Since time began, mankind has searched for answers to physical issues. Migraines are an inconvenient, painful reality for so many Americans that it’s little wonder we’re looking constantly for ways to find relief. One of the newer and more unusual methods is daith piercing, which has some reputation for effectiveness against chronic headaches.
What is Daith Piercing?
This is a piercing located in the inner cartilage section of the ear, which runs through a pressure point. These piercings are typically performed at tattoo and piercing shops, and there is little research to support them as yet. Patients who have had the piercings, however, claim to have seen an improvement in the intensity of their headaches.
Daith piercings aren’t new. The idea has existed for around 3,000 years, but the name was only coined in the 1990s. The piercings have a symbolic meaning due to their location at the entrance to the ear canal. They are most often used to insert a “captive” style ring, which has a round bead soldered into the metal hoop.
The principle is that the piercing mimics acupuncture by hitting a pressure point, which relieves the pressure in the patient’s head. By having it done on the same side as most migraines occur, it’s thought to help reduce the incidence of migraines in the area. As with acupuncture, the process is particularly popular with patients who don’t want to take daily pain medication.
Use of Acupuncture
The use of acupuncture for migraines has a much longer history of reliability. As a primary headache (in other words, not one caused by another medical condition) migraines usually occur on one side of the head. It requires the acupuncturist to insert fine needles into particular points on the body, and then stimulate them manually or electrically. This causes the blood vessels around the needle to dilate and increase the blood flow to the tissues. Acupuncture is performed with the patient lying down to avoid making the migraine symptoms worse.
How It’s Done
The daith piercing is done using a straight needle, passed directly through the center of the cartilage. A ring is inserted that appears to be coming directly out of the ear canal. The process takes around 10 minutes and costs between $50 and $100, depending on where you have it done.
Effect on Migraines
Just as the effect of BOTOX® treatments on migraine headaches was discovered accidentally, it’s possible that the theory of daith piercings providing relief was determined the same way. Botox treatments were found to help relieve the pressure that caused migraines by paralyzing the muscles so that the nerves didn’t send pain signals to the brain.
No Real Evidence
At this point, the effect of daith piercings on migraines has not been officially studied so it’s difficult to determine whether there’s any truth to the claims or note. It’s a simple and inexpensive procedure, so for patients who enjoy piercings and body art there’s little reason not to try it. Whether it’s worth foregoing regular treatment for migraine headaches, however, depends on your individual situation.
Living with a Piercing
If you decide to go ahead and get a daith piercing, there are a few things you should know about living with it. While the wound is fresh, cleaning it daily with lathered baby soap and rinsed with water is good. If the piercing becomes irritated, soak it in warm salt water for relief and healing. A daith piercing that’s allowed to accumulate dirt and bacteria can cause infection in the ear cartilage, which isn’t a pretty sight.
If you struggle with migraines on a regular basis and enjoy body art and jewelry, these daith piercings are a great opportunity to test a new trend and find out whether it has any merit.
DISCLAIMER: This post is strictly informational
Photo Irina Sutsky | Used under Creative Commons image attribution license 2.0