Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What I'm Reading Now-Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology: A How-to Guide for Personal-Empowerment Tools You Can Use Anywhere!

Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology: A How-to Guide for Personal-Empowerment Tools You Can Use Anywhere! by Eldon Taylor--When I was contacted about participating in this book launch, I wasn't quite sure if I was interested; it's not exactly the type of thing I normally read, but eventually my curiosity won out (plus, there are Grand Prizes!)*. How often do I get to review a book here at Subliminal Intervention with the word "subliminal" in the title? Well, let's see, so far? Never. So I kind of felt like I should get on that. Besides, I'm always interested in reading about the mind and how it works.  

The first part of the book grabbed my attention right away with examples of how powerful the mind can really be. There's a lot of talk about how much what we hear on a daily basis can affect what we think and how we can engage in damaging self-talk without even realizing it. A lot of this is stuff I've heard before, but Taylor put a new spin on some of the ideas that made me get them in a whole new way. Either way, how much of an effect can all that stuff really have? Well, I read this:
     Multiple-personality patients routinely devastate mechanistic beliefs about the body. A patient may test totally normal in every physiological sense, but with a shift of personality, some as quick as the snap of a finger, the individual may exhibit hypoglycemia or even diabetes. How does a personality shift alter body chemistry in seconds? Can a personal belief system, such as "who I am," alter cellular behavior instantly?
     Dr. Frank Putnam of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied how people with multiple personality disorder go from one personality to another. He found that their electroencephalograms (EEGs) "change as dramatically as though the electrodes have been taken off one person and placed on another." Other such patients have demonstrated everything from eye-color change to having one menstruation cycle per month for every personality housed within the patient.
and then my mind exploded a little. Whoa. If that's not a case of your inner dialogue affecting change, I don't know what is. OK, so, I'm not interested in becoming a whole new person with a completely different identity (not really a concern-Taylor covers this common fear in Chapter 4: Myths and Misconceptions), but maybe I could incorporate a little more confidence, creativity, or the ability to fall asleep in less than three hours into my "who I am."

The second part of the book is largely transcripts of the hypnosis sessions that are on the accompanying CD. Oh, did I mention the book comes with a CD (in a well-incorporated sleeve that makes both access and storage easy)? (I actually had trouble with my CD-it kept sticking on the first track, but I imported it into my iTunes library, and it plays fine from there.) Taylor suggests listening to each track, then reading the transcript and then offers suggestions for further use and integration into your own self-hypnosis sessions. This may sound time-consuming, and the first few times, it will be, but the idea is that the more you practice, the more quickly you can move into a state of relaxation. The whole CD runs about 53 minutes, but the longest track is only 13:38.

Before we go any farther, you might be wondering, Who is Eldon Taylor and why should I let him into my head? Fair enough. First of all, here's a picture of him-he looks like a nice guy.

Second of all, I can tell you that his voice is very soothing. Third of all, I can't tell you why you should let him into your head-that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself. If it helps, you could visit his web site, but here's a little information that was provided by Taylor in a Q&A session that might help you decide:

    I think I have always been interested in the power of the mind; early on I read a lot of books on the subject and attended numerous school specializing in hypnosis. However, my interest really took off in the 80s. I was a practicing criminalist at the time and I frequently ran lie-detection examinations. One of the problems in lie-detection tests is in eliminating the inconclusives—some people are so nervous about the procedure itself that, even though they are innocent, they can give readings that would indicate deception. On the other hand, some people are very experienced at taking lie-detection tests and they use counter-measures. I was looking for a way to make the innocent person more relaxed and the guilty person, more tense.
     I came across some research regarding law enforcement using subliminal audio programs in a hostage situation, and although I could never verify this, it did give me the incentive to explore this area a whole lot more. I contacted numerous companies who were producing subliminal self-help programs and I discovered that the whole field was rife with mis-information. Quite frankly, many of these companies simply did not understand the process themselves, and as a result they were producing products with no retrievable subliminal content, poorly designed affirmations, or affirmations presented in such a way that the subconscious mind could only perceive it as being gibberish.
     To cut a long story short, I did my own research and created my own subliminal program for use in my lie detection practice. The results were phenomenal! My inconclusives pretty much disappeared and I found myself launching a whole new career. If subliminal communication could be so effective in this scenario, what else could we achieve with it? I created more subliminal audio programs and allowed them to be tested by numerous independent institutions and researchers (such as scientists at Stanford University). The results were all positive.
     My fascination with hypnosis followed a very similar path. Initially I used hypnosis for forensic applications, but as I learned more and more about the power of the mind, I started using hypnosis as a tool for personal growth.
     As my reputation grew, I was called in as an expert court witness with regards to both hypnosis and subliminal communication.
I have to admit I had a hard time with the techniques. I did listen to all the tracks, but I never really felt like I was hypnotised. I always felt like I was trying really hard to be hypnotised. Part of the problem was that I was really focusing on all the words instead of just relaxing and letting them wash over me-I wanted to know what I was going to be blogging about later! I also had a lot of distractions, but Taylor also includes advice for how to incorporate distractions into your self-hypnosis sessions so that they are less...distracting, which I think would be supremely useful for people who don't have a deep, dark, sound-proof, family-proof chamber in which to lock themselves every time they want to practice self-hypnosis. I do like the format though-having the CD and the written scripts is a good idea; I think having someone talk you through the process is very helpful the first few times, and for me, having a transcript to follow along with helps cement the ideas. They also provide a good foundation for creating more personalized sessions.

The third part of the book is all about subliminal communication. While Taylor is clearly schilling for his own InnerTalk® programs, he also walks you through making your own subliminal soundtrack, which I think is pretty cool. Taylor gives a lot of examples of the efficacy of subliminal messaging, but it's largely anecdotal in the sense that he has footnotes for all of his examples, but it's up to you, the reader, to follow-up on the articles and see how sound the research was. In an example of the research done using Taylor's own InnerTalk programs, he cites the following example:
Under the direction of Maurice P. Shuman, Jr., general director for special programs of instruction, a pilot study was conducted by the Duval County Public School System at the pretrial detention center in Jacksonville, Florida. The study program included 22 incarcerated juveniles who used InnerTalk audio programs designed to assist in preparation for GED examination. The results showed that 18 of the 22 troubled students passed the full GED examination. 
I fully appreciate that in the interest of brevity Taylor chose to leave out a lot of mind-numbing details, but a little more information might have been useful here. What was the percentage of troubled students who passed the GED examination without using the InnerTalk program? How do these results compare  to non-incarcerated GED test takers? Had any of these folks previously taken the test?

Anyway, small quibbles aside, I thought this was an interesting book, and if you are looking to make some positive changes in your life, I think this is probably worth a try.

*Bonus! If you head over to the Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology book launch page and purchase the book you get free gifts! There are also Grand Prizes available (no purchase necessary-see Contest Rules for details). Current list of Grand Prizes is as follows:

Grand Prize 1: Airfare, hotel and event passes for two to a Hay House ICDI conference.
Grand Prize 2: A customized InnerTalk library.
Grand Prize 3: Autographed copy of Linda Evan's book, Recipes for Life.
Grand Prize 4: One Hour private healing session with Dee Wallace.
Grand Prize 5: A 12 week total transformation course with Crystal Andrus.
Grand Prize 6: Private telephone consultation with Dr. Norman Shealy.
Grand Prize 7: The complete "Healing Codes Streamline Package" from Alex Loyd.
Grand Prize 8: "Lifetime membership to Shazzie's VIP Room, Shazzie Speaks 2.0,
New 2 Raw and Divinity In A Box home study courses" by Shazzie.
Grand Prize 9: Autographed collection of the finest music by Steven Halpern.
Grand Prize 10: A private reading with medical intuitive, Caroline Sutherland.

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