Sawbones: Dr. Mesmer and the Power of Animal Magnetism


This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee and Justin introduce you to Dr. Mesmer, the source of the word "mesmerize" and creator of the most elaborate orgy pretense ever constructed.

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Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers



It sounds like Dr. Mesmer was the OG ASMR artist. ASMR is that tingly feeling some people get when someone cuts your hair, or combs it, uses one of those weird head massager things on you, etc.

Animal magnetism and reiki

Great podcast on Mesmer, thanks! Animal magnetism sounds a lot like reiki, of which I'm skeptical. Does reiki warrant a podcast of its own?


Actually, the profession of the forester (which still exists in Germany) has hardly anything to do with cutting trees. A forester is not a lumberjack, but rather a head game warden and forest manager. He has police duties concerning hunting and logging and also takes care of the logging industry in the area. The son of a logger would hardly have been able to study medicine in Mesmer's time. A master forester however was not a manual labourer, but a high officier of the local authorities.