Can Daith Piercings Cure Migraines?

Alicia Bayer

Daith piercings, which involve piercing through the ear’s innermost cartilage fold, have become a popular new trend in managing chronic migraines and headaches. Many people are now reporting that the piercings have stopped or dramatically slowed their migraines.

The concept behind daith piercings for migraine relief is rooted in acupuncture and pressure points. BME Encyclopedia explains that the theory is that the piercings apply pressure to the same pressure point that is targeted by acupuncturists to relieve chronic headaches.

Daith piercings were first introduced in 1992, but were only recently recommended as a treatment for chronic headaches and migraines.

Quite a few people have reported getting impressive relief from migraines and headaches since getting daith piercings. The Liecester Mercury reports on one woman who suffered daily headaches and migraines several times a week. She says that daith piercings changed her life. The newspaper reports that Natalie Thompson, a human resources officer, said the following.

“The pain of my constant headaches was seven out 10 – it is now three out of 10 and I haven’t had a migraine since then.

“It is just brilliant. There has been no discomfort and I feel I have got my life back.”

However, she cautioned that while it does seem to have worked for her, she is still taking her medication and seeing her medical consultant every six months.

Since getting her piercings, Thompson has started the Daith Club on Facebook and the Daith Club on Twitter, where people can share posts, news stories and questions about people’s experiences with daith piercings.

Nicole Bandes also claims to have found headache and migraine relief from her daith piercing.

She shared her success story and answered question in a lengthy Facebook post.

“I’ve now had this for over 6 months and can honestly admit that is has worked for me,” she reported. “I’ve seen a reduction in frequency and intensity of my migraines where nothing else seemed to help.”

Since getting her daith piercing, Bandes said she has had almost no migraines and had dramatically reduced her use of drugs to deal with the migraines.

Bandes reports that the piercing did not hurt as much as she expected, but that healing was difficult. She cautioned that she needed to soak it in salt water several times a day and that it took several months to heal completely. She later updated the post to add that she had her second ear pierced several months later since she was still suffering from occasional migraines, and that it healed faster and easier than the first. She reported that the second piercing even further reduced her migraines.

Twitter is full of testimonies from people who have elected to get daith piercings and report good results.

Others report no difference, even more migraines, or other unwanted consequences.

While there are many other testimonials about daith piercings relieving chronic headache and migraine pain online, there are also detractors. Headache and Migraine News reminds readers that there have been no studies showing that daith piercings work. To date, no studies have been done at all on these piercings. They caution that piercings can trigger migraines.

Dr. Thomas Cohn, who blogs at Minnesota Physical Medicine Blog, has suggestions if you’re tempted to try a daith piercing but are unsure.

Dr. Cohn advises migraine sufferers who are afraid of needles to try massaging the daith piercing location to see if they can still obtain relief.

“If you begin to have a migraine, take your thumb and middle finger and gently massage that location on your ear. Switch ears after a few minutes, or massage both at the same time. If you notice significant relief, and you deal with regular headaches, a daith piercing could be a worthwhile solution.”

He also suggests visiting an acupuncturist first to see if that provides relief. If it does, that’s a good sign that a daith piercing could offer longer lasting relief.

Daith piercings, like all piercings, are not without risks and require proper after-care. Body Piercing Magazine offers information about what to expect and how to properly care for daith piercings. They say that these piercings will be fully healed in three-to-six months. Daith piercings cost an average of $40-$50 at reputable piercing parlors.

The daith forum at Tribalectic has first person accounts of what it was like for others to get daith piercings. Note that this is a site about piercings in general, and many of those who obtained daith piercings did so for cosmetic purposes and not for headache or migraine relief. This is a good site to read first-person accounts of what to expect in terms of pain and recovery, however.

As of now, there are no definitive answers on whether daith piercings will help treat chronic headache and migraine pain. While there are many people who claim to have found significant relief since getting the piercing, others report no relief. Naysayers also suggest that the relief may be a placebo effect.

For those with chronic headache and migraine pain who don’t mind the look or discomfort of piercings, daith piercing certainly may be a treatment to explore.

[Features Image by lemmyrose on Twitter]