Discovery of Animal Magnetism | Healing Abilities |
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Healing Abilities

Mesmer continued to experiment with animal magnetism and its healing abilities, and, with much success, was able to cure numerous patients of their illnesses. He conducted individual as well as group sessions.  In the latter, he used his own hands to channel the fluid, as well as other material aids that he had magnetized prior to the sessions. Mesmer experienced periods of popularity for his cures, mixed with criticism and opposition. Finally, in 1784, King Louis XVI of France had a commission of distinguished doctors and academicians (including Benjamin Franklin, American ambassador to France at the time) investigate and evaluate Mesmer’s practices. Though they did not deny the efficacy of Mesmer’s cures, they concluded that because they could not physically perceive this “cosmic fluid”, it must not exist, and they attributed the cures to the influence of the patients’ own imaginations.

This negation did not stop intellectuals and magnetizers that followed Mesmer and continued the study of animal magnetism. By way of experimentation and observation, they developed techniques, theories, and recommendations for “what works well and what doesn’t” based upon the effects of the variations in techniques. Magnetism is still used today under different names and varying forms of practice. Likewise, it has been adopted, studied and utilized by the followers of Spiritism.  The teachings of Spiritism bring additional understanding of its mechanism and the additional element of spiritual magnetism. 

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