Daith Piercing is Music to Ears of Some Migraine Sufferers
A trending body piercing technique that some say alleviates chronic headaches has caught the ears of a few migraine sufferers.
Daith piercing is performed above the innermost cartilage fold of the ear, called the crus helix. Not only does it "look cool," but logic says that piercing this area of the ear acts the same way acupuncture does by targeting pressure points of the body to release pain-reducing endorphins and help lessen the feelings of discomfort.
Most doctors are not completely sold on the idea, but to some who have received the procedure, daith piercing is music to their ears.
Crystal Consylman is one who is singing its praise after her visit to Royal Pain Tattoo, in Lancaster, Pa. The 39-year-old woman said her piercing combined with brain ablation treatment, which targets tissue to relieve chronic headaches, has cut her pain levels in half.
"The stance that we kind of go by is that we can't claim to treat or cure anything," he said. "Our goal is to make sure people are happy afterwards and we do have a lot of people come back being happy that they got the piercing. Whether or not it's a scientific thing, they'd have to talk to the doctor."
That would be Dr. Joseph Degenhard, of Wellspan Family Medicine, who sees similarities between daith piercing and the ear acupuncture he sometimes uses to treat patients with chronic migraines and the related nausea, vomiting or other abdominal discomfort that come with them..
More than 37 million Americans, most of whom are women, suffer from migraine headaches. Dayna Hackman, also of Royal Pain Tattoo, estimates she performs three to five daith piercings a week and that half of those customers have experienced some level of migraine relief.
“Some clients I’ve had that have had ongoing migraines every single day, they’ve said it’s lessened a bit, but they still get migraines,” said Hackman. “I’ve had a couple people say they haven't had a migraine. And I’ve had some people say it didn't really do anything.”As of now, it is uncertain whether any formal research is going to be undertaken to gather more information and data on the link between migraines and daith piercing. However, as this industry grows and more and more people receive this type of piercing, anecdotal evidence should continue to pile up and hopefully get the attention of the medical research community.