Can Daith Piercings Help Migraines? It's Not A Guarantee, But It May Be Worth A Shot
If you happen to be one of those people who knows the unfortunate reality of unbearable headaches and migraines that often derail full days of your life, you might want to consider getting something called a daith piercing. Many people who deal with regular headaches are starting to think that daith piercings can help migraines, primarily for the same reasons that acupuncture can reduce bodily pain.
In case you're not familiar with it, a daith piercing is a piercing that passes through the innermost cartilage fold of your ear, in the exact place where an acupuncture needle would go in your ear during a treatment session. Some practitioners have claimed that getting a daith piercing can significantly reduce the severity and frequency of migraines for those who suffer from that type of pain, but TBH, is there any scientific evidence for this claim?
The most direct answer is that there isn't any definitive proof — not yet, at least. But it's more complicated than that, according to Dr. Will Foster, a Tennessee-based acupuncturist, who spoke to the Knoxville news outlet Local 8 Now WVLT about how effective daith piercings might be for migraines. Dr. Foster explained that it's not just about piercing that inner fold of cartilage, but rather piercing it correctly so that the piercing hits a specific pressure point located within the tissue.
The success of the daith piercing may hinge upon whether the needle pierces that specific compression point.
"There are zones on the ear that correspond directly to zones on the body," Dr. Foster explained, adding that "some people get good results, [and] some people don't." Either way, he suggests any migraine patient get a full medical workup before resorting to a piercing as a solution.
Another argument for why the piercing seems to work for some people is the placebo effect: They think that it will protect them from migraines, and that psychological faith actually helps in preventing the migraine from occurring by lowering their stress levels.
Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any studies out there confirming how effective a daith piercing might actually be for migraine treatment.
What's more, getting a piercing always poses a risk of infection, so your piercing might actually cause more pain, rather than relieving any.
Of course, if you suffer from chronic migraines, and you haven't had any luck with prescribed meds, you're probably willing to try just about anything to get rid of that splitting pain. Subscribers to the online forum The Daily Migraine have provided a range of testimonials about how their daith piercing helped or didn't help their migraines. One user, AmyAnderson1971, reported her daith piercing as a total cure, writing, "Had both sides done Dec. 30. No migraine since, even with my period. I was averaging 15 headaches/migraines a month." But another user, CDumont, reported no changes whatsoever: "I had mine for about three weeks and haven't noticed a change in frequency or pain level unfortunately. It is a cute piercing though but it did hurt."
Bottom line: The jury is out on just how effective a daith piercing is in this circumstance.
If you do suffer from migraines, there are several potential treatment options out there besides getting a piercing.
You could try actual acupuncture, or other stress-reducing practices like yoga, meditation, or any form of deep breathing exercise. You could also incorporate essential oils, new dietary changes, or speak to a doctor about herbal treatments and supplements that you might not know about.
If your chronic migraines won't go away, it's definitely best to follow Dr. Foster's advice and get a full medical workup prior to seeking any alternative method of treatment. Migraines can stand alone, or they can be symptomatic of a bigger issue, so it's important to be communicative with health professionals so that you can rule out any serious health risks.
Plus, you could always just get the daith piercing for the hell of it. It's definitely pretty cute on its own.