TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Franz Anton Mesmer (1734)

Franz Anton Mesmer (1734)

Mesmer was a German physician who experimented with an early form of hypnosis, known as “mesmerism.” He developed a doctrine of “animal magnetism,” believing that harmony could be restored in the human body by inducing “crises”—trance states often ending in delirium or convulsions. He carried out dramatic demonstrations of his ability to “mesmerize” his patients using magnetized objects. Accused by Viennese physicians of fraud, he left Austria for France. What scandal plagued Mesmer’s career? More… Discuss

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