What is Autogenic Training and How is it learnt?
Autogenic Training or AT teaches a series of simple, easily learned mental exercises which induce deep relaxation and relief from the negative effects of stress. These exercises allow the mind to calm itself by switching off the body's stress response.
With regular practice the skill of mental and physical relaxation is learnt and the functioning of the stress response can be kept to an optimum level working positively to energise and to stimulate rather than being debilitating and a possible cause of ill health.
Regular practice of AT for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day develops the ability to reduce the stress response or fight, flight or freeze reaction and to trigger the body's natural state of rest. Regular experience of this deep state of rest boosts the immune system and stimulates the natural healing powers of body and mind.
Origins of Autogenic Training
AT was developed nearly 100 years ago by German medical doctors and has been validated by an extensive body of research over the last 80 years. Clinical improvement has been documented in many areas including stress related problems, sleep, mild hypertension, fatigue, anxiety, bladder disorders, irritable bowel syndrome.
As a self-help practice which induces deep relaxation and relief from the negative effects of stress AT has remained true to the original vision of its founders. This was to eliminate people's reliance on a therapist by teaching them to actively regulate their own experience through entering and coming out of deep relaxation by themselves.
How is Autogenic Training learnt?
AT is taught by a qualified practitioner over nine or ten sessions each lasting between 60 and 90 minutes at weekly intervals if possible. I hold small group classes and also teach one to one. In response to demand I also teach via Skype or Face Time. This has proved popular as it is flexible and saves any journey time.
You will receive an Autogenic Questionnaire to complete and have with you during the pre-course interview. During this initial session we look at factors affecting your health and wellbeing and how AT may help.
The training itself is straight forward and simple. It involves the mental repetition of a series of phrases relating to the body in its relaxed state while maintaining an attitude of passive concentration. In this way the awareness is held in the present moment and the outcome, with practice, is a profound state of stillness and rest. The AT phrases or formulas are repeated in a sitting or lying position with the eyes lightly closed.
There are also brief, one-line phrases which can be used throughout the day, eyes open, whenever it is desirable and safe to 'dip' into the relaxed state.
The style of the practice is meditative and AT can be seen as a form of both relaxation and meditation.
Using Autogenic Training
The eight week course is an opportunity to make a committment to practice regularly. It does take this committment over time to form new patterns of thinking and habits.
Approximately eight weeks after the end of the course there is a further session to review progress and to learn a final exercise.
From then on you are your own 'therapist' and AT becomes a good friend. The exercises can be practiced almost anywhere, e.g. in bed, on trains, on a park bench, on busses, planes, in waiting rooms, at your desk, in a scanner. It is the ultimate, 'portable' stress reduction technique.
For further information about AT see the British Autogenic Society website:www.autogenic-therapy.org
For enquiries and appointments contact Annette Brown :
T: 07882 724496 or 01684 566652