Daith Piercing: All You Need To Know About The Migraine Healer

What do Rihanna, Candice Swanepoel and Scarlett Johansson have in common? A daith piercing. 

What is a daith piercing?

A daith piercing is in the inner cartilage section of the ear, which runs through a pressure point. Patients who have had the piercings have claimed to see an improvement in the intensity of their headaches.

Why is a daith considered acupuncture?

 A piercing can mimic acupuncture by hitting a pressure point, which relieves the pressure in the patient’s head. In an attempt to replicate acupuncture, the daith piercing is applied to the innermost cartilage fold of the ear where an acupuncture needle is inserted.

Thus, the daith piercing is popular with patients who don’t want to take daily pain medication.

Before undergoing daith piercing to relieve a migraine, talk with a qualified acupuncturist or auriculotherapy practitioner. As scientific efforts of daith piercings on migraines have not been officially studied it’s difficult to determine whether there’s any truth to the claims or note. This simple and inexpensive procedure, so for patients who enjoy piercings and body art there’s little reason not to try it. Whether it’s worth foregoing regular treatment for migraine headaches, however, depends on your individual situation.


“ I have suffered from intractable migraines that last a minimum of one week each, occurring 3-4 times/ month for the last 20 yrs. They are non responsive to medication,leave me bedridden because of the symptoms and my neurologist has had me try them all. On 4/8/2016 I had Daith piercings done in both my ears even though my headaches have always been limited to the right side of my head. Since having the piercings my migraines have virtually disappeared. Since April8, I have only had 2 migraines, each lasting a couple of hours and they resolved themselves with rest and use of the Cephaly device. Daith piercings have given me my life back.. I would recommend that migraineurs definitely give this treatment modality some serious consideration”

Daith piercings are located at the crus of the helix, bilaterally. It is very popular on social media as alternative treatment in chronic migraine but no data about its efficacy and action are available in scientific literature so far.  

However, there may be a connection between acupuncture treatments and piercings. The daith is roughly the same pressure point on your ear that acupuncturists target to treat migraine headaches. They will place needles in ear cartilage to relieve migraine symptoms. The story is that acupuncture activates channels in your brain that turn pain off.

Frontiers research shows the case of a 54-year-old male patient suffering from refractory chronic migraine with an overuse of medication, which substantially improved after a bilateral ear daith piercing. His migraine was refractory to symptomatic as well as prophylactic therapies. The man used to treat headaches with up to five symptomatic drugs per attack and had attempted several pharmacological preventive therapies, including Onabotulinumtoxin A. 

He also underwent detoxification treatments with intravenous steroids and diazepam, without durable benefit. At the time of daith piercing, the headache disability measures showed a HIT-6 score of 64, a MIDAS-score of 70, and a 11-point Box scale of 5. On his own, he decided to get a “daith piercing.” After that, he experienced a reduction of migraine attacks, which became very rare, and infrequent, less disabling episodes of tension-type headache (with a HIT-6 score of 56; MIDAS score of 27, 11-point Box scale of 3). Painkiller assumption has also decreased: he takes only one tablet of indomethacin 50 mg to treat tensive headaches, about four times per month. 

Beyond a placebo effect, we can speculate a vagal modulation as the action mechanism of daith piercing: a nociceptive sensory stimulus applied to trigeminal and vagal areas of the ear can activate ear vagal afferents, which can modulate pain pathways by means of projections to the caudal trigeminal nucleus, to the locus coeruleus and to the nucleus raphe magnus. Currently, daith piercing cannot be recommended as migraine treatment because of the lack of scientific evidence, the unquantified rate of failure and the associated risks with insertion. However, given the increasing but anecdotal evidence, we think that the mechanism needs testing by means of a controlled clinical trial in a population of chronic migraineurs.


It may hurt a lot less than what you think, or it may hurt more, because at the end of the day, everyone is different and will react to pain in their own way.

While a medusa piercing is just a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale, daith piercings are at least a 5 to 6 out of 10. Many factors come into it: pain tolerance, piercing methods, and state of mind are only but a few factors when considering how much the piercing is going to hurt.

However, despite many people saying the pain isn’t too intense, the majority of individuals say that there can be a dull, aching pain for several days after the procedure, while the wound begins to heal.

Many people feel that the daith is very, very sensitive for quite a long period of time after the piercing takes place, and that the slightest of touches in the first few days can cause pain or discomfort. This pain will also  affect how well you sleep, due to the weight being placed onto the ear not to mention the pain for healing.

For the first several weeks of this healing, your piercing will likely be sensitive to light touches, and the area can begin to ache if it becomes agitated by anything. For this reason, you should be extremely careful and follow a few simple pieces of advice:

  1. Get plenty of rest the night before your daith piercing.
  2. If you consumed significant amounts of alcohol before you get any type of piercing, it will likely cause many undesirable side-effects such as blood-thinning, which in-turn may increase the chances of bruising and heavier bleeding.
  3. A more gentle, experienced piercers will probably cause less discomfort. Even if it may mean the daith piercing price will be more, but in most cases, the increase in cost will usually be more than worth it.
  4. Striking up a conversation with your piercer and talking about the procedure can help a lot while getting your piercing done. They will reassure you and explain exactly what they will be doing; giving you peace of mind and calming your nerves.
  5. Have something to eat before you get your piercing. This is a must do because it will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent you from feeling faint when the needle goes through the skin.
  6. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can also help you feel more relaxed while sitting in the piercing chair.
  7. Ask your piercer if you could try applying a numbing cream before the procedure. While the cream won’t take away all of the pain, it can definitely reduce how much of a ‘nip’ you’ll feel as the needle perforates the cartilage.


If you get a daith piercing, there are a few things you should know as aftercare. When the wound is fresh, clean it daily with lathered baby soap and rinsed with water. If the piercing becomes irritated, then soak it in warm salt water for relief. A daith piercing which accumulates dirt and bacteria can cause infection in the ear cartilage, which isn’t a pretty sight and is painful too.

H2Ocean 4oz Piercing Aftercare Spray

Use a saline spray such as H2Ocean 4oz Piercing Aftercare Spray and mist your piercing three times a day. Let it dry so the solution will soak into the skin. Afterward, rinse the piercing area with fresh water. Use a clean paper towel in drying it. When using a saline spray you should also keep on using a sea salt soak once a day.

Recovery Piercing Aftercare Sea Salt And Tea Tree Oil Combo

A combination of sea salt and tea tree can revitalize your skin. For your saline washes, you should avoid using ordinary salt. Instead, use Recovery Aftercare which consists of 100% dead sea salt taken from the Dead Sea in Beer Sheva, Israel. Such saline washes heal the piercing quickly.

The sea salt soaks mimic the salinity of your body fluids. If you plan to do it yourself, you can mix a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with 1 cup of warm distilled or pre-boiled water. Get a piece of cloth or cotton, soak it in the solution, and place it on the pierced area for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Inverness After Piercing Ear Care Solution

Inverness Ear Care Solution is specially created for the care of a ear piercing. Be sure to properly clean your new piercing in order to avoid any infections.This solution can kill germs. If you will not properly clean your piercing, then it can result in a painful experience. Use this product at least 2 to 3 times a day so you can have safe healing.

Risks of daith piercings

Daith piercings carry risks. Some these risks are more serious than others and include:

  • infections during healing with pathogens, such bacteria, yeast, hepatitis, HIV or tetanus
  • bacterial infections that occur after healing has occurred
  • allergic reaction (to jewelry)
  • nerve damage, including loss of sensation
  • swelling
  • pain
  • scarring or keloids
  • bleeding


Can you wear headphones with a Daith piercing?

No. If you are going to listen to music we suggest over the ear headphones, or wearing only one earbud in the non-pierced ear.

Do you get Daith piercing in both ears?

On average, people with a daith piercing said it was 5-6/10 on the pain scale. 

Both rook and daith are considered to be one of the more painful ear piercing you can get,  and the actual piercing itself lasts around 6-9 seconds, don’t get a daith piercing in both ears. 

Daith piercings are pierced with a straight needle then a 16 or 14 gauge ring, the ring is small enough diameter wise to fit comfortably in the conch of the ear. This also varies depending on your body structure, for example tall people have larger ears compared to short people. 

You need one ear to sleep on, use to talk on the phone, etc., and getting cartilage pierced in both ears at the same time can be incredibly difficult to heal. Plus it also means that you can’t listen to any music on earphones. You’d have to get over the ear headphones which only adds to the expense. 

Many people feel that the daith is very, very sensitive for quite a long period of time after the piercing takes place, and that the slightest of touches in the first few days can cause pain or discomfort. 

If you’re thinking of getting a Daith piercing on both ears, dont, get it the side of which you suffer mostly with migraines. 

Can you sleep on a Daith piercing?

Always try and wait as long as possible or until your daith piercing is healed before trying to sleep on it. Most daith piercings take about 2-3 months to heal. At that point it should be totally fine to spend 8 or so hours a night sleeping on it.

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