Whether it be a cough, the stomach flu, or an upcoming pregnancy, the Themblise doctors often have a solution. Whether or not this medication works is another story…Unfortunately, the Themblise do not have the knowledge of modern medicine.
The health of the average Themblise citizen varies, depending on their specie and genetics, their age, their location, and, of course, their economic state. Despite this, there are several ways that the Themblise believe you can have good health, and not all of them are physical. Of course, health fads come and go, but for most of the time, these hold true.
Themblise place a high importance on food, as they are an agricultural society and have made meals a valuable part of the Themblise culture. They believe that eating a lot of food is important to one’s health. This unfortunately leads to many obese wealthy creatures, although the average Themblise citizen doesn’t earn enough to have copious amounts of food, especially since families tend to be large.
Food is also one of their links to community. Having a healthy social life is considered to be a part of a healthy mind. Whether it be chatting, playing games, or singing songs together in the fields, socialization is a must. Severe introverts, those with depression, and hermits are considered to be leading an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, it is usually assumed that someone with social anxiety simply hasn’t been around people enough.
Themblise also value exercise, as it is believed to expel the foul air and inhale clean air. The airs will be explained more below. The average Themblise has a physically demanding lifestyle, whether it be hauling nets full of fish, pulling a plow, or flying messages. A fit creature is thought to be proactive, a hard worker, and dependable. Overweight and obese creatures are looked upon with suspicion, and thought to be lazy and unambitious. Stretching has been growing popularity in recent years with a dedicated cat named Murent making headway with his luxuriously long back stretches.
The Themblise encourage good hygiene, as it helps prevent disease, discourages fleas and ticks, as well as promotes good body odor. The hot Themblise summers are a strong encouragement to take baths to cool down, get rid of sweat, and wash away body odors. While most towns use a local creek or pond or another body of water, cities often have at least one bathhouse that is open to the public. Dust baths are also incredibly popular in Themble. These appeal to birds, horses, dogs, cats, pigs, and more.
Many Themblise consider that a strong like to their deity Ravieka to be a part of a healthy mind. They believe that Ravieka is a part of each and every one of them, experiencing what they lives, feeling their emotions. Because of this, Themblise try to focus on the positive, to appreciate beauty, and to generous to others, even non-believers. Of course, being mortal, most Themblise are absolutely terrible at this. However, due to this thought, there is a general but severe misunderstanding towards mental health, such as depression and PTSD.
Due to the high amount of accidents, many Themblise have physical impairments that cannot be fixed due to lack of medical knowledge and technology. Because of these, Themblise rarely blink if someone has a physical disability. Those born with a physical disabilities, such as spina bifida, are considered to be unlucky, but rarely cursed or a threat to society
Despite the fact that physical disabilities are widely accepted in Themble, the same cannot be said for those who have a developmental delay or a mental illnesses. There is the strong and fervent belief that any child born with a severe developmental delay or mental illness must be mundane. There is no greater horror than to have a child born of a civilized family be mundane, a simple beast, stupid, unthinking. It is believed to be a sign that civilized creatures are coming to an end, or that the mother bred with a mundane beast (which is impossible to have offspring with, and it utterly despicable breed with anyway). Neither of these are true, but Themblise do not know this, as without knowledge of genetics or mental illness, it is the only conclusion they know.
Themblise do not believe that the “mundane” child has the right live, being an affront to nature and cruelly stupid. Unlike some societies, which will kill the entire family, the Themblise only kill the child, preferably by suffocation. Although incredibly rare, some families brave ostracization or worse by choosing to keep their child.
Those who lose their memories or whose mental health regresses severely are not considered to have become mundane. Themblise do not believe anyone can become mundane unless born mundane (which is true). Those with progressed Alzheimer’s or suffer from a sudden accident and lose mental faculties are to be pitied and cared for to the best of the family’s abilities. It is sometimes believed that people who lose their mental faculties one way or another has lost all or part their piece of Ravieka.
The Themblise doctors believe that illness are caused by a variety of situations, especially airs. Foul air, such as that around sickness, the sewers, and rotting corpses, cause creatures to get sick. Clean air, found in spring meadows, on the beach, and in forests, promotes wellness and healing. When someone falls ill, it is because they breathed in too much foul air. If they are not healed after breathing in clean air, then it is believed that one of the six Petals of the Flower has been corrupted.
The Flower of Six Petals
The Themblise do not actually believe there is a Flower of Six Petals, but rather use it as symbolism. It is a concept that originated in Darid and traveled east. The story of the Flower of Six Petals can be read here.
The idea is that the body is controlled by six elements: dry, wet, hot, cold, Ravieka (soul/spirit, or mind), and magic. If any of these are affected by foul air or injury, then a creature becomes sick.
A doctor with the knowledge of the six petals will attempt to heal the body with magic, with herbal and mineral medication, and with prayer. A person burning with a fever will be treated as if their cold petal is underreacting or their hot petal is overreacting. In this case, cold compresses may be applied. A person who is showing signs of lacking in magic may be treated with high-powered charms in the hopes of the charms radiating magic back into the patient. Another concept is to paint geometric lines across the body of the patient, with the theory that the magic will spread faster and farther.
Using plants as medicine is one of the most common treatments for illnesses. Aloe is used for those common sunburns that humans and cupidines are susceptible to. For painful urination, fennel is often prescribed. Bruises are treated with comfrey. Lozenges are made from honey infused with ginger, lemon, and a hint of cinnamon. Willow bark is used for all sorts of pain management, from headaches to muscle cramps.
Minerals and Metal as Medicine
Minerals are sometimes used to promote good health. Salt is sometimes used as a electrolyte for a dehydrated body, while salt water is often used for toothaches and for encouraging wounds to heal. Some doctors believe that ingesting a little bit of gold can help promote magic in the body, but swallowing this metal is uncommon due to its cost. Iron and silver are two of greatest enemies of healing, since they cause magic to stop working well, or at all.
Charms as Medicine
Charms are often placed on the body to promote certain affects. Although certain charms can be expensive, charms are also incredibly reliable. A charm that is designed to cool down the body will always continually cool down the body as long as it is charged with magic. However, charms do have a certain amount of danger to them if used incorrectly. For instance, a cheap charm designed to cool may not have the runes inscribed that tell the magic when it should stop chilling the object it is on. While handy if making ice, it is not so beneficial to give someone frostbite.
Charms do as the runes and materials that make them up tell them to do. As long as they are charged with magic, a charm will continually react. If a cooling charm is used, then while it is magically activated, it will cool anything it touches. Certain charms use magic rapidly, and therefore are needed to be magically charged often.
Painting geometric patterns on a patient is a common theory thought to help spread the affects of a charm farther. Certain colors and patterns are thought to be more beneficial with certain charms. Unfortunately, this theory is incorrect, but it does make patients look cool.
Magical Abilities as Medicine
If a doctor has magical abilities, they will often use them to help heal patients. Aerona and vitakinesis are the two most helpful magical abilities, as aerona can sense illness and injury, while vitakinesis promotes healing. Unfortunately, these two abilities are relatively uncommon. Empathy and hypnosis can be used to calm a patient. Telepathy, which is an incredibly common ability, is often used to call for supplies or pass messages without alarming the patient. Doctors often have to be resourceful, and tend to use whatever their magical ability is in the most effective way possible.
Surgeries are common in Themble. Stitches are oftentimes required for large cuts, while amputations are sometimes needed in workplace accidents. And, of course, war creates a large number of desperate patients. Opium or a rare numbing charm, as well as strong alcohol, are typically used for pain relief. Surgical tools are typically made out of bronze, although copper tools exist as well. They are boiled in water before and use, as it has been found to prevent infection. It is assumed that this causes any foul airs that are attached to be washed off.
Hospitals are only found in the cities, currently. Chaeropan, the former capital of Bevenkras, was the home of the first hospital. Isbit, capital of Croon, has the largest medical school, the Coastal Flower. The doctors of the Coastal Flower work hard to promote modern health and medicine everywhere, and not just in Croon.
Most doctors live in a town and travel to whomever needs them. They rarely have a formal education, but learned as an apprentice to the former doctor.
Themblise have no knowledge of bacteria or germs. Many creatures use their mouths to interact with the world because they lack hands or telekinesis. Because of this, disease is often spread quickly, despite the Themblise theory of foul and clean airs.
The human doctor Fraer (170-218) went on a long campaign during his lifetime. He firmly believed that unsanitary conditions made diseases spread, and focused on the creation of sewers. He wrote extensively about in his memoir, which included data from dozens of towns and cities.
Unfortunately, no one with enough power or money to create a sewer system listened to him. It was not until the 300’s when his memoir was rediscovered. Now most of Themble have a basic sewer system, but the cities have extensive sewer systems made of clay or lead pipes.