Masamoto, K., Hidaka, I., Kuga, R., Yoda, A., Nihon University, Japan
The present study examined the psychophysiological responses of healthy adults performing a first trial of autogenic training (AT). Twenty-five healthy adults with no experience in AT participated in this study. Participants were classified randomly into an AT group and a control group. Psychophysiological responses were evaluated using a thermograph to measure the temperature of the dominant hand. Furthermore, subjective anxiety ratings were obtained using the AACL (Zuckerman, 1960). The experiment was divided into three sessions: 1) Pre-AT session, 3) AT session, and 4) Post- AT session. Participants in AT group were required to exercise AT in the AT session (according to the second formula of the standard exercise) while listening to a tape. Participants in the control group were required to sit quietly with their eyes closed. Participants of the first-trial of AT session reported that they were able to successfully follow the instruction. No significant difference in the physiological response was found between all sessions and groups. In the AT group, the anxiety plus item scores of the AACL decreased in the AT session as compared to the Pre- AT session. These results suggest that AT has first of all a mental relaxation effect on beginners. Though no difference in the physiological response was found when performing first-trial AT, there were immediate psychological effects. These findings suggest that AT includes possibility as a kind of stress management tool for AT beginners.