Daith piercings, done for thousands of years, have recently become popular among migraine sufferers. The piercing, done on the innermost cartilage fold of the ear (see the hoop piercing in the image; can be done on one or both sides), is touted by advocates as being similar to acupuncture, targeting pressure points to help ease the incidence and pain of migraines. While alternative or additional options for migraine pain relief are encouraged, it’s important to understand going into this painful piercing that there are risks — of not only infection at the piercing site, but also that for some, it could even make their migraines worse. There are currently no studies available, and Snopes (the popular hoax vs. fact website) urges caution, so before going through the process, health experts recommend that you take baby steps first and try actual acupuncture. By trying this out prior to an actual piercing, a migraine sufferer can gauge whether she or he reacts to the technique first before actually getting the piercing.
If you’re looking for non-painful, non-pill alternatives to help manage your migraine pain or to use in conjunction with your traditional medications, you should also consider:
- Dietary tracking/food journaling (check out the free MigraineChecked app to track potential food and beverage triggers)
- Stress management
- Topical pain relief options, such as Stopain Migraine pain relieving gel, which is applied to the back of the neck behind each ear up to four times daily. It’s now available at Walmart, Rite Aid, HEB, Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and StopainMigraine.com.
Daith piercings, as promising as they may sound in social media, will not work for everyone and will not cure migraines, so speak to your physician (not your neighbor) before trying it.