During his lifetime, Franz Mesmer was an extraordinary figure: some considered him a brilliant scientist and discoverer of the so-called” animal magnetism”, others were sure that he was nothing more than a charlatan and illusionist. Mesmer became famous for discovering a new method of treating patients with magnets. Modern scientists tend to believe that, in fact, he discovered the method of hypnosis, anticipating the scientific ideas of Sigmund Freud and Gustav Jung for half a century.
Franz Mesmer came from a poor family with many children, but his parents understood the importance of education and allowed both Franz and his eight siblings to go to universities. Franz spent his student years in Vienna, where he defended his dissertation, studying in detail the influence of planets on the human body. Continue reading