relaxation is produced by self-activity. It goes back to its developer Johannes Heinrich Schultz. The decisive factor here is the ability to influence oneself, called autosuggestion. The extraordinary effect of autosuggestion should not be underestimated, since the imagination can bring about changes in mental and physical well-being. Autogenic training focuses on the holistic nature of the human being and takes into account the interplay of mind and body.
By means of autogenic training, attempts are made to deliberately influence the otherwise inaccessible vegetative nervous system through autosuggestions. This controls the heartbeat, digestion, respiration and metabolism and is therefore vital. The sympathetic nervous system, a part of the vegetative nervous system, reacts to anxiety or performance situations, for example by accelerating the heartbeat or reducing bowel and bladder activity. Generally, it is compensated by the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. However, due to increasing stress and heterogeneous stress factors, this system becomes more and more unbalanced.
Through 'formulaic attachment formation', as Schultz calls it, it is however possible to send relaxation impulses via the pathways of the autonomic nervous system. Relaxation sensations can thus be achieved in a targeted and deliberate manner. Autogenic training also has the advantage, for example in comparison with relaxation methods using hypnosis, that you are responsible for yourself and your health.
Autogenic training helps to arrive at a relaxed basic attitude, which makes it possible to deal more confidently with one’s own weaknesses and worries in everyday life. It leads to a general relaxation as well as to a permanent lowering of the arousal level. Furthermore, one can help oneself in stressful situations. The state of relaxation achieved by autogenic training is comparable to that of sleep.