“On Pins and Needles” - Acupuncture and the Daith Piercing for Migraine Pain (and more!)
Posted by Crystal S on
Are there benefits to a daith piercing for migraines? Acupuncture & daith piercing for migraines & more are hot topics. We wanted to see what else is out there on acupuncture, piercing, the daith & other ear piercings after Ann's blog post on daith piercings for migraines received several follow up questions.
Available information on acupuncture and pain management through piercing suggest one clear fact: There aren’t many facts. Three main voices emerge in the argument for and against the combined practice:
- individuals getting a daith piercing for migraines: testimonials!
- piercing professionals
- acupuncturists studying both
The most common discussion of this subject revolves around the daith piercing for migraines and other types of chronic pain.
The following bullets contain an initial summary of the facts and strongly held opinions of individuals and professionals involved with daith piercing for migraines:
- Most accredited acupuncture associations are hesitant to take a stance on permanent piercing and acupuncture, claiming insufficient study or that fields like auriculotherapy (a relatively modern evolution specialized at the ear) are too far removed from traditional practice to comment on.
- Testimonials by piercers as well as people who have gotten their daith and other ear piercings come in all shapes and sizes. Claims of no effect, partial or completely reduced pain for two weeks to one month, and emotional accounts of total relief from pain are all common.
- Very few piercers are trained in acupuncture or work closely with acupuncturists. Reputable professional piercers speak on this issue with caution because of laws that restrict offering opinions that could be misunderstood as medical. If your piercer is claiming direct knowledge in this area, follow up. Ask questions! Don’t be fooled by opinions or inexperience.
- Very few acupuncturists are trained in the art of piercing or work closely with a piercer, though they tend to be versed in the effects of interruption of the body’s natural energy flow–Qi–and the effects of scar tissue on frequently used acupuncture points. While this knowledge isn’t specifically based on piercing experience, some of it still applies.
Have some experience with our topic? Let us know by leaving your comment!
In Part Two of our discussion on daith piercings for migraines we wanted to delve deeper into the discussion of ear piercing in relation to acupuncture. Today’s post focuses on some of the data that was evident after my research. Check out Part Three below!
First up: testimonials. There is no doubt about it. A lot of people are saying that they are having success with the daith and other piercings as a pain management tool. Here are a few common elements that I have observed while following up on this aspect of daith and ear piercing and acupuncture:
- Many people heard about this piercing online or from friends and then tried it for themselves.
- Many of the testimonials were given within a few weeks to one month of the original piercing.
- Very few of the testimonials mentioned the consultation of a trained acupuncture professional or piercer with acupuncture training.
Next: piercing professionals. Though this topic is widely discussed online very few piercing professionals boast professional training BOTH in the art of piercing and in the study of acupuncture.
- To be specific, I found one piercing professional who has trained with a licensed and respected acupuncturist. This is not to say that there are not more, just that they were not evident after a few hours of online research.
- This is to say that if your piercer claims to be trained in both—>DO YOUR RESEARCH! Both pain management and acupuncture specialists undergo medical training and screening to become licensed. Giving untrained medical advice is a crime and unprofessional too.
Finally: acupuncturists studying both acupuncture and piercing. Again, I found one who happens to have worked with the ONE piercing professional (that one up there^) that has trained in acupuncture.
- The gist is this–all roads point to two ladies and their combined work in professional piercing and acupuncture.
In the final installment of “On Pins and Needles,” I finally give up that hard data on what a piercing professional and trained acupuncturist have to say about daith piercings, other ear piercings, and acupuncture in combined practice.
Have some experience with our topic? Let us know by leaving your comment!
Thanks for checking out Part Three of “On Pins and Needles.” This section focuses on hard data. Click here to check out Part One or Two to see what else I discovered about piercing and acupuncture!
Last time I reviewed key points including piercing professionals and acupuncturists studying acupuncture and piercing. I wanted to follow up on a few things after my research last time:
- Are there piercing professionals who have trained with a licensed and respected acupuncturist? (If your piercer claims to be trained in both—>DO YOUR RESEARCH!)
- Are there acupuncturists who have trained with a licensed and respected piercing professionals?
The gist is this–all roads point to two totally b@d@ss lady professionals and their combined work in piercing and acupuncture.
Enter Kristen Horner Warren∼ a licensed acupuncturist with background training and study in traditional Chinese medicine and physiology, and Elayne Angel∼ an internationally renowned professional piercer who is published in the field and has consistently affected piercing trends across the USA. The two completed a ten-day project where Angel worked with Warren at her practice in Texas to complete a series of ear piercings on individuals who then allowed Warren to track pain management benefits and side effects.
- KHW states that results showed the pain management benefits of an ear piercing on acupuncture points in the ear lasted anywhere from a week or two to one month then faded, often completely. Warren compares this to the relief one might experience with auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) treatments that are nonpermanent and less risky.
- Both KHW and Angel warn that many cartilage piercings take 3 to 6 months or even longer to heal (long after pain management benefits have worn off!) and that proper placement is absolutely imperative to getting an ear piercing that will not get irritated or migrate.
- Above all, Angel warns that individuals should always get pierced by “a professional from the AAP website” to find a piercer who is properly trained and using sanitary, high-quality equipment and jewelry.
For more information about the study that KHW and Angel completed, check out this blog post on the Live Oaks Acupuncture & Wellness Center website to read Kristen Horner Warren’s full account of her time working with Elayne Angel.
Let us know by leaving your comment if you have experience with daith piercings for migraines or know of other studies like this one. Check out links below to related blog posts!
Encyclopedia of Body Piercings Links
- Daith Cartilage Piercing - shop now!
- Forward Helix Cartilage Piercing - shop now!
- "Snug" or Anti-Helix Cartilage Piercing - shop now!
- Industrial Barbell Cartilage Piercing - show now!
- Tragus Cartilage Piercing - shop now!
- Anti-Tragus Cartilage Piercing - shop now!
@MELISSAN Thank you so much for sharing! I know how seriously migraines can affect quality of life so I’m thankful every time I hear that someone has found relief. The fact that you got a seriously cool piercing is one of life’s finer moments, certainly. Where you pierced before getting your daith done or was it your first? I’d love to know more about your experience!
I got a daith piercing in December to help with migraines. It’s been 6 months and my migraines have decreased significantly. I pierced that side that had the most migraine occurrences and within the next month the migraines on that side had decreased. I could feel them coming but it would never get severe and I swear I literally could feel it move away. Since then, I’ve had only 1 or 2 migraines on that side. I do sometimes get them on the other side but not nearly as many. I went from taking 12 prescription pills a month to only 2. I totally believe it works!
I am a licensed acupuncturist and functional medicine practitioner , CO and FL and getting ready to do an apprenticeship with a master piercer. I am excited for this new venture in my acupuncture/medical career, I believe there are some benefits and look forward to documenting and following up with my patients for future reference. This is a very difficult arena to get valid scientific data sets but anecdotally we can still draw some conclusions.