Monday, 3 October 2016

Midlife Monday ~ Putting My Faith in the Daith

a report on how daith piercing is working for my chronic headaches

Headaches, Headaches Everywhere

I have suffered from chronic headaches for a far back as I can remember. I'm not sure when they started but I know that I have been keeping the various headache remedy companies in business for at least a few decades now. I don't think I have full blown migraines, mine are more of the tension headache variety, but they have been relentless and I had reached the point of being willing to try something a little out of left field.

The Daith

I had seen a few articles on daith piercing to relieve migraines, and being the world's greatest sceptic, I had given them a bemused thought or two and moved on. It's been a fairly recent practice - and has probably only come into the mainstream in the last couple of years. I left it on the backburner, but it kept popping randomly into my head over next several months and I started reading a bit more on it. Apparently it is actually pronounced "doth" as in "moth" but I think 90% of us say "daith" because it's easier. The piercing is supposed to correspond with a pressure point that acupuncturists use for migraine relief. Nobody will definitively say that the piercing "works" but most say to give it a go and see.

Giving it a Go

Eventually I decided that it was worth a shot - nothing to lose and I could take it out if it didn't work. Next step was deciding where to get it done. We live in the country and apparently it's a fairly complex piercing (not one you get at your local tattoo parlour) and I didn't want to risk having someone mess it up. We were heading up to the city for a wedding so I did a bit of research and ended up finding a place near the wedding venue.

Our daughter was meeting us for coffee beforehand and she decided that it would be fun to do a mother/daughter piercing with the hope that it would help her headaches too. So we took ourselves off to have the deed done - me with a lot of research behind the decision and she with her usual "what the heck - just go for it" attitude (how I'd love to have that ability to jump in feet first and not overthink things!)

It was all quite straightforward and not particularly painful - a bit fiddly and a bit of pressure but nothing to be bothered by. We then went off for our coffee date, then on to the wedding (with a bit of a sore ear) and back home again. I'd joined a facebook group called The Daith Club - For Migraineurs and I followed their aftercare recommendations so I had a fairly uneventful healing process - although it's still a bit sore (especially the entry and exit points) and apparently it can take up to 12 months to fully heal (the "joy" of a cartilage piercing).


me with my daith piercing a couple of months after it was done

Did it Work?

The headache relief has been interesting. Our daughter says it has made no difference to hers at all, she gets hers primarily from clenching her teeth and the associated stress. I'd read that it doesn't have much of an effect on that type of headache. As for me, I've noticed a significant improvement. I wouldn't say it has cured me by any means, but I have gone from three or four savage headaches a week down to one mild one a week.

I used to take Nurofen with each headache - sometimes three or four times before it finally went away. Now I'm taking a couple of Panadol or nothing at all. Often a cup of coffee or a walk is all I need and before I notice it, the headache has faded into the background without a murmur. To not be taking six, eight or ten lots of Nurofen a week is amazing - I think my liver and kidneys will be thanking me for it!

Placebo or Not?

I know there will be a lot of people who talk about the placebo effect and that the headaches going is just a coincidence, but I went into this with no belief at all that it would make any difference. I was resigned to the headaches and didn't think something this "way out" would have the slightest impact on them. I am happy to have people pat me and tell me it's all in my mind, I am ecstatic to be having less headaches and if it's the placebo effect then I am content with that. I thought you had to be convinced for the placebo to work, but if it works regardless then that's fine too.

When I'd posted a while ago about getting my daith pierced, a few people asked for an update, so here we are, three months down the track and one mild headache a week at the most - so no guarantees, but if I had my time over again, I'd have gotten it a lot sooner. As for our daughter, she's happy to have a cool piercing - even if it didn't fix her headaches! 


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a report on how daith piercing is working for my chronic headaches

Midlife Monday - www.crestingthehill.com.au

38 comments:

  1. Interesting. Who you have thought this would help?

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    1. Not me Shirley - but I figured it was worth a shot and I'm glad I took the plunge!

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  2. Wow, I've never heard of this before - 3-4 down to 1 mild one sounds amazing! Have a great (headache-free) week!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - it's not really mainstream, but once you start looking into it, there are a lot of pierced daiths out there!

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  3. I will have to look into this. I do get migraines and it varies on the frequency. I can go months with out and then I can have once a week. I have prescription medication, generic now, that doesn't work as well as the branded medication but it still helps, if I catch it in time. I am thinking that catch time might be extended with this piercing??? Thanks for the info.

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    1. I put it off because I really didn't believe it would make a difference. I'm still not sure why it's working but I'll be championing its cause wherever possible from now on.

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  4. I always wondered if it worked or not. I am a V.A. for the lady who created the Migraine Hat and she has talked about it before. I'm glad it worked for you. I had heard that it works about 80% of the time.

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    1. I think that would be a fair percentage Rena - it seems to work better for some headaches and not others. From the fb group, most of those it didn't work for still loved it as a piercing and kept it.

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  5. That's great to hear! I will post to my Migraine Relief Plan group on FB.

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    1. I think any info is valuable Stephanie - and it may help a few people - or at least give them something, other than how much their head hurts, to think about :)

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  6. Wow, I didn't even know what a daith was, much less that you could get it pierced! I developed blinding, debilitating migraines with menopause and now years later I still get them if I don't take nortriptyline every day. Even thought he docs tell you it's fine to take it, I would prefer a non-medicated way to prevent them. I may have to give this a try!

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    1. Worth a shot Lee - just make sure you get someone who knows what they're doing. Join the FB group and check out the recommendations and the advice - I found it all really helpful.

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  7. interesting idea Leanne. Great if it works as migraines can be so debilitating. Thanks for sharing at Over the Moon.

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    1. Thanks Sue - I thought it would be worth putting it out there into the bigger blogosphere for those who might be interested in trying an alternative to medication x

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  8. Wow, that's fascinating and I have never heard of this. Even if there is just a placebo effect, who cares?! Whatever works is great!

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    1. My sentiments exactly Lois - I'll take whatever works and it's not a big deal thing that you live to regret, you can always take it out if it turns out to be a non-event.

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  9. How wonderful! I think it is always worth a shot, and who cares if it's in your head (lol), it works!

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    1. Maybe it is all in my head (or my ear) Tam but I'm enjoying it while it lasts! :)

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  10. Ok, I've never even heard of this. I think it's so great to find out about alternative treatments that don't rely on expensive medications and drugs.

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    1. It was new for me up until six months ago Rosie and it has to be better than filling my system up with a myriad of medications that are probably shredding my kidneys and liver :)

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  11. Oh wow! I love piercings, but I've never ever thought that piercings could have a "purpose" to pain relief! It's really interesting and I'm going to check this out! I'm a fibromyalgia warrior and maybe there is something similar to fight other pains..;-) Thank you for this great post!
    I found you on "Blogger's Pit Stop"! ;-)
    I wish you a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi Emmi - I think a little bit of investigating might be useful to you - I know there are people with fibromyalgia in the facebook group because headaches are often part of that condition. Who knows what you might discover!

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  12. I get a bad headache around that time of the month - I wonder if it would help with that? It's the only way I can tell I'm still cycling as I had a hysterectomy about 5 years ago, they left my ovaries in, hence the headaches!

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    1. Yes mine are definitely hormonal too Janet - I can tell what date it is by the increasing frequency of headaches - but that trigger has been reduced too so I'd certainly recommend giving it a try.

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  13. This was interesting to me as I had not heard of this before. A few years ago I suffered from a bout of dibilitating headaches, they were so bad i would pass out and I ended up in the hospital. We never found the reason for them and eventually they went away. Good luck, I hope that the piercing continues to help! I feel your pain!

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    1. Headaches are hugely debilitating when they hit regularly. I don't think people realize how much they impact our lives when they are almost daily. I'm loving taking less medication and waking up without a headache in the mornings.

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  14. I've never heard of this, but what a wonderful thing if it actually works. I've never really suffered with headaches but if I did, I would definitely give this a go.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. I just wish I'd found it earlier Sally - I'd have done it years ago if I'd known.

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  15. How intriguing! I hadn't even heard of this as a possible source of migraine relief... and you do look so hip, as a bonus! ;P I have migraines myself, so I will definitely have to keep this in mind for the future. I wonder what my husband would think?? haha! #FridayFrivolity

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    1. My husband was happy for me to try it - easy to take out if it was a waste of time and definitely a bonus if it worked. Living with a wife with chronic headaches isn't the best choice in life!

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  16. I am a believer in all things acupuncture, which is all about pressure points, so do not think it is a placebo effect at all, Leanne. I have acupuncture once a month (more if I am sick) and it has been a terrific modality to treat colds, asthma, neck pain, joint pain and stomach issues. She even healed a bone in my foot that was not knitting together! I am so glad you tried this and I hope you have continued success with it.

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    1. Thanks Molly - it's nice to hear about something like this from another person's viewpoint - and nice to think it's not all the placebo effect!

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  17. I have a friend who did this a few months ago and it seems to be working!

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    1. I'm reading that about 85% of people have an improvement - that makes it worth a shot in my books Monica :)

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  18. I've not heard of a Daith before. And I'm lucky in that my headaches are run of the mill, not debilitating because I might be too squeamish to try that piercing.

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    1. After sooooo many years of horrible headaches, a little bit of ear piercing pain was worth it Jennifer. I'm always envious of people who don't get many headaches :)

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  19. That's interesting! Never heard of this. I don't get headaches. My dad has always had chronic migraines, but don't think he'd be up for trying this! I always tend to be a sceptic, but who knows, right? Besides, if it's helped, who cares! As you say, why knock a placebo effect, if that's what it is? Placebo effects are pretty amazing in themselves!

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    1. That's my slant on it Lucy - don't knock it til you've tried it - and if it works.....who cares why?! There's a few blokes with it but I think it'd be a bigger deal for them.

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