Just as a G-rated side note... I did find something about mesmerism and some sort of faith healing thing.
Here's a direct quote from Wikipedia:
"As postulated by Franz Mesmer in the 18th century, [animal magnetism] referred to a supposed magnetic fluid or ethereal medium believed to reside in the bodies of animate beings (i.e., those who breathe). ... The theory became the basis of treatment in Europe and the United States that sometimes depended on "laying on of hands," and was popular into the nineteenth century.
Which really only opens up a whole new can of worms, right???