top of page

My Experience Getting A Daith Piercing

Updated: 2 days ago

There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches (1). A migraine is a primary headache, meaning a different medical condition isn't the cause; the migraine is the primary diagnosis. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning there's no blood test or imaging study to diagnose them. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue, such as a sinus headache stemming from a sinus infection. When the root cause cannot be found, and relief isn't happening, many migraine sufferers have opted for a daith piercing.

daith piercing

Roughly 35 million Americans experience migraine headaches, myself included. Approximately 43% of women and 18% of men will experience migraines in their lifetime. Additionally, about 25% of migraine patients experience aura with their migraine. These numbers make migraines the third most prevalent and sixth most-disabling illness worldwide (2).

A migraine is an intense throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Migraines are frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Many migraine sufferers will experience intolerable sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last for hours to days. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities, including work or school assignments. Migraines may also interfere with the ability to sleep (3).

Some risk factors for migraines include (4):

  • Sex. Women have migraines three times more often than men.

  • Age. Most people start having migraine headaches between ages 10 and 40. But many women find that their migraines get better or go away after age 50.

  • Family history. Four out of five people with migraines have other family members who get them. If one parent has a history of these types of headaches, their child is 50% more likely to get them. If both parents have them, the risk jumps to 75%.

  • Other medical conditions. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy can raise your odds.

In my experience, no migraine treatment lasted long-term, but getting a daith piercing has been quite successful, so I'd like to talk about it and how my experience went.

What Is A Daith Piercing

My Experience Getting A Daith Piercing

Preparing For A Daith Piercing

Healing Process Of A Daith Piercing

How to Deal With Migraines Naturally


What Is A Daith Piercing

A daith piercing pierces through the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear, right at the point where the outer ridge that runs along the top of your ear connects to your inner ear, just above the ear canal. This piercing does not have a lot of science to back it up, primarily theories, but many migraine sufferers, myself included, have found great relief after the piercing has fully healed.

According to the American Migraine Foundation:

“This theory first spread on social media and was popularized on Facebook and Pinterest. Dr. Will Foster, an acupuncturist in Knoxville, Tennessee, confirms that this is a pressure point associated with digestive organs in that part of the ear. The belief is that wearing an earring in your daith provides constant compression to that pressure point, which many believe can relieve pain, especially if acupuncture in the same spot has been effective for you in the past (5).

This method is usually used as a last resort for many because there is no guarantee it will work, and the healing process is long and tedious. One study with 380 participants with a daith piercing found that 47.2% experienced a reduction in migraine frequency (6). In another study, 64% of participants with a daith piercing experienced a decrease in migraine frequency, while 31% stayed the same, and 5% got worse (7).

If a daith piercing is something you're considering, keep in mind that you want to pierce the side that gets headaches. So if you get right-sided migraines predominantly, get the right ear done or the left side for left-sided migraines. If you are someone who gets them on both, like me, get both sides pierced.

My Experience Getting A Daith Piercing

As someone who has suffered from chronic migraines with and without aura since I was 14, finding relief has been a long road. It started with seeing a neurologist and being prescribed medications. I was never asked about diet, water intake, or foods I was eating, nor did we ever discuss potential migraine triggers. I didn't learn about all that until my late 20s. I learned about food sensitivities, decided to do an elimination diet, and found that even certain smells (especially seafood) triggered my migraines.

But first, how do you identify the type of migraines you're having? Well, if you read Earthley's, A Guide to Headaches & Migraines, which I co-wrote, you'd know a migraine with aura, also called classic migraine or complicated migraine, is a recurring headache that strikes after or simultaneously with a sensory disturbance or warning known as an aura (8). These disturbances can produce symptoms such as:

  • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights

  • Blind spots in your vision

  • Numb or tingling skin

  • Speech changes

  • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)

  • Temporary vision loss

  • Seeing wavy or jagged lines

  • Changes in smell or taste

  • A "funny" feeling (1)

Migraine aura symptoms include temporary visual or other disturbances that usually strike before other migraine symptoms – intense head pain. You may also experience disturbances such as:

  • Upset stomach or vomiting

  • Hot flashes and chills

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Dizziness or spinning (vertigo)

  • Sore neck or jaw

  • Sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, touch, or motion

  • Confusion

  • Muscle weakness (9)

A migraine without aura sometimes referred to as a common migraine or hemicrania simplex, is the most common type, accounting for 75 percent of migraines (10). Migraines without aura typically last between four hours and three days. The frequency of these attacks varies from every few years or several times a week (11).

And finally, chronic migraines are characterized by the experience of at least 15 migrainous headache days per month and are highly disabling. Patients with chronic migraine present to primary care, are often referred for management to secondary care and comprise a large proportion of patients in specialist headache clinics (12).

I have tried many of the mainstream solutions over the years, including but not limited to the following:

  • NSAIDs (Advil Migraine)

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)

  • Topiramate (Topamax)

  • Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

  • Botox injections (Botulinum Toxin)

I never had long-term relief, my dosages were consistently increasing, and my quality of life wasn't excellent because I always had a migraine. The mainstream solutions were not working long-term and seemed to only band-aid the problem, even after I figured out my most common triggers.