folliowing the recovery of Fraulien osterlin, which struck Dr Mesmer like a bolt of lightning he became a convert and determined to discover the basis for her cure, he was a convert, he became an enthusiast.
The coursse of his life changed forever, gone was his insistance on conventional medcine, he believed he had discovered a universal pancea, a way of helping nature to bring about a state of natural health and well being, he believed it was down to a universal magnetic force that flows through everything in the universe.
and it was a imbalance in this universal fluid that created ill health, and that if it is in equalibrium then the body is healthy, the presence of this fluid is what gives us “Animal magnetism” more when we are healthy and less when we are un-healthy.
Further magnetic cures came about in his working life and in these, cures he started using hand passes, and magnetic fluid he soon came to the conclusion that it was not actually the magnets that were bringing about the cure, rather that his own animal magnetism had the same effect on his paitent as the real magnets or magnetised fluids had done.
He also realised that there was a greater efficacy of the cure if there was a good rapport between Dr Mesmer and his client, even that physical contact is not necessary.
just by speaking to his client with authority he found that he could effect a cure, he even found on occasiuon that he was able to effect a cure through a wall, but he did not realise that that this was down to the power of suggestion.
Throughout his life he mainained an ardent materialist, if he could heal through a wall that was because his animal magnetism was strong.
he once declaired that there was only one illness, and that was a lack of magnetic fluid.
for a while he practisedin vienna trying to gain support from local medical practictioners but he gained very little support, late in 1776 Mesmer was approached by the parents of Maria theresa von paradis.
Maria was a excedllent pianist and and became the protogee of empress Maria Theresa, although she was not born blind while she was young she became blind on 9th december 1763, aged just 3>
her parents and those who cared for her, spent an enormous amount of money and time trying to find out the cause and a possible cure for her blindness, including some 3,000 electric shocks among other standard medical practices of the time.
unfortunately the net result was that the child remained blind, finally her parents took her to see Dr Mesmer.
if he suceeded he would shine, if not there was really nothing to loose as they had tried everything else they could think of and nothing had seemed to work, Mesmer moved the young girl in to a wing of his house in 1777.
By the 9th of February, she claimed she could already see outlines, and the spasm’s she had been experiencing in her eyes she claimed had been happening less and less, even her father vouched for the efficacy of Mesmer’s cure.
but while she was halfway through been completely cured while she was getting used to using her eye’s again she found that her playing began to suffer, se also found that she had opther problems with judging distance among other things,
also her parents found that when her playing began to suffer, so did their income, in hypnotherapy terms, a major secondary gain.
in view of this, her parents called in other docotors who had already examined Maria therasa, and they could not deny that her vision had returned.
possibly there was also a suggestion of immorality, a attractive young woman, living in the house of a older man who later left his wife.
Her parents at one point stormed in to Mesmers house demanding the return of their daughter, at one point her mother, even tore her from the arms of the nurse treating her there followed a huge row and Maria theresa, was hysterical, and vomiting profusely in the corner.
her parents became so alarmed by her condition they begged Mesmer to carryon treating her. (unfortunately as with most of Mesmers cures we only have his testamony)
As a result of his rejection by the established medical practioners of Vienna, he became dissalusioned and determined to move to another european city so he chose paris. at the end of 1778 he went to Paris, without his wife.
who he never saw again, she later died of breast cancer in September 1790, in paris his reputation as a healer and a contreversial figure. Paris at the time was a city in the thrall of occultism, which was unfortunate for Mesmer as although he always wanted to be associated with respected scientist’s and medical practitioners instead he got labelled as a occultist.
he rented a large mansion and opened a clinic and training facility,and tried to get acceptance into the royal society, quite soon he had a practise that was too large for him to handle, which led to him developing his basket..
which allowed him to treat many people at one time. the treattment at his spa soon became fashionable and it was soon fuel for conversation, in the salons of europe, in 1784, louis xvi appointed from the faculty of medicine and sciences, their brief was to investigate the methods and practices of animal magnetism, the commitee was chaired by Benjamin franklyn.