Engraving of Friedrich Anton Mesmer

Engraving of Friedrich Anton Mesmer

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Engraving of Friedrich/Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815) the Austrian physician who, after obtaining a medical degree, began to investigate the possibility of using magnets in the curing of disease. He had a number of failures but, to the dismay of orthodox doctors, he also had some well- publicised successes. Despite these he was dogged by charges of malpractice and was often forced to change country. Although most of his theories were unfounded, it now seems clear that he was in fact curing psychosomatic ailments by suggestion. Some of his methods were later developed by Braid into the respectable technique of hypnotism.

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Keywords: discoverer, franz anton, hypnotism, mesmer, portraits, psychosomatics, surname m

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