mesmer psychology

The Fowler Brothers, who’d made money off of phrenology, also got in the business of mesmerism (Benjamin & Baker, 2004). B., Sallin, C. L., Bailly, J-S., d'Arcet, J., de Bory, G., Guillotin, J-I., and Lavoisier, A., "Report of the Commissioners charged by the King with the Examination of Animal Magnetism". As Mesmer prompted his patients into a trance, many would swoon and make noise, which of course influenced others in the group. In 1774, Mesmer produced an "artificial tide" in a patient, Francisca Österlin, who suffered from hysteria, by having her swallow a preparation containing iron and then attaching magnets to various parts of her body. He lived on a splendid estate and patronised the arts. She reported feeling streams of a mysterious fluid running through her body and was relieved of her symptoms for several hours. It is so large that twenty people can easily sit round it; near the edge of the lid which covers it, there are holes pierced corresponding to the number of persons who are to surround it; into these holes are introduced iron rods, bent at right angles outwards, and of different heights, so as to answer to the part of the body to which they are to be applied. An English physician who observed Mesmer described the treatment as follows: In 1784, without Mesmer requesting it, King Louis XVI appointed four members of the Faculty of Medicine as commissioners to investigate animal magnetism as practiced by d'Eslon. fr:Frédéric-Antoine Mesmer (Benjamin Franklin served as president, and curiously, Joseph Guillotin was a member.) In fact, he got kicked off the faculty at the esteemed University of Vienna, where he received his medical degree, and was forbidden from practicing medicine in Vienna altogether. Mozart later immortalized his former patron by including a joking reference to Mesmer in his opera Cosi fan tutte. He soon stopped using magnets as a part of his treatment. While he was popular with his patients, the medical community was less impressed. Mesmer discovered “animal magnetism” as a young doctor in Vienna. Mesmer made "passes", moving his hands from patients' shoulders down along their arms. In 1775, Mesmer was invited to give his opinion before the Munich Academy of Sciences on the exorcisms carried out by Johann Joseph Gassner (Gaßner), a priest and healer who grew up in Vorarlberg, Austria. By 1780 Mesmer had more patients than he could treat individually and he established a collective treatment known as the "baquet." [3] After studying at the Jesuit universities of Dillingen and Ingolstadt, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Vienna in 1759. Later, he tossed the magnets from his treatment repertoire. Mesmer aimed to aid or provoke the efforts of Nature. This confrontation between Mesmer's secular ideas and Gassner's religious beliefs marked the end of Gassner's career as well as, according to Henri Ellenberger, the emergence of dynamic psychiatry. Many patients felt peculiar sensations or had convulsions that were regarded as crises and supposed to bring about the cure. This was not medical astrology—relying largely on Newton's theory of the tides, Mesmer expounded on certain tides in the human body that might be accounted for by the movements of the sun and moon.[1].

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