The term animal magnetism dates to the late 18th century, coined by the Viennese doctor Franz Anton Mesmer, in the. Mesmer built on Masonic concepts of illness as evidence of an imbalance of a universal fluid within the individual. He believed the process was physiological but invisible just as electricity and magnetism are.
At first he magnetized objects which his patients could then touch, but later found out that simple "passes" of his hands were sufficient to put patients into trance. Once Mesmer had dispensed with actual magnets, there was no talking during the treatment. The passes, the music, the setting, the atmosphere were factors which were to increase indirectly the effect of the suggestion which induced an alteration of the state of consciousness, they were hypnotized.
A state in which mesmeric action can be exercised to influence the subjects' will and nervous system is rapport, a connection depending on interaction with time based patterns. Rapport is established by getting into resonance with activity patterns, then taking over and driving the pace. The practice of "animal magnetism" was changed when Marquis de Puysegur, a disciple of Mesmer, focused his attention on what happened to people in deep hypnosis. He named this "magnetic somnambulism" and observed that symptoms and behavior could be influenced by what the "magnetizer" said. Hypnosis theory and practice anticipated much of psychoanalysis and hypnotic procedures were adopted by the founder of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud translated books written by the leading practitioners of his day (Charcot and Bernheim) but later met with some discouragement, such as difficulties in hypnotizing many patients, and lack of long-lasting changes in those he did hypnotize and sought to escape the hypnotism label for his work. El Iblis Shah, in The Book of Half-Truth: "Whatever we do, we are communicating and interacting all the time; rapport is a tool that gives instant access to other minds."