Pierce away the pain

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County,Prince George's County,Anne Arundel County
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California, MD- Do you suffer from headaches and migraines? Are you tired of taking medicine or your body not even responding to medicine? Have you exhausted efforts to try and resolve the pain and you’re at a loss at how to treat it? If you answered yes to any of these—I feel your pain! (Pun intended!)

After suffering from headaches several times a week and migraines at least once or twice a month, I didn’t know what else to do. I never left home without a bottle of painkillers in my purse. I dreaded the moment a headache kicked in because I was fearful it would turn into a mind-numbing migraine that would leave me feeling nauseous and unable to function. As a mom with a full time job and four kids under the age of five, I was at my wit's end dealing with the annoyance.

After researching for several months, I decided I was going to get a Daith piercing. Your daith (pronounced day-th—like faith) is an inner piece of cartilage, the crus of the helix, just above the opening of your ear canal. Those who have this piercing believe it helps reduce or even eliminate headaches and migraines. It’s believed by piercing this part of the ear, you’re targeting a pressure point. Many times acupuncturists will target this spot to also relieve headaches.

There is absolutely no scientific or medical evidence to prove this piercing will help those battling the constant headaches and migraines—but that’s not stopping thousands of people from trying. If you look online, you’ll find plenty of opinions from those who swear by the piercing to those who say it’s nothing more than a placebo. Even if the latter was the case, I was willing to give it a shot.

On Friday, May 5, I headed over to Ink Wizard in California. Ginny Bagley was my professional piercer. She said, “the only thing we really know about it is that there’s a pressure point in that part of the ear that can help relieve headaches and migraines.”

Some headache-sufferers will only get one side pierced if they experience headaches on the same side every time. I, unfortunately, always suffer headaches and migraines across the front of my head, so I was going to do both sides. Go big, or go home, in my opinion. “For the best results, you should get both of them done,” Bagley suggested.

As we prepped for my piercing, Bagley explained how it was going to be done and how to care for it afterwards. The jewelry she used actually attached to the needle so it would just be one quick movement and the earring would be in the place. Of course there was the concern about the pain but since I have given birth to four children (including carrying triplets until 35 weeks) this 15 seconds of piercing pain didn’t really scare me.

After cleaning my ear and getting in place, it was time to pierce. I took a deep breath and as I was exhaling, she inserted the needle. It hurt, a little, but nothing bad. I mean I did just have a super sharp object stuck through a thick piece of cartilage on my ear so it hurt but as quickly has it happened, it was over and done. She repeated the steps on the second ear and in a matter of five minutes, I was in and out.

I’m now on day four with the piercing and so far I haven’t had any headaches. I clean my piercings twice a day with a solution I purchased at Ink Wizard. “It’s a mix of salt water and lysozyme. The healing process can be a little longer but as long as you care for it properly, you shouldn’t any problems. You do need to be careful with it and keep it clean.”

It doesn’t hurt to sleep on my side since the piercing is on the inside of the ear. After four to six weeks, I can have the ring removed and replaced with jewelry of my choice. “It’s definitely one of our most popular piercings and it’s always people looking for headache relief. It’s rare to get it just for looks. We have people who come back to have the jewelry changed and they tell us it works. Everyone says they have good results.” Bagley noted.

I will continue to chart my progress as the time goes on. In the end I figure if it doesn’t help then I’m no worse off than I was before and I’m out $50, but now I have two new, cool piercings.

Contact Joy Shrum at

Editor’s note: No reporters were injured in the filming of this video but some viewers might find the video disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.

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