Do daith piercings really help with migraines?

Daith piercings are the cutest new must-haves. Aside from being a fun little way to bling out your ear, though, daith piercings have a somewhat odd reputation as a cure-all for severe migraines. Whether it's witchcraft or something to do with hitting the perfect acupuncture spot repeatedly, it's heavily suggested that if you get this piercing, your migraines will disappear like magic.

Outside of dodgy studios eager for a quick buck and the kinds of WhatsApp groups where people share conspiracy theories about certain politicians secretly being lizard people, is there any scientific truth to the idea that a daith piercing could ease or even eradicate your migraines?

What's the connection between daith piercings and migraines?

In a Healthline report, medically reviewed by Seunggu Han, MD, it's advised that this idea does indeed come from acupuncture, the "ancient Chinese medicine-based approach" to treating various ailments by "triggering specific points on the body with needles," itself a common treatment for migraines. A daith piercing supposedly activates a pressure point similar to that used during acupuncture treatment.

However, the exact location needs to be specifically identified in order for the treatment to possibly work, so an acupuncturist would have to ensure that, first and foremost, the piercing is going in the right place. Generally, people who have had prior luck treating their migraines with acupuncture may be the most likely to go the piercing route for a more long-term fix.

Is there any scientific research to suggest daith piercings effectively treat migraines?

Scientifically speaking, there's little evidence to suggest daith piercings assist in the alleviation of migraine pain. A 2017 case study published in Frontiers in Neurology did find symptoms improved in some after the piercing was done, but ultimately concluded more research was needed. Researchers also warned that any relief experienced by participants could be the result of a placebo effect and would wear off with time. Another study – this one published in Chronic Headache in 2018 – tested several unconventional methods for the treatment of migraines; it found a lack of evidence in the connection between daith piercings and the alleviation of symptoms.

Similarly, neurologist and trustee of The Migraine Trust, Dr. Fayyaz Ahmed, advised, "There is no evidence that daith piercing [works] to help [migraines]." Likewise, body piecer Peter Monckton told Byrdie the idea that daith piercings could cure migraines simply isn't true. "I believe this may be a placebo effect. There is no medical evidence to support the claims," he argued.