The art of alleviating pain in Greek mythology

Ture H., Ture U., Gogus F., Valavanis A., Yasargil M.

NEUROSURGERY, cilt.56, ss.178-185, 2005 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier


WE REVIEWED MANY of the essential Greek myths to identify the methods used at that time to relieve the pain of both illness and surgery, and we discovered many pioneering methods. Both gods and demigods implemented these methods to ease pain, to conduct surgery, and, on occasion, to kill mythological beings. The myths describe the three most common components of anesthesia: hypnosis, amnesia, and (an)algesia. Drugs and music-aided hypnosis were two of the most common methods use to treat emotional and surgical pain. This article identifies highlights in the development of concepts to treat pain in Greek mythology. The examples found in the Greek myths remind us of the historical significance of pain treatment.