Migraines and Daith Piercings

Daith piercings are a specific type of ear piercing. The ear cartilage midline toward the front of the ear is pierced. This type of ear piercing has been around for 3,000 years, but the name for this type of piercing was probably started in the 1990’s. The placement of the piercing is at the entrance to the ear canal and has symbolic meaning as the “Guardian to the Gate.” These piercing can be quite painful since they are through bony cartilage, and care must be given to keep them clean and to prevent infection.

Daith Peircing

Migraines are a vascular type of headache. They occur more commonly in women and sometimes have a very specific trigger, such as certain foods. Management of these headaches can be quite simple, from avoiding specific triggers to the use of Excedrin. However, sometimes those management techniques prove ineffective, making the headache hard to treat. One of the non-traditional treatments beyond medication has been acupuncture. One of the areas of needle placement has been in the ear, and commonly in the same general area where Daith piercings are placed.

Recently, some people who have received a Daith piercing have coincidentally found improvement with their migraine headaches. It is not universal, and it is has not been studied formally. The correlation is based on the success for some people with acupuncture in the same region of the Daith piercing.

If a person enjoys ear piercing and suffers from frequent headaches, it may be worthwhile to consider getting this spot pierced. Since body piercings are generally less than $100, this may be a very economical treatment alternative. If you suffer migraines and are very unsure whether you want a piercing, trying acupuncture first would be a good alternative to determine if this treatment may be successful. If this is not working, and the migraines are not being well managed, further discussions with your medical practitioner about treatment options is warranted.

Post Story Edit

This post has received an incredible amount of views in the last few months, and many people have spoken out about their experience with a Daith piercing. However, I am a little disappointed to how some people are quick to chastise this option, saying it isn’t rooted in any concrete evidence. Many of those people likely saw the headline or skimmed the article and assumed I was simply trying get people to shell out more money for an unproven option that, in their opinion, can at best provide some pseudo-placebo effect. Having read their comments and seen stories refuting Daith piercings, I just wanted to clarify some misconceptions.

First, anyone who read the above post can clearly see that we’re not saying this is a well-studied, documented and thoroughly researched alternative. Hopefully we can find more hard evidence, and scientists are learning more every day about the underlying reasons why regionalized stimulation may help with headaches. I wrote a recent post that sheds more light on the role the vagus nerve plays in the equation and how the medical community is continuing to search for concrete answers.

Secondly, unless you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of someone who suffers from chronic pain or headaches, please don’t be quick to chastise potential solutions. Like many of this site’s readers, I deal with chronic pain (in my back), and at times I find myself at my wit’s end trying to manage and control pain. People who are considering a Daith piercing for their headache pain aren’t considering it as their first option, odds are they’ve seen specialists, tried therapies and medications, avoided certain trigger activities, altered their diets and their sleep schedules or undertaken a myriad of other treatments that haven’t solved their problems. Pain is a very personal issue, and having someone belittle a potential treatment technique, which appears to have worked for some commenters, adds nothing positive to the goal of solving the pain problem. Hope and belief that pain can be resolved is a key aspect of findings pain relief, and while people are certainly entitled to be wary of options lacking concrete medical evidence, I only ask that you consider the person in pain’s perspective before you belittle or demean their curiosity to this relatively new treatment avenue. I’m not trying to quell dissent and I thoroughly enjoy reasoned arguments on both sides of the spectrum, and I completely understand why it’s important to be hesitant of unfounded medical treatments, but if we ignored all potential solutions in their early stages simply because they had yet to be fully researched, the medical world would never evolve. 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Cohn

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Thomas Cohn, MD

Interventional pain doctor helping Minnesotans manage back, neck, foot, and other pain. Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with additional board-certification in pain management from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (ABIPP) and the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM).

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220 thoughts on “Migraines and Daith Piercings

      • I’m really wanting to try this daith piercing .I’ve had migraines since I was 3 years old. For the last 5 years I’ve had migraines everyday. Tried everything, imitrex helps get rid of them , but have to take it everyday. Dr. Cohn how do I find a reliable person to do it? And do they put anything on it to numb the area?

      • Shelia, I don’t have a contact who can perform this procedure. My best best is to visit a piercing store and talk with the staff to see if they are familiar with the procedure, if they’ve performed it before, and if their patients have had success. If they aren’t familiar, it might be worthwhile to look elsewhere. Best of luck!

        Dr. Cohn

    • the word DOCTOR should not be so loosely used as in refering to an acupuncturist..You are trying to make a point but it really get flushed down the toilet when refering to an acupuncturist as a DOCTOR.

      I myself am a DOCTOR of delivering with my job at UPS.. Does that work anyone?? The article is trying to help people get over yourselves seriously.

      • I am not aware of whether or not this is across the board, but my acupuncturist has a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine, and this treatment kicks the ass of any traditional medical treatment I have received for my migraines. Just saying. Let’s just look at solutions, and not bash what people are trying.

    • That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. There is more than one point that corresponds to headaches. I got my daith pierced a few months ago. I’ve had severe migraines for 36 years. This piercing really helped. I only got a severe migraine once. This can be helpful for those people who have tried everything else.

      • Am really thinking about getting this piercing done, I’ve had migraines for many yrs on meds for headaches plus take daily meds to help prevent these headaches but I still get them so why not try it what do I have to lose really

      • Hi, everyone I have had sever migraines for 38 years. I have got the Daith pierced and I have been so happy not for my head to hurt from migraines . I went to a tattoo shop that does piercings.

      • Megan,

        Try massaging each ear lobe when a headache sets in. If rubbing one ear seems to help alleviate pain, that may be the ear to target. Best of luck – Dr. Cohn

    • That’s unfortunate, Ally. I’m merely trying to help those who suffer from migraines find relief when other methods have failed.

      Best,

      Dr. Cohn

      • I suffer from migraines all the time. I’ve tried almost every migraine medicine out there and needless to say nothing works. I would be willing to try this but idk if I could tolerate the pain of the piercing.

      • A friend of mine told me about this. We both have had migraines for 20 years. We both have tried every treatment. I’ve been doing botox and has helped immensely. At 20 plus migraines a month it was a godsend to go down to about 9 days a month. She had hers pierced 8 weeks ago and has not had a migraine since. I would have been skeptical if it hadn’t come from her. I had mine done a month ago and have not had a migraine since. I had tried accupucture many times and that did not help. For $50 I figured what the heck. VERY grateful I did!!

      • A friend saw this post and shared it with me. I have suffered from migraines since I was twelve years old, so for over twenty-four years now. As someone whose life seems to be ruled by migraines, thank you for trying to help those of us who are in pain.

        I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the fact that you are trying to help migraine sufferers who have tried everything they can to minimize them. Before I saw this post I had not thought of acupuncture. I am going to look into it

      • Dr. Cohn, is there a certain you have pierced? For instance…..I have my migraines on the left side, so I was wandering if I had to pierce it on that side or the right side? Or both?

      • Wanda,

        Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

        Best,
        Dr. Cohn

      • I got this piercing 2 weeks ago. In the past I’ve suffered with anywhere between 3-5 migraines a week. I’ve tried everything, from acupuncture, chiropractors, botox injections in my head, blockers, and probably more things than I can remember with no success. This piercing is the only thing that has worked. (So far, 2 weeks with no migraine. I hope it’s not temporary!)

      • At the end of all options for pain relief and tired of medications that are addictive, I did this piercing yesterday. It was mostly painless, quick and I will hope for some headache/migraine free days ahead.

      • Johnna,

        Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

        Dr. Cohn

      • My friend and I both suffer with migraines. I’m on amitriptylene daily and we have had ours done on Saturday. The piercing didn’t hurt and I would try anything as I’ve been through the whole list as you’ve said! I’m waiting to see if it works but so far so good!

      • Hi! My 16 year old daughter has headaches all the time. We done so much medically and nothing works. She also has chronic back pain for the past year. We’ve seen lots of specialist. No one can figure out what is wrong. Does this piercing help with back pain. Or a piercing somewhere else work better for the back?

        Does it work for men with headaches too?
        Thanks!

      • I can’t say for certain if it would do anything for back pain, but try massaging the ear area during a painful bout. If you notice pain relief, a piercing may provide more long term relief.

      • Thank you, Dr Cohn, for doing so. People who do not suffer with chronic pain Really have NO clue. No clue what endless, day in, day out, year after year awful pain is, and something as harmless (of COURSE you have to take care to keep it free from infection) and non-invasive as compared to huge number if tests and other things tried, it is laughable to me to make a fuss over not trying a 50 dollar solution when I’ve heard from people that it has helped. Cured? LOL. Of course not. But when you are in pain every day from a 6–10, trying something (that can be removed!) that might take it to a 4–8?? May sound like a horrible result to most people, but a great result to me. My opinion, good grief, if it doesn’t affect you, and you don’t know what it feels like, kindly keep it to yourself!!!

      • Thank You Dr Cohn, This article made a difference for me and helped with my decision to get my Daithe Pierced yesterday. I am excited to say I had a very painful headache all day, The minute I was pierced the headache went away!!!
        I suffer from Migraines weekly & have for years, I woke up this morning very clear headed and still feel great. I am so very hopeful that this piercing will save me and help me to live a normal life again.

    • Sad you think this way, he’s a doctor and your not, you could have replied differently instead of being rude. It’s not a stupid article, matter of fact it’s very educational for migraine suffers like myself. Sorry you feel this article is stupid, just shows you have a very closed mind. It may work for some and may not work for others.

      • I have suffered from migraines all my life as well and have been researching this for a couple weeks now. I would be willing to do this to see if it works. I have been on all kinds of medicines for my migraines too. So no, this is not a stupid article.

      • You hit the nail on the head! I am super excited at the potential of this helping! If not, I can always remove it. duh
        Thank you Dr for posting! 🙂

  1. I have a question. I have Ehlers Danlos , the vascular form, (which I guess as a woman means I should play the lottery) and a history of migraines from the age of two. I also keloid. I have been told in the past that people who are prone to hypertrophic scarring should NEVER pierce their cartilage. What do you think?

    • I have Ehlers Danlos as well. Waiting to see a geneticist to determine the kind. I have multiple cartlige piercings. I think if it’s done at a tattoo place they use needles and it’s better for it. As opposed to the old school gun style that crushes it. I’m looking into trying this.

    • Actually. I keloid as well. However I have very many piercings. I have gotten a keloid at a tattoo parlor on my industrial. But they told me to crush uncoated aspirin and make a paste with water. Leave that on overnight for a few nights. Keloid shrinks away and never comes back!

    • There are actually items called ear seeds. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant that are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. One is placed on the acupuncture point and is stimulated by rubbing the seed. This might be a good alternative for you with your condition. Find your local acupuncturist and she can help.

      • I am getting ready to get this done, probably Monday. I suffer with horrible migraines. I keep fioricet in my purse, take topamax at night and periodically have to go to Urgent Care or ER for cocktail. I have also tried Botox. I will try most anything now. I have had them for approximately 40 years.

      • Dr. Cohn, who should be doing the piercings? A Doctor, Accupunctureist, tattooist, and one or both ears? I’ve suffered with them since 2003 and sometimes they can last for 3 days. Not a fan of needles, but would be willing to try this option, but don’t want the risk of infection…and I would go off my meds til I knew it worked.

      • I would call around to places who do piercings and ask how familiar they are with the Daith piercing. Some will be more experienced than others. That’s who you should go to.

    • PLEASE let me know if it helps at all. I am considering trying it myself. I get severely debilitating migraines and have been to some of the top specialist in MD and have been told I’ve tried everything they would try, so there’s NOTHING they can do to help me….VERY frustrating to hear from a doctor!!!!!

      • So far so good, went in with a headache and left without one. It’s very quick and if you have a good piercer they will know exactly what you’re talking about. Takes about 45-50 seconds and bobs your uncle.

  2. If getting this piercing for migraines should you get both sides pierced or just one? The majority of my migraines are more severe on the right side. And if only getting one side pierced would it be left or right?

    • Get it on your right side. Something else to consider, which side do you sleep on? It’s hard to sleep on the side that is pierced at first.

  3. I suffer from migraines horribly. I had this piercing done and have noticed a definite improvement. While it hasn’t totally eradicated the migraines the symptoms are definitely less painful and I’m not living on imitrex anymore. I had my right ear done, I’m about to have my left one done also.

  4. I have regular migraines. When they come I’ll try anything to get rid of them. Like so many others I have a pile of things that didn’t work. I would like to hear more about this before I jump on board. I’ve had so many unsuccessful remedies I’m a bit gun shy. Please keep up the studies. I really would love to hear about success stories.

  5. After suffering from 3-4 Migraines a week for 5+ Years, I read about the daith piercing and decided to get it done, Cost me $40.00, I have had it for 1 week, and have not had one single Migraine, or even a trace of a headache since. I completely believe it is from the piercing, and recommend it to everyone i know.

    • Which side do you get your migraines? Did you get your piercing on the same side as your migraines? I’m considering getting this done, but I am trying to find out if it matters which side to get the piercing on.

      • Cami, and everyone asking which side it should be done on,

        If you are most interested in pursuing a Daith piercing for your headaches, and want an idea if the piercing may help, you may want to try seeing an Acupuncturist. The acupuncturist can try to determine if one or both ear piercings might be helpful. If the acupuncture works in the ear, Daith piercing might be a more long-term solution. I’ll post an expanded blog by week’s end. Thanks, and please, if you do get the piercing, let readers know how it goes in the comments section.

        Best,

        Dr. Cohn

  6. I am considering doing this. My question is…Does it matter which side you get the piercing? For instance, I get my migraines on the right side, so do I get the piercing on that side or does it matter?

    • I have heard to get the piercing in the side you get your migraines. I just had mine done yesterday. I get my migraines mostly on the right side, so I had my right side done. It is truly not that painful. I am hoping for the best! I suffer from 3-5 migraines per week and take maxalt regularly and I am on long acting topamax as a preventative. This is worth a try.

      • Michelle- How have the migraines been since your piercing? I am seriously looking into this as a migraine sufferer myself and since your piercing was just recently done I am curious to know if it has helped at all? Thanks!!

    • I just got mine done today I dd my left side cause that is where my migraines start my friend got hers done and hasn’t had a migraine since

  7. Hi. I got the Daith piercing on my left ear about 4 weeks ago. I have not had a migraine since. It really works! I had migraines at least once per week. The piercing felt like pressure but you breathe thru it. Well worth it. I highly recommend it.

    • Did you have to find a specific piercer or go to acupuncture first to determine placement? I’m tired of the pain. I get mine mostly on the right, but I also sleep on that side and it’s my better ear (i wear a headset for work) do I’m hesitant about piercing that side.

      • Serenstar,

        I would look for acupunctures or piercers in the area who are familiar with the condition or how manipulating the ear may impact your head. Just ask a few probing questions and use your best judgement.

  8. I have had severe migraines for years, multiple week long hospital stays. I’m on extended release topirimate and extended release wellbutrin, those have seemed to help more than anything, however, I continue to have migraines. I have seen this before. Looks like it may be worth a try!!! Thanks for all the feedback!

    • Did you get it done? I did not realize so many people who had migraines were taking Topamax/topirimate now. I’ve been taking it as a preventative for years and I’ve had to change my migraine medicine a couple times because eventually I don’t get relief. I have debilitating migraines once or twice a month,(down from 2 a week before preventative medication) and a hospital visit once every two years for those undescribable, you think you are going to die, (and welcome death at that point). My sister sent me this article today and I dismissed it at first but I am so glad I read it and the comments. Dr. Cohn has done an incredible service to the migraine surviving community. It overwhelms me with hope that this could potentially help lessen the pain. My migraines have robbed me of so much time and they are not something you can easily “push through” like some people believe. For me, this is very exciting and I will be on the phone doing my homework and then getting this done.

  9. I have had migraines for 25 years. I have tried special diets, sleep schedules and numerous meds. I got the Daith piercing in my left ear a little over 3 weeks ago. I experienced no pain. I had to ask the piercer if he was finished with the piercing. When I sat up it felt warm. I have been able to sleep on the ear and even wear my ear buds. There has been some swelling but no pain. I have not had a migraine since. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will continue to work. The majority of my migraines are on the left side that is why I chose the left. If I continue to have no left side migraines I will go and have the right side pierced to prevent the occasional right ones. Make sure you go to someone who has experience with this piercing. My piercer advised me not to have a hoop as he thought my ear was to small and it would stick out and possibly get caught on my brush. He thought it would not be comfortable when I talked an the phone and I may not be able to wear my ear buds. So he suggested a curved bar. He used one long enough to allow for any swelling. I hope if you try this you have the same experience. Good Luck!

  10. Hi, I suffer from acephalgic migraines, anyone have relief w daith? While I don’t get the headache, nausea and flu-like symptoms and the ocular disturbances can interrupt daily living. I will ask my acupuncturist her thoughts.

    • Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

      Best,
      Dr. Cohn

  11. I got the daith piercing just over two months ago and have gone from near constant headaches and multiple migraines a week to just a few very mild headaches and only one that required medication. Not a single migraine which is amazing since I’ve been dealing with them for 7 years.

  12. I’m currently on the Botox treatment. . I receive 28 needles every the months. . They have made a vast improvement but still a long way to go. . I’ll be honest, I’m not a piercing type of person, so this scares the crap out of me lol Now to decide whether to try our not :-/

  13. Fascinating thread. As a Chiropractor with an interest in migraine I would be considering an autonomic effect at play here. The vagus nerve has a branch to the ear called the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. This has been the target of many therapeutic approaches including acpuncture, tcvns, hvgs, and other electrotherapeutic modalities. Interestingly their appears to be a significant comorbidity (occur together) of headache and migraines and other autonomic conditions such as IBS. Practitioners have also observed positive outcomes with IBS and vagal stimulation. It may be the case that the piercing here has vagal effects that modulate the trigeminal nucleus at the brainstem having a pain modulating effect. I have certainly observed interesting ‘coincidence’ with patients having the onset of ON occipital neuralgia around the time following a tragus piercing….. lots of interesting material out there on this area. http://www.thejournalofheadacheandpain.com/content/16/1/63

    • thanks for this link! I’m currently writing a paper for a final on migraines. I keep wondering if it has to do with scattering the pain signal somehow like the way some off label medications work. But, then would it actually keep the migraines from coming or would it be a one time deal? Maybe it creates such a disturbance that changes things for a bit…so interesting 🙂

      • Joy, as we mentioned it might not be for everybody, and you should remove the piercings if things go from bad to worse.

    • The correlation to IBS is interesting. I have Migraines with Crohn’s….do you think the vagal response with this piercing could help with the Crohn’s too?

      • I don’t know, Amy. There’s too little research to provide you with a confident response either way. Best of luck.

  14. I’m a migraine suffer of 29 yrs and I’ve been reading up about this daith piercing for awhile..I’ve booked appointment to see about getting it done as I’ve tried every thing u can imagine over 29yrs so any thing is worth a try.

  15. I might try this if I get the nerve to actually get it done. My migraines actually started a year ago when I got a compression fracture on my spine from osteoporosis. I’m not even old either I’m 21 but doctors think the osteoporosis could be from hyperthyroidism so I kind of want to see if the migraines are being caused by an overactive thyroid. My migraines are actually only moderately painful but the nausea, dizziness, and vertigo is hard to deal with, most the time I go to bed and make the room pitch black since my migraines seem to come on in the evenings. The dizziness makes it hard to see straight and the vertigo makes me run into things while I’m walking and the nausea is just an effect of the dizziness/vertigo I’m pretty sure. Thankfully I’ve only had a few during the day. Usually I feel fine by the next morning but they still ruin my evenings and I have homework to do in the evenings.

  16. My daughter and I are going to get this done. As a migraine sufferer for 30 + years and my daughter over ten; we are willing to give it a try. As of today I have had a headache for 7 weeks, and I am willing to try just about anything. I am on coreg, wellbutrin and topamax as well as imitrex and still have this headache. The thought of being migraine free (or even less often or hell at this point just give me a break!) and possibly get off some of these meds sounds like a pipe dream …. so here goes nothing (or rather something).

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    • Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

    • Hi, I had suffered with migraines for 35 years. I used to get around 3 a week but my tablets did work if I took them in time or didn’t wake up with the migraine. I was told to get the piercing on the side I have the most frequent migraines which is my left side. I had the piercing 3 months ago and have had no left sided migraines since, just 2 on my right side buy I can cope with only 2 migraines in 3 months. The piercing does hurt when you have it done but for me, well worth it .

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  20. I once had a lot of luck with acupuncture for my migraines, but it stopped working when I lived in NYC. I then tried Botox, but the injection site pain was so intense and lasted such a long period of time that I had to stop. I can’t wear earrings on my earlobes because my head IMMEDIATELY starts hurting/pounding. I feel like a freak! I am wondering if a Daith piercing would just cause me more pain or some actual relief…pulling my ears and massaging them and rubbing them helps when I’m in a lot of pain. Any thoughts, Doctor?

  21. My wife has suffered with debilitating migraines that can last up to 10 days at a time, we often end up going to urgent care to get cocktail. She has tried every medication imaginable. We have been researching this for a month, talk to the piercer and she is going Tuesday to get both sides done. I will let yall know how it works for her.

    • Kris,

      Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

      Dr. Cohn

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  25. I would like to know, as someone who has just heard about this, how many people have had success with this verses nothing at all? I know from having acupressure, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic therapy and pain medication therapy for my migraines since I was 8 years old (that’s when they started) I have had little to no relief. I don’t like having to constantly take pills because it has the rebound effect or you become dependent on them. I have also changed my diet, my exercise routine and my sleep and work schedule to no solution. What is interesting is the pressure points suggested for migraines i.e. the one on the hand, actually triggers migraines for me and has been the source of excruciating pain when people have tried to help relieve my headache. I am very curious if this piercing could be used as a point of acupressure relief when a migraine triggers for example if one occurs moving the piercing or adjusting the ring to release the chemicals in the brain that might relieve the pain. However all I am reading about people that have the piercing done is that they are migraine free not that they are able to control when one arises. I am really hoping someone can respond to me in a non sarcastic and non judgmental way because I am seriously considering this since I basically live with a migraine every day the only factor that changes is the degree of pain being too much to maintain my day to day activities or not.

    • Mandy,

      Thanks for reaching out. As I mentioned, there have been no real scientific studies on the Daith piercings concrete ability to provide relief, but as you can see by the commenters, it has worked for some, and others are hesitant. You’ve certainly tried many different avenues without relief, and I can’t say definitively that it will or will not help, but if you’re sick of your migraines and exhausted all other options, it may be worth considering. Try putting pressure on the daith spot on your ears during your next few migraines, and if it seems helpful, discuss it with your acupunctarist or someone who specializes in piercings. If you’re uncomfortable with it after the consultation, you certainly don’t need to go through with it, but it’s just another avenue to explore. Sorry I can’t provide a more tangible information on the success vs. fail rate. Best of luck with your migraines.

      Dr. Cohn

    • I not only had migraines but a constant 24/7 headache before getting this done. It has been almost a month and I have been migraine free. I have felt a few headaches coming on and have moved the piercing around and pushed on the outside of the cartilage over where the ring lays under the skin and it has relieved the pain before it has gotten too bad.

      I hope this helps to answer your questions a little bit and if you chose to have this done I hope it has helped you as much as it has me.

    • My piercer HAS actually recommended “gently tugging” on the piercing at the onset of a headache or migraine to try to relieve the pain. They do not, however, recommend this until at least 6 weeks after having the piercing done to ensure that the piercing is healed. I was told not to actually “physically touch” my piercing for at least 6 weeks. I use an aerosol spray saline “wound wash” 3 times daily to clean it, and allow the shower water flow over it for at least 30 seconds at the end of my shower (to ensure all shampoo/conditioner/etc is rinsed off). My piercer also suggested that I consider which side I sleep on most, and pierce the other ear. She recommended not sleeping on it until it was healed.

      When I got my piercing I was on day 6 of a horrible migraine, nausea, light/sound sensitivity, the entire right side of my head was pounding. I was looking forward to death….the piercing hurt momentarily, then I felt this incredible warmth. By the time I left the shop, my piercing was just sore, and the migraine was just a headache. By the next day, it was only a very minimal headache (irritating really), and the day after it was gone. I got my piercing on April 1st. Since then, I have had 5 migraines, only 3 of which actually required my medication. After taking my medication, I was even able to attend my husband’s company picnic at a local park. I have also had a few “normal” headaches, most of which have not even required medication. Prior to my Daith, I had tried everything, basically every medication on the market, even Botox. I have had migraines for 23 years, and in the past 8-9 yrs they have increased to 20+ days a month. The relief I have experienced since April 1st has been a Godsend!!!

  26. I have both my daith pierced let me say left side is good got it done on 11/13/2015 sometimes that whole side hoes numb I love it. But got the right side done 11/17/2015 and omg I wanna die the pain that comes from that ear sucks I have had nothing but pain since that day so I can say it helps with headaches n migraines.

  27. I’m 17 almost 18 years old and for the past year ive been trying to deal with highly painful and imobilizing migraines. Lately in the past 7 months they have gotten progressively worse and frequent. up to 4-6 days a week. i think it’ll be worth a try.

  28. It is great to read all the positive comments from you guys post-piercing. As I currently have a migraine, I am doing some research on this topic; my cousin just mentioned it to me yesterday. I had never heard of this for a treatment. I currently take Topomax daily for mine, have taken this for 11years and would love to cut back or quit completely! Thanks for the info everyone!!

  29. I got my daith piercings in both ears 11/14/15. I went from daily and may as well say constant headaches to none. I had a headache when I went in. As soon as the needle went in, the headache went away. I almost cried. For the first time in as long as I could remember I had zero headache. I blamed it on the endorphins originally, but after 3 hours and still no headache, I figured the endorphin rush had worn off. Now, I have been a week and a half with only 1 very mild headache. It went away when I cleaned my piercings. Two other times I have had pressure (they also went away when I cleaned my piercings coincidentally) but no actual headache. I have had ZERO migraines. I went through 2 days of bad storms (which always bring about headaches days beforehand), changing weather/sinus issues currently, and the ultimate migraine giver. I went to Wal-Mart and smelled lavender. I usually have a migraine before I even realize I smell lavender. Nothing. No headache at all. A few weeks before my piercing I had to have dilaudid because my headache was not responding to anything (granted I was sick but still that is heavy stuff!). . I did it because I figured anything was worth a shot. I absolutely do not regret it at all. In fact, I have recommended it to TONS of people and given my guy’s # to them. I looked at it that I had nothing to lose and my life to gain. If it didn’t work, I was out less than $100 ($60 to be exact), but if it did work, oh the money I would save. Will it continue? I don’t know. Am I happy I did it? YES YES YES!!! If anybody would like to email me, I’ll be more than help and/or relate my experiences.

    • Michelle, do you know of any guys who have had it done? I have had migraines since I can remember… Sometimes I wish for sweet relief of death (not gonna do). I sometimes joke that: “looks like the Doctor is going to have to amputate”,hah. You’re post spoke to me. I need relief.

      Thanks, Holger

    • Try massaging the ears when a headache arises. If massaging one side seems to help, a piercing on that side alone may be all you need.

    • I suffer from BOTH Clair…and I an considering getting the piercing …so I will post if I do get them! I would have to do both sides of I do because I get my migraines on both sides too! Aren’t I the lucky one?…LOL!

      • Try massaging one side, then the other. If relief occurs when massaging one side during a painful flareup, maybe a piercing on only one side is necessary.

  30. Thank you Dr Chon, I’ve suffered with migraines for over 30 years now and as I’ve gotten older they seemed to increase, I’ve gotten the Botox injections twice and they have helped, I’m down from waking up with a headache everyday to 8 or 9 a month, I plan to have this piercing done ASAP, life with migraines is horrible, I’m have and am willing to try almost anything. People that don’t have migraines can never fully understand the need for any and all help, it’s like giving a blind man sight, again Thanks

  31. I suffer dibiltating migraines and after trying several medications and treatments have become desperate!!! I have recently tried atenolol which, according to my dr was the best thing since sliced bread!! It actually made me worse and spent 8 weeks in hell!!!

    I have just returned from the piercing shop after having the right side ‘Daith Piercing’. I intend to keep a diary as I have had so many people ask me if it works… I don’t know yet but i hope it does as I’m desperate … Plus I like how it looks!!

    • Julie,

      I am not very familiar with the type of material of the earring and it’s correlation to relief. Perhaps a commenter who has had sucess could better answer the question.

      Thanks,
      Dr. Cohn

  32. Daith piercing and migraines articles have just reached Italy, too. I’m 36 and have been suffering for migraines for 32 years. One of my sisters too. Painkillers, triptans, botox, acupuncture, chyropractic, trigger diets, beta-blockers, anti-depressants… Christmas is coming, this will be our Christmas present! It won’t be more painful that a 5-day migraine lying in bed!

  33. I’ve suffered from migraines all my adult life (I’m 56 now). I’ve tried every migraine medication known to man. When I learned about this piercing I thought is was too good to be true. I am willing to give it a try… If it doesn’t work I’ll just take it out. As far as the pain goes, I’ve had both knees replaced this year so I think the pain will not be nearly as bad as that! Thank you, Doctor, for trying to help those of us who suffer so much with these awful headaches!

  34. I recently heard about this as a treatment for migraines. After almost 28 years of migraines, trying more drugs as prophylaxis than I will ever remember, including botox with little to no relief, being treated by numerous neurologists & headache specialists, I still average a migraine every other day, in part due to the triptan rebound effect. I’m hesitant to try this because of the potential pain aspect & also because my skin is very sensitive & I tend to have a reaction to jewelry, especially earrings. But at this point I’m willing to try just about anything. I think I will talk to my current neurologist about acupuncture as Dr. Cohen suggested & then potentially try the daith piercing. Thanks to Dr. Cohen & to all who have shared their experiences here.

  35. I’ve suffered from migraines for years now lIke many others on this thread. I have Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV). I get dizzy/vertigo sometimes without a migraine or sometimes I get a debilitating migraine with no vertigo. It’s scary because I never know when I’ll have a vertigo attack and even though the migraines are painful and debilitating, I still prefer to have a headache over vertigo hands down… I have tried all different presciption meds, gave up smoking cigarettes, limited caffeine and sugar intake, high grade peppermint oil (helps but not always), acupuncture, got an MRI, headache classes, you name it, I’ve tried it… I ended up doing some research between Daith and Tragus and decided to get a Tragus piercing instead of the Daith piercing for my migraines. I have been seeing an Acupuncturist for a little over a year now and he would place a needle at that place in my ear so that’s why I went a little different route. I usually get migraines on my left side of my head so I got my Tragus piercing on the left ear. I just got the piercing today and I will update in about a month with any updates, good or bad.

    • Where is a tragus piercing? My acupuncturist says the site of the Daith piercing is not an acupuncture point for migraines. I wonder if the tragus is a better spot.

  36. I have been diagnosed with chronic daily headaches with migraine and have been suffering with it since I was 12 yrs old. I have tried numerous meds either by prescription or over the counter and haven’t found one that has seemed to work with the managing of them. I came across the article of the piercing and would be willing to try it just as I have tried every med around. If it didn’t work then I get a nice piercing out of it but if it could even alleviate half the pain I would be in heaven. People are too quick to judge ,try walking a day in someone’s shoes who suffers from migraines it takes away ur life and ability to enjoy things as ur world ends up revolving around them ,cant make plans ahead of time cause 80% of the time it ends up with disappointment as that day approaches and u cant go out cause ur in bed with a migraine. I want to Live my life not just exist and having daily migraines you don’t get to live ur life.

  37. I sincerely hope anyone getting any kind of piercing goes to a professional studio not a kiosk in the mall. Those mall piercing guns are NOT sterilized properly and you could get very ill from them. A tattooist doesn’t do piercings, a piercer does. Make sure the place is clean and using sterile equipment. Go in, hang out, talk to the piercer and to customers who seem to know the place well. Do this several times, not just once. Get references if you can. Make sure they use gloves every time. And that they change them if they touch anything while doing the piercing.

  38. I have suffered from chronic migraines for almost 12 years. I am hospitalized 3-5 times per month and have to give myself daily injections of medication on top of Botox and seeing my neurologist regularly. I have tried accupuncture, chiropractors, herbalists, and every medication imaginable. Nothing has helped. I am only 25 years old and am incapable of attending school or getting a job because I am bed ridden so often. I would literally give up my legs if it ment I never have to have a migraine again. I am truly grateful of any possible ideas that might help me so I might actually know what it feels like to live again. So THANK YOU for your advice.

  39. Would this also help with tension headaches? I’ve been on amitriptyline but stopped taking it because of weight gain but still take my fiorcet as needed. I also use peppermint oil (which seems to work short term anyways) but would love to not take meds as much.

    • Alicia,

      I’m not sure if it would work for tension headaches. Try massaging your ear when the headache sets in, and if that seems to provide some relief, maybe a Daith piercing could be beneficial.

      Best of luck,
      Dr. Cohn.

  40. I have suffered with migraines since I was 7 years old and being 50 now that’s a huge part of my life to have contended with such pain. I am on Pitzotifen daily and Propanolol and have theSumatriptan injection when migraines strike. I was waking with migraines every single day so the effectiveness of any pain relief was reduced due to having to treat it once it was in full swing. My days would start fighting the pain on waking and it was a constant battle as to how far the migraine would progress as the day wore on. In November 2015 I was incapacitated for 16 days of the month due to migraine. That meant doing little or nothing except fighting pain. I am very careful what I eat and know that certain foods trigger migraines so avoid them, and as much as I have tried not to let my migraine history manage me and my life, the simple fact is that they were.Everything revolved around how severe my migraine was on any given day. On the 11th December 2015 I was tired of feeling tired, tired of waking in pain and took the decision to have my daith pierced. I can honestly say that this small step has totally changed my life. I have not had a migraine since I had it done, I have woken up and felt NORMAL for the first time in many many years and my energy levels have soared as a result of not having to start my day fighting pain. I have had one or two days when I felt a little sick like I would do with a full blown migraine but it has never escalated and soon passes. For all those people who do not believe in the effectiveness of this and say its a placebo , there’s no scientific proof that it works etc, really does any of that matter because for me this has been a lifesaver.

  41. I found this article very helpful after my hair stylist told me about this particular piercing. I have been doing Botox since January 2011, which has been really helpful. Unfortunately the medication I would take at the onset of a migraine became less effective and even going to the ER for Toradol and Phenergan was beginning not to relieve the migraines. I did have TMJ surgery in 1995 because the disc in both of the joints slipped out of place. I had a tooth pulled in August 2014, on the left side in the back of my mouth because I knew my jaw couldn’t tolerate being open for a root canal. They took a x-ray after pulling the tooth that forced my jaw to open a bit more than it actually could be and being on the left side which is where I get my migraines, the left temporal area, increased the number of migraines I was having tremendously ~ which was too many as it was. I would have some that would last for days, fortunately I had a mouthpiece made for the jaw pain, which was somewhat helpful for the migraines. I was becoming more sensitive to sunlight the last few months and having to have ten cavities filled after having my teeth cleaned, though going to Creighton Dental College for Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska, the students being aware of my jaw issues and migraines have been doing the cleaning in one section at a time along with filling the cavities. I still have two cavities that need to be done and they are on the left upper back teeth.
    I had this piercing done December 31, with the hope of having a much better 2016. I did have a migraine today due to numerous stressors, the holidays, finances, and breaking up with my boyfriend, who I saw today, I wasn’t surprised to having one. I took the medication at the onset and when I woke up a couple hours later felt much better without the hangover feeling or concerned about florescent lights in the hallway of the apartment complex. I really believe the piercing helped me to overcome this migraine in such a timely manner. The person who did the the piercing said he has done quite a few of this particular piercing and has had positive feedback. I’m more hopeful than I have been in a very long time that having this particular piercing done is going to benefit me, though I also realize that nothing is a total cure for something that has relentlessly plagued me for the last twenty years with so many treatments not being effective. Even though I had a migraine today I remain more positive and hopeful that having this piercing done is going to be tremendously beneficial than anything else I have tried. I will continue with the Botox and with this piercing I believe that 2016 will be a much better year concerning the issues of having chronic migraines.

  42. I’ve recently been diagnosed with psuseotumor ceribi and I suffer with headaches all day every day I can’t seem to control with medication and my dr wants me to have a shunt placed in my brain I was wanting to try this piercing to see if it would help with my headaches before if would have to have surgery but I was wondering if it only helps migraines?

  43. I have done Botox treatments for migraines and nothing was working. My daughter found this article and I researched figured what the hell I’ll try it. If it doesn’t work I will just pull it out. Well I did it, it hurt like hell but I have not had one single headache in a month. I was a daily headache kinda girl. I’m not saying it’s guaranteed but it has worked for me!!

  44. I have suffered from migraines for over ten years … About two weeks ago .. I got this piercing and I haven’t had a migraine since… That’s saying something since I’ve suffered daily from migraines … The daith piercing is definitely something someone who has exhausted all other treatments should try! I made sure the piercer who did mine had experience in piercing this part of the ear (always call around and make sure they know what their doing) … And to all the people asking which side to do.. Do the side where ur migraines hurt … If ur migraines r mostly on ur right side.. Pierce ur right side … I’m getting my other ear done once this piercing heals…

  45. This is something I am willing to try. I take Excedrin Migraine to the point that it tears up my stomach; I am currently on Topamax twice daily and it makes it difficult to recall facts, has numbed some of my taste buds, and has made it so I cannot drive at night because I cannot see in the dark. This terrifies me because I wonder what the long-term effects on my brain are going to be. I take Imitrex for acute migraines and while it takes the migraine away I can’t function for about four hours because it makes me “flat”- I don’t know how else to describe it. At this point, if someone told me to hang upside down and sacrifice an eggplant at midnight under a full moon to get rid of the migraines I’d try it!!! Thanks for keeping an open mind, Doc! It’s refreshing to hear in the medical field, as I’m an RN in NP school 🙂

  46. I have been suffering with severe daily headaches now for almost two years. I have been prescribed every medication you could think of to prevent them. I’ve done physical therapy, massage, dry needling and seen a pro-adjuster, nothing has worked. I am so excited and willing to try anything at this point. I really appreciate Dr Cohn’s input. I’ve read all the comments and I didn’t realize how many other people were dealing with severe headaches/migraines. If it works, awesome! If not, it’s on to the next.

  47. I just got this piercing right around two weeks ago I have experienced headaches and migraines since I was two years old. I in general wake up every morning and have to constantly medicate , since getting this piercing I have not been having that problem at all the most I have had was a sinus headache but it was nothing in comparison to what it could have been. I have been exposed to many of my migraine triggers and so far no migraines “knock on wood ” my review is two thumbs up and as far as the actual process of the piercing i had a headache when I got the piercing and it instantly went away and a sense of euphoria went through my head as pressure immediately released and I barely felt the piercing itself.

  48. Jonee’ I am a 57 yr old female who does not remember life without vomiting ‘sick headaches’ as they used to call them. I have known for many years they are migraines and my mother suffered from them when she was hit head on in her car 5 months pregnant with me. I have seen every type of doctor, acupuncture, hypnosis, energy balancing, neurologists, migraine specialist hospital. I have tried pages upon pages of medications including botox injections which did help TMJ and I received many compliments on my skin. The pain is maddening and I’ve lost years of my life in cumulative days. I have also been a ‘guinea pig’ for two clinical trials one of which was a preventative and the other was Imitrex. Unfortunately, both were double blind studies, but I was given an Imitrex injection on my last migraine visit. At last, a miracle medicine that cost a fortune and was an insurance nightmare. Who has that many headaches per month? Millions of us. I was told of this ear piercing from my best friend who knew someone who has had tremendous relief from her migraines. I was always told ear piercings are frowned upon by acupuncture doctors as they mess with our bodies balance. I am desperate enough to try this, but I have 3 ear piercings and can only sleep in baby rings or they hurt almost as bad as a headache. So, I will investigate this further as I am a member of the National Headache Foundation and have seen no information or clinical trials on Daith Piercings. I applaud you for anything you can share that will rid millions of who lose days of our lives to pain that most people think we are faking and ‘why can’t you take some aspirin?’. Do I want to hit them in the head? No, I just wish I would not be labeled a crazed woman who was told to see a psychiatrist by the migraine specialist. He is no longer in town. Thank you for your share.

    • Wow, Jonee, you just described my life!!!! I haven’t heard the term “sick headache” in years!!! Migraines run in both sides of my family and my father’s side always called them “sick headaches”…mind=blown…thanks for the memory!!! And yes, people who have never had a true migraine have no idea what they are talking about! I think I’m going to try this piercing. I have had severe migraines with aura for over 40 years…I’ll try anything within reason. BTW, I DO want to hit them over the head, lol.

  49. My one year old was just diagnosed with migraines. I would love to do this for her but I think she’s to young. She does have her ears pieced already, but what age should I try this.

    • Jennifer,

      That’s a conversation best had between your and your child’s doctor. Odds are they will want to try some conservative treatment options and may even wait until the child can voice and explain what they are feeling so the medical team can provide your daughter with the best care. I’d love to provide you with a more definitive answer, but it’s a situation best discussed with your child’s doctor. Wishing the best for you and your daughter.

      Dr. Cohn

  50. I really want this. I have had migraines for about a year now. They are dreadful, and painful. My pupils change sizes. Thats how crazy they are. I have been to just about every doctor and then my sister showed me this. Im excited! I hope it works!

  51. Hoping 2 get mine done 2mrw. I suffer from 3 to 5 migraines a day. Changed my diet, everything.nothing has worked. Been this way 4 to long. I will post my findings.

  52. I have researched this theory as much as possible on the internet and with anyone who will listen to me. Many have shared their thoughts. I have a freind a co worker, both have had great results..I have suffered from migraines for 10+ years, the last 4 years they have increased in volume and pain levels, I have tracked them to food allergies and food chemical triggers, but I can not always avoid the triggers and I feel that there are other factors that set off these headaches as well. I’ve tried acupuncture, which worked but on a temporary basis, Ive tried chiropractic care, eye care, sleep studies, allergy care, yoga, homeopathic and all natural cures, some made differences some did not, I have changed my lifestyle and my eating habits. I still have migraines – at least 4 a month, each one last 3-4 days long…
    I am getting my Daithe pierced tonight. I will do whatever it takes to avoid living with these debilitating migraines.
    I will report back my results, crossing my fingers this works! If not I will be out $30, some pain and maybe a little scar in my ear from where the hole grows closed…
    Worth it, all worth the attempt for maybe a difference.

    • Try massaging each ear when a headache arises. If pressure on one side provides some relief, maybe that’s the only side you need to get pierced.

  53. What about for MAV? I have suffered from vertigo for 8 years now with random episodes, current being the worst at 55 days straight today. I am looking into anything. I did just start acupuncture but no results yet tho was told would take multiple sessions.

    • One reader suggested that it did not help her vertigo, but I do not personally know how the procedure will affect each person individually. Best of luck with your care.

  54. Hi All! I have been reading this web page with interest for a while. I am from the U.K and have various health problems. Long story short I have headaches nearly every day. From a very heavy feeling at the back of my head headaches that make it difficult to actually move to thumpy headaches. I also have Hemiplegic Migraines too. They are “sort of” under control by medication but not 100%.

    Anyway I spent all of last Christmas feeling bad so, I decided that I will have “the daith!! I am a wimp though. The left ear (the big ear) was quick and just felt more than a pinch. The right ear hurt as my ear was small and the piercer struggled to get the top ball into the bar. The right side pain wise felt like a very tight bull dog clip when pierced. I am so glad I went through with it though. I am on my 4th week of having them done and have had about two headaches!!! 😀 The day I had them pierced I had the very heavy back of my head headache and when they were done it went and my head feel so much lighter and still does feel lighter now.

    I must warm you though – I doesn’t do anything for “aura’s” or vertigo (another illness that I have got). Try it – you may never know if you don’t! I am surprised it has helped me.

    Best wishes all!

    Marie.

  55. I truly hope this works for people suffering with migraines. I am here out of pure curiosity, but I do suffer from chronic knee and hip pain (which stems from an Army service connected injury). Dr. Cohn, I appreciate your approach in being truthful, but trying to preserve hope when faced with adversity. I have luckily never suffered a migraine and pray I never have to, but I have several good friends that do suffer from them. My empathetic nature leads me on many quests to find answers from credible sources. Thank you for writing this article and please do ignore those verbal attacks.

    -Kristin Newman

    • William,

      I do not know of anyone in the area, but as I’ve suggested with other patients, calling around and asking about their familiarity with the procedure should paint a good picture of a place that could perform the procedure. Best of luck!

    • Try massaging your ears as your headaches arise. If one ear tends to help most headaches, maybe that’s the side to pursue. If it alternates, both ears may be an option. Again, try massaging the spots on your ear as they arise to see how temporary pressure helps with the pain.

  56. I have suffered from migraines for many years. The last few years have gotten worse and worse. I have a migraine at least 25 days out of the month. I have tried everything. Right now I’ve been on a seizure medication for almost 3 weeks that isn’t helping as of yet. My life consists of trying to make it to and through work, (doesn’t always happen of course) and laying in bed with an ice pack on my head, praying for a few pain free hours so I can cook , do laundry, clean, ect.. My poor kids barely even have a mother anymore. My migraines are all over my head, not just on one side. Yesterday when I woke I had such a bad one I decided I was going to get the Piercing. Anything is worth a try. I did my left ear. It was painful but fast. As of tonight I haven’t had a full blown migraine. I do have a headache, but only on the left side which is very abnormal for me. If it goes on this way, I will go get the right side pierced. I’ll try to update as time goes on.. And just ignore people who talk badly about this article, they obviously have not suffered with migraines and have no idea what life is like as a sufferer.

  57. I am having more and more migraines as I get older. I pinched that spot on my ear during a migraine and I could feel the headache ease up. Today I went and got faux hoops that you clip over that part of the ear and it applies pressure. Has anyone else tried this with success? I thought it might give me relief and help me know if I want a piercing. The local piercing shop said it was painful and would hurt for about a week and needed 6 weeks to completely heal. That scared me a bit.

  58. I am 65 years old and was even hospitalized for migraines when I was a child. The last few years I have had almost daily migraines. Some migraines were so brutal, I had panic attacks thinking I would not be able to make it through the pain. I even thought dying would be better. I heard of the Daith piercings and decided that I would have anything pierced if it would help. You can just imagine the looks I got when I walked into the tattoo place…they thought I was lost. Lol! I not only had one ear, but both ears pierced. I was afraid I’d go home and if it didn’t work, assume I got the wrong ear. Besides, I knew I wouldn’t go back if I left…so I screwed up my courage and got both done. Did it hurt..heck yea! But certainly not close to some of those migraines! No, the piercer didn’t put anything on my ears to numb them. But the pain is certainly bearable. It was uncomfortable a few days cleaning them…but again I have migraines. ..not even in the same ballpark! Now for the big question…did it work? It has just been 8 days now but I have only had 1 migraine and it was a mild one as far as migraines go. I have a very hard time thinking this is a coincidence since I hardly ever can even go 2 days without a migraine. I am optimistically hopeful this will help and only time will tell…but so far so good.

    • I believe mine were tension headaches. Have not had one in 4 days since I have gotten the piercing. I just hope it stays that way.

  59. i had this done on jan 9 2016 and i have nottttttt had a migraine since. i fine this amazing , i have stopped taking my migraine medicine and i feel like a new person. and yes it does hurt like hell but only for the first week or two , just dont sleep on that side and wash it alot with the salt water and also bact. soap . i love it migraine free.

  60. Hello all, I’ve suffered from 6/7 types of migraine for 30+ years. It’s normal for me to average 30 to 40 migraines a month. My son gets the retinal migraines and my daughter gets the same kind that I do. My neurologist has tried over 18 different types of meds and I’ve also tried the Botox injections and acupuncture to no avail. My daughter and I got these piercings about 3-4 weeks ago on our left ear. My daughter has not had a migraine since the piercing. I have had about three migraines and a few regular headaches, which is far above the curve. When this piercing is healed, I plan on getting the other side pierced as well, as I have noticed the headaches have gravitated to the right side now. I cannot speak for anyone else but if you truly have suffered from migraines, then you understand the pain and the willingness to try absolutely anything. It’s a piercing, if it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’re not really out a whole lot!

  61. I’ve had a transformed migraine that has lasted 100% of the time for the past 4 months. I’ve spent so much money on tests, doctor appointments, prescriptions, etc and found minimal relief. It’s through God’s grace alone that I’ve kept my job and been able to be a mother to my children.. because most days it is all I can do to get out of bed and continue life as normal. I’ve had migraines for years, but all those prior migraines combined pale in comparison to what I’ve experienced these past few months.

    I was very skeptical that a piercing could provide relief but at this point I am willing to try anything. I got my daith piercing 2 days ago. I figured, if it didn’t help at least I would still have a cool piercing. I’m not certain if it’s just wishful thinking or a combination of prayers and a positive attitude, but I actually felt better today. I’m confident that either way, better days are ahead…

  62. I have been suffering from dull/throbbing headaches for several months. After a while it just got old waking up every day, sick to my stomach due to a throbbing headache. I made the decision to try the tragus/daith piercing. I have only had it for about 4 days and have not had a headache since. I am not saying they won’t return but I am amazed at the results. It may not work for everyone but I feel as though it has worked for me so far. I hope it continues! Good luck to anyone that tries this. I hope you get the same results as I have.

  63. Excellent post Doc!! I’m going to go have mine pierced TODAY! I greatly appreciate your after comments and thoughts as well!!! Excellent article ^5

  64. I was wondering do you just go a place that does piercings or do you need to go to a body piercing place? I would really like to try this and see if it works for me. Thank you for the article.

    • Missy,

      As I’ve suggested with some other patients, calling around to some piercing shops and asking about their familiarity with the procedure should paint a good picture of a place that could perform the procedure. Best of luck!

  65. I have found benefit from massaging in the area of the daith piercing. However, the most benefit seems to come from pinching the same cartilage, but just slightly up from all the pictures I see. I am considering getting this slightly higher spot pierced, but keep reading that people get the benefit from the traditional location. Has anyone pierced slightly higher, but still had migraine reduction?

  66. It’s like 40 dollars what can it hurt? Hell if it works for you that’s awesome. I’m going to try it because I’m over having headaches and migraines each week for the past 3 years. And I’m no longer going to be a lab rat for the neuro doctors.

    But hell everyone wants to have power trips bc a piercer isn’t a doctor or a acupuncturist?!?!? Hell anyone can read a book!

    Don’t go off of other people’s opinions. If you want to relieve the pain then try it. What can it hurt?

  67. I have suffered from life effecting migraines since 10 years old, 45 yrs. I have tried every med out there including botox,triptans etc.
    Took preventative with almost no effect. I got both ears done a few weeks ago. I walked in with a headache, had the procedure.
    My headache was gone before I left the shop. It felt like my head was cleared and felt lighter than I can ever remember, which continues still. I have not had any headaches.
    I have felt a full need in my face like when I had headaches but they don’t actually become a headache and it soon just goes away. I guess only time will tell but this is the longest I have gone headache free for as long as I remember.
    The piercing stung just for a moment and then it’s fine. They heal very nicely, I do not regret doing it at all. I had it done in a tattoo shop that also does piercings and had experience with daith piercings, this was the only one they had done for migraines.
    They want updates on how it goes.
    I have high hopes of course but like the piercing anyway. After it heals they have pretty jewlery for it aswell. So far I say if you have frequent bad migraines, go for it.
    Really what do you have to lose!!

  68. I’ve suffered from migraines since 1999. They’ve been 5-6 days a week for years! In addition to morphine sulfate twice a day + Tylenol #3 three times a day for chronic pain, I’m currently on Fioricet twice a day prn for migraines. After seeing the story about Daith piercings last week on the website for “The Doctors” tv show, I ran out the same day & had both of my ears pierced in the Daith. I can tell you the pain of the piercings was not bad at all, I’ve had no ear pain whatsoever after the piercings and the past week I only had ONE migraine! Coincidence? Placebo? I really don’t care! I’d try about anything, as my migraines are horrible!

  69. I got my Daith pierced on January 30, 2016. I have not had a migraine since! I have had migraines for 15+ years with 2-5 days per month suffering from them. I did only have one ear pierced (right side) the side most of my migraines were on. I had tried so many things over the years, nothing lessened the migraines. Two full months now with no migraines. The Daith piercing is working for me.

  70. Hi 30+ year migrainer. Has anyone had their daiths pierced in the Salt Lake City area? Or anywhere in northern Utah? Would love a reference. Also, I wear hearing aids in both ears. thanks!

  71. Dr Cohn (or any of the site readers), are you aware of any potential piercing sites that could be of benefit to someone suffering from pain due to endometriosis? I have had a laparoscopy but the pain is starting to come back and is absolutely crippling when it does! My doctor won’t perform any further laparoscopies on me so I am trying to find alternative possibilities. Unfortunately I can’t afford regular acupuncture or massages. Thanks for any suggestions!

  72. I suffer daily from chronic headaches. I have tried drug after drug Botox and I am so fed up with it. I am going tie try the piercing Ang cross my fingers it works.

  73. Thank you for this article. I’m seriously considering the piercing. I do not like taking medicine so this is a great option for me. If it relieves some pain for me it’s a great win. If not I’ll have a cute new piercing. 😉

  74. Had my daith piercing done after a horrible week of migraines. I was terrified to have it done, really. I have not had a true migraine or a lasting headache since then (3 and 1/2 months).
    Early after my piercing was done I could tell when I was about to get a headache, because my ear would swell. It was almost like my ear would hurt instead of my head.
    I haven’t had any auras or flashes of light either. And no visual disturbances have occurred of any kind. And my balance is better first thing in the morning, too. The worst thing about my piercing is the darn itching it does as it heals.

  75. I had shingles on the left side of my face, and that is a pain I would not want to wish on anyone. About three months later I had a three day migraine and my doctor told me that it was a after-effect of the shingles and that the headaches may go away after a few years, or they may never go away. On my birthday last week I went to ER for the first time due to a migraine. I was terrified. I’ve been looking at having one of these done for a while and after reading this article, and many others, and all of the comments I think I may go for one. I’ll just have to find a good piercer to do this. Thank you for your stories. They really have helped me feel as though I am not alone in this.

  76. I had nearly daily migraines. Imitrex made me too groggy but Excedrine Migraine deadened the pain enough to “function”. Avoiding triggers wasn’t always an option since I had barometric migraines (trigger: weather changes). It was only a week ago I got a Daith Piercing….I have not had any headache all week…a record for the last several years. I feel better so I’ve gotten better sleep than I remember for ages.

  77. I just got my daith pierced. I’ve had chronic migraines for so long, i don’t even know how long anymore. I’ve had botox treatments, the procedure where they fill your sinuses with lidocaine, surgeries, meds, meds, and more meds. I’ve tried altering my diet and schedule, yoga, I even see a psychologist on a weekly basis who specializes in patients with chronic pain-we focus on mindful meditation and he hooks me up to machines to evaluate all kinds of stuff. One of my coworkers said piercing my daith MIGHT give me a SLIGHT decrease in migraines…I had both done that night. I would recommend a tattoo/piercing parlor. That is where I went. The guy who did mine was the owner and he said many piercers don’t like to do it b/c that spot is hard to pierce and do nicely. He assured me that he was confident in his skills and I felt comfortable with him. My experience was to be great, fantastic and wonderful. There was a small amount of pressure for the actual piercing but the healing has been great. No pain. Really. Like maybe I don’t actually have a nerve ending in my daith? I can’t say this will be everyone’s experience but for me this has been wonderful. They’ve only been pierced for a week so I dont know how they are doing with migraine prevention, but the piercing itself is not bad. Also, an upside is that I got the barbells and just looking at me you can’t see the piercing. You have to kind of look for them or know they are there so if you have a job where they are picky about that kind of stuff, go with the barbell instead of the ring for more discretion.

  78. I have headaches in the middle of my forehead My friend got a piercing on the side where she had headache and has helped her Which side should I try since its in the middle of my head not the side

    • Linda,

      Rub either ear when pain begins. If pressure on one ear appears to give relief, that may be the side to pursue.

      Dr. Cohn

  79. Do not go to a jewelry store. I have worked at several and they are not trained for Daith piercings. . Most of them use piercing kits you can buy online. Please go to a license piercer.. Usually works with tattoo shops. They understand the bloodflow and the proper way to keep piercings clean. Please… go to a pro.

  80. I have been a migraine sufferer since I was a young girl and now I am 57 yrs. old, I have tried it all, Botox worked the best but still had many Migraines and insurance eventually stopped paying, I recently had the daith or rook piercing done, the next day I had the worst migraine but since then I am in shock how, (So Far) it is working for me, I sure hope it continues, its been about 8 weeks, I NEVER go that long without a migraine, so hoping it continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Pingback: Daith Piercing: Migraine Cure? : Life&Style : Headlines & Global News – Headlines & Global News

  82. I’ve had migraines for 44 years. Mostly left sided. Many times in cycles of 2-3 weeks of either waking up with one, or going to bed with one. Nausea, noise, light sensitivity… the whole bit. I can’t take most migraine meds because of a heart issue. Not much to help with them, pretty much most meds might as well be candy.
    Went in for the piercing during the third day of a migraine. Yes, it hurt for a brief moment, but compared to weeks of headaches, it was NOTHING!!! As soon as the piercing went in, the intense pain behind my eye and the nausea were gone! And the next morning, absolutely no headache and no ‘headache hangover’ as after most migraines. So far, so good. If it doesn’t work, I have not lost much, and will take it out. If it continues to work….GREAT! Many people seem to want many scientific studies done on this, but, I believe for the most part, most studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies, and what company that makes lots of money on migraine meds, would want to study something that could cut down on their business?!?! Just my opinion, but drugs aren’t always the answer to fix things, like some doctors believe.
    If you truly suffer with debilitating migraines, then you are always looking for a way to make the pain stop. What do you have to lose?

  83. I suffered from migraines and headaches. I gotten the daith piercing and it helped a lot I don’t get them any more. My tattoo artist is also a piercer and done it for me. The only thing that really hurt was the clamp cause where it’s in the ear it’s a hard place to get too and you’ll feel some pressure for a couple days but it’s worth it in the end.

  84. I have been suffering from 2-3 migraines per week and waking up daily with head and neck pain. I have tried many different medications. I ordered migrelief hoping for a “all natural” alternative. That cut my migraines down to 1-2 per week. I came across the daith piercing alternative and thought what the heck for 50 dollars that is cheaper then most prescriptions that have terrible side effects. I went to a professional piercer at a tattoo shop who does as many as 6 daith piercings a day for migraine sufferers. The piercing was nothing pain-wise compared to what a migraine feels like so if you truly suffer from migraines the piercing will not bother you at all. I pierced the side I get the most migraines on. I am still newly pierced but in the 2 weeks since I have had my daith pierced I have not had one single migraine. I wake up feeling GOOD! I haven’t woke up feeling good in years!!! I can’t even tell you the difference it’s made in my life! I am happy again and full of energy. My head and neck do not hurt. Last week during the day I started to get a small neck ache and thought oh no here comes the migraine but it never came. I pushed down around my piercing off and on for an hour, the area around in started to throb and the pain was GONE. I don’t care if people think its all in our heads or not, believe it or not. All I know is its HELPING ME!! Helping me be a good wife and mommy to my 2 year old again! Thank God for this answer to my prayers. Even if I only get 2 weeks of pain free I will take it and it was well worth the 50 dollars! 🙂

  85. Dr. Cohn, as someone who’s suffered with migraines for 20yrs & also lives with daily chronic pain; I would be thrilled to have even a slight reduction in my migraines. I’ve tried so many things that I as well cannot remember them all; including daily preventatives currently & “rescue meds” as my neuro calls my actual migraine medication. The long term effects from the meds HAS GOT to be greater than a piercing in my mind.

    Thank you for trying to help those of us whose lives are greatly altered by this pain.

  86. Well said Dr. Cohn!! In regards to the post story update!! I did not read the comments that helped to inspire (contributor to) the post story but I feel that you addressed the topic as well as the controversy surrounding it very well and I am grateful for stumbling upon your unbiased opinion while doing some research of my own. Thank you!!

  87. I have suffered from migraines for the past several years. They got pretty bad and I ended up with a migraine that lasted a month. I was on a preventative and that helped the frequency of them. About 4 months ago, that stopped working. I would get one and it would last for several days, then 1 day off, then back to migraines. I was desperate and had heard of the daith piercing. I did not put much stock into it. Again, I was desperate, so I got it done. I was a little painful (pain is subjective). My piercer said that he was not a doctor and could not cure migraines, but just about everyone that he had done, had good results. I wasn’t expecting a miracle. Even if it just cut down on the frequency, that would have been fine. It has been 2 months and I have not had a single migraine. I stopped taking my preventative when I got the piercing to see if it would work. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me. Even if my migraines come back, I had a few months pain free and that is so worth it.

  88. I just had my daith piercing done a week ago in hopes of helping with my chronic migraines. So far I’ve had two migraines since, so I don’t think it is helping, but I believe mine are largely hormone related so I don’t know that a piercing would be able to help. Just wanted to say that I still think it’s a cute piercing and will keep it regardless AND the pain really wasn’t that bad. I went to a local tattoo shop with a great reputation and the pain was no worse than my other cartilage piercing that I had had done before. It hurt worse putting the actual earring in, but overall really not a bad pain level. Good luck!

  89. My daughter has suffered with migraines for many years now. She recently lost her job because of having to miss so much work as a result of these debilitating headaches (loss of sight, vomiting, pain, incoherent, disoriented, etc). She has tried every medication, herbal treatments, food & diet changes, and botox. NOTHING works!! She is scheduled to go to MAYO Clinic next week in Jacksonville FL to see if they can help. I firmly believe that PAIN is a symptom and NOT an illness. Whether it is a food allergy, drug allergy, side effect, hormonal, pinched nerve…. WHATEVER!!! Something is causing the pain. All that the doctors having been doing thus far is piling on the pain medicine instead of trying to find out what the cause is. WE ARE FRUSTRATED!!! We WILL be trying out the daith piercing to see if it helps. We have to find some kind of relief until the Dr finds the cause. I will post our results later.

  90. For my migrains
    Warm to hot bath, feet and hands underwater. Head tilted down in between knees as if looking at belly. Soft ice pack (gel type) on back of neck. 15 minutes
    But looking into piercing

  91. As a chronic migraine sufferer who, as you said, is at my wit’s end trying to control and manage my pain on a daily basis. One of my main triggers is the weather. I,am giving serious thought to the daith piercing, and am curious as to which side to get pierced. Is it the side which you have the majority of your migraines or the opposite side?

    Thanks so much!

    • Heather, try massaging each ear lobe when a headache sets in. If rubbing one ear seems to help alleviate pain, that may be the ear to target. Best of luck – Dr. Cohn

  92. I’ll provide more anecdotal, non-scientific “evidence.” Mine cost $25 each. BEST money ever spent. Ever. Chronic migraine sufferer for over 20 years. This has been the only thing that has consistently worked. Now I can deal with the sinus/hormone headaches and not have them compounding and piggybacking each other.

    Given a choice between a piercing I could remove or narcotics, it would be a piercing every single time. My piercer is great, though. I don’t know that I would have trusted any one else to do it- unless she gave the ok.

  93. Yesterday while getting my-so far not helping- Botox injections(really painful and 30+ @ a time) my Neurologist told me I should get Daith piercings.

  94. I totally agree! Unless you’ve lived with chronic pain, you have no right to judge what works for one person. Most of us have tried conventional methods to no avail. It’s not fun, it’s not funny and certainly not optimal to have to live around chronic pain of any kind. I came to learn and possible chose to try another option because my most resent choice has again failed. The choice is mine!

  95. I live in MN. I went to a place today called The Holy Mackerel to get my daith pierced. I highly recommend it. I actually was getting a headache prior to my piercing and within hours it went away. I’m praying that’s a sign that it is going to work. The piercing itself doesn’t hurt that much and Verno at the Holy Mackerel is great.

  96. I just recently received my daith Piercing and was able to wake up migraine free after more than 10 years of crippling migraine pain. Not only do I have multiple sclerosis but I also suffer from a large chairi malformation. I have tried every intervention and medication out there to receive little to none relief from my migraines. Since getting my piercing, I have actually had the blessing of waking up migraine free (something I truly couldn’t remember the last time it had happened). Not to mention, the piercing was next to nothing in cost when compared to other treatments I have tried so this was worth the try for me. I would recommend the piercing for anyone who suffers enough migraines that interrupt their lives for days at a time. The piercing itself was about 10 seconds of pain and nothing compared to a 5-6 day migraine.

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