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Massage is the ancient study and skills of various forms of which help to heal, relax, and realign the physical body in ways that some modern medicine is incapable of doing. Its techniques require advanced training in anatomy and physiology, as the practitioners of massage commonly use manipulation, movement and the body's natural systems to affect structures of the body. Originating from the skilled physicians of Eyktol, massage has spread across the land, and its effects are widely enjoyed by many Mizaharians, from the weary and pained Syliras Knights to the hedonistic and pleasure-loving Eypharians.

The tools of the trade are just as important to the practice as are the hands. The most common and highly recognized is the massage table, upon which the recipient of the massage stretches out to give full access to the body. Less observed are the oils, heated stones, towels, and body rollers which are commonly utilized through a massage. Massage is a widely underestimated skill; many believe they can simply place their hands upon another and reap the same benefits as a seasoned practitioner, but the studies of the body takes upwards of a full year to understand the rudimentary skills. The practice is most common in Eyktol, particularly Ahnatep, where the many-armed Eypharians are inarguably the masters of the skill.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

Lore of race-specific anatomy. Examples Lore of Human Anatomy, Eypharian Anatomy, Jamoura Anatomy, etc. Note: If one is preforming massage on a person outside of the racial lore they possess, they operate automatically one level lower than they actually have.

Skill Progression

Novice (1-25)
A novice practitioner understands the basics of massage. They are knowledgeable about a specific type of humanoid anatomy and are thus capable of giving "good" massages. At the moment, while they have the knowledge of anatomy, they are only beginning to grasp the theory and practice of how to manipulate muscular layers and the general idea of where pressure points are. Their hands are untried and clumsy.

In this stage they focus more upon the basics of massage and the relaxation of their clients, by causing the muscles to relax by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.

At this level they have begun to successfully learn and practice pain relief techniques such as easing headaches, muscle spasms and cramping.

Competent (26-50)
A competent practitioner has become more comfortable with the humanoid anatomy, and has developed a greater understanding in its flow and manipulation; with practice, their touch has become fluid and sure. They can now comfortably manipulate several pressure points, mapping out nearly a full quarter of the body, which make their massages and sessions all the more effective. If another who is studying massage is present or if the practitioner possesses multiple limbs, the practitioner has the option and knowledge to give a four-handed massage, which involves massaging both the left and right sides in identical motion to give a balanced experience.

Their studies have also advanced to a point that they are capable of performing hot stone massages, in which heated, smoothed stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles, and balance energy centers in the body. For those who prefer a lighter massage, hot stones are ideal for easing muscle tension. A competent practitioner has become experienced with herbs and oils, and has begun to utilize them in their sessions. Certain scents, such as peppermint and spearmint, induces a calming, relaxed state, which aids in the massage.

At this level, they are capable of restoring circulation to numb or pained limbs, and are capable of easing chronic pain, splitting headaches, and fatigue.

Expert (51-75)
The expert Masseuse has come a long way from their unsure touches, and it shows greatly in her work. There are few pauses in their motion, and the pressure points of the body are nearly second nature to them; half of the body's points are well known and often touched upon in a session to maximize effect. Through experience and intense study of the muscular system, they are capable of giving deep tissue massages, which affect the sub layer of the musculature and fascia. As a deep tissue massage helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain, an expert practitioner of massage is highly valued in bath houses or hospitals to treat people with painful, crippling injuries.

At this level, the skills of the masseuse seem almost supernatural, on par with the Opal Order; they can free movement in limbs that are paralyzed with hard, knotty scar tissue and loosen old wounds such as badly healed breaks to allow new, previously inexperienced movement. Patients whose muscles have atrophied will find themselves almost fully cured after a mere two to three sessions on an expert masseuse's table.

Master (76-100)
A master of massage is well known and sought after by many. They have no pause in their sessions; their movement of touch, of pressure and manipulation are as smooth as the flowing water in a river. Simple ailments such as a headache or a hot, tight, cramped muscle are no challenge to them, and can be cured often with a simple touch. Their advanced knowledge of the body allow them to give incredible deep tissue massages that leave one feeling rejuvenated at the end of a session, many claiming to feel as though they were born again.

The master Masseur is capable of pinpointing the root of any ache or pain without fail, and is quick and efficient in treating it. They possess complete and intimate knowledge of the humanoid anatomy, and every pressure point, important and stray, are known to the master. The location of pressure points have become such basic knowledge to the masseur that they are able to enhance the flow of djed in another and thus enhance the abilities of a user of Flux. He knows where to touch to promote circulation of the blood, relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus, neck, and back problems and a slew of more. People struggling to heal from wounds will find their recovery sped quickly along from a session, no matter the injury.

In Massage, local symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. A tension headache, for instance, may be rooted in the shoulder and neck area. Thus, a practitioner focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, as well as responding to tension before it develops into a disease—before the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage, yet a Master can do this in simple touches. Those who have gone under the hands of a master masseuse have claimed "miracles"; massage has helped the infertile become fertile, the impotent to become potent, and smokers have found their lungs cleared of the brutal toxins which plagued them.