[Updated on Apr. 18] Integration of CiNii Articles into CiNii Research

Psychophysiological Effects of Autogenic Training and Its Effectiveness for Stress-related Psychosomatic Diseases(<Special Issue>Clinical Application and Utility of Autogenic Training in Psychosomatic Medicine)

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  • 自律訓練法の心理生理的効果と,心身症に対する奏効機序(<特集>心身医療の臨床に活かす自律訓練法)
  • 自律訓練法の心理生理的効果と,心身症に対する奏効機序
  • ジリツ クンレンホウ ノ シンリ セイリテキ コウカ ト,シンシンショウ ニ タイスル ソウコウキ ジョ

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Abstract

This article reviews the psychophysiological effects of autogenic training (AT). AT reduces negative affect, including anxiety, depressed mood, and anger. AT also positively alters self-cognition and facilitates self-acceptance. During AT practice, several cortical areas are activated such as the postcentral gyrus (an area involved in somatosensory functions) and the prefrontal cortex and insula (areas involved in interoception, emotion, and self-awareness). AT formulas such as "My arms (legs) are heavy", "My arms (legs) are warm", "My breath is calm and regular", and "My heart beats calmly and regularly" may reflect skeletal muscle relaxation, increased peripheral skin temperature, reduced respiratory rate, and reduced heart rate, respectively. AT attenuates the sympathetic-adrenomedullary system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and also facilitates cardiac vagal function. In contrast, AT inhibits vagal activity innervating the gastrointestinal tract. For example, we demonstrated that AT abolished abnormal esophageal contractions in a patient with diffuse esophageal spasm. We also found that AT reduces fatigue and increases mechanical nociceptive thresholds, resulting in reduced pain sensation.

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