What is Autogenic Therapy
If you imagine sitting in a chair or lying on a bed in a comfortable, symmetrical manner with your eyes closed, you will already have a picture of what someone practising an AT exercise looks like. The exercises are easily-learned silent formulae related to the body in a relaxed state. They begin with phrases suggesting heaviness and warmth in the limbs (standard exercises 1&2), followed by passive focussing on the heartbeat, breathing, abdominal warmth and cool forehead.
These exercises usually bring about profound physical relaxation and state of inner peace and calm. Repetition of the formulae induces a switching off of the body's stress responses. A variety of changes in physical function and brain-wave activity can be measured during autogenic practice, showing that a normalising process takes place. This allows the mind/body system to tap into its own self-curative processes. The techniques is often described as a "meditation suitable for westernised cultures". The exercises require little expenditure of time, use straightfoward language, follow a logical progression and do not rely on any pre-existing belief patterns.
- The exercises are self-administered. Although you need a therapist to teach you the method, you actually carry out the treatment yourself. There is nothing "hands on" no pills no scalpels.
- The autogenic response is self-generated . Its therapeutic effects are generated from within, tapping into a person's unique self healing system.