According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 29 million Americans suffer from migraines and anxiety, and women are three times more likely to get them than men.
They can be triggered by normal day-to-day tasks, such as eating specific foods, watching too much TV, fluorescent lighting, and excessive noise. They’re different for everyone and the yearning question is; what can you do to get rid of them?
Of course there is the obvious medication route, neurologists often prescribe anti-depressants to relieve them, and there are over the counter pills like Excedrin, which seldomly cut it. With much frustration migraine and anxiety sufferers have tried any alternative in the book, from switching their diets, to acupuncture, to meditation, to yoga, and back again with some success.
With an open mind these alternatives are capable of being the answer, and there is a new one on the market, which is simple, inexpensive, and doubles as a piece of jewelry.
The daith piercing is a small ring that pierces the inner cartilage of either ear, running through a pressure point, which for some will relive migraine and anxiety pain. It is a relatively new procedure, mainly preformed at tattoo and piercing shops with not many statistics to back it up yet.
Tammi Bergman, NP, of ERiver Neurology, who specializes in headache relief, says that she always encourages her patients to try things like this as alternative relief measures to medication.
“I haven’t really heard of it yet, none of my patients have done it,” she said. “It could just be too new, and in the blogs, but often that’s where these things get started.”
Medication for migraines and anxiety is not always the only answer, just like the alternative relief measures the medicine doesn’t always work, and many people are opposed to taking medicine on a daily basis.
“We don’t even have hard statistics on the medications for migraines and anxiety that are approved by the FDA, so whenever you can do without it, it’s always a great thing. So if a patient is open minded I say go for it,” she said.
Kimberly Glatz, 24, has been suffering from migraines and anxiety for over a year now. She got the daith piercing done last month.
“Before I got it done my headaches were really, really bad. Terrible. Just extremely painful,” she said. “Now, I’ve seen some difference, I don’t know if it’s from the piercing or not. I can’t exactly pin point what changed my headaches, but I’ve definitely seen an improvement and it’s worth trying,” she said.
Dave Kurlander, owner of the Tempest Artistic Studio in Hopewell Junction, NY performs the daith piercing on clients, and he truly believes it’s the way to go.
“I’ve had many people come to me looking for migraine relief. It’s a much cheaper alternative to medicine and even acupuncture, and many of their doctors recommend it to them, and if you’re into piercings that’s even better.”
The piercing from start to finish is about a 10-minute process, it’s a one-time deal, and costs approximately $45. As opposed to acupuncture, which can become a lengthy, time consuming process, and be quite expensive.
“Essentially it’s the same concept as acupuncture, the piercing hits a pressure point which then relieves the pressure in your head. I recommend getting it done on the ear that corresponds with the side of your head where most of your migraines hit,” he said.
But the pressing question is, if there are no facts behind this than how can we know if it really works or not. Tammi Bergman says that you have to believe in migraine and anxiety relief, in the alternatives and in the medication.
“Sometimes relief of migraines and anxiety is psychological, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s a mind-set. Sometimes you really have to believe it for it to work,” she said.
In the long run it’s a toss up, it may not cure your headaches but you will be left with an ear piercing. Hey, you win some you lose some right?