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Which Guided Imagery Programs Require the Use of Headphones?

18 Sep

Dear Belleruth,

I'm confused. I know you need earphones to listen to some guided imagery programs, but I don't know which ones require them. Can you help?

Dear Belleruth,

I know some guided imagery products are enhanced by listening to them with headphones for the binaural effect, but are there products that can be listened to on speakers, and how would I know that from the descriptions?


Dear Donna,
So glad you asked.  Nowadays most professionally recorded audios have a binaural component to them, and head phones are generally recommended, not just for the binaural effect but for a better, more complete listening experience in general.

There are some programs that are made with very specific tones that are designed to ping in each ear in a certain way, and those will often specifically instruct people to try and use head phones.  And I know that David Illig’s hypnosis audios have subliminal affirmations that are going into different ears at different times.

 But either way, please be reassured that you can get considerable benefit from just listening on a good, free standing speaker system, so don’t let the lack of headphones stop you.  And truth be told, I’ve sometimes gotten a fine meditative experience on truly lousy speakers, too. So don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good enough”. Good enough is usually plenty good enough.  A good program will get through to you.

All best,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award