Hypnosis was created by the Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 18th century. Mesmer believed that hysteria was created by a poor distribution of magnetic fluid in the body, and that this fluid could be made to distribute properly. Mesmer would have his patient sit in a dark room and take rods that have soaked in different chemicals and touch the afflicted parts of the patients. The rods were thought to adjust the magnetic fluid in each of their bodies. Later, Mesmer enhanced this practice by not using the rods and simply looking at his patients instead. This is were we get the word mesmerize, used in hypnosis.