns or beliefs. The patient is in a kind of trance that is not dangerous.
In self-hypnosis, no one speaks to you. You put yourself in a relaxed state of mind. Enter the so-called autosuggestion. Sentences and phrases help you relax. Autogenic training is very similar to self-hypnosis, but it is based on predefined exercises. Depending on how skilled you are, you can enter a hypnotic state, which you can also consciously end again.
The effect of autogenic training on body and mind
What many do not know: The positive effects of autogenic training are not imaginary. Physically measurable effects, such as a development of warmth in the body, could be demonstrated during performance. For whom is autogenic training suitable. How to learn?Anyone can learn autogenic training. Really any. It is recommended, especially for beginners, to practice together under guidance. You don't need any equipment or anything else. The only requirement is a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for at least ten minutes. This means you could also find a place in the office to relax and perhaps prepare for a conversation or presentation.
In order to come to an inner peace, you should also be positive about this method. If you feel during the exercises that they won't help you anyway, autogenic training is probably not right for you.
You can practice lying down, in the reclining chair posture or sitting: In the so-called cabman pose, you sit bent far forward, rest your elbows on your thighs and let your arms hang down along your inner thighs. The head is lowered. By the way, this is a very relaxed posture for the whole body, because hardly any muscle is tensed.
The eight phases of training
– The first phase is the rest phase. Here you lie down or sit comfortably in an armchair. Make sure you are and stay undisturbed.
– In the second phase, the gravity exercise, you relax your muscles. You go through body part by body part and say (think) for example, "My right leg is heavy/my left arm is heavy."
– Once you are relaxed, we move on to phase three, the warmth exercise. Again, you go through body part by body part and say, for example, "My left leg is warm/my right arm is warm"."
– In fourth place is the breathing exercise. Deepen your breathing with sentences like: "I breathe in and out deeply, evenly and calmly."
– The heart exercise is in fifth place. Here you concentrate on your heartbeat and say sentences like: "My heart is calm and beats in peace"."
– With the sixth step, the solar plexus exercise, you focus on your upper abdomen by sitting the solar plexus. This is a nerve plexus that is responsible for the intestines and digestion. Say sentences like: "Warmth is flowing in my solar plexus."
– The head exercise follows next. The aim of this exercise is to relax the facial muscles. If you have a headache you could do this exercise a little longer. Here you could say: "My face is completely relaxed and my forehead is pleasantly cool"."
– Fundamental to the conclusion is the end exercise. This means you feel your physique again, tense the muscles and come back. This is important so you don't stay tired or dazed when you suddenly get up again.
– If you want to use autogenic training to help you fall asleep, simply skip the end exercise.
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