Leanne can be found on her blog, Cresting The Hill, sharing her discoveries about this time in her life. This story about how her chronic migraines have impacted her life – and her next step towards trying to stop them was originally shared there.
Headaches, Headaches Everywhere
I have suffered from chronic headaches for a far back as I can remember. I’m not sure when they started but I know that I have been keeping the various headache remedy companies in business for at least a few decades now. I don’t think I have full-blown migraines, mine are more of the tension headache variety, but they have been relentless and I had reached the point of being willing to try something a little out of left field.
I had seen a few articles on daith piercing to relieve migraines, and being the world’s greatest sceptic, I had given them a bemused thought or two and moved on. It’s been a fairly recent practice – and has probably only come into the mainstream in the last couple of years. I left it on the back-burner, but it kept popping randomly into my head over next several months and I started reading a bit more on it. Apparently it is actually pronounced “doth” as in “moth” but I think 90% of us say “daith” because it’s easier. The piercing is supposed to correspond with a pressure point that acupuncturists use for migraine relief. Nobody will definitively say that the piercing “works” but most say to give it a go and see.
Giving It A Go
Eventually I decided that it was worth a shot – nothing to lose and I could take it out if it didn’t work. Next step was deciding where to get it done. We live in the country and apparently it’s a fairly complex piercing (not one you get at your local tattoo parlour) and I didn’t want to risk having someone mess it up. We were heading up to the city for a wedding so I did a bit of research and ended up finding a place near the wedding venue.
Our daughter was meeting us for coffee beforehand and she decided that it would be fun to do a mother/daughter piercing with the hope that it would help her headaches too. So we took ourselves off to have the deed done – me with a lot of research behind the decision and she with her usual “what the heck – just go for it” attitude (how I’d love to have that ability to jump in feet first and not over think things!)
It was all quite straightforward and not particularly painful – a bit fiddly and a bit of pressure but nothing to be bothered by. We then went off for our coffee date, then on to the wedding (with a bit of a sore ear) and back home again. I’d joined a Facebook group called The Daith Club – For Migraineurs and I followed their aftercare recommendations so I had a fairly uneventful healing process – although it’s still a bit sore (especially the entry and exit points) and apparently it can take up to 12 months to fully heal (the “joy” of a cartilage piercing).
Did It Work?
The headache relief has been interesting. Our daughter says it has made no difference to hers at all, she gets hers primarily from clenching her teeth and the associated stress. I’d read that it doesn’t have much of an effect on that type of headache. As for me, I’ve noticed a significant improvement. I wouldn’t say it has cured me by any means, but I have gone from three or four savage headaches a week down to one mild one a week.
I used to take Nurofen with each headache – sometimes three or four times before it finally went away. Now I’m taking a couple of Panadol or nothing at all. Often a cup of coffee or a walk is all I need and before I notice it, the headache has faded into the background without a murmur. To not be taking six, eight or ten lots of Nurofen a week is amazing – I think my liver and kidneys will be thanking me for it!
Placebo or Not?
I know there will be a lot of people who talk about the placebo effect and that the headaches going is just a coincidence, but I went into this with no belief at all that it would make any difference. I was resigned to the headaches and didn’t think something this “way out” would have the slightest impact on them. I am happy to have people pat me and tell me it’s all in my mind, I am ecstatic to be having fewer headaches and if it’s the placebo effect then I am content with that. I thought you had to be convinced for the placebo to work, but if it works regardless then that’s fine too.
When I’d posted a while ago about getting my daith pierced, a few people asked for an update, so here we are, three months down the track and one mild headache a week at the most – so no guarantees, but if I had my time over again, I’d have gotten it a lot sooner. As for our daughter, she’s happy to have a cool piercing – even if it didn’t fix her headaches!