JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animal magnetism. Caricature of an ass curing a woman with his "magic finger" by using the animal magnetism proposed by Austrian physician Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). Mesmer carried out exp- eriments in curing patients by the use of magnetic fields. Later he found that the same effects could be obtained by just passing his hands over a patient. During the treatment, Mesmer's patients often fell into a trance and felt better when they awoke. Mesmer falsely believed that he was chann- elling animal magnetism, a cosmic healing force, into his patients. His successes were probably with psychosomatic cases of illness. His methods were later refined & given the term "hypnotism".
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