How Was a Headache Treated in Ancient Times?

Headaches are a common ailment that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. It’s a throbbing pain that can affect one or both sides of the head.

In modern times, we have numerous over-the-counter medications to treat headaches, but have you ever wondered how people treated headaches in ancient times? Let’s take a look at some of the methods used.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. This practice has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, including headaches. According to traditional Chinese medicine, headaches are caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy flow, and acupuncture helps to restore balance.

Herbs and Plants

In ancient times, people used various herbs and plants to treat headaches. For example, feverfew was commonly used in medieval Europe to relieve migraines. Willow bark was also used as it contains salicin, which is similar to aspirin and helps alleviate pain.


Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years and was also used to treat headaches in ancient times. In India, Ayurvedic massage techniques were used to relieve tension headaches by applying pressure to specific points on the head and neck.

Pressure Points

In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda practices, pressure points on the body are believed to be linked to specific organs and can be manipulated to treat various ailments. For example, applying pressure on the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger is believed to alleviate headache pain.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy involves placing cups on the skin and creating suction using heat or a vacuum pump. This practice has been used for centuries in many cultures worldwide. In ancient Egypt, cupping therapy was used to treat headaches by placing cups on the temples and neck to improve blood flow.


In conclusion, people in ancient times used various methods to treat headaches, and many of these practices are still used today. As with any medical condition, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative treatments.