Subliminal stimulation involves bypassing our critical minds of any and all external messages and going straight to our subconscious minds to effect changes in outlook and/or behavior. Our conscious, critical minds have a built in filter that filters out the external messages that may be inimical to us. This is actually good news. Otherwise, we will be completely vulnerable to the millions of suggestions bombarding us from all sides. Our lives will be at the mercy of these outside influences that may harm us.
The problem however, is that our already programmed, inner conditioning may have limited us. Our inner programming, courtesy of our subconscious, may have been influencing us in the wrong way. Thus, our tendency towards self-sabotaging behaviors and negative outlook get the better of us. We need a way to go to our subconscious minds and “re-program” these sabotaging beliefs and similar unwanted programs. To do that, we need to bypass our critical guard and proceed straight to our subconscious. Change can thereby be possible once the old program is replaced with a new and more helpful one. Subliminals are one such avenue wherein change can be possible.
Subliminals accomplish this by embedding audio or visual suggestions within a masking sound or picture (like the sound or video of waves crashing upon the shore, or of fire crackling on a burning log etc.) The sound or picture is benign enough for us to listen to it. In fact, we can even choose not to CONSCIOUSLY listen to it or see it. All the while, hundreds or even thousands of positive statements are being said or flashed on the screen. These messages are shown very rapidly and imperceptibly so as to bypass our critical minds from processing them. The result is that, after repeated bombardments of these subtle but acute messages, the listener or viewer would have his or her subconscious reprogrammed and would behave differently.
There was this story about a subliminal suggestion being flashed on the screen for a millisecond, while the audience were watching a movie on the same screen. This happened in the days of drive-in movies. The suggestion was to “buy popcorn!” The result was a significant increase in the purchase of popcorn by the moviegoers, who were given this suggestion.
Another story (see link below) was this supermarket where subliminal messages were played below human hearing thresholds. The messages were primarily on practicing honesty and refraining from theft. Messages such as “I am honest.” “I do not steal.” were played repeatedly in the supermarket, where shoppers were busy choosing products along the aisles. The result was a significant drop in theft.
It is therefore an important observation, that subliminals do have a tangible influence over peoples’ behavior. In time, a lot of individuals started making subliminal tapes to market to the public. It was hoped that these tapes would affect the change that people have been craving all their lives. These marketing individuals usually peddle “bathtub subliminals” in order to make a killing. Many of these bathtub varieties involved speaking through a tape recorder while water from a bathtub is used to mask the messages. The results from these were marginal at best.
The limits of subliminals
Subliminals have been around for many decades, with its peak, happening in the late 1970s. It still enjoys many followers to this day and many still swear by its effectiveness.
However, there were cases where subliminals were ineffective and some results even counter-productive.
- Some subliminals need to be “listened to” for several hours for the effects to be seen. Some subliminals take several loops for the client to listen to, which would take hours and days on end. These subliminals can be listened to during sleep. However, even if such a practice is amenable, the client needs to listen to these same messages in the waking state to be very effective.
- Earbuds or headphones are required. Using speakers may affect others. Subliminals are a personal tool for change. Therefore, the client needs to listen to them using headphones or earbuds. They are also effective using speakers, especially the ISOCHRONIC ones. But these may affect other people in the same room, and may have adverse effects on them. Imagine listening to an Alpha Male subliminal program in your bedroom that you share with your wife?
- The messages in the subliminals MAY conflict with your inner belief system.There were results where people suddenly felt uncomfortable (others actually threw up!) after a few sessions with subliminals. This may have something to do with the messages that may have conflicted with the clients’ inner belief system. If the person listening to a weight loss subliminal in order to lose weight, has some inner child issues of abuse and other emotional trauma, then these issues MUST be addressed first. These weight loss goals must be in consonance with one’s inner belief system for such goals to be realized effectively. Working to develop one’s self-esteem and clearing one’s trauma first must precede all other changes. Using subliminals could be akin to putting icing on a spoiled cake.
- The client must be predisposed to the subliminal messages for them to be effective. The popcorn study shows that although subliminals do have a certain pull on people, it was these people ALREADY predisposed to buying popcorn that were the most influenced. The subliminal message gave that extra “push” to make them actually go out and buy. The client who is looking for change must be predisposed to such changes. Again, it is a matter of addressing inner issues beforehand before using subliminals.
How hypnosis is different
Using hypnosis entails that the client CHOOSES to be subjected to a reprogramming of his or her subconscious mind. The hypnotist is usually a trained psychotherapist who knows the clients’ general needs before proceeding to record a hypnotherapy session.
The hypnosis mp3’s usually guide the client into a right state of mind, which is to be relaxed and receptive. This is completely volitional and voluntary on the part of the client. Subliminals simply chug away at bombarding messages without thought or consideration to the client’s initial state of mind.
Moreover, a hypnosis session truly places the individual in a setting where there is seriousness of purpose, where there is a ritual aimed at effecting change. This ls like going to church for the sole purpose of communing with a Higher Power. The church has all the accouterments to make that possible. True, you can see the same on TV, but the detached experience the TV gives you, somehow detracts the effectiveness of the event. The same goes for subliminals. Therefore, hypnosis sessions empowers the client with this feeling.
Messages in hypnosis mp3s can be changed and modified to fit in with the client’s needs. The messages in subliminals may need time to be modified. Perhaps not at all. Messages in subliminals are generic and are aimed for the majority of people. Hypnosis mp3s accommodate individual differences and needs. One needs to simply contact the hypnotist regarding this, for such modifications to be made.
Finally, changes made from hypnosis are lasting and in many cases permanent. This is due to the cooperative factor between the client and the effectiveness of the session. The fusion of both CONSCIOUS (the client’s volition) and SUBCONSCIOUS (the hypnosis program) create an experience where change is initiated at ALL fronts. In addition, all hypnotic sessions end with the client feeling relaxed, refreshed and positive.
Indeed, a hypnotic session feels like being in a spa!
Subliminals do work for a large swath of people. Personally, I have tried subliminals myself many times. However, the changes I have experienced were minimal, and I found myself listening to them again and again to affect the same changes. There were some subliminal messages where I DEEPLY rejected. These came to in the form of my involuntary muscle twitching and headaches. Luckily I had read the transcript of these messages. True enough there were many messages I could not deeply accept at this time.
Hypnosis on the other hand, were relaxing and more positive in terms of the changes I have experienced. I arose from each session feeling refreshed and the changes were almost immediate were still present even after several weeks. I was in full control of what messages were being delivered.
Therefore, I would choose hypnosis over subliminals for issues that were debilitating for me, as well as for changes that I know I needed to embody. It is a win-win for me. I look forward to a hypnosis session that allows me to unwind, while at the same time, allows deep changes to arise spontaneously within me.
I know such an experience would work for you too.