According to a study conducted by the Society for Headache and Migraine Patients in Greece, it appears that the majority of the country’s citizens still believe that the ‘mati’, most commonly known as the ‘evil eye’ is the main cause of headache.

Out of the 10 thousand people that participated in the nationwide study over six thousand believe that spells to rid of the ‘evil eye’ (xematiasma) can cure migraines, headaches, excessive yawning, stomach ache and so on actually work.

It is surprising that 40 per cent of Greeks believe that the ‘evil eye’ is real anyway even though the study’s intention was to gauge and raise public awareness regarding the causes and cures for headaches ahead or World Migraine Day which falls on 12 September.

Six out of 10 respondents told researchers that they usually blame their headaches on mal-intended people and over 40 per cent are certain religious or occult/pagan incantations can help cure them.

“There is a prevalence of misguided theories concerning headaches and their cure,” said Dr Dimos Mitsikostas, an associate professor of neurology at Athens University and head of the Society for Headache and Migraine Patients.

“It is important to dispel these prevalent myth and to break certain taboos, like fear of visiting a neurologist. Headaches are discounted by the boss, the romantic partner and often even by the doctor.

“Most people associate headaches with some psychological factor when they are, in fact, cause by a biological disorder of the brain,” Mitsikostas added explaining that that women are more prone to such beliefs than men.

“We found that two-fifth of women have a genetic predisposition, while 8.2 percent of the population suffers from headaches and migraines,” the doctor said stressing that everyone should keep in mind frequent migraines and headaches may also be genetic or a result of certain food and drink consumption, weather conditions and life changes.