Friday, September 22, 2023

Ear Piercing That Helps Migraines

Does It Matter Which Ear You Pierce

An ear piercing…curing migraines? Some people say theirs are doing just that

Theres no science to back the idea that piercing one ear will provide better results than the other ear. But most folks get it done on the side of their head thats most affected by migraine. You could also opt to have both sides pierced, but its still possible that it might not make a difference.

What Is A Migraine

A migraine is more than just an intense headache, its a common neurological disease that results in a number of debilitating symptoms like a throbbing headache on one side of the head. These symptoms may last for hours or days and each person experiences them differently.1 About 12% of Americans regularly get migraines and research has shown that these attacks are the sixth most disabling disease in the world.1

Not everyone gets migraines while it is tricky to predict exactly who will and wont experience a throbbing, localized headache, there are a few factors that may make a person more susceptible:1

  • Genetics. Migraines tend to run in families. Up to 80% of those who suffer from migraine attacks have an immediate relative, like a parent, who also gets them.1
  • Gender. These intense headaches happen to women more than men, especially those between 15 and 55. This is likely due to the influence of hormones.1
  • Stress level. High-stress individuals may experience migraines more frequently because stress can act as a trigger for these headache attacks.1

If youre wondering if your headache is actually a migraine, you may need to consider if any other symptoms are present. Migraine headaches commonly appear only on one side of the head but may shift to the other side over time. Other symptoms of migraines include:1

Why Would The Daith Piercing Help Migraines

The theory on why the daith piercing can help migraines is based in acupuncture.

There is a pressure point that acupuncturists target located on the daith that has been found to relieve the pain caused by migraines and severe headaches.

Piercing this spot can sometimes provide the same or partial relief.

One of my close friends spent several months studying acupuncture in China, so I asked her opinion on this.

She said its definitely worth a shot. She also suggested that I pierce the same side the pain is on

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Risks Of Daith Piercings

As with any body piercing, daith piercings carry risks. Some these risks are more serious than others and include:

  • infections during healing with pathogens, such bacteria, yeast, hepatitis, HIV or tetanus
  • bacterial infections that occur after healing has occurred
  • allergic reaction
  • nerve damage, including loss of sensation
  • swelling
  • pain
  • scarring or keloids

Before undergoing daith piercing to relieve a migraine, it is wise to speak with a qualified acupuncturist or auriculotherapy practitioner. These alternative therapists may help an individual decide whether daith piercing is a preferable option to the therapies they offer.

A migraine is more than just a regular headache. It is an attack of severe head pain that generally lasts for hours but can last days.

Migraines are usually accompanied by sensory symptoms, including:

  • flashes of light
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound

Which groups are most affected?

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are more commonly experienced by certain groups, including:

  • women
  • those aged 35 to 55
  • lower socioeconomic groups
  • Caucasians

Migraines are the cause of a huge financial burden. A person who experiences regular migraines spends an average of $145 per month on migraine related healthcare costs. By comparison, those who do not get migraines spend an average $89 per month.

Daith Piercing Reviews: The Bad

Pin on Migraine Treatments

Even while some people noticed results with the migraine piercing, many noticed no results, slight results, or only temporary improvement. The following daith piercing reviews for migraines show the negative side.

Relief was only temporary:“It worked for a month or so while there was built-up pressure from the healing of a new piercing. When it was fully healed, it no longer worked the same. But, it provided relief for a few months.” Hannah S.

“The migraine piercing worked at first. Not after it healed. Oh well, I like the piercing anyway.”

Looks cool, but didn’t help.“I had both ears done with the ear piercing for migraines no relief at all for hemiplegic migraines but my migraines are atmosphere-related not digestive. I wish I had read this before I tried it. I know someone who had great results. If you’re not sure I would try it and if nothing else you’ll have a “hip” piercing. Seeing an acupuncturist first is a very good suggestion.” Kimberley G.

“The daith piercing helped slightly. I get better pain relief from occipital nerve block shots.” Joy L.

“Daith piercing didn’t work for me. Acupuncture is next for me. Am forever hopeful that something will work.” Lis M.

“Got the ear piercing for headaches it’s just pretty, didn’t help at all.” Angela M.

“I have Chiari and daily chronic migraines…got the daith and unfortunately didn’t help one bit.” Tanya B.

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Why Daith Piercings Dont Work On Migraines

The exact causes of migraines are unknown, although they are related to changes in the brain as well as to genetic causes. People with migraines may inherit the tendency to be affected by certain migraine triggers, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes and others.

For many years, scientists believed that migraines were linked to the expanding and narrowing of blood vessels on your brains surface. Its now believed, though, that migraines are caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of your brain.

A migraine begins when hyperactive nerve cells send out impulses to the blood vessels, leading to the blood vessels expanding and the release of prostaglandins, serotonin and other inflammatory substances that cause the bloods pulsing to be painful.

So its hard to see why or how a hole in the cartilage of your outer ear would impact the development of a migraine, Dr. Estamalik says.

I would never recommend ear piercing for one of my patients, he says. The danger of infection from a piercing of this site strongly outweighs any unproven benefit.

Does The Side Matter In Tragus Piercing

Actually, yes. At least according to anecdotal advice, if you want to get a tragus piercing for migraines, you should have it done on the side of your head where your pain tends to cluster the most. If you buy into the theory that vagus nerve stimulation can help with a migraine attack, it makes good sense that youd want to pierce the side closest to where you feel the worst pain. Piercing both sides is also an option.

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How Does A Daith Piercing Help Stop Migraines

The thing to understand about whether daith piercings can prevent or reduce migraines/headaches, or even anxiety, is that everyones anatomy is different, and piercers are not necessarily trained in medical anatomy.

Some people do report that their migraines have been stopped after getting a daith piercing, but if your migraines dont stop after a piercing, it may not mean that daith piercings for migraines dont work. It could just mean that you werent pierced in the exact location that alleviates migraine pain.

Thats why its a good idea to do a bit of research before getting daith piercings for migraines, in particular. You should know that even if daith piercing works for you as a migraine treatment, it does not cure migraines. But it may reduce their occurrence or make them less severe.

So is there any science behind daith piercings for migraines, something that would give a good indication they actually work to stop the pain of an attack? Yes, there is.

Those who suggest a daith piercing for migraine treatment point to acupuncture, which is a well-known alternative health treatment for pain management and other ailments. The location of the daith piercing is near an acupuncture point that helps with migraines.

Be Playful With Your Perceptions

Daith Ear Piercing for Migraines | Headache Myth or Miracle?

Find the opportunity in every event as it pertains to your vision. See any setback as though it was supposed to happen. Instead of being grim and wallowing in current circumstances, stand by your decision and follow through.

Be playful with this, start perceiving everything as though it was meant to be, as if its leading you closer to your goal. Synchronicity will start playing out in front of you just follow it.

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Can Ear Piercing Mitigate Migraine Pain

So what does piercing your ear have to do with migraine pain? Why the ear instead of, say, the nose? Getting a piercing in your ear for migraines may seem strange, but many people in recent years have been trying it to relieve their migraines.

The idea is that piercing the same spot on the ear previously treated in acupuncture would bring a constant pressure and alleviate migraine pain.

Ear piercings for migraines and anxiety are done on very specific locations on the ear. The reason is related to acupuncture. This Chinese practice involves inserting small needles into various places in an effort to relieve pain and improve a variety of health conditions. There are specific points on the ear, two in particular, that are known to relieve migraine pain.

Some people who have found acupuncture helpful but wanted a more permanent solution have turned to ear piercing. The idea is that piercing the same spot on the ear previously treated in acupuncture would bring a constant pressure and alleviate migraine pain. Practitioners of this approach believe they have fewer migraine episodes and fewer migraine symptoms overall.

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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.

Cowan agrees:

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Whats The Theory Behind Piercings For Pain Relief

The theory behind why piercings may offer pain relief is quite simple.

Acupuncturea form of treatment where needles are used to activate certain areas of the body for stress relief, muscle relaxation, and pain managementis a practice thats been in use for centuries, but one that has only relatively recently become common in Western societies. Regarded as pseudoscience by some, acupuncture has also provided relief to those who swear by it. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that acupuncture serves to aid the flow of energy within the body, and modern acupuncturists claim that the practice stimulates certain nerves to provide relief.

What Is Daith Piercing

One Month of Results After Ear Piercing for Migraines

A daith piercing is a piercing through the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear, right at the point where the outer ridge that runs along the top of your ear connects to your inner ear, just above the ear canal. Because its a small, curvy piece of cartilage, it can sometimes be hard to pierce, and once its done, most people dont change the jewelry often. It can take months to heal and can easily become infected if not pierced or cared for correctly. Still, some people with migraine have reported that their daith piercing resulted in reduced pain during migraine attacks, leading others to seek out the piercings exclusively for their potential to reduce migraine pain. Its important to note, however, that any reported results are widely believed to be placebo.

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Whats The Connection Between Daith Piercings And Migraine

The connection between piercing and migraine relief is tied to acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating various conditions by triggering specific points on the body with needles.

Acupuncture is a popular alternative treatment for headaches and migraine, and the ear has certain pressure points used in modern-day acupuncture.

Daith piercings for migraine relief gained popularity in the mid-2010s. Supporters of this treatment claimed that the daith piercing activates a pressure point which may help relieve migraine symptoms.

The pressure points in the ear are in very specific locations and would need to be identified by a trained acupuncturist to ensure the piercing was in the right spot. Even then, theres no scientific evidence that suggests daith piercings are effective in treating migraine symptoms.

case study in 2017 , the participants migraine symptoms improved after getting a daith piercing. The researchers concluded that more clinical studies are needed to link the procedure to migraine relief.

But the researchers also warned about the risks of daith piercings, and the possibility that symptom relief may be the result of the placebo effect .

The placebo effect occurs when you undergo an inactive treatment and have fewer symptoms as a result. This is a psychological condition and the benefits of the inactive treatment usually wear off over time.

Daith piercings can have many complications, such as:

  • infection

What Do The Experts Think

Dr Chris Booth is a nationally accredited acupuncturist with several practice locations around NSW, Australia. In our discussion he raised a few interesting points:

  • The upper insertion point of the Daith piercing seems to correspond with the large intestine point used in Chinese auricular acupuncture. Large intestine channel points are often selected for the treatment of headache and migraine, and other forms of head pain, due to that channels pathway across the face, however the large intestine ear point is not one commonly used for these complaints.
  • There are other points on the ear which are more important for the treatment of migraine.
  • Other points near the Daith piercing location target the small intestine, appendix, mouth and esophagus similarly, none of which have a particular affinity with the head or migraine.
  • The location of acupuncture points on the ear are very specific. If the piercer was intending to pierce one of these points, they would really need to know how to accurately locate the point.
  • Would there be any issue with having a permanent structure, or hole, at the site of an acupuncture point? Dr. Booth responded I cant say for sure, but there are plenty of examples of traditional techniques for altering the tissues at the site of a point. These include scaring the point by cutting, burning or chemically irritating the site with herbal pastes. These techniques would leave a permanent scar over the point.
  • Simon Evans, CEO of Migraine Action said:

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    Could A Daith Ear Piercing Help Migraines

    Dr. Estemalik says theres no medical research that supports this theory.

    While some people swear that a daith piercing gets rid of their migraines, whats probably at work is a temporary placebo effect, says Dr. Estemalik.

    A placebo is an inactive treatment, such as a sugar pill, that mimics an active medication or therapy. The placebo effect happens when you believe the placebo is effective. In turn, the placebo affects the medical condition and can positively affect the perception of pain.

    Placebos aside, there is no scientific evidence or clinical trial results that support ear piercing as a solution to migraines, Dr. Estemalik says. Theres nothing in literature Ive heard of, nothing Ive read about, nothing I have studied out there that supports such a procedure to treat migraine headaches, he says. Receiving a piercing in that area will not alter the pain pathway of migraine.

    Can A Daith Piercing Treat A Migraine

    Ear piercing may stop sever migraines

    “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?”

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