Without scientific research it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Lately, there have been claims that an inner-ear piercing known as a “daith piercing” can help alleviate migraine headaches. For me personally, I would try just about anything to get rid of a headache. There is nothing worse than commuting home on a long drive with the feeling that you’ve been hit between the eyes with a hammer. For those who suffer frequent bouts of migraine headaches, I imagine your desire to try anything and everything is strong. So let’s try to wrap our heads around this idea of the daith piercing, and the claims that it can alleviate your suffering.
During 2015, an article published by a student at State University of New York stating that daith piercings can alleviate migraines started getting circulated online. It is important to note that although this article came from a university website, it is far from a peer-reviewed scientific study carried out under the supervision of doctoral researchers. This article was purely anecdotal, and as such, cannot be included in any body of scientific literature. However, that doesn’t mean we going to dismiss it without taking a closer look at the ideas presented.
The closest thing to a daith piercing that has been scientifically studied is acupuncture, which is commonly used as a last ditch effort to help with migraines when nothing else is working. There is some evidence that acupuncture is slightly effective at helping to treat migraines, so maybe the daith piercing utilizes similar methods, and has a similar kind of effect. There are multiple pressure points in the human ear, and it could be that piercing the ear disrupts signal processing in a key pressure point. However, at this juncture, there is no real evidence that daith piercings are effective, so if you decide to go through with it, your primary concern should be living with the piercing.
A little bit on the daith piercing itself. The procedure is done with a straight needle, which is pushed straight through the center of the innermost cartilage fold. Then, a ring is inserted into the hole, and the entire thing costs between $50 and $100. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a fairly inexpensive price to pay for both medical relief and a fashion accessory. Considering that migraine research doesn’t receive a lot of funding in general, and a daith piercing study doesn’t seem too likely, it might be worth a shot.
The idea has become widespread on social media, and comment sections at the bottom of daith piercing articles is rife with people advocating the practice. I know comment sections aren’t always the most reliable source of accurate information, but there really are a lot of people claiming that it has helped them and changed their lives. For example, one woman posting in a blog hosted by the Migraine Relief Center claims that “Daith piercings have given me my life back. I would recommend that migraine sufferers definitely give this treatment modality some serious consideration.” There are a lot more quotes where that came from, so perhaps if you suffer from migraines and enjoy body jewelry, then you could test out this new trend and report back to let us know if it has any value.