About Autogenics

Relaxation is as natural as going to sleep….

… but do you allow yourself to take time out to do it? Maybe you associate relaxation with half an hour in a darkened room with soothing music and the phone off the hook? This is off-putting before you even start, because busy life-styles do not allow space for that.

The most common anxiety expressed to me is: ‘I can’t relax. Will I be able to do AT?’ I always say they will be able to learn AT. It is structured in such a way that the word ‘relax’ is never used. So you won’t start arguing with yourself as to whether you are doing it properly or not. Once you notice small things happening during exercises, such as muscle twitches, tingling, occasional fleeting tensions and pains, you will realise ‘something is going on here – it must be working’.

Autogenic exercises are easily accessible. Practise on the train, at your desk, at the airport, in the plane, in bed at night. It simply looks like you have gone to sleep for a few moments.

You learn to switch off your ‘fight-flight-fright’ stress response, and allow the ‘rest, recover and recuperate’ mode to do its work whenever you wish.


… so AT sets in motion a process of self-righting which is not directed, analysed or planned. It unfolds over a period of time, teaching you to react differently to what is going on around you.

Origins of Autogenic Training

Dr Johannes Schultz (a German neurologist and psychiatrist) was interested in hypnosis and the relaxation which went with it. He observed that his patients reported feeling heaviness and warmth in the limbs, with slowed breathing and heart-rate when they were relaxed. He devised simple ‘mental exercises’ so that people could dip in and out of a relaxed state whenever they wished.
The word ‘autogenic’ came about because Schultz realised that each person underwent a process which was unique to them, and this should not be interrupted or directed.

Sometimes the effects of AT can relate to ‘off-loading’ the residue of old illness or trauma (emotional or physical, such as accidents). These small releases soon settle and resolve themselves.

So – you give the treatment to yourself and observe what emerges.