The advertisement, placed by the Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis, seeks to hypnotize readers by lulling them into a state of relaxation. Once the reader is relaxed, it uses embedded suggestions (“Imagine the jostling of the subway car as the soft rocking of a cradle”), confidence-building statements (“You are bigger than any of your problems”) and a call to return to sensory awareness, all common hypnosis techniques. As a reader, you’re transported out of your commute and into deeper thought.
But are you really hypnotized?
Yes, says Luke Chao, founder of the Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis. Far from the pop-culture stereotype of swinging pendulums and people clucking like chickens, Chao defines hypnosis in empirical terms: Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility and focus, usually accompanied by deep relaxation. People under hypnosis can’t be made to do things they don’t want to do, but they are more open to suggestions that they might usually reject.
“Usually, hypnotists apply a test to make sure their client is actually in hypnosis,” says Chao. “Because this advertisement isn’t a one-on-one hypnosis session, it’s impossible to include a test. But it offers a capsule version of the type of positive mindset that hypnosis can help you achieve.” If commuters read the advertisement and find themselves uplifted by its suggestions, then they can be considered to have been hypnotized.
The purpose of the advertisement is to brighten subway riders’ days by pulling them out of a noisy, crowded subway car and into a relaxed state of hypnosis. But beyond that, it shows that hypnosis has a beneficial effect and that it can help people regain control of their problems through the power of positive suggestion. Chao and his clinic placed the advertisement to find new clients: open-minded people who are looking for a new, personalized way to tackle the personal issues that they face every day.
The Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis has helped over 1500 Toronto-area clients since its inception in 2006. Its diverse staff help clients overcome a variety of issues, including quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing anxiety, improving confidence and avoiding procrastination. Their approach to hypnosis eschews mysticism, focusing instead on techniques that are scientifically valid, results-oriented and relevant to daily experience. For more information, visit http://www.morpheusclinic.com