From Kook Science

"ANIMAL MAGNETISM — The Operator putting his Patient into a Crisis." Plate from Ebenezer Sibley's A Key to Physic and the Occult Sciences (London: Printed for the Author, 1794), between pages 260-261.

Mesmerism (also referred to as animal magnetism) is a form of proto-hypnotism, named for Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), its originator, which is based on the hypothesis that an unknown force can be projected through space by a practitioner, a type of energetic transference, that brings a targeted subject into an altered conscious state marked by elevated suggestibility, the subject falling under the willed influence of the practitioner. The mesmeric practice was popular through the eighteenth century and served as a foundation for later forms of magnetic healing (as in animal magnetism, not electro-magnetism) as well as hypnosis, though the latter practice shed the concept of any psychic transference and came to hold that the subject was the primary agent causing the shift in their own consciousness.