Can Daith Piercings Stop Migraines? Here's What You Need To Know About The Growing Trend

11/11/2015 11:44 | Updated 07 January 2016
  • Rachel Moss Lifestyle Writer at The Huffington Post UK

Living with migraines can be a complete nightmare.

The severe headache usually appears as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head and often causes feelings of nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.

But a growing number of migraine sufferers believe they may have found an unusual way to ease symptoms: daith piercings.

A daith piercing is a piercing in the innermost cartilage fold of the ear. Advocates say it works in the same way as acupuncture, targeting pressure points on the body's surface to ease discomfort.

According to the NHS, acupuncture works by stimulating nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue.

This results in the body producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins. It is likely these substances are responsible for any beneficial effects seen with acupuncture.

Many people on social media have come forward to share their positive experiences of getting a daith piercing, including Nicole Bandes.

Writing on Facebook the managing director from Arizona said: "I've now had this (piercing) for over six months and can honestly admit that is has worked for me.

"I've seen a reduction in frequency and intensity of my migraines where nothing else seemed to help. My husband noticed it before I did (and that's saying something). Maybe I just wasn't willing to admit that it was actually working.

"Since getting it, I think I've had less than five migraines. Only one of those has actually made me fully non functional for a day. I've dramatically reduced my use of drugs to deal with the migraines."

Migraine suffers, here's my verdict on the Daith Piercing... I had the piercing done in April after my friend, Torrie,...

Natalie Thompson is another fan of the procedure. Appearing on BBC Radio Leicester, she described how she's had a constant headache for the past three and a half years, as well as regular migraines.

She appeared on the show four weeks after getting a daith piercing.

"My headache has gone from a five or six out of 10 down to a three," she said.

"It's still there, I'm not headache free. I'm still on the medication and I haven't changed anything that the consultants have given me. But since the piercing it has dropped considerably."

So, does the piercing really work?

"There isn’t a lot of hard science behind the correlation between daith piercings and headache relief. Some people have found relief with this method, but it certainly won’t work for everybody," Dr Thomas Cohn, who specialises in pain relief, writes in a blog.

He goes on to explain that although daith piercings appear to be a recent trend, the "location of the piercing has actually been targeted by acupuncturists to help cure headaches" in the past.

"Acupuncturists target this area during sessions, and many people experience short-term headache relief after treatment," he says.

Simon Evans, CEO of Migraine Action, also points out that daith piercings may not work for everyone.

"We are always pleased when people gain some measure of relief from their migraine. Migraine is a term covering a range of similar conditions in which headache can be a symptom," he tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"Unfortunately what works for one person can make the condition worse in others, so we have to treat this with a degree of caution, especially in these very early days after the procedure has been done.

"As with any technique we would welcome the results of a clinical trial so it can be considered properly, to allow for a full understanding of the long term implications and effects of the piercing on patients.

"We would highly recommend that all migraine patients continue with the treatment that has been prescribed by their medical professional."

If the idea of a piercing doesn't appeal, Evans says you do not need to suffer migraines in silence.

He says: "Migraine Action’s helpline - open weekdays 10am-4pm (08456 011 033) - can help guide all affected through acute and preventative medication options."

He also suggests other treatments, including acupuncture and changing sleeping patterns and diet, may have an impact.

SEE ALSO:

This Is What A Migraine Physically Feels Like

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