'I became a patient of Annette Brown when I suffered a heart attack in 1994. I needed 'stress management' as my mind never stopped but ran on adrenaline most of the time sorting problems. Hence the heart attack. She introduced me to Autogenics. It took me three months of repetitive practice to learn the technique. At every stage Annette was able to answer every question and query that I put to her. I realised that I was in very safe and experienced hands which gave me the confidence to continue. Practising Autogenics I found for the first time in my life that I could still my busy brain. As time has gone on it has changed my whole life to a healthier one. I had learnt a technique that could give me a life of inner peace and calm. I will always be heavily indebted to Annette for that gift. It has helped me realise that 'heaven' is not some other place to be reached but is inside each one of us.
HH Ian Morris - Worcester UK
Autogenic Training or Therapy is a self help technique which brings about deep relaxation and relief from the negative effects of stress.
What is Autogenic Training?
Autogenic Training (AT) consists of simple and easily learned mental exercises which link the mind and body, turning off the 'fight or flight mechanism' and turning on restorative rhythms associated with deep relaxation. Once learnt it is a skill for life.
The mental exercises direct passive awareness to different areas of the body in turn, releasing tension, relaxing the breath and quietening the mind. AT is used to treat physical and emotional symptoms of stress and for illnesses exacerbated by stress.
It is also used to simply help handle the normal stresses and strains of life and enables us to develop our potential for personal growth, creativity and spirituality.
Autogenic Training is practiced widely in many parts of the world, and there are reputedly over 3,000 research papers which validate its efficacy in many different areas. It has been clinically applied with success over a range of disorders e.g. high blood pressure, panic attacks, irregular heart rhythms, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorders, muscular pain and tension.
I was first introduced to Autogenic Training twelve years ago by Annette Brown - as part of a 'toolbox' of options to help with stress management and relaxation.
Since then, it has become an essential part of my day to day well-being. I find that the practice is simple and straightforward and seems to address a full range of issues; it definitely helps me with stress and heightened anxiety levels but also seems to lift low mood and depression.
Even if I have not used the technique for several weeks, I find that I can pick up the practice and 'tap back into' the relaxed autogenic state fairly easily. For me, when emotions and the fast pace of life are taking hold, I know that I can increase my AT practice and restore a sense of equilibrium and calm.
N.A. Retired Teacher, Worcester
How is it taught?
Annette has practiced AT since 1988 and qualified to teach in 2000 since when she has passed on the technique to many students either one to one or in small groups.
AT is taught over 8 - 10 weeks with the groups meeting for approximately 90 minutes per week and a session for an individual lasting just over an hour. Every student has an initial one to one assessment and is asked to complete a pre-course assessment questionnaire so that the technique can be adapted to the requirements of each individual.
During a session the mental exercises for the week ahead are introduced and practiced with plenty of time for feedback and questions. These mental exercises are repeated for a few minutes every day.
The exercises can be practiced almost anywhere and there are short 'quick fix' techniques which can be used e.g. if panic or anxiety is rising or if there is the need to focus, concentrate or to clear the mind. The longer exercises which deeply relax the body are practiced sitting or lying comfortably.
Significant changes can occur within weeks and sometimes within days. Below are a few commonly reported benefits from the practice of AT:
Improved general health and resistance to disease
Ability to relax
Reduction of panic and anxiety
Reduced muscular tension
Increased tolerance of stress
Increased enjoyment of life
Please see the British Autogenic Society website for more detailed information. www.autogenic-therapy.org.uk
AT and Meditation
The ability to relax is a powerful support to any meditation practice. For anyone who has struggled with a restless body and a chattering mind during meditation, AT is an invaluable asset.
During AT the mind is trained to focus on the quiet repetition of the mental exercises and the body and breath trained to relax, to release tension. The Autogenic exercises can provide a reliable and achievable transition from the busy 'doing' to the 'being' frame of mind that is a gateway to the meditative state.
To learn AT takes 8 - 10 sessions of between 1hour and 1hour 30 mins.
This can be one to one or in a small group.
For information about AT, current classes, one to one sessions please contact Annette Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07882724496 or 01684 566652