Achieving Autonomic Muscle Control (Limb Heaviness)

In 1932, German psychiatrist Johannes Schultz first published Das Autogene
Training (autogenic training) as a therapy later taught in European clinics. Autogenic
training consists of a series of 6 exercises which are outlined in the following pages.
To achieve optimal results with this suggestive conditioning exercise, wait at least
an hour and a half after eating a meal, then assume a comfortable sitting or lying
down position. Relax all your muscles from your toes to your head and take deep,
abdominal breaths. Breathe slowly, and exhale for twice as long as you inhale. For
example, inhale to the count of 3 and exhale to the count of 6. Do this series 3 times;
then inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 8. Do this 3 times; then inhale
to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 10. Repeat 3 times; then go in reverse.
Breathe in for 5 beats and out for 10 beats; then in 4 and out 8; then in 3 and out 6.
Each time repeat the sequence 3 times. This is your "warm-up."
Now silently repeat to yourself the following “limb heaviness” (relaxation)
affirmations: Say, "My right arm is getting heavy," 6 to 8 times; then say, "My right
arm is getting heavier and heavier," 6 to 8 times; then reiterate, "My right arm is
completely heavy," 6 to 8 times; visualize its heaviness like lead; then say, "I feel
perfectly calm," 3 times. Then open your eyes and throw away the heaviness. Flex
your arm and breathe deeply. Now begin the cycle again, including the warm-up.
Spend 10 to 15 minutes each time and do this 2 or 3 times per day. To intensify the
effect, visualize yourself in a peaceful, background setting, and actually imagine your
arm getting heavier. Don't try too hard; just relax and let it happen.
Do the exercise with your right arm for 3 days. Then using the same formula, do
the same exercise with your left arm for 3 days. Then do it with both arms together
for 3 days. Then do the right leg for 3 days; then do your left leg for 3 days; then do
both legs together for 3 days; and finally do both arms and legs together for 3 days.
Thus, the heaviness exercise takes 21 days. If you achieve genuine heaviness
sooner, move along faster, but be thorough. If you continue to practice, results will
be yours. Belief has little to do with the process; practice alone is important.
What you are achieving here is a consciously directed altered state of awareness,
similar to self-hypnosis. With continued practice, you will get use to producing a
physical response by simply suggesting it. After mastering this conditioning
exercise, you will be able to bring about this adjusted state in yourself in less than a
minute, and under any circumstances.