Autogenic Training (AT)

I.G. Schultz, a medical practitioner, traveled to India, where he became acquainted with the teachings and the system of yogis. At home, in Germany, while treating patients, he often used hypnotic suggestion. After each session, he demanded from his patients a written report on those feelings and experiences that they experienced during hypnosis. Analyzing the multitude of self-reports, Schulz discovered interesting patterns. In particular, many patients experienced feelings of heaviness and heat in the limbs. It also turned out that those patients who unwittingly, without knowing why, repeated the words of suggestion uttered by the doctor to themselves, recovered faster and better than those who behaved during the hypnosis completely passively.

Then Schulz decided that it makes sense to reduce the hypnotic suggestion procedure to several well-formulated phrases, teach patients to use these phrases themselves (which were called “self-hypnosis formulas”) and use them both to eliminate painful phenomena and to maintain good health after recovery.

The experience paid off. Continuing to train his patients to use formulas, Schultz gradually created an original method of self-hypnosis, which he called autogenic training. The word “autogenic” comes from two Greek words: “autos” – “itself” and “genos” – “gender”. Consequently, “autogenic” is translated as “self-generating” training, in the process and as a result of which a person provides necessary assistance to himself.

Thus, Schulz showed that he followed the advice of the famous ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460–370   yy BC   e.), which each patient said: “There are three of us – you, your illness and me. If you are afraid of your illness, you will not fight it, I will have to treat you for a long time. But if you and I (Hippocrates deliberately didn’t put yourself, but the patient, AA), we will unite our efforts, then we will cure your illness quickly ”. So the great ancient healer very accurately noted how important the activity of the patient himself in the fight against the disease, his faith in recovery. Autogenic training (AT) consists of two stages – the lowest and the highest. The lowest is designed mainly to relieve nervous tension, to calm, to normalize body functions. The highest is for the introduction of a person into a special state of “autogenic meditation”, during which he must have peculiar experiences leading to the body’s “self-purification” of the disease. To master the first stage, it takes on average 3 months of daily lessons of 10–30 minutes. On mastering the second stage of AT takes about 8 months of training.

If the first stage soon gained recognition almost all over the world, only a few specialists are engaged in the second: to master it, it takes a lot of time and perseverance, which some of them lack for some reason.

Here are the basic formulas for self-hypnosis of the lower level AT, which can be called “classical”:

one.   I am completely calm.

2   The right (left) hand is very heavy.

3   The right (left) hand is very warm.

four.   The heart beats calmly and hard.

five.   My breathing is completely calm, I breathe easily.

6   The solar plexus radiates heat.

7   The forehead is pleasantly cool.

The merit of Schulz is that he associated ordinary words with simple, easily achievable physical sensations. That this is true, everyone can be sure. Try to sit or lie down, relax all muscles as much as possible, close your eyes and, focusing on the right hand (left-handed – on the left), mentally, take the time to say the formula several times: “My right hand becomes heavy … my right hand is very heavy … “ – and imagine that this part of the hand is, as it were, filled with lead. Already after several mental repetitions of these words, a distinct physical sensation of heaviness in the hand arises.

However, over time, it turned out that autogenic training, if applied strictly according to Schulz, does not always have the desired effect, that it needs to be changed depending on the nature of the disease and the personality characteristics of the patient. Therefore, in different countries and in various medical institutions their own modifications of autogenic training have appeared, significantly different from its original, “classical” version.

Psycho Muscular Training (PMT)

Methods of mental self-regulation are constantly improving. In this book we will practically get acquainted with the method that I called “psychic muscle training” or abbreviated PMT.Acquaintance with the method of progressive relaxation by E. Jacobson, with the active self-suggestion of A.S. Romena, with the method of L. Percival, with the method of regulation of emotional states proposed by V.L. Marischuk and a number of other studies. But its basis was a lot of my own observations during the classes of mental self-regulation with people of very different age and physical condition – from children to highly skilled athletes.

PMT consists of two parts: calming and mobilizing.

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