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Autogenic Relaxation

BY Dr. Kevin O'Hara D.C.


Autogenic training is a relaxation technique developed by German psychiatrist, Johannes Heinrich Schultz, and first published in 1932. This method, for influencing one’s autonomic nervous system, involves the daily practice of sessions that last around 15 minutes each.

During this type of session, you repeat words or suggestions in your mind to help you relax and reduce muscle tension. Find a peaceful place that’s free of interruptions; then follow these steps:
 

  • Choose a focus word, phrase, or image you find relaxing. Examples of words or phrases include “peace” or “I am peaceful”. This is called a mantra.

  • Sit quietly in a comfortable position.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Relax your muscles, starting with your head, working down your body to your feet.

  • Breathe slowly and naturally, focusing on your mantra or image.

  • Continue for 10 minutes. If your mind wanders, that’s okay. Gently return your focus to your breathing and your mantra or image.

  • After time is up, sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Open your eyes and sit in silence for a few more minutes.