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Do Daith Piercings Really Help Migraines?

daith migraine

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We’ve all heard it both ways, right? A friend recommends you pierce your daith because her piercing really helped her. However someone else nudges in and says it’s just a placebo. The internet is full of conflicting statements and even different piercers will give you differing answers, the most annoying of which being “It varies from person to person”. So which is it? Is piercing your daith really something worth doing if you suffer from migraines?

The Science behind Migraines

Migraines are a common type of headache that affects about 18 million adults in the United States and is associated with 10% of all visits to health care providers for primary health care concerns, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most people with migraines have a single long-lasting headache, a migraine may strike several times a month, last a few hours or last for days. Migraines often have no or only one specific trigger, such as light or noise. Most people with migraines are sensitive to motion, smells, physical pressure, fatigue and pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. A headache or migraine can be a symptom of many different conditions.

What is a Daith Piercing?

A daith piercing is a circular piercing that you get through that inside bit of cartilage deep in your ear. Daith piercings are most commonly fit with rings, but circular horseshoes can also be worn in a daith. Because they go through cartilage, daith piercings take a long time to heal and you can not wear in-ear earbuds while they are healing (or sometimes never!). Because the daith piercing goes through a pressure point, some people believe that daith piercings can relieve pain caused by migraines by constantly applying pressure to the point.

Do Daith Piercings Help Migraines?

Unfortunately the Cleveland Clinic performed a study and concluded that there is no evidence to support the claim that daith piercings can assist with migraine pain. Even Dr. Will Foster, an acupuncturist who believes daith piercings could help with migraines, has said that it would “require the piercer to puncture a very precise pressure point, which is unlikely to be achieved without an acupuncturist’s guidance.”

Is it a Placebo?

The American Migraine Foundation has reported that any results received from getting a daith piercing are likely a product of a placebo. However, just because the pain relief is caused by a placebo, doesn’t mean you don’t really feel better from it. Placebos actually work if the person believes in it. Your sister, who swears her migraines went away after getting her daith pierced, isn’t lying to you – she actually doesn’t feel the pain anymore.

Unfortunately for you, after reading this article and learning it’s a placebo, you likely will be unable to feel the effects as you no longer strongly believe it will help you. However, it’s probably best not to burst your sister’s bubble and let her keep enjoying her now migraine free life.


There has been no research that has concluded that daith piercings can actually help with migraines. If you are serious about trying, you may want to visit a piercer that is also an acupuncturist (good luck finding them!). All in all, you should get a daith piercing because you like the way it looks – not because of any expected functionality. Migraine relief caused by a daith piercing is likely a placebo. Placebos can be powerful things, so it’s probably best to keep this information to yourself.