Home RelaxationStress Autogenic training: This is how it works!

Autogenic training: This is how it works!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 382 views

Autogenic training is a classic self-relaxation method. It helps to regain calm in stressful phases of life. Many people use autogenic training to fall asleep or preventively for mental hygiene. Read here how autogenic training works and how you can use it to positively influence your body.

How does autogenic training work?

Autogenic training is a method to overcome fears and stress in everyday life. There are techniques that people can use to help them relax – whether in the office, at home or when travelling.

There are various exercises designed to bring people into a state of rest. With a few exceptions, each ends with the so-called repatriation. This should make the drowsiness that occurs during the exercises go away.

Autogenic Training: Relaxation through imagination

Autogenic training has been a psychotherapeutic method recognized by health insurance companies for many years. It is based on the knowledge that a person’s body and psyche always act and react in dependence on one another. This means that the body can be controlled with the mind and vice versa.

In order for this to work, it is necessary to put the body into a kind of trance. This is not as deep as with hypnosis, but makes it possible to activate the subconscious. You mentally focus on a specific body reaction, and this actually occurs.

When the pure idea triggers a bodily function, scientists refer to it as the Carpenter effect, or ideoplasia . For example, the mere imagining of a movement generates a measurable electrical current in the muscles.

Autogenic training regulates the autonomic nervous system

The mechanism behind it: You control the autonomic (vegetative) nervous system with the power of your thoughts. This area of ​​the human nervous system contains nerve fibers that regulate organs, smooth muscles, and glands. In this way, the body controls basic processes such as the heartbeat and perspiration, without us having to consciously decide about them.

The autonomic nervous system works with two circuits: one triggers relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system) and the other triggers tension (sympathetic nervous system). In dangerous situations, tension is an important mechanism that allows us to react quickly. This is usually followed by a period of rest.

When you suffer from stress or inner turmoil, however, the balance between relaxation and tension is disturbed. In many people, the sympathetic nervous system is switched on too often due to the high pressure to perform at work or the double burden of family and work. As a result, the body can often no longer use the parasympathetic nervous system properly to relax – there is a risk of tension, exhaustion, fear and depression. This imbalance can be straightened out again with autogenic training.

Self-hypnosis practice

Autogenic training always starts with the basic exercises: rest, weight and warmth. You can easily do this at home. However, so that you do not make mistakes and stay motivated, experts recommend practicing in a group under the professional guidance of a doctor. Audio guides can also be a good way to get started.

Before you start, you should find out how the so-called withdrawal works. Because this should follow almost all exercises.

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