Meditation, visualization and similar techniques have, over time become specialized and refined by different practitioners who have molded and adapted them into different forms. We look at some of these mind body techniques that are known to enhance health and wellbeing.
German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz developed a system of visualizations to help in relaxation. Similar to meditation, it is meant to be practiced to increase mindfulness and lower stress and psychosomatic problems.
This method of progressive relaxation draws from traditions of yoga and meditation and seeks to uncover the unconscious by using one’s visual, sensory and emotional nature as well as past experiences.
A typical training session of autogenic training may consist of sitting in a meditative posture and then repeating mantras such as “my right arm is heavy”, “my heartbeat is calm and regular”, “I am at peace”, and many others, each to be repeated several times. Breathing techniques and postures are also part of the session and progressive relaxation can often take the form of a trance.
The Trager Approach
Milton Trager, M.D developed a series of physical movements of a rhythmic, gentle nature that is aimed at improving physical mobility, promoting relaxation and improving physical performance. The technique tries to make a person discover the connection between mind and body.
This method of movement reeducation has no fixed rules; rather it tries to induce certain pleasurable and other sensory responses from physical movements which will in turn trigger positive physical changes in the body.
The reflex response is an important constituent of the Trager Approach, which was developed by Trager during his early work with cerebral palsy and polio patients. The approach tries to improve coordination of movement, balance neuromuscular connections, and help the person heal themselves.
Sophrology is a coinage that Dr. Alfonso Caycedo is credited with and is a personal development method that was developed in the 60’s. The aim of this method is to try and live in here and now; to bring the person a better consciousness of the present moment. It seeks to reinforce present positive action (as against past or future actions) and reduce focus on negativity and tries to help a person develop pan objective reality to help perceive things more clearly.
Sophrology consists of specific exercises and techniques of sessions lasting about ten to fifteen minutes and dynamic relaxations that help in relaxation and improve focus.