A vitalist. Represented by a mosaic of Asclepius found in a bathroom. Taken by Ivan Ivanov.

Asclepius (/æsˈkliːpiəs/; Greek: Ἀσκληπιός Asklēpiós [asklɛːpiós]; Latin Aesculapius) a god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Hygiene", the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis. He was one of Apollo's sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.

The Vitalists of Asclepius are also known as Therapeutae. They are a healing order that turns to science and naturalistic means first and foremost, following the example of Asclepius. They use their psionic abilities to heal when "no one is looking." Publically, this means that they deride supernatural means of healing as a matter of course, privately they use "supernatural" means of healing to cure dis-ease and to heal the body.  Specifically, this is the power of the Mind, which all Vitalists of Asclepius view as superior to any drug, or herbal remedy.

Healing TechniquesEdit

Non-mental techniques are employed by these Therapuetae.  They include precise surgery, the resetting of broken bones using a machine, and a few drugs and herbal remedies that do work.  The Vitalists use certain surgical techniques:

Scalpels: Could be made of either steel or bronze. Ancient scalpels had almost the same form and function as those of today. The most ordinary type of scalpels in antiquity were the longer, steel scalpels. These long scalpels could be used to make a variety of incisions, but they seem to be particularly suited for deep or long cuts. Smaller, bronze scalpels, referred to as bellied scalpels, were also used frequently by surgeons in antiquity since the shape allowed for delicate and precise cuts to be made.

Hooks: A common instrument used regularly by Roman and Greek doctors. The ancient doctors used two basic types of hooks: sharp hooks and blunt hooks. Blunt hooks were used primarily as probes for dissection and for raising blood vessels. Sharp hooks, on the other hand, were used to hold and lift small pieces of tissue so that they could be extracted, and to retract the edges of wounds.

Bone Drills: Driven in their rotary motion by means of a thong in various configurations. Roman and Greek physicians used bone drills in order to remove diseased bone tissue from the skull and to remove foreign objects (such as a weapon) from a bone.

Forceps: Forceps were often used in conjunction with bone drills. They were used by ancient doctors to extract small fragments of bone which could not be grasped by the fingers.

Catheters: Used in order to open up a blocked urinary tract which allowed urine to pass freely from the body. Early catheters were hollow tubes made of steel or bronze, and had two basic designs. There were catheters with a slight S curve for male patients and a straighter one for females. There were similar shaped devices called bladder sounds that were used to probe the bladder in search of calcifications.

Uvula Crushing Forceps: These finely toothed jawed forceps were designed to facilitate the amputation of the uvula. The procedure called for the physician to crush the uvula with forceps before cutting it off in order to prevent hemorrhaging.

Vaginal Specula: Among the most complex instruments used by Roman and Greek physicians. Most of the vaginal specula that have survived and been discovered consist of a screw device which, when turned, forces a cross-bar to push the blades outwards.

Spatula: This instrument was used to mix and apply various ointments to patients.

Surgical saw: This instrument was used to cut through bones in amputations and surgeries.

Battlefield and Adventuring VitalistsEdit