As I mention in my article about ancient hypnosis, the practice of hypnotherapy went into hibernation in the middle ages. Hypnosis as it is thought of today began in the 18th Century with Anton Mesmer.
Anton Mesmer was an Austrian who led the way in the usage of trace. This eventually earned him the nickname, “Father of Hypnosis.” His name is also the root for the term “mesmerism.”
Mesmer became interested in magnetism after studying as a Jesuit priest. Mesmer was encouraged by his friend Mozart to purchase a space where he could perform magical “cures” on people. Soon Mesmerism or animal magnetism became popular with the French nobility.
Mesmer believed all living things contained a kind of magnetic ‘fluid’ and if a person had enough of this fluid, they would be healthy.
The theory behind Mesmerism was that man could influence his magnetic fluid to bring about healing. In his salons Mesmer placed magnets on the afflicted parts of his patient’s bodies and soon he became Europe’s foremost expert at magnetic healing. His practice grew quickly and he became very famous. One day after forgetting his magnets he just made passes over a patient with his hands and was surprised to find that he got better. From there on, he thought he had sufficient magnetic fluid in himself to affect the cures. Continue reading