Franz Anton Mesmer
Franz Anton Mesmer was a German doctor (born: May 23, 1734 died: March 5, 1815) who had a great interest in astronomy. Prior to become a doctor of medicine, Mesmer studied law and theology. Isaac Newton and his theory of gravity was a great influential factor for Franz Mesmer.Ancient hypnotherapy was connected with magical practices and it was Mesmer who led hypnosis from the occult into scientific study.He theorized that there was a natural transference between energy that happened between inanimate and animated objects. To put it another way, he believed that the planets had a direct influence on the human body. He referred to this theory as animal magnetism and it was later known simply as mesmerism.
Mesmer believed that illness was the cause of the body being depleted of animal magnetism and this could be restored by a healer transmitted magnetic forces to their patients. A magnet was a tool (along with mesmeric pass, which was a series of hand gestures) that was used to allow this transmission to happen.Mesmer’s theory attracted a following and Franz enjoyed the fame and popularity that came with publicly demonstrating how he was able to channel magnetic powers to cure a variety of illness. He left Vienna due to pressures from the medical community and ended up in Paris in the late 1770s.
After some time, his practice and theories came under scrutiny by scientists of the day, including Benjamin Franklin and in 1784, it was concluded that there was no scientific basis for Mesmer’s theory and he left Paris in 1791, discredited.Mesmer die in 1815 in Switzerland, but his theories were not totally dismissed as many followed and successors also claimed that they were able to tap into magnetic unseen forces. In addition, Mesmer is often connected with having a great influence on the development of hypnotism as an effective form of psychotherapy.