dated: August 31, 2011
Franz Anton Mesmer, a German physician, went down in history as a healer and the discoverer of the so-called animal magnetism. Mesmer theorized that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects. The physician, whose name is the root of the English verb 'mesmerize', used animal magnetism to cure mental disorders. Most researchers say that Mesmer was a charlatan, although some others believe that there was a grain of truth in Mesmer's theories.
Franz Mesmer was born in the village of Iznang, on the shore of Lake Constance in Swabia, Germany in 1734. He studied in Vienna and received degrees in theology, philosophy and medicine. After his studies, he married a wealthy widow. The marriage relieved him of the thoughts about daily bread, so he decided to devote himself to arts.
Mesmer was a professional musician. He played instruments with Leopold Mozart and his son - Wolfgang Amadeus, the would-be great composer. He did not make a successful career in music and returned to medicine.
His paid attention to Paracelsus' works about healing with the help of magnets. The doctor conducted his first experiment on his patient in 1774. The woman was suffering from headaches, convulsions, nausea, partial paralysis and delirium. The medications, which Mesmer prescribed for her, did not help. The doctor decided to place several strong magnets on the woman's chest after she had had another seizure. The woman was having a convulsionary attack, which then subsided.