Migraines, especially in those of us who are women in our late 30’s to 40’s, seem to be reaching epidemic levels. If you’ve ever suffered from a head crushing migraine and the hangover that can last days after it’s finally gone, you know that you will try anything to get some relief. But can something as relatively simple as a Daith piercing help treat migraine pain? Believing so is how I ended up where I am today with one more hole in my head and hopefully a few less migraines in my future.
I will admit that when it comes to this piercing, I did get swept away with what’s trendy to some degree. I also admit to not doing enough research before going in for my piercings. That said I do love the way it looks and I can’t wait until it’s healed enough for a little jewelry upgrade.
As much as I love my Daith piercing, there are some things I should have considered before taking the plunge.
Does doing acupuncture on that pressure point help with migraines?
I have never actually tried acupuncture. The closest I came was when I was almost in my 40th week of pregnancy and I tried acupressure to bring about labour (which didn’t work foe me FYI). After getting my piercing I was told by an acupuncturist that has been practicing longer than I’ve been alive, that the points that a Daith piercing bisect in the ear, actually correspond with acupuncture points that affect the gastrointestinal system. Some practitioners do use those same points in the treatment of migraine pain. I did notice an acupuncture chart for the ear in the office of my piercer, saw that it was a digestive/intestinal point, and still went ahead with it.
What is the healing time, and level of pain I can expect?
I have read that healing time is typically between 2-6 months long for this particular piercing. I have also heard that cartilage piercings can be particularly difficult to heal even if you take really good care of them. I am now 3 weeks in, and only experience itchiness, some drainage, and if I don’t clean it every day under warm running water, a little redness and tenderness. The piercing moves on its own freely, so much so that I have to reposition it on occasion, but overall it doesn’t bother me anymore.
The first week was tougher than I expected. The piercing itself didn’t hurt too much. A pinch, a sting and then warmness in the ear that stayed with me all day was what I experienced. I had a headache the first two days post piercing (not a migraine thankfully) that was managed with Tylenol. Sleeping has been interesting because even though I don’t fall asleep on that side I do tend to flip flop through the night. The first week I’d wake myself up because I tried laying on it or scratching it and that hurt. Over the rest of the first week the warmth, soreness and swelling continued, but abated for a few hours immediately following cleaning and application of after-care solution. My pain never was enormous, but it was annoying.
As for the big question, does it actually help manage migraines? I can’t say conclusively as of yet. I have had to take my Triptan prescription once since getting the piercing. In a typical month I’d likely be at one to two doses already. I haven’t gone through a full menstrual cycle yet and that will be the real test. My worst migraines always herald a visit from Aunt Flo.
I think that the real questions we should be asking of our doctors is why so many of us suffer from frequent debilitating headache pain with no reliable treatment options. Are migraines just a side effect of riding a hormonal roller-coaster? Is it something that is missing in our diets? The supplements that have been suggested to me, Vitamin B complex and Co-enzyme Q10, have done little good. Would physical fitness alleviate them? I don’t know if getting a piercing is the answer, but I do know that I shouldn’t have to suffer.
Six month later…
I can happily report that while I still get the occasional migraine and headache, they don’t happen nearly as often as they were. I do still have some swelling that flares up from time to time and the piercing isn’t completely healed. I expected that though as I am usually slow to heal. I do wish I had a ring that wasn’t nearly as large as I do find it bothers me from time to time when sleeping, or wearing hats, and using in ear headphones is out of the question.
If you have any questions regarding my experience getting a Daith piercing please leave me a comment below.