Visualization/Relaxation Techniques: Overview

Autogenics, as the name suggests, are self-generated suggestions your mind gives your body to relax.  It is a quick and portable relaxation technique that pin-points body regions that need to relax.  For example: shoulders, jaw, or neck muscles may be the first area of your body to tense when you are stressed.

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Function; Why it is Recommended

Autogenic relaxation of any part of the body could be done with just a minute or two of concentrated relaxation.  For example:

  • Sit is a comfortable chair and close your eyes.
  • Begin by taking a few deep breaths.
  • In your mind's eye, pin-point the area of your body that you would like to relax.
  • See the tension this area is currently holding: tight muscles, restricted blood flow or contractions.
  • Now, imagine this same area of your body opening or calming.
  • In your mind's voice, repeat the sentence below which best applies:

    • For muscle tension:

      Fill in the blanks with the name of the body part you wish to relax: Shoulders, neck, jaw, forehead, leg or abdominal muscles.
      My ________ (body part) is becoming warm, loose and relaxed.
      Repeat this 6 or more times.

    • For rapid breathing or rapid heart beats:

      My ________ (breath /heart beat) is calm and quiet.
      Repeat this 6 or more times.

    As you say each sentence, imagine the target area of your body responding more and more.  Repeat until it is completely relaxed.

Visualization, like autogenics, uses the power of your mind's eye and inner voice to bring about relaxation.  Visualization is the imagery of any location that, to you, is peaceful and stress-free.  Your peaceful image can be brought to your consciousness at anytime (in a traffic jam, a tense time at the office) for a quick moment of tension release.  Advance practice will allow you to call upon this imagery more effectively at times of stress.

For its deepest effect, visualization is done in combination with progressive relaxation.  Once deeply relaxed, spend a few minutes imagining the peaceful location you wish to "visit".  The more detail you add to your image, the more real it will seem to your mind.

For insomnia, some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds – such as the ocean or forest – to be soothing and that listening to this helps them to fall asleep.

References & Further Information

An excellent relaxation / meditation option to listen to before bed is The Holosync Solution.

On This Page

Visualization/Relaxation Techniques:

Visualization/Relaxation Techniques can help with the following:


Mitral Valve Prolapse

Techniques to block the feedback loops that can lead to panic attacks or hyperventilation can be learned and practiced to break the cycle of escalating symptoms.  By performing a "reality check" you can learn to break the conditioned response you have acquired to your own physical symptoms.


Vulvodynia / Vestibulitis

Biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises involving relaxation and muscle strengthening may be helpful.


Panic Attacks

Types of behavioral therapy involving counter-conditioning treatment of fear responses have helped to abort panic attacks.

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