Self hypnosis can be a very effective way of solving persistent problems. Once you put yourself into a hypnotic trance, you can effectively install new programs into your subconscious, completely bypassing the critical consciousness mind which normally protects you. The problem is that you are normally restricted to only a light trance so that you can keep enough of your conscious faculties to install your desired hypnotic suggestions. However, if you use a hypnosis CD, you can bypass this problem. You can go into a deep trance which is more effective for hypnotic conditioning, and gain more rapid results.

Ready-made hypnosis CDs can be very convenient. However, there are two big problems. The first is that you do not know how qualified the person who made them is. How much training did he receive and how much practical real world experience does he have? As an example of how unscrupulous some people can be in the field of medical hypnosis, look at this snippet of news from ChannelNewsAsia, which covers the Asian region. This is a report on one of the biggest hospitals in Singapore, one of the major hubs of medical tourism in the Asia.

Some 30 medical staff from Tan Tock Seng Hospital will complete smoking cessation hypnosis training ...

The whole session will take about 1.5 hours and according to therapist Mdm Karen Ong from the London College of Clinical Hypnosis ...

Sheila Menon, principal, London School of Clinical Hypnosis, said: "What happens is when a smoker decides to quit smoking, they can go into a relaxed state and focus acutely on what it is they want to achieve and they can break the habit. In addition to that, they can also imagine themselves as a non-smoker in the future."

I can see two major issues from this short snippet:
  • The first is the poor level of training. How can you learn such a major skill in just 1.5 hours? What are they doing, just attending a lecture while the presenter talks and shows some slides around? No hands-on training? If you look around the internet for hypnosis training, you will find several online courses which claim to teach you how to be a hypnotherapist in 1 week. I even found one that claims to teach you in 3 days. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is common. Unscrupulous people take a few days of low quality training, then reading some half-baked hypnosis scripts into a microphone connected to their computer and selling the resulting mp3 or CDs for $30 to $100.
  • The second major issue from this news story is the description of their hypnosis technique. The first part about going into a relaxed state is fine. But the subsequent parts are not - "focus on what they want to achieve to break the habit. Imagine themselves as a non-smoker." These are very vague instructions which do not make an impression on the subconscious mind. Unfortunately, useless hypnotic instructions of this kind are very common in hypnosis CDs mass produced for profit.

Earlier, I described the low quality of many commercially produced hypnosis CDs. The second big problem is that you do not know what really goes inside them. Many of us have encountered situations where a glib salesman manages to persuade us to buy something we do not really want or need. Now imagine if he had first put us into a deep hypnotic trance before starting his sales talk. What else could he have gotten us to buy? And now imagine if he was not a salesman but a crook. Just what kind of havoc could he wreak in our mind?

Given these serious problems, isn't it much better to make your own hypnosis CDs? All you need is a tape recorder or a computer with a microphone. The next step is to look for a good hypnosis script. You can find some free scripts available on the internet. There are also professional quality hypnosis scripts made by hypnotherapists for other hypnotherapists. You usually need to buy these, but they can be a great shortcut for solving your personal problems or achieving your goals.

Another option is to learn self hypnosis. A good book is the Practical Guide To Self Hypnosis by Dr Melvin Powers, available for free from Project Gutenberg's website now that its copyright has expired. Learn it, develop your own hypnotic induction script to send you into a deep trance, figure out your personal problem or goal, develop a concrete set of hypnotic instructions and read the whole thing into your tape recorder or computer.

If you do not like the standard hypnotic induction scripts ("Your eyes are drooping ... you are feeling sleepy ..."), you can try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) or autogenics. These two relaxation techniques are very effective for sending you into a deeply relaxed state. This deeply relaxed mental state is exactly the same one produced by the normal hypnotic induction script. Free instructions for both relaxation techniques are available on many websites. So instead of the standard hypnotic induction, you can read the PMR instructions or the autogenics instructions into your tape recorder.

How do you know if the hypnotic instructions to solve your personal problems or achieve your goals are effective? Here are some rules to follow:
  • It must be clear and simple and actionable.
  • There must be no ambiguity (to you). When you tell someone to buy a car, this is very clear to some people, but others start wondering if you want to buy a Lexus, a BMW, or whatever.
  • The instructions must be imaginable. Asking someone to imagine being rich is useless if he does not know what a rich person looks like or what being rich feels like.
  • The instructions must not bring up any contradictions. There is a condition called psychological reversal (or self sabotage), where what you say you want is not what your subconscious really wants. An example of this is quitting smoking. Some people fail because in their subconscious they associate that with eating more and getting fat. Another example is losing weight. Many weight watchers fail when success in losing weight brings up associations with things they do not want, e.g. being unable to eat delicious food, or maybe they were praised for being plump and cute as children and they received a lot of favorable attention because of it.
  • The instructions must be positive. Saying "I don't want ..." will not work. That is why many weight loss hypnosis fail - because they say "I want to lose weight". They should have said "I want to weigh 100 pounds" or "I want my waist line to measure 30 inches"
  • Keep it simple. Solve one small problem at a time. If you want to weigh 100 pounds and also make $10000 a month, pick your higher priority and finish it off first.
  • Using analogies is fine, as long as you can imagine it, there is no ambiguity and it does not cause any psychological reversal.

As you can see, there are great advantages to making your own self hypnosis CD. It is not difficult, you are in complete control and you never have to worry about crooks messing about with your mind. Do not rely on someone else whose honesty or abilities you do not trust. If you want something done right, do it yourself.