Evidence Base

A randomized control trial shows that Autogenic Training practice helps patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) feel a sense of ‘adequate relief’ from symptoms and improves their sense of self-control.  Shinozaki, Kanazawa, Kano, Endo, Nakayaya, Hongo & Fukudo (2010) Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 35:189-198. 

After Dolphin Helicopter and Hercules Aircraft pilots learn AT exercises using biofeedback techniques, they make far fewer flying mistakes during emergency flying conditions.   Cowings, Kellar, Follen, Toscano & Burge (2002) International Journal of Aviation Psychology, Volume 11, pages 303-315.

Biatheletes’ postural control and hold stability in the rifle competition, found their standing shooting was improved after learning AT and imagery training. Groslambert, Candau, Dugue & Rullion (2003) Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Volume 74, pages 337-342.

A study of fire services workers found that AT is effective for reducing disturbance of cardiac autonomic nervous activity and decreasing the impact of psychological issues which are secondary to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 60, pages 439-444, 2006.

Military pilot’s air sickness decreases using AT biofeedback techniques which are superior to an air sickness drug.  Cowings & Toscano (2000)

Autogenic Training (AT) leads to self-induced calmness in mind and body and can lead to clearer thinking about problems and new insights.  Yurdakul, Hottum & Bowden (2009) Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 82, 403-419.

AT induces the Relaxation Response and positively effects the CNS (central nervous system). Jacobs & Lubar (1989) Behavioral Medicine, Volume15, pages 125-132.

AT provides an acceptable approach to stress reduction in nursing students.  Lim & Kim (2014) Asian Nursing Research 8(4), 286-292.

AT has positive impact for decreasing infertility.  O’Moore, O’Moore, Harrison, Murphy & Carruthers (1983) Journal of Psychosomatic Research 27, p 145-151.

Relaxation can be an appropriate and relevant therapeutic tool to counteract several stress-related disease processes and certain health-restrictions, particularly in certain immunological, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases/mental disorders. Esch, Fricchione & Stefano (2003) Medical Science Monitor, Volume 9, pages RA23-34.

Meta-analysis of studies of AT found that tension headache, mild-to-moderate essential hypertension, coronary heart disease, asthma bronchiale, somatoform pain disorder (unspecified type), Raynaud’s disease, anxiety disorders, mild-to-moderate depression/dysthymia, and functional sleep disorders all improve when people practice AT.  Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Volume 27, pages 45-96, 2002.

Tension headache and mixed-type headache frequencies are reduced in the first month of learning AT, while migraine headache frequency reduces after 3 months and drug consumption also reduces.  Zsombok, Juhasz, Budavari, Vitral & Bragdy (2003) Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, Volume 43, 251-257.

Acute pain of migraine headaches decreases and the likelihood that a migraine aura will become a full blown migraine is much lower when sufferers practice AT. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, Volume 47, pages 371-383, March 2007.

Irritable bowel calms down and most symptoms are significantly reduced. Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 5, pages 541-546, May 2002.

Anxiety can negatively influence the course of many disabilities so the benefits accrued from practising a stress management method may have generalized effects. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 67, pages 375-379, June 1986.

Children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems have improvements in goal attainment after learning AT. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume 42, page 1046-1054, 2003.

Blood pressure and heart rate reduce when people practice AT. Perceptual and Motor Skills, Volume 83, pages 1395-141, December 1996.

Anxiety for university level students are significantly reduced with consistent AT practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume 53, pages 729-735, 2006.

Elderly nursing home patients have a better quality of life once they practice AT. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, Volume 35, pages 157-65, 2002.

Adolescent alcoholics discover they have more control over their own behaviour than they previously thought after they learn AT with biofeedback. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume14, pages 55-61, Jan-Feb 1997.

Learning and practicing AT can increase your ability to recall your dreams! Perceptual and Motor Skills, Volume 84, pages 1305-1307, June 1997.

Exhausted care givers find that subjective psychosomatic symptoms, such as headache, palpitation, dizziness, sleep disorders, irritation, are reduced or disappear, and they are able to ask for help for themselves much more easily after practising AT. Japanese Journal of Autogenic Therapy, Volume 18, pages 56-63, August 2000.

AT also works effectively side by side with other medical practices for illnesses made worse by stress:

Depression clears up more quickly and doesn’t come back as often. Krampen (1999) European Psychologist, Volume 4, pages 11-18.

Cancer and HIV patients increase their autoimmune responses, sleep better and feel better about themselves.
Kermani, K, ‘Stress, Emotions, Autogenic Training and AIDS: A Holistic Approach to management of HIV-infected individuals’, Holistic Medicine, Volume 2, pages 203-215, 1987.

European Journal of Oncology Nursing, Volume 8, pages 61-65, 2004.

Cancer patients report significant reduction in anxiety and increases in ‘fighting spirit’ after learning AT, and they report an improved sense of coping and along with improved sleep.
European Journal of Cancer Care, Volume 11, pages 122-130, June 2000.

A 4 year follow up, people with high blood pressure kept their pressure down if they practiced AT.
Curruthers, M Patel et al, ‘Trial of relaxation in reducing coronary risk: 4 year follow up’ British Medical Journal (Clinical research Edition), Volume 290, pages 1103-1106, April 1985.

Stroke patients recover faster when their treatment includes an AT component. American Chiropractor, pages 50, 52, Fall 2004.

Chronic and acute pain is reduced, and chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36%. American Journal of Nursing, Volume 8, pages 75-76, August 2004.

The Clinical Journal of Pain, Volume 2, pages 305-310, 1991.

Autogenic Training reduces anxiety after coronary angioplasty surgery. Kanji, N., White A.R., Prof. Ernst E., American Heart Journal, Volume 147, pages K1-K4, 2004.

A case study of a young anorexic woman reports that after learning AT she had less preoccupation with food, less interpersonal tension, greater self-esteem, and weighed more. Japanese Journal of Autogenic Therapy, Volume 19, pages 55-61, December 2000.

Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus have fewer problems with attention, less test-anxiety and less aggression and nervousness when they use AT. Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, Volume 46, pages 288-303, 1997.

Atopic dermatitis skin conditions improve, the severity of skin lesions decreases, and people use less topical steroids after they practice AT for a year. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Volume 63, pages 624-636, August 1995.

Multiple Sclerosis patients report more energy and vigour and less limitations in their roles from physical and emotional problems at the end of a 10 week AT program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Volume 28, pages 249-256, June 2005.

Asthmatic children practicing AT with their mothers said they experienced deep relaxation, better sleep, reduced wheezing, and improved peak-flow rates. Japanese Journal of Autogenic Therapy, Volume 24, pages 1-7, March 2005.

Pressure in the eyes (IOP) is reduced for people with open-angle glaucoma who practice AT along with special exercises in ocular relaxation and imagination of aqueous humour drainage.  Opthalmologica, Volume 209, pages 122-128, 1995.

Stress levels of couples undergoing infertility treatment went down.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 27, pages 145-51, 1983.