The Autogenics Relaxation Technique Essay

641 words - 3 pages

Autogenics is a self- directed relaxation technique which uses suggestions to create feelings such as warmth and heaviness in the body. These feelings are caused by vasodilation of blood vessels which is a response of the activation of the parasympathetic system. The word autogenics comes from the Greek word autos, meaning self, and genos, meaning origin (Olipin & Hesson, 2010).
Autogenic training is a method of stress reduction developed in the early 20th century by physiologist Oskar Vogt. While working with a group of hypnotic subjects, Vogt realized that when they went into a hypnotic state, they had a significant decrease in tension, fatigue and headaches. Inspired by this newfound information, a psychiatrist named Johannes Schultz decided to expand Vogt’s research in order to learn more about the workings of autogenics (Olipin & Hesson, 2010). Schultz was able to discover that through self-directed hypnosis, subjects were able to experience sensations of heaviness and warmth, primarily through their arms and legs. From these observations, “Shultz developed a system designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system using suggestions focusing on heaviness and warmth” (Olipin & Hesson, 2010). These suggestions caused the body respond by increasing blood flow to the extremities and relaxing the muscles.
During autogenic training, your stress response is switched off and the "fight or flight" response and is replaced with the "rest and digest" phase (History of autogenic training, 2012). The mechanism associated with autogenic training is a relaxation response, which is the opposite of a stress response. The relaxation response brings the body to equilibrium from and has recuperative effects. It suppresses our sympathetic nervous system and instead engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces stress related hormones and prepares us to "rest and digest" (History of autogenic training, 2012). During this phase, “blood flows into your abdomen, stress hormones...

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