Autogenic Training

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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby Yeung on Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:00 am

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Yeung wrote:There are studies suggesting that AT has effects on people with anxiety disorders but without significant difference when compare with other treatments. One suggestion is that passive concentration is unique in AT.

My concern is the various brainwave entrainment methods deployed to influence our subconscious that have effects on our autonomic nervous system and behavior.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:27 am

Yeung wrote:[youtube][/youtube]
Yeung wrote:There are studies suggesting that AT has effects on people with anxiety disorders but without significant difference when compare with other treatments. One suggestion is that passive concentration is unique in AT.

My concern is the various brainwave entrainment methods deployed to influence our subconscious that have effects on our autonomic nervous system and behavior.


It is a valid concern. There are warnings in AT textbooks that touch on similar concerns. One of them is you should not do the solar plexus-abdominal method if you have a bleeding ulcer; you could make matters worse. Another is that heart attack patients should not do AT while at risk. There are warnings about some psychotic conditions that do not play well with AT. Zou huo ru mo?

More about contraindications here, skip to page 160
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:17 pm

A further note on the dangers: There are parts of AT that are useful only to psychiatrists and their patients, deep dives into subconscious imagery and pent-up stresses, AT as psychoanalysis and therapy. I am not working with those parts. I have no need to do so. That removes some concerns.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby Yeung on Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:34 am

Some masters also use similar techniques to reinforce loyalty in their follower.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:45 am

Yeung wrote:Some masters also use similar techniques to reinforce loyalty in their follower.


Again, that is a smart thing to be worried about.

"Auto," in "autogenic," means "self." From the beginning, autogenic training has involved autosuggestion but sought to avoid heterosuggestion. (Heterosuggestion is when someone else gives you a hypnotic suggestion.)

Of course there is the danger, and AT pioneer Dr. Karl Rosa pointed this out, that someone else will tell you a suggestion to suggest to yourself, which is heterosuggestion in disguise. Merely knowing that is to some degree a defense.

The basic autosuggestions in AT, having to do with warmth and relaxation, such as calming your heartbeat, warming your hands and so on, are of course learned from others, but those effects seem helpful rather than sinister.

In any case, AT is safer than allowing someone to make hypnotic suggestions directly into your subconscious, because you retain the ability to review and edit the material, because you are the one emplanting suggestions, such as quit smoking, stop moping about that silly redhead, or control your vomit reflex when in a spaceship.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby Yeung on Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:59 pm

Is there any different between self-hypnosis and in a trance in the practice of AT?
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Yeung wrote:Is there any different between self-hypnosis and in a trance in the practice of AT?



The big difference I see is AT's emphasis, from the outset, on forming mental connections with specific body parts, rather than first seeking just an over-all relaxation of the body and mind. You envision your hand warming or your forehead cooling, for example, and that is in the basic phases of AT. That is, I would say, still autosuggestion, with increased results early on in the matter of thought influencing the body.

Passive concentration on what is happening (observe and accept) is integral to AT. What passivity does is it gets you out of the way of the autosuggestions your mind is trying to implement. Since passive concentration is not unique to AT I think that can be discounted as a difference. Letting things happen as opposed to trying to force them along is something you find often in mind-body teachings. I have even heard it suggested in context of taijiquan.

There have been professional debates as to what extent AT differs from self-hypnosis and where it is similar, and I do not propose to solve decades of all that here, particularly since I am not a professional in the field. I think there is substantial common ground because having previously done self-hypnosis, zazen, and some qigong, I understood AT very quickly, reading it as another map of the same territory.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:18 pm

A shorter answer: I think that anything AT does can be accomplished with suitable autosuggestions after inducing light autohypnosis in some other way. AT differs in the way the steps are organized.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby Yeung on Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:12 am

klonk wrote:A shorter answer: I think that anything AT does can be accomplished with suitable autosuggestions after inducing light autohypnosis in some other way. AT differs in the way the steps are organized.


When you said "You envision your hand warming", is it similar to the practice of envision or ideating your Dantian warming up? But this is not passive concentration or sensation as you are making your self believe in hand warming without knowing how it got warmed up.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:29 pm

The way it is taught in AT is as follows, you repeat silently to yourself, "My hand is warm (pause)... My hand is warm (pause)... five to seven times, while simply paying attention to your hand, not trying to make it do anything consciously. At the same time it helps to use a pleasant mental image, such as your hand in the warm sunlight, or dipping your hand in comfortably warm water.

In fact, we do not know just how it works (at least I don't), but monitors can show things like increased circulation to the hand and a rise in skin temperature.

The "passive" part is that you are not flexing your hand or trying to will your arteries to open wider, just stating the desired outcome and imagining something analogous (sunlight, warm water) and the results follow. Something all the books emphasize is that you must have the attitude of a passive observer, not being anxious that the result will appear, just observing the result when it happens, and being unfrustrated if the intended result fails to appear at first. That is the sense in which they talk about "passive concentration."

It appears that the subconscious mind-body connection knows ways of doing things that the conscious mind knows nothing about.

There is a method that is similar for warming the solar plexus. You say over and over that it is warm in there and you may at the same time imagine the area is radiating heat within your body. Some AT teachers suggest placing your hand upon your abdomen as you do that, to help you focus on the area. Is that similar to the qigong technique you are thinking of?
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:39 pm

Shorter answer: You're right, the process is initiated by intention.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby thepoeticedda on Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:37 pm

I did AT when I studied music, and yeah it's great. Really wish I had started tai chi by then, because comparing the two in real time would be fascinating
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:15 pm

thepoeticedda wrote:I did AT when I studied music, and yeah it's great. Really wish I had started tai chi by then, because comparing the two in real time would be fascinating


Shouldn't be hard to get back into the swing of things. Get a book, or else snag a few articles off the web, refresh your memory as to the Standard Exercises, and have at it.

It's not as complicated as ancient Norse poetry.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby Yeung on Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:19 pm

klonk wrote:Shorter answer: You're right, the process is initiated by intention.


I posted a thread entitled Head Trick sometimes ago:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25843&p=439285&hilit=head+trick&sid=34e8fb1cc472d57a5de45dc6c19ca859#p439285

And it works with anyone, and similar tricks work well as well with correct intention and posture. This is why I am not sure it is intention alone or it is the know-how in performing certain action.
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Re: Autogenic Training

Postby klonk on Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:09 pm

In dealing with the subconscious mind, I find it reminds me of riding a horse. The horse knows more than I ever will about running and jumping. It is what he does! So I am sitting up there in merely an advisory capacity.

Mind and body can do some things I find astonishing, and knowing how to initiate them is useful even if I do not see how it is accomplished. Instead of writing more right now, I will think about the question.
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