What Is Mesmerism?

Mesmerism is essentially the same as hypnosis; the word mesmerism is just a lot older than hypnosis and was packed with substantial misconceptions when it was used, which was the reason to change it. Mesmerism comes from the last name of Franz Anton Mesmer; he was the first to practice what we would call hypnosis today. Mesmer had his ideas about what he was doing; he thought that some animal magnetism enabled him to cure some people of their sufferings. At that time, as well as today, there were many skeptical people; this skepticism led the king of France to appoint four people to investigate if Mesmer had made a discovery of physical character within the body (Among those four was the American ambassador Benjamin Franklin). The group found that the benefits of mesmerism could only be attributed to imagination.

Mesmer did successfully treat some of the people who sought out his help. But his theory about why it worked didn’t have any substance. This led James Braid to find a new word that could better describe the phenomenon, thereby coining a term unassociated with Franz Anton Mesmer. The latest comment was “hypnotism.” It is derived from Greek mythology, where Hypnos is the God of sleep. This leads me to conclude that mesmerism and being mesmerized are the same as hypnosis and hypnotized.