Autogenic training

Synonyms in a broader sense

Stress management, physical and mental relaxation, relaxation and breathing techniques, hypnosis, autosuggestion, deep relaxation, quick relaxation, positive self-influence, ADHD, ADHD, lack of concentration

Definition and description

Autogenic training was developed by Johannes H. Schultz in the twenties of the last century. Schultz himself was a psychiatrist and developed this form of relaxation and concentration from hypnosis. Autogenic training helps to cope with stress and, if used regularly, can counteract concentration disorders, anxiety states, but also self-doubt, etc.

Based on the fact that many relaxation techniques are based on a special worldview (yoga), Johannes H. Schulz (1884 – 1970) developed autogenic training in the 1930s to define a relaxation technique that is not based on any special worldview (such as yoga). The meaning of the term, which comes from the Greek, can be derived from two parts of the word: “autos” stands for “self”, “genos” for to arise. This is also what autogenic training wants to convey: it can be done in group or individual therapy or independently and on your own initiative at home.

All that is needed is a quiet place and a pleasant posture. Then begins the process of putting oneself in the position one imagines or which is conveyed by a sound carrier as the starting position. One can imagine the autogenic training as a “calming journey of thoughts”.

Of course there are different “difficulty levels” of autogenic training. A distinction is made: The differences lie, among other things, in the fact that in the lower levels specific demands are made on the trainee, e.g. : … whereas in the upper level an imaginary journey takes place. One after the other, different stages of sensation are gone through.

These are: These stages of sensation are addressed and recreated through specific but very short “instructions”. Every autogenic training ends with a phase of muscle stretching, the “reeling”, which is called “waking up”. – the feeling of rest,

  • The feeling of heaviness,
  • The feeling of warmth,
  • The calm and regular heartbeat,
  • The calm and evenly deep breathing,
  • The pleasant warm feeling in the stomach
  • The head, which is perceived as cool and free and finally
  • The personal perception of the own body.
  • The lower level (first level), which is primarily aimed at relaxation. – the upper level (highest level), in which one tries to bring about self-knowledge with the help of suggestion. This is the highest level, which requires mastery of the first stage of autogenic training.

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)

Another form of muscle relaxation is the muscle relaxation according to Jacobson. This relaxation therapy was developed at about the same time as autogenic training by the American Jacobson. While the autogenic training is more based on imagination, the muscle relaxation according to Jacobson includes specific and concrete muscle exercises / muscle tension.