Sixty-two female patients with chronic tension headache were randomly divided into two treatment groups - acupuncture and physiotherapy. Their overall function (Sickness Impact Profile), and mental well-being (Mood Adjective Check List) and the intensity and frequency of headache were assessed before and after treatment. Before treatment the patients showed significantly more dysfunction and less positive mental well-being than a general population sample. Both treatment groups improved in overall function, the physiotherapy group somewhat more, The mental well-being increased only in the physiotherapy group. The intensity and frequency of headache was significantly reduced in both the physiotherapy group and the acupuncture group. The intensity of headache was significantly more improved in the physiotherapy group. The improvement of headache intensity persisted unchanged 7–12 months after treatment.