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a mental health therapy introduced by Wolfgang Luthe. It is based on the concept that natural forces in the brain are able to remove disturbing influences so that functional harmony can be restored in the mind and body. It was developed from research on sleep and hypnosis and involves biofeedback exercises.
autogenic feedback trainingA hypnosis-based mental healing method intended to evoke deep relaxation, which consists of controlling breathing and heart rate, and visualising warmth and heaviness of the abdomen, arms and legs, and cooling of the head.
Developed in the 1920s by a German neurologist, Johannes Schultz; the technique consists of 6 mental exercises for relaxing the individual, and relieving suppressed anger, emotion and tension. The individual is placed in a device (e.g., Stille-Werner rotating chair) that evokes the anxious response—e.g., motion sickness—and learns to conquer the response through breath and muscle control, and autosuggestion, while watching the displays of his or her physiologic responses to the induced effect (e.g., rotation). It is claimed that these exercises result in self-healing, and may enhance AFT in athletes and performing artists including dancers.
AFT is not well-suited for those with alcoholism or other addiction disorders, diabetes, mental disorders including schizophrenia, and seizures, and should only be carried out under traditional (i.e., mainstream) medical supervision.
Anecdotal reports suggest that AFT may be beneficial in addiction disorders, AIDS, allergies, angina pain, anxiety, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, circulatory problems, depression, eczema, GI tract problems (e.g., colitis, constipation, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome), depression, haemorrhoids, hostility, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, infertility, jet lag, low self-esteem, lower back pain, menstrual disorders, migraines, mood swings, multiple sclerosis, neck pain, neuralgia, obesity, panic attacks, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, sciatica, sexual problems, shock, skin disease, speech disorders, sports injuries, stage fright, stress, nervous sweating, tension, ulcers, urinary tract disease.