Autogenic Training

The greatest events are not our loudest
but our stillest hours.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
German classics philologist and philosopher

Autogenic Training
and Relaxation

The goal of autogenic training exercises is to create a self-initiated shift in the body by intentionally signaling sensations to one’s own body. Examples of these sensations include feelings of warmth and heaviness. These signals create a parasympathetic stimulus in the vegetative nervous system, which then initiates a physical and mental period of relaxation. Tension can be relieved during this period. In time, autogenic training can enable relaxation in everyday life.

The effects of this method are cemented through conditioning, which requires time and practice. After practitioners have acquired experience with this method, they can shorten their practice periods and, untimately, integrate the method into their everyday lives.

As is the case with progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training is easy to learn and can be practiced without much ado.

Much as when contemplating beautiful plants, people relax and feel a sense of peace when practicing autogenic training.

How does Autogenic
Training Work?

The suggestion of sensations mentioned above takes place as follows: session instructors pronounce a sentence or a phrase (for example, “My left arm is warm.”), and participants then repeat these words in their heads at their own pace. This form of suggestion results in a form of self-hypnosis, which creates various sensations in different body parts (the left arm would feel warm in the example above) and initiates a sense of relaxation.

When people practice autogenic training, it is impossible for them not to relax. As a result, one of the common stress concerns of stress prevention does not apply to this method: people do not have to worry whether they are doing the exercise correctly because there is simply no “right” or “wrong.” This method’s relaxing effects occur automatically through a form of feedback between muscles and the nervous system. This feedback reduces tension, even if participants do not feel the sensations or perceive them only slightly. Autogenic training is one of the most thoroughly researched relaxation procedures, and research has proven the existence of the feedback described above. This form of relaxation is one of the most widely used methods not only because it has a solid scientific foundation but also because it is easy to learn.

Visualizations of safe spaces like this one can be incorporated into autogenic training.

Autogenic Training
& Stress Management
at L.o.S.

At L.o.S., autogenic training is taught and practiced only as a form of stress management and prevention and not as intervention or therapy. It is used in non-therapeutic areas of application such as stress management and to alleviate light muscle tension. When relaxation methods are used for or as part of therapy, a medical professional or health professional must conduct the sessions and supervise progress. The goal of autogenic training at L.o.S. is to enable participants to enter into a state of relaxation as needed. Anytime.

Wer kann
Autogenes Training
praktizieren? Und wie?

On the whole, this method is suitable for anyone who is interested in it and open to new experiences. Practicing autogenic training lying down is recommended, though people can also practice it when seated.

When properly used, progressive muscle relaxation has no serious health-related side effects. However, people who have certain illnesses or disorders are advised against practicing this relaxation method. If you have or suspect you have acute symptoms of an illness or symptoms that have not been diagnosed, you should consult a physician before beginning to practice any relaxation method.

It is important to practice without any “frills,” so to speak, so that the body is not conditioned to associate relaxation with a certain stimulus such as music or incense. If the body becomes trained to relate relaxation to a given stimulus, people can find it much more difficult to relax in stressful situations if the stimulus concerned is absent. When practicing autogenic training, people may experience certain corporeal sensations such as stomach rumbling or tingling. Yawning is also common. All of them are perfectly normal and no cause for worry.