Where does the word ‘autogenic’ come from and what does it mean?
Autogenic comes from the Greek word autogenetos, αυτοπαραχθείσα, and it means “originating within the body”, “self-generated”, “self-produced”, “self-born”. Autogenous is a word commonly used in life sciences, and it is the word Dr Johannes Schultz, AT’s developer, used.
What is AT for? It is for self-balancing your brain, body, emotions, and mind.
AT’s roots are firmly in medicine. AT is a long established, evidence-based practice which teaches you a method for self-balancing your emotions, body and mind. This may change your stress reactions for the better. Cathartic AT is the method taught by British Autogenic Society therapists. This therapy adds emotion expression exercises to basic Schultz-type AT. It allows whole person ‘housekeeping’ to gently and safely happen by itself using your own natural self-healing resources and processes. Advice of a GP or consultant should be sought if you are seeking to learn AT for a specific medical condition or symptom.
We learn AT in quiet repose. Anyone can do it. No special clothing or difficult postures are used so even people in wheelchairs or who are bed-bound can learn and practice AT. When you join an AT course, here’s what happens.
+ First you talk with your AT therapist to decide that AT is right for you.
+ You meet your AT therapist one to one or in a group for eight weeks. This can be F2F (face to face) or by distance learning. Weekly meetings vary in length from 60 to 90 minutes. There is one follow up meeting about 8 weeks later.
+ You do the main ‘work’ of learning AT in private between classes. The focus is on your own empowerment, your own mastery of a new life skill.
+ You use sitting or lying postures. This is to minimize strain on your muscles, bones, and internal organs. You practice maintaining a passive, observing, letting go attitude of being in the present moment without judgment.
+ You concentrate on silently repeating phrases associated with your body’s experience of relaxation. You can take between two and ten minutes to be peaceful doing your AT practice.
+ You keep a log of your daily practice and your experience with AT. You talk with your AT therapist so training can be tailored to meet your needs.