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After 2 Years of Migraine Relief, They are Back

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. This post contains affiliate links.

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?

Shelley holding her head clearly in 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.

Shelley holding her head in her hands clearly in pain.

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.

Closeup of an ear that has a daith piercing.

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.

The Back Buddy helps me find migraine relief.

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.

Holding Stopain migraine relieving gel.

To recap, here’s what is working for me:

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.

Update: Jen, my sister who gets the occasional migraine (nothing like mine) is experiencing relief since starting a ketogenic diet. She wrote about her experience on keto here, and continues to see positive changes.

Still living a keto lifestyle after six months, her anxiety levels and headaches have both improved among many other things. 

The keto diet isn’t for everyone, but it might be something to look into if you are looking for natural migraine relief options.   

Another update: Jen tried the new Cefaly device. It’s an FDA-approved product to help treat migraines. Read her Cefaly review here.

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Julie Shelton

Thursday 27th of February 2020

I just wanted to chime in on the dietary. About 2 years ago, I began seriously cutting a lot of gluten from my diet. I am not a disciplined keto dieter, but with the changes to less yeasty breads, no pasta, limited cheats on cakes/cookies, my migraines have lessened remarkably. I still have the occasional one from the perfect storm of stress/weather/diet/hormones. Tomorrow I'm getting a daith just to see if it helps and I can avoid the use of tryptans.


Thursday 27th of February 2020

Thank you, Julie! Yes, diet plays a huge role!! My migraines are most definitely hormonal now, but so much more manageable. Keep us posted on your piercing experience. :)


Friday 27th of December 2019

I also found relief with the daith piercing. Mine lasted 3 years. Then poof, stopped. I got the other side done, seems to be working! As soon as it's healed enough to put my 'nice' earring in, I'm letting the original side grow over, so I can just go back and forth. I also got migraine Botox, and the triptans to try if I get a break through one. But just ordered the migrelief s well to add to routine. Good luck with yours, and get the other side done 😊


Monday 30th of December 2019

That is so interesting!! Thanks for sharing, Jen. Hope you continue to find relief!


Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi I have chronic migraines. I am on tonnes of meds bec I had a stroke as well but I get botox injections every 3 months and they were a MASSIVE help. However, the last time I knew within a few days that I hadn’t been given the same amount in each site as before. The pain was horrendous and my forehead moved easily (normally it stops all that and my forehead feels ‘full’). I rang the co Sultanat but was just told to “hang in there”. A few weeks later I got my daith pierced bec I am just trying anything. I’ve only had it a week and have had no relief But that’s ok... early days! Anyway, my point is that the man who pierced me said in 10 months I feel it’s not working then to go back and get a thicker ring in. He said that many are told to do the other side etc but that widening the hole (slightly!) will reactivate the relief. Just thought I’d share this info in case it helps. Migraine sucks 😩so Sharing info is great!! Hope something works for you soon x


Monday 16th of December 2019

That makes sense to widen the hole. From my understanding, the point is to stimulate the nerve. So, if the piercing didn't quite hit the right spot, it's worth a try to widen the area. I hope you find relief soon!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.


Tuesday 5th of November 2019

You sound like a heavy sufferer. Why haven’t you tried Botox for migraines? I suffer from occasional complex basilar migraines that mimic a mini stroke. Vision loss, numbness, tingling and speech aphasia followed my immense head pain and light sensitivity. I would get cluster attacks that would land me in the hospital. Botox has been an absolute blessing!

Keri Gill

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

My daith piercing has worked great for over two years. However my piercer did tell me that it is very common for migraines to creep back in. Usually starting to develop on the side they didn't m normally start on. She recommended that if that happened I should get the other side done. On a side note I recently had to take my daith out for a job. That lasted about a month and I've had a migraine for three weeks. Quit the job and having the daith put back in tommorow. Hopefully this helps someone