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Autogenic Training – the power of thought


How much stress do you have these days? Is it easy for you to calm down and relax? If not, you are not alone. Relaxing techniques become more and more popular and rightly so, because many of them are scientifically proven like autogenic training. Get here more information about this method, how it works and what benefits it includes.

What is autogenic training?

The relaxing method was developed around 1930 by Johannes Heinrich Schultz (1884-1970). The neurologist and psychiatrist engaged with hypnosis and observed people who could take themselves into a deep relaxing state which was similar to trance. Thereupon he conceived the autogenic training as a concentrative self-relaxing technique. It is kind of a relaxing method, during which body and psyche are influenced by thoughts and autosuggestions (=commands to yourself). This leads to a state of deep relaxation

How does autogenic training work?

The main principle of autogenic training is to use the power of your thoughts to influence physiological processes of your body. Thoughts are measurable electric impulses of the nerve cells in your brain and they can initiate further operations. Here is an example: If you want to raise your right hand, this impulse comes from your brain and leads this action potential through nervous pathways to the muscles in your hand, which are stimulated so that you finally raise your hand. This principle is used to calm the parasympathetic nervous system by autosuggestions like “my right arm is all heavy”. Thereby the autonomic nervous system is influenced and also its functions. So during the training the pulse gets calmer, the breath slowlier, the muscles relax and brain activity changes verifiable.  This relaxing process follows the mind-to-muscle effect. In case of the progressive muscle relaxation it’s inverted – the mind calms down after your muscles are relaxed.

Effect of autogenic training

Autogenic training is an empirical, so scientifically proven method used in medical and psychological therapies. Besides the physical effects, there are many psychological advantages.

Relief from complaints

  • Depression
  • Light states of anxiety
  • Insomnia (Sleeping problems)
  • Concentrating problems
  • Tensioned muscles
  • Headache and migraine
  • Inner restlessness and stress
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress

Improvement and strengthening of

  • Self regulation
  • Self confidence
  • Body perceiving
  • Stress regulation
  • Concentration
  • Resilience
  • Performance
  • Serenity and inner peace

How to learn autogenic training

Like the name implies, it’s a regular training and has to be practiced to generate noticeable effects and progress. With time, it gets more easily and quickly to dive into the deep state of relaxation. The key is to concentrate on your own thoughts and autosuggestions without any distractions, so ensure your mobile phone is in another room. On the basic level, you begin to repeat each of the following 7 formulas (=autosuggestions) several times while laying down on the floor or recline in a chair:

1. Calm-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “I am very calm”

2. Heaviness-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My left/right arm/leg is so heavy”
Repeat that phrase for all your extremities. This leads to a relaxation of your muscles.

3. Warmth-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My left/right arm/leg is pleasantly warm”
Repeat that phrase for all your extremities.

4. Beath-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My breath flows calmly and evenly”
Try to make deep, calm and even breaths.’

5. Heart-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My heart beats calmly and evenly”

6. Belly-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My belly is floating and pleasantly warm”

7. Head-Practice
Repeatedly autosuggestion: “My forehead is pleasantly cool”


After about 15 to 30 minutes you have to get back from the relaxing or even hypnotic state through a take back: So tension your muscles the times for several seconds, pat on your breast and shoulders and stretch yourself. For the beginning,special courses are suitable to learn the technique. They are partly covered by health insurance. So it’s your choice – relax just through the power of your thoughts and whenever you want.

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