First featured in print on March 16th, 1992

Although meditative classical music like Bach, Grieg, and the Faur√© “Requiem” works well with the machines, a new kind of tape works even better. Using “dual-induction” hypnosis,” most of these tapes let you hear a different voice in each ear (headphones are a must), each telling a different story. As when that couple you invited to dinner keep talking at the same time, your conscious mind stops trying to follow them both, and your subconscious is freed to take in the suggestions on the soundtrack. Researchers we spoke with agree that these dual-induction self-help tapes work better than the so-called “subliminals,” on which the suggestions aren’t audible (and which, for all we know, could be suggesting that you just buy more tapes). The tapes are designed to be used by themselves, but combining them with a sound and light device has a synergistic effect. Although styles differ, each of the companies below produces excellent products.

Hypno-Peripheral Processing tapes feature childlike fantasy tales that resemble bedtime stories, evoking delightful memories. These are the most engaging of the hypnotic tapes, which positive suggestions ingeniously embedded in the overlapping stories. They are $40 per two-tape set (in a series of five) from Psycho-Technology, Inc., c/o Dr. Lloyd Glauberman, 30 West 86th St. #1-F, New York, NY 10024, 212-787-8956.

Changeworks pairs a man’s and woman’s voice and elaborate sound effects (occasionally too elaborate) to weave pleasant scenarios. Titles include “Deep Sleep & Sweet Dreams, “Rapid Pain Control,” “Natural Self Confidence,” and “Self Hypnosis.” $12.95 for each tape, from The Changeworks, P.O. Box 5909, Bend, OR 97708, 503-382-1894.

Paraliminals takes a simple, no nonsense approach to induction, less fantast-oriented than directly suggestive, with little background music or sound effects. titles include “Prosperity,” “sales Leap,” “New Behavior Generator,” and “Instantaneous Personal Magnetism.” $14.95 to $34.95 each. 800-735-8273.

ABR/IQ tapes are the most New Age-sounding of the lot, but they are also quite powerful, and can induce fairly deep relaxation all by themselves. They also sport the best titles by far, including “Psycho-Immunology” (for self-healing), and “The 24-Minute Nap.” Price range from $12.95 to $18.95 for simple tapes, and $36.95 to $54.95 for 2- or 3-tape sets. 800-544-8743

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