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Hypnosis

Anton-Mesmer.com - Mesmer hypnosisFranz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815) is widely attributed as the modern father of hypnosis. He would usually stand his subjects very still while he swept his arms across their body, sometimes for many hours on end. Mesmer himself was very much a real showman, conveying by his manner that something was going to happen to the patient. This form of indirect suggestion was very powerful in it's way. Mesmer was also most responsible for the popular image of the hypnotist as a man with magnetic eyes, a cape and goatee beard.

Mesmer treated up to 30 patients at a time, in a vat filled with two or three layers of bottles of 'magnetized water' at the bottom. The neck of each bottle pointed to the center, and bent iron rods were inserted into small perforations in the lid covering the entire container so that they could be applied to the affected body part. A rope was used for this purpose too. Patients were placed facing each other, as close as possible to each other touching thighs, knees and feet so that the magnetic fluid could continually circulate. Singing and harmonicas often accompanied this. Quite often patients would cough, spit, feel heat or pain, or be rocked by convulsions lasting several hours - and were carried into adjoining room padded on all sides!! Mesmer wore a lilac silk coat and carried a long iron wand with which he would touch the patient's bodies. He also magnetized then with his eyes, the laying on of his hands, or putting his fingers into a pyramid shape passing his hands, lightly all over patient's body beginning with the head. He would continue this until the patient was saturated with healing fluid and swooned from pain or pleasure.

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