Posts tagged ‘autogenics’

April 17, 2011

Autogenics relaxation techniques

by Dave P.

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique developed by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz and first published in 1932. The technique involves the daily practice of sessions that last around 15 minutes, usually in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening. During each session, the practitioner will repeat a set of visualisations that induce a state of relaxation. Each session can be practiced in a position chosen amongst a set of recommended postures (for example, lying down, sitting meditation, sitting like a rag doll). The technique can be used to alleviate many stress-induced psychosomatic disorders.

Schultz emphasized parallels to techniques in yoga and meditation. It is a method for influencing one’s autonomic nervous system. Abbe Faria and Emile Coue are the forerunners of Schultz. There are many parallels to progressive relaxation. In 1963 Luthe discovered the significance of “autogenic discharges”, paroxistic phenomena of motor, sensorial, visual and emotional nature related to the traumatic history of the patient, and developed the method of “Autogenic Abreaction”. His disciple Luis de Rivera, a McGill trained psychiatrist, introduced psychodynamic concepts into Luthe’s approach, developing “Autogenic Analysis” as a new method for uncovering the unconscious.

Example of an autogenic training session
Sit in the meditative posture and scan the body
“my right arm is heavy”
“my arms and legs are heavy and warm” (repeat 3 or more times)
“my heartbeat is calm and regular” (repeat 3 times)
“my solar plexus is warm” (repeat 3 times)
“my forehead is cool”
“my neck and shoulders are heavy” (repeat 3 times)
“I am at peace” (repeat 3 times)
Finish part one by cancelling[vague]
Start part two by repeating from step 2 to cancelling
Start part three by repeating from step 2 to cancelling

Many practitioners will choose not to cancel between the three iterations, in order to maintain deeper relaxation.

Quite often, one will ease themselves into the “trance” by counting to ten, and exit by counting backwards from ten. This is another practice taken from progressive relaxation.

Read full Wikipedia entry

Autogenic Training: A Practical Guide in Six Easy Steps by Karl Hans Welz (pdf)