One of the ways in which we can take control of our health in mind, body and spirit is to learn self-help techniques which we can practise easily and which are proven to work.

There is a number of powerful techniques such as yogic breathing, meditation, folk dancing and t'ai chi that not only help divert the mind but also promote positive health.

As time goes by, unless the body tissues and brain cells are given time to heal, they get damaged, leading to stress-related disorders such as high blood pressure, neck and back pain, anxiety, sleep problems and migraines.

When we exercise, our brain produces endorphins which give us a sense of well being and act as natural pain killers.

The self-help, natural-healing exercise I am going to describe today is called autogenics, or self control.

It was first developed by a German neurologist called Schultz in 1924 and is widely practised around the world.

Auto suggestion leads to a state of self-hypnosis in which you are in control and has immense power of self-healing.

AUTOGENIC TRAINING Sit in a quiet place and in a comfortable position with a cushion to support your lower back.

Keep your eyes softly shut. Withdraw your attention from the external world and centre it in the region of your forehead between your eyes.

Slowly repeat the following statements three times to yourself in your mind. Try to feel the heaviness and warmth in each part of the body you are focusing on:

My right arm is heavy.

My left arm is heavy.

I feel quiet, peaceful and relaxed.

My right leg is heavy.

My left leg is heavy.

I feel quiet, peaceful and relaxed.

My right arm feels warm.

My left arm feels warm.

My right leg feels warm.

My left leg feels warm.

I feel quiet and peaceful and relaxed.

My back is heavy, warm and relaxed. It feels pain free.

My solar plexus and stomach feel warm.

My forehead is cool.

My heartbeat is slow, calm and regular.

My breathing is slow and regular.

I can feel the warmth spreading through my body.

I can feel my lifeforce nourishing my mind and body.

I can feel my lifeforce healing my body.

I feel alert but relaxed.

I feel peaceful, quiet and relaxed.

Come out of the relaxation slowly. Clench your fists a few times, stretch your arms up and behind the head, roll your head and neck, take a few deep breaths expanding the chest and open your eyes.

Follow this relaxation exercise every day for 20 minutes.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or e-mail: