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Autogenic Training: A Powerful Relaxation Technique you Probably Haven’t Heard Of

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

As we learned in my last article, Understanding Stress: The Good and The Bad, although stress can be a useful reaction in times of danger or distress, today it often poses a health risk for many Americans.

Because stress can pose a threat to our health, it is very important to develop tools to deal with the stressors in life. Meditation, deep breathing, and other techniques can help us with this.

Earlier this week, I discussed the fight or flight response, which triggers stress.

The opposite of the fight or flight response is the relaxation response. During the relaxation response, your heart beats slower, muscles relax, blood pressure decreases and breathing becomes slower, among other changes.

There are many ways to elicit this response simply by breaking your train of stressful thoughts and feelings. This can include various forms of meditation, yoga, etc. One technique that I’ve had personal success with, and that many people don’t yet know about, is called Autogenic Training.

Autogenic Training is a mind-body technique that aids in relaxation by using verbal commands. With a little bit of practice, you can learn to control your body, stress and anxiety using these verbal commands. Learning this technique is one way that you can achieve deep relaxation and get relief from stress and the harmful health effects that go along with it.

Autogenic Training has proven to help with anxiety, hyperventilation, asthma, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, cold hands and feet, headaches and a variety of other health systems.

To learn Autogenic Training, I took a class at school and learned through our practice there and at home, as well as through a book called Autogenic Training: A Mind-Body Approach to the Treatment of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome by Micah R. Sadigh Ph.D. and Roberto Patarca Montero.

You can look into finding an Autogenic trainer in your area, or explore it on your own.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.