Autogenic Training for Stress
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Autogenic Training for Stress

Stress can ruin people's lives, it not only affects people mentally but physically as well. It can break up families and lose jobs but with Autogenic Training it can be relieved without the need to take pills.

Severe stress can affect your life, it can destroy families, lose jobs and make life unbearable.  The main cure prescribed by conventional medical advisors is to give the patient pills - anti-depressants of various strengths and other tablets.

But there is an alternative, Autogenic Training. This involves deep relaxation brought about by concentrating the mind on reversing the cause of the stress both physically and psychologically. It is similar to meditation as autogenic means self-induced, but unlike meditation and self-hypnosis, where suggestions are introduced to the subconscious mind, AT concentrates on ensuring the patient goes into deep relaxation by concentrating the mind on thoughts and feelings which promote this.

AT was devised by German psychiatrist and neurologist Dr Johannes Schultz in Berlin in the 1920s. He developed an interest in hypnotised patients who were deeply relaxed under hypnosis and were able to switch off the part of the nervous system that caused the stress when they were awake. 

AT was first introduced into the UK in the 1970s and is now recognised as an effective self-taught method of relieving stress. A number of simple exercises are introduced to alleviate the stress and the body physically changes during these exercises as the parasympathetic nervous system takes over from the sympathetic nervous system which causes the anxiety.

How AT Works

AT works by influencing the unconscious nervous system to encourage the patient to relax. Fright or shock produces an increased pulse rate, heart palpitations and sweaty palms, calming the mind can reduce the pule rate and positively change the patients glands and hormones.

A lot of the most common stress-related conditions such as insomnia, sickness, eating disorders and panic attacks can be cured by allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to function properly.

AT balances the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous symptoms, making them equal and allowing the body to self-heal.

AT involves two sets of exercises

  1. A type of self-hynosis to relax the patient
  2. Intentional exercises designed to release physical and psychological tension.

The second set of exercises include screaming, crying, hitting cushions and shadow boxing.

AT is taught either on a one-to-one basis or in groups and the patient is encouraged to practise the techniques at home. Treatment usually lasts about two months with weekly sessions with the practitioner.  It is perfectly safe when taught by a qualified teacher but it is unsuitable for people with personality disorders and psychoses such as schizophrenia.

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