Sophrology – Consciousness training to activate the body and mind

Everybody feels stress now and then or faces an unpleasant pressure situation. But sometimes an impending event or emotion overwhelms us so much that we can hardly handle it. This is exactly where sophrology starts. Awareness training helps us to strengthen our physical, mental and mental structures. So a stressful birth, the fear of surgery or the preparation for an important exam can be experienced differently.

  1. Understanding sophrology

Sophrology is offered in individual or group sessions and promotes elemental value: helping people to help themselves. The client learns step by step how he can better help himself to deal with stress situations differently. How it works? Sophrology activates the body and mind while integrating the experience. The client receives the necessary tools for this through awareness training. The perception of one’s own body schema is the key to opening the doors to consciousness. Specific breathing and relaxation techniques help to experience the body’s own structures and abilities and finally discover their personal values. At the same time, consciousness expands and the perception of one’s own reality changes.

  1. How is a sophrology session going?

While sophrology is already established in western Switzerland, many seekers of therapy in German-speaking Switzerland do not know the method. So most ask the question: how do I have to imagine a sophrology session exactly? Sophrology sees itself both as a science and as a philosophy of consciousness.

The entire training includes three cycles with twelve dynamic relaxations and the corresponding specific techniques. These techniques use breathing, body awareness, visualization, and special postures and movements. The pursuit of a balanced personality and a harmonious lifestyle is achieved through regular practice and is one of the main goals of sophrology. The person learns to deal with stress and anxiety differently, which in turn strengthens the body’s defenses – against diseases, for example.

One of the sophrological theories is based on three levels of consciousness: the waking and the sleeping levels as well as the so-called “sophroliminal” level. The latter is a state between the waking and sleeping levels, characterized by deep relaxation and increased ability to experience. The aim of the treatment is to temporarily bring about this sophrological state through intentionality, to lengthen it and to use it for a positive influence on the consciousness.

  1. Where is sophrology used?

Sophrology has neurophysiological foundations and is used successfully in anesthetics as well as in immunology, pneumology, cardiology, geriatrics, gynecology and palliative care, as well as in sports and music.

Indications for sophrology:

  • for stress management and pain reduction
  • before surgery
  • in sleep problems
  • for pregnancy support and birth preparation
  • in bipolar disorders, depression, psychosis and hallucinations (with conventional medical attendance)
  • to help with psychosomatic and chronic diseases
  • for mental preparation before exams, sports competitions or concerts
  • to increase self-confidence and vitality

4. Who pays the costs of a therapy?

The sophrology is recognized by the health insurance and can be settled by the additional insurance.

  1. Where does the term sophrology come from?

The term sophrology is based on three Greek words: “sos” means harmony, balance, balance. The part “phren” stands for the consciousness and “logos” for the word or the science. The term translated means something like “the science of the balance of consciousness”. The goal of sophrology, according to his word, is to achieve a dynamic balance between the body and the mind.

  1. Who is the subject of sophrology?

The founder of sophrology is the Colombian neuropsychiatrist Prof. Alfonso Caycedo (1932-2017), who developed this method from 1960 in Madrid. Among other things, the sophrology is based on the hypnosis, from which Caycedo but soon distanced itself, as this could change the consciousness. He studied various Western and Eastern ways of thinking. Thus, in sophrology, elements of existential phenomenology, axiology, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation as well as (adapted to our culture) aspects of Japanese Zen Buddhism, the Tibetan Tummo and the Indian Raja Yoga.

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