Autogenic Training - Topic Overview
What is autogenic training?
(AT) is a technique that teaches your body to respond to your verbal commands.
These commands "tell" your body to relax and control breathing,
blood pressure, heartbeat, and body temperature. The
goal of AT is to achieve deep relaxation and reduce
stress. After you learn the technique, you can use it
whenever you need or want relief from symptoms of stress, or you can practice
it regularly to enjoy the benefits of deep relaxation and prevent the effects
of chronic stress.
Autogenic training consists of six standard
exercises that make the body feel warm, heavy, and relaxed. For each exercise,
you get into a simple posture (sitting in a comfortable chair or reclining),
concentrate without any goal, and then use visual imagination and verbal cues
to relax your body in some specific way.
You learn each exercise
by reading about it or watching a teacher, then practicing it for a few minutes
several times a day. Learning the exercises, either from an instructor or on
your own, usually moves at a slow, steady pace, taking 4 to 6 months to master
all six exercises.