Hypertension and autogenic training

For patients with hypertension it is important to learn to cope with stress. Autogenic training helps the individual to confidently tackle the daily routine and the stresses of daily life and increases well-being, smoothly and continuously.

With autogenic training, the relaxation takes place through the silent repeated prompting with visualisations (auto-suggestion) e.g.: “My arm is becoming warm.” or “My heart beats calmly, strong and evenly.” The repetition of the formulae has a balancing effect on the autonomic nervous system. Fewer stress hormones are released.
The method is equally suitable for children, teenagers and adults.

The basic exercises include:

  • Heaviness exercise: Concentration is focused on a particular part of the body, usually an arm or a leg. A typical formula could be: “My arm is very heavy.” Later, the heaviness can be extended to other parts of the body and then to the entire body.
  • Warmth exercise: As in the gravity exercise, initially it is suggested that a particular part of the body feels really warm. Later soothing warmth spreads throughout the whole body.
  • Breathing exercise: A formula could be: “My breathing is very calm.”
  • Stomach exercise: The concentration is focused on the upper abdomen. In so doing, heat is channelled to this area of the body.
  • Cardiac exercise: The heartbeat becomes regular and calm, through concentration on the cycle of the person’s own heartbeat.
  • Forehead exercise: A formula could be: “My head is light.”

 

Heaviness exercise: Concentration is focused on a particular part of the body, usually an arm or a leg. A typical formula could be: “My arm is very heavy.” Later, the heaviness can be extended to other parts of the body and then to the entire body.

Each exercise is carried out with its various components (e.g. ‘heaviness’ and ‘warmth’ and ‘perceiving one's breathing’) lasting a total of 3–5 minutes. They are carried out seated (or as the case may be lying down) with closed eyes.
The autogenic training should take place in a darkened room that is as quiet as possible.
It is recommended to learn the correct technique for autogenic training in courses run by professionals.

Hypertension and stress