After a great deal of research and piercing experience with clients coming to me specifically for this piercing to relieve their headaches/migraines, I thought it was time to do a blog. I've kept track of my clients to see how they've made out with it regarding healing and whether or not it reduce or eliminated their headaches. This blog is based on follow up research on approx 100 clients as well as my own personal experience since I also used it for headaches. This blog is also intended to help you with choosing the right jewelry to get the max benefits.
This piercing has been around in the form of acupuncture / natural medicine for a few thousand years. The idea behind it is that if you apply the right amount of pressure in the right place it will put pressure on a nerve that affects certain parts of the brain responsible for pain sensations directly related to headaches. I've had several clients come in with an acupuncture patch on the daith that was costing them a great deal of money. Acupuncture does work for this but unfortunately it's very expensive when a daith piercing will do the same thing but permanently without the expensive treatments. As a piercer that's been in the field for a few decades I have been very excited about this piercing because I feel I am doing more in my work than making ppl look pretty.
Rate of success
Out of the 100 clients that I followed up with only 1 reported that it did not work. I found this curious, that I had this one person that it didn't work on because I had already spoken to at least 60 before encountering someone that said no. I asked several more questions such as changes in diet, age, menstrual changes, other health issues, medications and over all stress. It turned out that this woman was experiencing unusual menstrual changes that were puzzling her. She was at the age of menopause but was in and out with it so not in full menopause yet. She had gone 9 mos without a period but started experiencing light bleeding. How this was significant I don't know because I don't specialize in women's health but it was something different than what was reported by the clients that it did work on. She was planning on seeing her family doctor about this so I'm planning on a followup conversation with her in a couple of months. I'll blog that once I've spoken to her again. The clients that I worked with had a variety of causes for their headaches and many were on medications. Some were already getting acupuncture therapy. Some said that the medications hadn't work for them so they had to suffer through them. Some came in during a migraine and were thrilled that by the time they left the migraine was gone! Some said that it was barometric pressure that caused them, some stress, some menstrual periods, some menopause, some said food seem to be the cause, some said coffee....there was a huge variety of reasons. Most expressed the frustrations of the medications that they took for them ranging from side affects to minimal affect/help. A few ended up getting the other ear done as well because they found that even though the first one had helped a great deal they still got a bit of a headache so decided to go for the gusto and cover both. This seems to have been a good solution for them.
Getting it done
This part is very important so please read it carefully. This piercing has to be done right in order for it to work. There are a lot of piercers that don't have enough experience to be doing this piercing properly. You need someone that has researched it, has done the piercing itself (not necessarily headache related) many times and has worked with clients to troubleshoot jewelry, healing and aftercare issues. Most piercers don't understand body jewelry very well. I've specialized in not only piercing but what jewelry works and what doesn't. When I say jewelry I'm not just talking about gauges and diameters but I'm also referring to the composition of metals, allergic reactions, reasons for rejections etc. Going to a tattoo artist for this piercing is not a great idea. No disrespect to the artists but I think most would be willing to admit that they just don't have the time to research all that needs to be researched. Find someone that specializes in piercings only. Ask how many years they have been piercing and how many daith piercings they have done. Referrals are extremely helpful for ppl looking for the right piercer. Ask around to see who has had it done for headaches. Ask it on facebook, pintrest etc if you don't know anyone that's had the piercing done. So what's so important about how it's done? Depth, alignment and jewelry ! If it's not at the right depth, not lined up in the correct area of the daith and the jewelry is not applying the right amount of pressure it will not work!
Pain and after care
Yes it hurts to get it done. You can't put a needle through your ear cartilage without it hurting. That being said, would you rather endure another headache or deal with what should be a couple of seconds of pain? If you have a helix, tragus, conch or rook piercing it is comparable. The great part about it though is the pain and tenderness afterwards. It's so deep into the ear that laying on it isn't very painful. Stick your fingers in your ear though and you might come up with some selective creative language. It's worth it, don't let it stop you. Cleaning is pretty simple, just keep it clean with soap and water as well as sea salts. The soap should be unscented. That being said don't be worried about what shampoo you use, we're talking about the deep cleaning and that's what matters. On a q tip, saturate it with soap/water and rub it all around the piercing as well as the jewelry. Pat it dry. Using a q tip again apply sea salts. The salts should be 1/2 tsp to 4 oz of water. Keep it in a jar or covered glass by your sink so that it's convenient. You know what we're like when things aren't handy :) Give it a shake or stir before using it since the salts will settle on the bottom. Your piercing should be done with a hoop (we'll talk more about this) so give the hoop a bit of a turn, just enough to pull it loose from the crusties that will form around the piercing. Depending on how clean you keep it and how much you turn the hoop dictates how long it will take to heal. Your own body is a factor as well but we're talking averages here based on keeping it clean and not moving the hoop all the time. Average is 2 months although it will probably seem like it's healed in about 6 weeks. If you are cleaning it twice a day and only moving it to clean it then you are doing it right. Do not use any other products on this piercing. They are not needed and could just irritate it. The ache you will get from sticking your finger in your ear should subside in about a month.
My own personal experience
Odd as this might sound, I didn't realize that I was experiencing migraines because it wasn't actually my head that hurt the most. It was my eyes. I use to get these squiggly bright lights in my vision on a fairly regular basis but I thought it was coming from my sinusis .....I'm not even sure why I came to that conclusion lol. Perhaps because I've had sinus issues for several years. It would make my eyes hurt a fair bit and make me nauseous if it got extreme. Without considering this problem I decided to get a daith piercing just because I liked the way it looked. At this time life was a bit rough because my husband was dealing with his father being very ill and very old....enough said, so things get put aside and thoughts are elsewhere. I've always had issues of healing with ear cartilage piercings because I'm extremely metal sensitive but mostly because I sleep with my hands on my ears. My daith piercing just wasn't settling down so with so much going on in life I didn't feel like dealing with it anymore so I took it out. The next day I got those darn squiggly lines again. That was when I realized that I hadn't had any at all since I'd gotten the piercing done! Could it be or was it just coincidence? It wasn't coincidence. My piercing hadn't quite healed over yet so I put a hoop back in and presto! They stopped again and I haven't had anymore of those nasty line since! I'm pretty excited about this because they were affecting my life a fair bit and now I can count on them not doing that anymore! I'd rather deal with a slow healing piercing than those lines any day.
Jewelry for max pressure
As per the title, maximum pressure is extremely important. Without it, it will not work so your jewelry is a huge deal. If it is not the right diameter, gauge and shape you will not get enough pressure to affect the nerve. Hoops and horseshoes are the best choice as long as the curvature is good.
That usually comes down to diameter. If you are wanting to wear a piece that has a straight post then you need to wear something with the right weight so that it's putting the right amount of pressure on the daith.
We carry a full line that is specific to this piercing as well as have created a few of our own pieces that have a correct curve and/or weight. You can see our rings in our drop down menu under " shop by category / Daith. "
When you are initially pierced it should be done with a piece appropriate for healing and one that is applying the right amount of pressure. Your piece should look like one of these in the picture below.
I've seen a few ppl pierced with a bar that looks like this (in the picture below) and it's a no no, This is not the right curve nor does it have any weight. This woman is still getting headaches but if she switches over it will work for her because the piercer did grab the right depth and area.
I hope this blog helps a few people. This is horrible pain that people endure and sad that so many don't know about this simple cure. Pass it on if you know of someone that suffers from these nasty headaches/migraines.
I am not a physician nor am I an acupuncturist. I am an experienced piercer on a mission. The information in this blog is a natural health option and not intended to replace medical advice.