During the late nineteenth century, Spanish physicians had few chances to observe how hypnosis worked within a clinical context. However, they had abundant opportunities to watch lay hypnotizers in action during private demonstrations or on stage. Drawing on the exemplary cases of the magnetizers Alberto Santini Sgaluppi (a.k.a. Alberto Das) and Onofroff, in this paper I discuss the positive influence of stage magnetizers on medical hypnosis in Spain. I argue that, owing to the absence of medical training in hypnosis, the stage magnetizers’ demonstrations became practical hypnosis lessons for many physicians willing to learn from them instead of condemning them. I conclude that Spain might be no exception in this regard, and that further research should be undertaken into practices in other countries.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society.