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Franz Mesmer German physician, astronomy

Franz Mesmer the Man Behind Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy in Modern Era

Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815) was a Viennese physician and also had some interest in Astronomy. Mesmer was behind the discovery of ‘animal magnetism’ now it is referred to as Mesmerism, his theory on this was about a natural energy existence processing and occurred in between all inanimate and animate objects. As Mesmer was a qualified doctor in medicine he believed his discovery of animal magnetism was a remarkable one.

Time and Place of birth

Franz Mesmer was born in Germany’s small village of Iznang in the south on 23 May 1734.

Early life

Franz Mesmer’s father was a forest warden and his mother was a daughter of a locksmith. Mostly in Mesmer’s childhood, he used to play in woodland and near rivers, his education started at the age of eight and went to Green Mountain Monastery and further went to the college of Jesuit, University of Konstanz.

At the age of sixteen, he studied Logic, Theology, and Metaphysics in the Dillingen school of Jesuit Theology. After that in the year 1754, he started to take classes in Philosophy, Mathematics, French, Physics, Latin, and Theology at the age of twenty in a Jesuit college, the University of Ingolstadt. After finishing his studies received his degree from a Doctor of Philosophy.

Mesmer studied Law at the University of Vienna, Australia in the year 1759 at the age of 25 but within a year he dropped Law and again studied Medicine. And, at the age of 31 Mesmer completed his final medical exam in honors in1765.

Adulthood

In the year 1766 Mesmer submitted his doctoral thesis with the title On the Influence of the Planets and Human Body. His thesis stated how the moon and the planets can have an influence on the human body and also on a disease.

In the year 1768 Mesmer got married to Anna Maria von Posch, she was a widow and from a wealthy family. In Vienna Mesmer accepted himself as the Doctor there, where he started treating his own patients. In 1780 his patients increased by 200 as his practice per day grew so much.

Education and Career

Mesmer went to Green Mountain Monastery and then for his higher studies he entered the University of Konstanz. Then Mesmer studied theology, logic, and metaphysics in the Dillingen school of Jesuit Theology. When Mesmer turned twenty he went to the University of Ingolstadt and there he studied a lot of topics like Philosophy, Mathematics, Theology, French, Latin, and Physics.

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And after he completed his studies he got his Degree of Doctorate. In the year 1759 he pursued Law at the University of Vienna but didn’t continue to study rather he studied medicines. Mesmer completed his final exams of medical honors at the age of 31.

While in his career in 1766 he published his Doctoral thesis and then became a doctor and started treating patients. While impressed by the success of Mesmer the French King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette and to support him they gave him money.

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Contribution in Science

Here’s Mesmer’s contribution to science

Magnets and Animal Magnetism also called Hypnosis was his greatest discovery in the 18th century he examined and said there was an invisible natural force which was possessed by all kinds of living things, such as animals, human beings, vegetables he also said that force could also have physical effects as well which included healing, and kept trying for success.

This trusted theory was followed by quite a number of people in the U.S. and in Europe and also became popular in the 19th century. It was mostly known as mesmerists or magnetizers. It was a type of important medicine which had an influence on people since 1779 for more than 75 years, but now it’s completely forgotten but in some parts of the world it is used as an alternative form of medicine. A lot of books have been published on this topic as well from 1766 to 1952.

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Interesting facts

  • Mesmer deserted Vienna and his wife when he was facing a lot of trouble and failures by 1777.
  • In the year 1778, he gave a fresh start to his career in the capital of French Paris and started to gather a lot of people’s attention.
  • Mesmer published a book with the title Report on the Discovery of Animal Magnetism which included 27 principles about animal magnetism.
  • When Mesmer left Paris he went to various places like Switzerland, Great Britain, France, Austria, and Germany.

Personal life

Mesmer settled in the town of Frauenfeld in Swiss near Constance Lake where he spent his childhood. Mesmer was quite wealthy, and was able to afford the luxury lifestyle of a nobleman, although his image in the profession of medicine was not that respectful. Mesmer kept spending the rest of his life near the lake of Constance in the town of Meersburg in Germany.

Death

Franz Anton Mesmer died on 5 March 1815 at the age of 80 in Meerburg in Germany he had a stroke due to lack of oxygen. At the graveyard in town, he was buried. After three decades of his death science was able to explain his Hypnotic success in Paris and Vienna.

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Books published by Mesmer

  • In the year 1779, Mesmerism: the discovery of Animal Magnetism
  • Mesmerism: a translation of the original scientific and medical writing

Quotes


A responsive influence of the heavenly bodies existed between the Earth and the animated bodies.
Franz Mesmer


A little sleep, a little dream.
Franz Mesmer


Ambiguity distracts the conscious mind.
Franz Mesmer

FAQ

When was Franz Mesmer born?

Franz Mesmer was born on 23 May 1734 in Germany’s small village.

How did Franz Mesmer die?

Franz Mesmer died due to a stroke on 5 March 1815.

What is Franz Anton Mesmer known for?

Franz Mesmer was known for his discovery of Animal magnetism also known as Hypnosis, mesmerism, or animal magnetism, or fluid.

Who was the Jesuit priest that trained Mesmer?

The Jesuit priest who trained Franz Mesmer was an astronomer Maximilian Hell, he used to attach magnets to his patients while treating them and Mesmer also used the same magnetic technique to cure Easterlin.

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Conclusion

A lot of things have been said about Franz Mesmer’s therapeutic system and his way of treating patients. But his discoveries were successful after proper investigation of his applications of Hypnotism. Maybe Mesmer was a weird doctor who used to wear weird costumes while treating his patients but his techniques were quite unique and he gave the world a great contribution in science.

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