The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

The Age of Science

Anton Mesmer (1734-1815)

In 1766 Austrian physician Antonio Mesmer evolved the technique of “Mesmerism,” he created a sensation in Paris in 1778, but was denounced as a charlatan in 1785. This was the first description of hypnotism as a form of anaesthesia. He claimed that he and others possessed "magnetism animal”
This is usually translated as animal magnetism, although animal is related to the Latin animus, meaning breath or life force. (Today, the term
"animal magnetism" means sex appeal.) Mesmer claimed, Mesmerism could affect the flow of the universal fluid pervading all things and this, in turn, could heal the sick and cure the blind. 134


Mesmer's theory was discredited, but his practices lived on.
A major transition occurred when one of Mesmer's followers, the Marquis de Puysegur, magnetised Victor Race, a young shepherd on his estate. Instead of undergoing a magnetic crisis, Victor fell into a somnambulistic (sleep like) state in which he was responsive to instructions, and from which he awoke with an amnesia for what he had done. Later in the 19th century, John Elliotson and James Esdaile, among others, reported the successful use of mesmeric somnambulism as an anaesthetic for surgery (although ether and chloroform soon proved to be more reliably effective). It was not a new idea to hypnotise people to take away pain or anxiety, the term comes from the Greek God Hypnos the god of sleep (who was incidentally the father of Morpheus the god of dreams.) We get the drug name Morphine from his name.

James Braid, another British physician, speculated that somnambulism was caused by the paralysis of nerve centres induced by fixation of the eyes on an object.

In order to eliminate the taint of mesmerism, Braid renamed the state "neuro-hypnotism" (nervous sleep); a term later shortened to hypnosis.
Later, he concluded that hypnosis was due to the subject's concentration on a single thought (monoideism) rather than physiological fatigue.


Jean Andre Venal (1740-1791)

Jean-Andre Venal was better known as the father of orthopaedics’, although many strongly disagree; believing that his work was un-scientific and that his only contribution was the use of the word Orthopaedics. 135

(Nicholas Andry coined the word "orthopaedics", derived from Greek words for "correct" or "straight" ("orthos") and "child" ("paidion"), in 1741, when at the age of 81 he published Orthopaedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children.
In the U.S. the spelling orthopedics is standard, although the majority of university and residency programs, and even the AAOS, still use Andry's spelling. Elsewhere, usage is not uniform; in Canada, both spellings are common; orthopaedics usually prevails in the rest of the Commonwealth, especially in Britain.)

James Moore was a London surgeon who came from a distinguished family with most of his brothers serving in the armed forces and one who became an Admiral and the other who served in the Army reaching the rank of Lt General was killed during the Napoleonic wars. 136

He was concerned at an early stage in his career for the widespread suffering that he saw as a result of surgery.

Moore described the technique of compression to control pain during amputation. A tourniquet was applied for 30 minutes prior to amputation, the nerves were numbed by the compression. He wrote a book which was called


"A Method of Preventing and Diminishing Pain During Surgery"which was in fact the first book written on regional anaesthesia or in that matter anaesthesia in general.



Quote 55


"A smart mother makes often a better diagnosis than a poor doctor"137



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