Autogenic training relaxation technique to achieve physical and mental well-being

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique known throughout the world. The word is made up by the words self- (from the Greek autos, oneself) and -genous (a suffix meaning product from and reflecting the word genesis, creation). 
Johannes Schultz, a German doctor, was the first to use this name to describe the original technique he discovered and explained for the first time in his book “Das autogene Training”in 1932.
Autogenic training has become particularly popular in Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States.

How Autogenic Training was born

The autogenous training technique, as mentioned above, was originally developed by the German neuro-psychiatrist Johannes Schultz in 1920 and then introduced to the medical community.

Dr. Schultz and Wolfagang Luthe then combined their knowledge and decades of studies to further develop this technique until it became a powerful therapeutic technique.

Schultz himself later highlighted how applying relaxation techniques to this practice can bring about a long-term change in negative psychophysical processes.

Over the years, over 300 clinical trials have been produced that demonstrate their effectiveness in physical and mental healing by treating psychological disorders, managing stress, promoting general well-being and improving performance, resilience, decision-making, problem solving and creative thinking.

 

Benefits of Autogenic Training

The benefits that the practice of autogenous training brings are many but it is necessary to specify that, just like every discipline, it is a technique that need to be applied consistently to start a process of durable and long- lasting change.
It is like exercising, and as such, results are visible only if you train regularly. 
Autogenic training  is able to produce a feeling of warmth and heaviness throughout the body leading to a state of deep relaxation that gives physical health and mental peace. 
It affects you on three levels:

  • psychological, because it can help to improve negative reactions by addressing the psychological experiences that are the cause, and can also help to use mental abilities more effectively;
  • physical, as it gives you a well-perceived general sense of  well-being;
  • physiological because it can improve the vegetative and endocrine nervous system. 

These three levels are able to rebalance the body from a both a psychophysical and psychosomatic point of view.

 

Benefits are:

  • stress control and management;
  • control over excessive emotional reactions;
  • self-induced calmness;
  • self-determination and concentration;
  • greater detachment from problems;
  • naturality, spontaneity and harmony;
  • improvement of introspectiveness;
  • alleviates tensions.
  • improve performance and creativity.
  • deep and rapid recovery of energy.

The technique is based on a series of targeted exercises that allow the muscles to relax involuntarily, intervening directly on the autonomic nervous system.
These exercises modify the behavior of some parts of the body by controlling the psychic sphere and influencing it in a positive way.
Autogenic training therefore acts on the delicate balance between mind and body, helping to release and relieve the mind and the body itself.

 

Application of autogenic training to various fileds

Autogenic training exercises are often recommended to treat anxiety disorders, somatization disorders and insomnia.

They are recommended to improve general health and to learn to control and manage stress and excessive emotional reactions as well as to learn self-induced calmness.

Currently autogenous training is widel used in sports activities to mentally prepare athletes, and involves both entire teams (football, basketball, water polo) and athletes who practice individual sports.

Some exercises are very useful to improve performance, to reduce injuries and to better recover from injuries. In recent years, it has also been applied in childbirth preparation courses, for women who wish to face pregnancy and childbirth with greater serenity, balance and well-being.
Since it does not require any physical effort, it can be used before delivery until the last month of pregnancy and even during delivery.

Contraindications

Although autogenic training is also used for relaxation, it is not recommended for those suffering from heart failure, severe depression, severe obsessive neurosis, abulia, etc.