The word “mesmerism” comes from the name of an 18th-century German physician named Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815). It is considered the forerunner of what is now known as “hypnosis,” although they are not the same.
Mesmerism originally referred to “the transfer of energy between the mesmerist and the client to induce a special trance state to heal him/her of a physical ailment or to reconcile emotional or physical issues.”
Mesmer referred to this as “animal magnetism,” and this happens through what he believed was a transference of “ethereal fluid” between the mesmerist and the client. Mesmerism then is about energy transference of things invisible to us, but which affect us or our consciousness. A modern practitioner of mesmerism related how a client can be put in a state of hypnosis or trance without even talking to him/her.
Today, the verb “mesmerize” means to have someone’s attention completely, so that he/she cannot think of anything else.” Example: “He was so mesmerized by her heavenly beauty that he could not see or hear anything else.”
How does mesmerism differ from hypnosis? Mesmerism uses little or no words to induce a trance state. Instead, it resorts to hand passes or stroking and touching the patient.
Mesmerism has been used by one practitioner in Australia mainly for adult issues or concerns, such as for instant erections in men, ultimate orgasms in women, increase in sex drive, overcoming frigidity, and even breast enlargement. Although hypnosis has also been used for those issues, it is more often applied in Western countries and also in the Philippines for overcoming phobias, controlling anxiety, stopping smoking, memory improvement, etc.
There’s a well-known former beauty queen who gave birth to her two sons under hypnosis because she was allergic to anesthesia.
In 1978, the theory of animal magnetism and energy transference of Mesmer was discredited by a committee commissioned by the government to investigate mesmerism. It was headed by Benjamin Franklin. It found no evidence for the existence of animal magnetism to induce healing. So, mesmerism almost died a natural death—until it was resurrected in modified form as hypnosis.
The most frequently asked question about hypnosis is: “Can everyone be hypnotized?” According to some expert opinion, only 70 to 75 percent of people can be hypnotized, while 30 percent cannot. This view is challenged by another school of thought which claims that nearly everybody can be hypnotized or induced into a trance state—even if they think they are not hypnotized.
This point of view seems to be contradicted by some supposedly documented stories about individuals who, under hypnosis, did things they would otherwise not do when fully awake.
One story goes like this: A relatively modest and innocent young woman was hypnotized and was given the suggestion that she was alone in the bathroom, about to take a bath, and was told to remove all her clothes. The woman in trance started removing her clothes one by one, until only her bra and panties were left on her body. When it became clear she was about to remove her bra, the hypnotist stopped and woke her up. She was so embarrassed at the incident.
Another story is told of a man who, under hypnosis, was told the woman in front of him was evil, a criminal whom he had to kill, or he would be killed. He was given a gun with blank bullets. The woman in front of him was his own mother. When told to pull the trigger, he did.
These stories make the question of whether one can be made to do something against his or her will under hypnosis remains a controversial one.
For comments or information on seminars, books, consultancy, past-life hypnotic regression, call 8107245 or 0998-9886292, e-mail [email protected] Visit www.innermindlearning.com