Can A Daith Piercing Treat A Migraine
“A daith piercing has not been shown, scientifically, to be helpful in preventing migraines,” says Rashmi Halker Singh, M.D., a board-certified headache medicine neurologist and associate professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic. “Some people might have a temporary benefit, a placebo effect, but there’s no long-lasting benefit from doing a daith piercing for migraines. It’s a defunct myth.” (
Bershtein was told as much when she went to her local professional piercer, who asked her if she was getting the piercing for migraines. “I said yes, and he said he was just going to give me a full disclaimer that there’s no evidence it works he’s happy to pierce me, but it’s not an end-all, be-all treatment,” she shares.
Paul Fox, a professional piercer at True Expression in New York City, gives his clients the same disclaimer when they ask for a daith piercing in hopes of treating migraines. “I tell every single client that I’m not a professional medical doctor,” says Fox, who has been piercing professionally since 1999. “I tell them I will place and make the daith piercing look perfect, and that it’s going to be beautiful and the jewelry is going to be high quality because that’s just what we do, but I am not curing anything.”
Even still, Fox says he has clients who report back post-piercing, claiming that it helps “And who I am to say it didn’t work for them?”
Medications To Treat Migraines
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to help treat migraines. In general, there are two types of medications for migraines medications you take when a migraine strikes and everyday medications to prevent migraines, Ahmed says.
When a migraine starts, you can take “basic painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or a specific treatment like triptans that work on a chemical called serotonin,” Ahmed says. In some cases, these methods may not be enough to control your pain and it may be helpful to visit your doctor to determine if other medications are necessary.
To prevent migraines, a doctor may prescribe medications including:
- Beta blockers like propranolol and metoprolol
- Anticonvulsants like topiramate and divalproex
- Antidepressants like venlafaxine and amitriptyline
- asCGRP inhibitors like Aimovig Emgality, or Ubrelvy
You might also want to consider botox injections for migraines. Botox is a toxin that can stop your nerve endings from releasing pain signals when it’s injected into your skin.
“Botox injections given every three months to prevent chronic migraine has become very popular,” Ahmed says. So far, studies suggest that Botox can significantly reduce migraines and may work as well as preventive medications like topiramate.
How Acupuncture Helps With Migraines
Research shows that acupuncture reduces the frequency of migraines. Its effect is similar to preventative medications, and it controls the painful symptoms. The tiny spot near the place where daith piercing is carried out is also recognized as a pressure point for migraines.
The acupuncturist inserts fine needles into particular points of the body and stimulates them manually or electrically. It causes the blood vessels around the needle to dilate and increase the blood flow to the tissues. Acupuncture is executed by a highly trained and skilled acupuncturist who knows all about pressure points and easing headache pain most effectively.
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What Piercing Helps With Tension Headaches
A septum piercing is believed to offer some measure of therapeutic relief for those who suffer from chronic tension headaches. Since the piercing goes on the dividing line between the upper and lower halves of the nose, it is thought to allow both halves of the brain to become more balanced. Some people who get a septum piercing report an immediate decline in the frequency and severity of the tension headaches..
Can You Change A Daith Piercing Yourself
After about 4 to 6 months, you can change out your jewelry. Remember that cartilage piercing, like the daith piercing, do take between 6-9 months to heal completely, if not longer depending on your own body and how well aftercare was performed. Is your piercing free of discharge, redness and irritation?
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Daith Piercing Reviews: The Ugly
Are daith piercings dangerous? Not quite, but they do come with risks, of course.
The piercing process itself can be painful, and the area can remain tender for weeks while it heals. As with any piercing, the daith piercing also carries a risk of infection. For a few of the people who wrote in, the experience was unpleasant:
Expect pain.“No daith piercing for me. I’m too scared.” Judy B.
They can close up if the jewelry is removed.“Tried both daith piercing and acupuncture, no relief for me with either. Had to take the daith piercings out for an MRI and they closed over anyway. Even though they didn’t work I was going to keep them because they were cute, but as a migraine sufferer you’re always having tests and removing jewelry anyway!” Peta H.
It might make it worse, or disappoint.” I did not receive any relief from my headache piercing, in fact, I think it made them worse. I had it for 10 days, had migraines for most of those days and ended up taking it out because it was just the most terrible headaches I have ever had. Not to mention I had a rejection and now two weeks after having it removed I am still having migraines every day and there is pressure on the inside of my ear. I got mine pierced at a reputable establishment where they do thousands of these yearly. It is all about your individual anatomy, I’m not too sure there is a cure for migraines. Good luck to anyone who has had results, I hope it continues for you and you have relief.” Sharon P.
Possible Risks Of Tragus Piercing
The most obvious risk with tragus piercing for migraine is that youll go through it and it either wont help, or even make things worse. Since there is no way to know if it will work for you until you try it, youre definitely taking that risk. And if you ever decide to remove the piercing, there is likely to be a visible mark left behind.
As with any piercing, there is also some pain involved. There is a lot of cleaning and aftercare required, and the piercing could take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to heal. If you have diabetes, hemophilia, autoimmune disease, or other conditions that could compromise your bodys ability to heal, you should avoid a tragus piercing.
Tragus piercings also carry a risk of infection. Cartilage piercings like the tragus are more likely to lead to infection than those in the earlobe, and antibiotics dont always work. In rare cases, infections in cartilage piercing infections have led to toxic shock syndrome or , which are both life threatening.
Other potential risk of tragus piercing could include:
- Bad placement of jewelry
- Allergic reaction to the metals
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Tragus Piercings For Migraine: Could It Work
According to the American Migraine Foundation, up to 80 percent of folks who live with headache and migraine disorders have tried alternative treatments. One of these methods is the tragus piercing. Heres why it might work.
The tragus piercing may help stimulate the vagus nerve, the longest of the 12 cranial nerves. It carries tons of info from your brain to your organs and vice versa.
According to the American Headache Society, vagus nerve stimulation may help with chronic headache conditions like migraine and cluster headaches. VNS may also help treat chronic inflammation disorders like:
How To Manage Migraine Pain
While migraine headaches cannot be cured, they can be effectively managed. There are two main treatment approaches that involve medication. The first is called abortive, or acute, where medication is taken at the first sign of a migraine, while the pain is mild.1 This method functions by helping to stop or decrease migraine symptoms so that you can get on with your day without being completely incapacitated. The other type of treatment is referred to as preventative these drugs are usually prescribed when migraines are severe, frequently occurring, and significantly interfere with daily life.1
Many individuals find that over-the-counter medications are effective for managing mild to moderate migraines and their symptoms. Excedrin® Migraine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating these headaches.1 In clinical studies, patients experiencing moderate to severe migraines found effective relief from their symptoms with just one dose. This acute pain management drug contains acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.
Treating migraines can take some trial and error as you find the solution that works the best for you and your symptoms. Ear piercing for migraine relief may sound like a great way to permanently relief your headaches, but it is scientifically unfounded. You may find that you are best able to manage your pain with clinically proven medication.
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Are Headaches A Common Side Effect Of Piercings
Theres very little medical research that says new ear piercings commonly cause headaches. Headaches arent among the most common side effects of piercings. However, anecdotal evidence suggests its not an unusual side effect.
Piercings arent the most comfortable procedures to begin with. Certainly, any well-trained technician will take measures to make the piercing more comfortable, but some initial reactions may include:
- pain at the piercing site
- skin irritation
If you develop a headache, its likely a result of some mild pain and discomfort caused by the piercing.
This may be especially true for piercings in areas of cartilage, like the inner ear. Softer tissues, like the earlobe, may be less likely to result in additional issues.
Does It Actually Work
In theory, it sounds like there might be something to getting a daith piercing to relieve migraine headaches, but experts say there’s no definitive proof. Womp womp.
There is no large randomized controlled studythe gold standardto prove daith piercing helps,” Dr. Rajneesh says.
Dr. Sachdev agrees. Having a piercing placed in the daith region of the ear is not well established to influence burden of headache in patients with headache disorders, he says. That doesn’t mean it can’t helpit’s just that it hasn’t been studied and proven to work.
“We know that non-Western styles of medicine, including acupuncture, are well developed and benefit many,” Dr. Sachdev says. “It is possible that this style of piercing helps prevent migraines. However, I don’t have enough study to know why.”
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How Its Said To Work
The theory behind ear cartilage piercings for migraines is similar to the theory behind acupuncture. Acupuncturists believe that electricity, nerve endings, and pressure points in your body can be stimulated, realigned, and otherwise modified to treat pain.
In the case of tragus piercings, the theory hinges on the vagus nerve. This is the longest of the 10 nerves extending from the bottom of your brain into the rest of your body.
Some health conditions, like depression and epilepsy, have already been proven to respond to vagus nerve stimulation, in cases where other treatments didnt work.
According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers are looking into ways that vagus nerve stimulation may also treat headaches. People who get piercings to treat migraines believe that puncturing the daith or tragus provides vagus nerve stimulation.
Do Daith Ear Piercings Help Prevent Migraine Experts Review
Posted by Carl Cincinnato | Nov 18, 2015 | Treatments | 115
A special type of daith ear piercing for migraine has been circling in the press and social media as a potential treatment. The Huffington Post, Daily Mail and even beauty publications are talking about this alternative potential treatment for migraine.
But does it really work? When it comes to getting all the facts, it can be difficult separating hype from reality.
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Are There Any Side Effects Or Risks To Consider
Theres a lot to consider when deciding to get a tragus piercing. The piercing can be painful for some, and if you ever decide to take it out, itll leave a small mark.
Cartilage piercings are also more likely to get infected than lobe piercings. This may be because cartilage piercings are in closer proximity to your hair and are more likely to get tugged. And if your cartilage does become infected, antibiotics arent always effective.
In some cases, bacterial infections from piercings can lead to or toxic shock syndrome.
Theres also the risk that your piercing wont work. While anecdotal evidence suggests a tragus piercing could relieve migraines, theres no way to know for sure before you try it yourself.
It can take anywhere from four months to a year for a piercing to be considered healed. You shouldnt get this piercing if you have hemophilia, diabetes, an autoimmune condition or any other health condition that takes your body longer to heal.
Does Daith Piercing Work In The Absence Of Studies We Look To The Community For Answers And Insights About The Migraine Piercing
The daith piercing first gained internet fame over a year ago, but unlike most fad treatments it refuses to fade as a hot topic. This is due in part to the sheer number of testimonials available with a wide range of experiences with the ear piercing for migraines.
Even while the internet and migraine community buzz about the possibility of a simple treatment like an ear piercing that can relieve migraine symptoms, most physicians and major nonprofits are skeptical at best.
How does it work? Simply put, the daith ear piercing is done on a very specific point on a fold of cartilage in the ear called the daith.
The theory behind the ear piercing for migraine prevention is rooted in acupuncture. The spot on the fold of cartilage that is pierced is supposed to line up with an acupuncture pressure point that links to the digestion system.
According to a 2020 case report in the medical journal Cureus, “Daith piercing is a form of ear piercing located at the crux of the helix of the ear. While the esthetic piercing of the crux of the helix of the ear has been seen in various cultures around the world, the term ‘daith piercing’ originated in alternate lifestyle communities in the 1990s.”
Western medicine is skeptical that an ear piercing can prevent migraine attacks or relieve migraine pain. Unfortunately, there have been no clinical studies on the piercing to date, so there is little scientific evidence outside of anecdotes to back it up as a migraine treatment.
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Ive Learned To Say: I Have Migraine And Cant Do That
Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN, professor of neurology and chief of the headache division at Stanford University, told Migraine Again,
“There is no evidence of which I am aware that supports the use of daith piercing for migraine. There is a very specific acupuncture point on the ear that has to to with the digestive system but it is very tiny and very specific. The hole you make with a piercing is like using a steam shovel for a fence post. There have been no positive double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies to provide clinical support and there is no scientific data to suggest a reason it should work.”
Even so, migraine symptoms drive us to try crazier things than an ear piercing, and the lack of clinical evidence is not stopping many, many people with migraine from giving it a shot.
“The only positive support I have heard has been anecdotal,” said Dr. Cowan. “This usually means that the perceived benefit is placebo . There would be nothing wrong with that if the procedure were safe. In general, all migraine studies have a high placebo rate, so this is not surprising.”
For many, the cost/benefit seems attractive: for $40 to $50 per piercing, it’s less expensive and no more painful than other needle-based therapies we’ve tried for migraine relief. But daith piercings can take a long time to heal and run the risk of infection.
Do Daith Piercings Help With Migraines
If you’re looking for western medicine to validate daith piercings as a form of migraine treatment, it hasn’t happened yet. There are no official research studies to confirm that daith piercings help reduce migraine pain, and any suggestions that it does are considered anecdotal.
While scientists are beginning to take it more seriously, and some data is starting to come in , there is simply not enough yet to offer concrete proof. Depending on who you ask and how they see migraine treatment, daith piercings don’t work at all, and any indications that they do are simply due to the placebo effect.
But for those seeking alternative healing methods aside from Botox or over-the-counter medicine, trying a daith piercing is a viable option. Despite minimal medical proof, the anecdotal evidence is quite compelling.
Using daith piercings to treat migraines became popular in the mid-2010s and stems from the same type of relief that acupuncture and acupressure brings for headache sufferers. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicinal approach, works by triggering specific points on the body using needles. It is popular as an alternative headache treatment, and because the ear has pressure points related to head pain, the theory suddenly seems a lot less far-fetched.
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