Schultz Autogenic Training

Autogenic Training

Schultz's Autogenic Training (AT) is one of my favorite methods, which I got acquainted with even before I got acquainted with osteopathy proper. It is a fairly widespread psychotechnique developed in Europe by the German physician Johann Heinrich Schultz in the 20s and 30s of the twentieth century. Emphasis is placed on training the ability to psychophysiological self-regulation, that is, especially on the state of the autonomous, autonomic part of the nervous system. Which, in turn, is directly related to both the emotional sphere and the regulation of the function of internal organs.

Schultz Autogenic Training In its basic version, the method promotes deep relaxation and reduces the impact of stress, anxiety and emotional tension. In advanced stages, it is also possible to work with aspects of personality, psychological content. In addition to the prevention of stress-related diseases, it can be used to improve sports performance, as a complementary treatment and generally improve the quality of life.

Autogenic training according to Schultz is not only one of the most frequently practiced, but also well experimentally researched relaxation techniques. AT, according to Schultz, is a method of self-relaxation based on mental concentration (with a very interesting variant - passive concentration). During hypnotic sessions, Schultz noticed that the patients on whom he hypnotized and induced a state of calmness also described other physical sensations, such as warmth and heaviness in the limbs, a decrease in heart rate and breathing, a feeling of warmth in the abdomen and coolness on the forehead. The turning point in his research came when he tried to teach his patients to induce these very physical sensations entirely on their own. As a result, they learned to achieve the same deep state of calm as they had under hypnosis.
AT will be very useful for such patients as well:
■ Myofascial headache symptoms. Clinical case.

Clinical trials began in 1920 and continued for twelve years until 1932, after which Dr. Schultz published his book Autogenic Training. What I particularly like is the scientificity and practicality of the method, the absence of any esoteric tinsel, although, it is impossible not to note the use of some ideas from the psychotechniques of the yoga.

autogenic training exercisesAutogenic training exercises are based on the repetition of certain formulas, attitudes and visualization aimed at activating self-regulatory processes in the body. In particular, reducing the activity of the sympathetic part of the autonomous nervous system (the reaction of hit or run) and, conversely, activation of its parasympathetic part (state of relaxation and psychosocial well-being). The main idea is that we can influence unconscious processes indirectly through muscular and sensory self-hypnosis, thereby improving our physical and emotional state. During training, a person repeats to himself specially selected phrases that help to achieve deep relaxation.

Autogenic training benefits:

  • Reduction of stress and tension. As already mentioned the direction of the effect is directly opposite to the effect of stress on a physiological level. Thus AT reduces the level of stress hormones in the body, improves mood and general well-being.
  • Improved sleep. Another, in my opinion, very important effect is the positive impact on sleep quality. Relaxation exercises promote better dreams, reduce insomnia and provide deeper and more restorative sleep.
  • Reducing anxiety and improving emotional well-being. Regular practice helps to reduce the impact of anxious thoughts, gain the ability to relax and find inner peace.
  • Improved concentration and memory. Engaging in autogenic training helps improve focus and problem-solving ability. It is especially important for people of mental labor who have problems with information overload.
  • Improving the functioning of internal organs and the endocrine system. This is truly a powerful mechanism for influencing the entire body, all organs and even, through the hormones released, the metabolism of every cell in the body.

My experience. Having mastered the method once, the skill gained will never be completely lost. I first became acquainted with AT somewhere at the turn of the millennium, when I practiced it daily for several months, just as I should. After that, I only apply it occasionally as needed. The body remembers, as they say. For example, after a very stressful day, lack of sleep, psychological stress and 3-4 coffees in addition, when you really want to sleep but can't fall asleep, Schultz autogenic training removes it in about 20 minutes.

☛  Osteopathic visceral manipulation.
☛  Soft tissue massage techniques.

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