Entspannen, Relaxen, autogenes Training
Entspannen, Relaxen, autogenes Training
Back to Balance
Back to Balance

How Autogenic Training Works

Autogenic Training is founded on a holistic view of the human being - the belief that a person's body and mind are inextricably linked. Physical changes can cause psychological changes, and vice versa. For example: physical pain can cause irritability and displeasure, while anxiety and agitation can lead to an increased pulse and rapid breathing.


Autogenic Training is a relaxation method which affects the whole human being. It has soothing, relaxing and renewing effects on body and soul. To understand this process, it is necessary to have some knowledge about the functions of the nervous system.


The nervous system has two components:

  • Central nervous system, which deals with external stimuli and connects body and environment.
  • Peripheral nervous system, which is divided into two parts: somatic and autonomic.
  • The somatic part of the nervous system is responsible for the movement of your muscles. You are able to control this function. For example: You can tell your body to stand up and sit down.
  • The autonomic part of the nervous system is responsible for your breathing, blood circulation, digestion, and heat and water regulation. Unlike the somatic part you are normally unable to influence the function of the autonomic part of your nervous system. This is why people often take medication for conditions such as high blood pressure or palpitations.


The autonomic part of the nervous system is further divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic functions.
The sympathetic function is responsible for your daily physical and mental activity. It enables you to deal with stressful situations. The parasympathetic function is responsible for the body's regeneration and relaxation.


This chart shows how the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the nervous system affect the different parts and functions of the body:

Parts & Functions

of the Body

Sympathetic Function


Parasympathetic Function


Heart Rate increased reduced
Pupil dilated contracted
Blood Vessels constricted dilated
Blood Pressure increased reduced
Digestion inhibited aided
Breathing accelerated reduced
Sweat Production increased reduced
Muscle Tension increased reduced


Ideally, sympathetic and parasympathetic functions work in well-balanced rotation. However, if you are under constant mental or physical stress, the sympathetic function gains the upper hand. If this function dominates for too long, the body will forget how relaxation works (the parasympathetic function may be extremely reduced). This can create an “overheating of the system”, which threatens the immune system and can make the body more susceptible to illness.


This is where Autogenic Training comes in!


With the help of Autogenic Training you can learn to influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions of the nervous system and create a sustainable balance between them.


If the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions are working properly, your body and mind will be in an overall balanced and healthy state and you will likely be less susceptible to illness.


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© Nicole Walther