A daith piercing.

Ear Piercings for Migraines?

If you’re a chronic migraine sufferer you’ve probably heard of the daith piercing. If you’re not, then it might come as a shock to hear that this piercing is promoted as a treatment for migraines. The idea goes that getting a specific part of your ear pierced will drastically reduce or eliminate your headaches.

Sound completely crazy to you? Maybe, maybe not.

There actually is an entire field of acupuncture that uses points on the ear – it’s called auriculotherapy. The idea is that you can stimulate certain nerves at different points on the ear, and this will impact the brain through the brainstem. Over the years people have found points on the ear that will affect remote parts of the body. Now, we can find a set of points that will treat just about anywhere.

A daith piercing.
Image cropped, as allowed by license. By Carnivoredaddy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52582589.

But this leaves an important question. Let’s say you get an ear piercing. What happens to the ear? Well, you punched through a set of nerves in the ear and those nerves are quite active while the piercing is healing. But over time those nerves calm down as the ear heals and accommodates to the piercing. So from a treatment perspective, you give a strong treatment to the body for a short period that eventually goes away.?

For some migraine sufferers, this is enough to stop them from getting migraines. But more often what happens is that your pain will be reduced for a while and then over a few weeks or months return to baseline. The underlying problem causing the migraines was never addressed, so the headaches come back.

If you’re considering getting a daith piercing, we don’t intend to stop you. But we would like you to know about what it means for your migraines. If you’re looking for long-lasting relief then you might be better off with something else. Acupuncture can help here. Please consider scheduling your consultation today and we’d be happy to help you.