I’ve had several patients ask about ear piercing for migraines. The theory is that if you put an ear piercing through the daith, shown in the pic to the left, that this will help with anxiety and with migraines. Several articles claim that this is the same thing as acupuncture and will help relieve both the pain of migraines and also stress and anxiety.
So does it work? Yes and no. It might actually help relieve migraines and the symptoms that come with them for a time. But the problem with this ‘cure’ is two fold.
First, not every person will respond to these points. Thought we want to pretend it’s true, there is no ‘one size fits all’ cure. You and your best friend might both have migraines but you might have them for vastly different reasons. While this point might relieve your best friend’s migraines, it might do nothing for you. . . except give you a pretty cool looking piercing.
The second problem is that you can absolutely over-use an acupuncture point even with weekly acupuncture treatments. I generally don’t use the same point on a patient in treatment after treatment because the body gets accustomed to those points and will begin to ignore them over time. As you can extrapolate, having an ear piercing will constantly stimulate the point and will cause the body to ignore that point over a rather short period of time. Additionally, once the point is pierced this creates a long-term hole where the acupuncture point once was. Even if you remove the piercing and let the hole grow shut the tissue that grows back is scar tissue which doesn’t respond in the same way as it once did. In effect, that point is now “blow out” and is no longer usable.
So the short answer is yes, ear piercing for migraines could work, but it’s a rather heavy-handed solution to the problem, only works for a while, and renders that point no longer viable for acupuncture use. A better course of action is to work with an acupuncturist and/or a team of professionals (acupuncturist, chiropractor, functional medicine doctor, etc.) to figure out what is causing your particular migraines and be diligent in taking care of your health to treat your pain.