Have you wondered why do we say – I am having a splitting headache?
According to Greek mythology, once Zeus heard that Metis would give birth to a child who would become the king of gods and would rival Zeus in wisdom and courage. To avoid competition, Zeus induced the pregnant Metis to his couch and tricked her to become small enough to swallow her up! This way, he had eliminated competition and had also the wisdom within him.
While walking down a lake one evening, Zeus had an unbearable headache. When he started howling in pain, Prometheus (another god who is supposed to have given mankind the art of fire) came to Zeus’s aid. With the help of his axe, he gave a splitting blow to Zeus’s head to release the goddess Athena, since then the goddess of wisdom and courage!
The imagery of splitting headache has stuck on since then!
While at it, the phrase chronic headache also has Greek origins. “Chronic” comes from the Greek god named, Chronos meaning “time”. When we talk about chronic headache we mean a re-occurring headache!
So next time you have a splitting or a chronic headache, feel good about its mythological origins!!
Before we wind up on headaches, the Chinese mythology refers to what is known as “Headache sutra” which is a Buddhist mantra which was recited by a Bodhisattva to chastise the Sun!
I am sure we don’t need such sutra’s, as our environment is enough to give us both splitting and chronic headaches!