Piercing Away the Pain of Migraines: The Daith Piercing

Anyone that experiences migraines knows that, despite being an incredibly common disease, there is no sure way to prevent or control them. People have been looking for a cure for centuries and will try just about anything, including drilling holes in their skull, in an attempt to relieve the pain. (This process is called trephination, by the way, and is not recommended.) The most recent trend is the daith piercing, and it has become a topic of fierce debate in the migraine community.

The daith piercing itself goes through the cartilage in the ear above the ear canal. It has been available from body art businesses for a long time, but it has only been in the past couple of years that it has been associated with migraine relief. The idea is simple; the daith piercing is supposed to go through an acupuncture point in the ear. Acupuncture has long been used for headache relief, so the logic follows that a permanent piercing through this location could be a permanent remedy for migraines. The question then becomes, does this actually work?

The answer is much more complex. Due to the nature of the piercing, there is no scientific evidence in support of its alleviating abilities. As a result, many migraine specialists do not recommend the procedure, as they feel the risk of infection or other complications that may arise from the piercing outweigh any possible migraine relief. They tend to belief that the daith piercing only provides a placebo effect that will go away with time.

This, however, is not the final word on the daith piercing. Even lacking hard evidence, there are innumerable stories from chronic migraine suffers on this topic. Some report extremely positive results, others less so. The most promising sources claim their migraines have ceased completely, others say theirs are reduced in severity and occurrence. Less inspiring stories are just as common where people are either disappointed with no change in their pain, or experience a worst case scenario where the piercing even seems to make their migraines worse.

As it is, the verdict is still out on the daith piercing. With it gaining fame as a method to counteract migraines, it is important to know what is best for you. Of course it’s always good to talk to your doctor about medical issues you are experiencing and the best ways to deal with them. If you would like to try the daith piercing as a technique to control migraines, it is suggested that you try acupuncture first to see if that is effective. If the acupuncture doesn’t work or makes things worse, then the piercing surely is not for you. Read testimonials and try to get an idea for yourself if you believe it will help. As for the piercing itself, make sure you get it from a reputable establishment and keep it clean to reduce the risk of unwanted complications. Decide if it right for you. At the end of the day, whether it prevents migraines or not, it’s a cute piercing to have. If you are interested and want a new piercing, it just might help. Only time will tell.

Pictures: Cover, 1, 2, 3