Eight hundred and twenty seven days with no pain or tension, clear vision, and total freedom. I ate without worry, slept peacefully, and even the weather changes were no match for my daith piercing. The migraine relief was complete. My doctors seemed impressed and even told some of their other patients about my success. So, following over two years of bliss, what happened? Why did I start feeling the migraine symptoms creep back into my life? Now, what will I do to carry on with the looming, daily threat of intense pain?
WHY Did My Daith Piercing Stop Working?
I spent quite a bit of time speaking with Dr. Chris Blatchley of the London Migraine Clinic, where he studies the effectiveness of the daith piercing for migraines. He explained that the reason I had relief is believed to be due to the stimulation of a branch of the vagus nerve located near the ear canal. Piercing this spot, known as a daith piercing, causes swelling and a lengthy healing process. It’s this healing process that causes the nerve stimulation/migraine relief. After 2 years, the site is typically fully healed and thus, the stimulation ends, along with the glorious migraine symptom relief I experienced.
For me, this science proves true. At the onset of my recent aura, I frantically began twisting the ring. It didn’t hurt, which told me the area really had healed. If I twisted and tugged enough, I could make it hurt which immediately alleviated some of the migraine symptoms, but only for brief moments. So, I took the earring out.
For five days, I was miserable. I had horrendous anxiety, tension, and the aura got worse each subsequent day. I went back to the tattoo shop and had a new piece of jewelry put in. Some of the hole had healed in those five days, so it was somewhat like getting it repierced. The MOMENT he broke through the bit of cartilage that had reformed, I melted into the chair with relief. It was as if all the anxiety and pain evaporated from my body. I got another 2 pain-free months out of this “new” piercing before all the symptoms started reappearing.
I took the daith earring out, and I'm now letting the area fully heal. I plan to have the piercing redone in a few months after the hole has fully closed. My hope is to get another 2 years out of a fresh piercing. However, these few months are off to a rough start. I saw my doctor and she could see it all over my face,–the defeat, the desperation. After experiencing life without migraines, it’s cataclysmic to face the reality of their return. How can I provide for my family? Be a present parent? Do any sort of humaning?
She quickly ran down a list of medications to treat the pain. Triptans make me feel like my brain is burning, ibuprofen and acetaminophen now cause severe flank pain, and the others either make you impossibly drowsy or cost a fortune. I explained that while I’m desperate, I really don’t want to flood my system with medications that will surely cause more side effects and stress. I am more interested prevention than pain management.
Migraine Relief After the Daith Piercing
After doing her own research, my doctor suggested I take 400mg of riboflavin a day. She found a product on Amazon, which included magnesium and feverfew specifically for migraine sufferers. I ordered it immediately. This is not medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before taking any supplements.
To get through these few months while my piercing site fully heals, I’ve reinstated every tactic from my former migraine days. I’m using my back buddy to reduce the tension in my shoulder, washing my hair with mint shampoo, balancing my diet, getting plenty of sleep, and rubbing migraine gel on the back of my neck.
It’s been 17 days since I took out my daith piercing. I’ve had three full blown migraines lasting 2-3 days each. I started the riboflavin supplement, Migrelief, four days ago and it seems to be helping. The first day I took it during an aura, and the pain never arrived.
I’ve also stopped drinking coffee. It lowers my blood sugar which can bring on a migraine attack. For the last 5 weeks, I’ve been taking 1 capsule (half the recommended dose) of a brain booster supplement that contains caffeine. It provides a steady release of energy and I’m not jittery or anxious. My focus has improved and even my skin has a new glow. I miss coffee more than I’d like to admit and I'm currently looking for something to fill that void, but I have to admit, I haven’t felt this good, mentally, in a long time.
To recap, here’s what is working for me:
- Half dose of Neuro Force supplement in the morning
- 1 tablet of Migrelief in the morning
- At least 50 oz of water a day
- Back Buddy massage, as needed
- Migraine Gel, as needed
- Mint shampoo and conditioner–this is my new fave
- Heating pad on upper back, as needed
Once my daith fully heals, I plan to have the migraine piercing redone. Having experienced such a long symptom-free period, I am super aware of how much anxiety I battle each day. We’ve heard that the daith piercing could help treat anxiety, but I was so focused on the migraine relief, I didn’t notice how anxious I was prior to the piercing. While I’m having good results from the methods listed above, nothing beat the migraine and anxiety relief from the daith piercing.
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