Do guided meditation cds and self hypnosis cds do the same thing/work the same way?

Do guided meditation cds and self-hypnosis cds do the same thing/work the same way?


Welcome, wiccanhot. Don’t be alarmed–you put your question in just the right forum–General Questions. But no one seems to be answering(could be the holiday). So, just as a help, I’ve moved it to IMHO, where you might find some posters who don’t read GQ all the time. Just trying to help.

samclem GQ moderator

Someone else asked this months ago. No response. I don’t think there’s any expertise on this subject here at SDMB.

Well I’ve heard plenty of both types of CDs and used to sell them, which is probably as expert as you can get on the topic since it is not exactly a science. Meditation and self-hypnosis are both techniques that claim to have various benefits but the claims can be anything from curing your cancer to giving you inner peace and the way they’re supposed to work can be anything from just slowing down your breathing to focusing mysterious universal energy to putting you in contact with part of your mind that nobody has ever really proven exists. That’s why there isn’t really any sensible answer to how they work. It’s hard to even give one answer to how they are supposed to work.

There are a lot of different types of relaxation CDs but most meditation CDs have the goal of making you not think and most self-hypnosis CDs have the goal of making you relax and put some seed in your mind that’s supposed to stay with you after you get up.

Most meditation CDs would only ask you to sit comfortably so you aren’t distracted by your body and the narration (if there is any) tries to help you not think or to think about something nice.

Self-hypnosis CDs usually ask that you relax your body completely and use techniques like counting down, and then either you are supposed to listen to suggestions from the CD or give yourself some suggestion that you invented earlier with the goal of self-improvement.

So they are different because one is basically about resting your mind so you will be more relaxed and the other is about relaxing your body so you can stick some good idea into your mind. On the other hand, people who make CDs can generally call them whatever they want and use whatever element strikes their fancy.

Most of the meditation CDs out there go on the idea that spending time not thinking in the spirit of “transcendental mediation” has health benefits beyond what just resting and relaxing could do. That can mean anything from not thinking at all to thinking about nice things. Most of the self-hypnosis CDs go on the idea that you can relax and enter a trance during which time your subconscious mind will hear suggestions and change your behaviour and that it has benefits beyond what just resting and relaxing could do. That’s how they’re supposed to work, but whether either of those things really work is only a matter of opinion or faith. You can look into either topic and see what you want to believe but it’s not scientifically proven that either technique “works” to do anything besides make you feel nice. Feeling nice for at least part of the day is probably good for you.

Hypnosis is a very slippery subject, & very few people are qualified to comment on it, on or off this Board.

Even fewer choose to do so strongly, & without hedging their bets.

ie–the more definitive the opinion, the less likely it is to be 100% correct.

I hate to knock the Board’s reputed meditation expert, :wink: but there is a compelling body of empirical evidence to suggest that meditation does indeed “work” for a whole range of issues/disorders: from stress and insomnia to depression and eating disorders. Time Magazine had a cover story on meditation, and drew its reporting from such sources as the NIH and leading universities. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a UPenn radiologist, among others, has explored meditation via sophisticated brain imaging.

No, I’m only an expert on the CDs. :frowning:

I’m not trying to put Tibetian monks on a pedistal, but I do think it’s likely that there is a difference between what goes on in the brain of a practicing buddhist monk after an hour of meditation, and what goes on in the brain of a person listening to a CD. I may be partly sold on hypnosis or meditation, but I think for someone to get any use out of a guided meditation or a guided self-hypnosis it is really best if they look into the topics first and see what they want to believe. I think meditation is probably beneficial, but you can listen to half the CDs out there and still not even understand exactly what meditation is.