Signs posted on Toronto subway cars are designed to induce a state of self-hypnosis in commuters. Can a state of deep relaxation ease the rush hour commute?
If you’ve ever sat on a jiggling subway train, you know the effect its movement can have. Your head begins nodding like a yoyo, and next thing you know you’re awakening at your station. Once I fell asleep and my book flew out of my hands and down the subway aisle, and I had to get up to sheepishly retrieve it. A hypnosis clinic in Toronto is capitalizing on this induced state of relaxation to attempt to hypnotize TTC subway riders.
If you ride the Red Rocket, watch out for a white and blue sign with the words RELAX, TAKE A DEEP BREATH in large letters.
Once the commuter is relaxed, the sign contains embedded suggestions such as “imagine the jostling of the subway car as the soft rocking of a cradle,” or “you are bigger than your problems.” These suggestions are followed by a call to return to sensory awareness.
Are you really hypnotized?
According to Luke Chao, founder of the Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis, which sponsors the signs, yes. He defines hypnosis as a state of heightened suggestibility and focus, usually accompanied by deep relaxation.
If you read the sign, followed its suggestions, and felt uplifted, then you may have been hypnotized. It’s designed to give commuters a taste of what hypnosis feels like.
Hypnosis: what is it good for?
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve attempted to follow the suggestions on these signs. Did you feel relaxed? Did you think you achieved a state of self-hypnosis?