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Autogenic training banishes stress

Feeling anxious, stressed out and uptight? If so, a powerful relaxation technique, such as Autogenic Training (AT), could really help you.

What is Autogenic Training?

AT is a series of simple mental exercises which can bring about profound mental and physical relaxation. They help balance the activity of body and mind, facilitating (with practice) a mental and physical shift into a state of calm as and when you choose. The clue that you are in charge of the process lies in the word ‘autogenic’, which means self-induced!

The technique dates back to 1932 when German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz sought to reduce anxiety and tension by recreating the relaxed state experienced by people under hypnosis. Since then, AT has become a well-established method of relaxation in many parts of the world. We know from research, including a 2008 meta-analytic study, that autogenic training can be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety and help with insomnia.

Stress and the body

Stress and anxiety result in a series of changes in the body, thanks to the actions of the autonomic nervous system. This also incorporates the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

The sympathetic element regulates the ‘flight or fight’ response, so-called after the choice our ancestors made in the face of danger. Nowadays we’re unlikely to be faced with a hungry sabre-toothed tiger, but if we feel upset or angry the physical effect is much the same – release of the stress hormone adrenaline, raised blood pressure and heart rate and dilated pupils – to ready the body for physical exertion. It’s important to remember, though, that the fight or flight response’s limited range of bodily functions supersedes others, such as digestion or cell repair, and is designed for short-term use only.

It’s the job of the parasympathetic nervous system to dampen these responses – lowering blood pressure and returning the body to its normal resting state – once the threat has passed. In an ideal world, the body maintains a healthy balance between fight or flight and the rest, repair and recuperate states.

Unfortunately, the stresses and strains of modern life cause us to be in fight or flight mode much of the time and our bodies are unable to perform routine mechanisms such as muscular relaxation or digestion. This is why sustained stress can significantly contribute to long-term ill-health.

Benefits of Autogenic Training

For health…

AT helps switch off the autonomic nervous system so that this remains or returns to a restful state, enabling your body to repair and recuperate itself. It:

  • Reduces anxiety, stress and tension and induce a feeling of calm, especially in social situations
  • Improves well-being, mood, energy levels and sleep
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Improves efficiency, concentration and creativity
  • Develops the resilience to manage and overcome adversity

Logistically…

  • AT is versatile – you can practise the exercises anywhere
  • It’s effective if you can do it for 10 seconds or 10 minutes – however long you have available
  • You don’t need equipment or special clothing
  • This lifetime ‘toolkit for coping’ will relax, refresh and restore you in most situations

How I can help

As an Autogenic Training practitioner, I offer this as a course at both of my London clinics, although I usually incorporate it into an Osteopathic session to reduce costs.

I will help you to find the right exercises for you and together we’ll ensure that you feel confident enough to perform them on your own. You will need to practise them at home for a few minutes each day so that AT becomes part of your life and an everyday resource for health and wellbeing.

For more information on Autogenic Training or to book a consultation, please click here.

One grateful patient recently wrote: “Because of my anxiety disorder, I have struggled to do everyday things like taking the tube, answering my phone when an unknown number rings, eating around other people and leaving my house. As I progressed through the autogenic training course, I found myself being able to cope with taking the tube, I was able to push myself in social situations, and I felt more comfortable when leaving my house. Autogenic training has helped me throw my anxiety in the backseat and as a result has stabilised my blood sugar levels, making diabetes easier to control. Robin has given me all of the tools and support to conquer my anxiety and for that I am forever grateful.”

The ‘Next Day Delivery’ culture of expecting results at the click of a button is becoming increasingly prevalent.  Whether it’s online shopping, crash diets, or intensive driving courses, we’re all eager for immediate solutions and not so keen to wait for results.  And our approach to recovery from injury is no different.

At Robin Kiashek Clinics we’re still seeing a New Year’s Resolution related increase in sports injuries.  And whilst it’s good news that people are sticking to their resolutions, they are generally very keen to find immediate fixes, so as not to disrupt these healthy new routines. But this often just isn’t possible when it comes to injuries.

My approach is to look beyond the injury and take into consideration the emotional wellbeing and lifestyle of the patient.  This enables me to look at ways to prevent a re-occurrence.

EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOUR AND CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Many patients who have a sports-related injury feel that exercise is vital for them in combatting and controlling stress but overdoing it at the gym after a long day at work is quite often a factor in causing the initial injury.  And then the patient is reluctant to rest properly because they feel it impacts their ability to manage their stress.  And so the cycle continues.  But rest is a very important part of recovery so, in addition to treating their injury, I encourage my patients to engage in new ways of managing stress, so that even when they are recovered, they have alternative ways of coping with their daily life.

Autogenic therapy is a style of relaxation therapy, where I work with patients over a course of eight sessions to teach them a set of simple mental and physical exercises and techniques, with the aim of taking steps towards restoring and healing body and mind. With a wide range of allied therapies like autogenic training on offer, tackling stress, anxiety and other emotional factors can be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan – ensuring that recovery is emotionally, as well as physically, beneficial.

LIFESTYLE

My aim is to not only to address current symptoms, but also prevent illness or further injury.   To do this I may use therapies such as Naturopathy, where I work with the patient to identify areas that might be undermining their health, such as diet, lifestyle choices, medical history, and physical or emotional circumstances.  The plans I develop for my patients are designed to encourage the body to heal itself and to help guard against future illness or injury.  And our patients agree!

“Professional, highly Skilled, holistic – Robin’s treatments have helped reduce my back and neck pain which had plagued me for years. He has taught me how to reduce re-occurrences through exercise and lifestyle change – I was very despondent before I came to see him and he continues to help me hugely; I’m very grateful.”

So, if you’ve picked up an injury or feel that your lifestyle may be impacting your overall health then why not book an appointment at either our Central London or East Finchley clinic?  Our specific osteopathy approach can be highly effective in identifying wider health issues and therefore instrumental in fixing the whole self.  Although we still can’t make any promises in terms of next day delivery recovery!

The results of a survey* released by the Mental Health Foundation suggests that the number of people who often or always feel stressed is 29% and the figures for those feeling anxious were 24% and depressed 17%.

The charity is now calling for a therapy called mindfulness to be made available nationally on the NHS. However, the recommendation is for specific groups of patients. These groups include patients who repeatedly relapse into depression or who are experiencing distress because of a serious physical illness such as cancer.

Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist meditation and is a technique which helps people reduce stress by focussing on the present moment.

Mindfulness sessions can be prescribed by GPs in some parts of the country; however, it is not widely available. The mindfulness technique has been endorsed by NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) and the Government’s chief medical officer. For some of the groups of patients it is being recommended for, trails have suggested that it can be as effective as anti-depressant drugs.

We will wait to see whether the charity’s recommendations are taken on board.

For many years I have taught Autogenic Training (AT). Both AT and Mindfulness have a common baseline – they tone down the Autonomic Nervous System, which, amongst other functions, controls the ‘Flight or Fight’ response.

AT can be very powerful as one of my patient’s found having suffered from insomnia for many years:

“After all these years and the many, many things I have tried, I really didn’t think anything would help me – thanks to Robin and Autogenic Training, I have been proved wrong – and that’s a first!” DL

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If would like further information on how I may help you with AT or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.

My aim, as an experienced London osteopath, is to help my patients achieve overall health of the body and the mind.

Treating each patient as an individual

In addition to being a registered London osteopath I am also qualified in a range of other complementary therapies that allow my patients to benefit for an integrated approach to their wellbeing based on a treatment plan that is specific to their individual needs.

Other complementary therapies offered

The other complementary therapies that I am qualified to practice have both specific and general applications. They can also work extremely well in combination with each other. These therapies include:
Naturopathy
Life Coaching and Neuro Lingustic Programming (NLP)
The Perrin Technique
Autogenic Training
Acupuncture (Western)
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

What some of my patients say

“Robin’s “holistic” approach attracted me … I can’t thank him enough for all he has done for me and I highly recommend him” JH (Read more)

“After all these years and the many, many things I have tried, I really didn’t think anything would help me, thanks to Robin and Autogenic Training I have been proved to be wrong– and that’s a first!!” DL (Read more)

“Robin has been my osteopath for 10 years. His addition of NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming & Life Coaching to his practice has been useful to me.” RK (Read more

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinic in London W1 and N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.