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The Daith Piercing Myth 

by John Johnson
If you follow blogs or subscribe to any online news sources that are likely to deliver content that may be related to body art you’ve certainly seen Daith piercings lately. Daith is pronounced “doth.”  A story reappears online every once in a while alleging this piercing is a cure for migraine pain. The basic idea is that this particular part of the ear is a pressure point acupuncturists use for clients with migraines. You can read the Snopes report here. Please note that the article cited as the originator of this myth has been removed from its own website.

daith ti gem cluster

There are tons of online journalists writing about this topic right now, and they always over simplify acupuncture and provide poor information about body piercing.  This is because these authors don’t truly understand either field.  Acupuncture sees a person’s ailments as a result of imbalances to the body’s many systems, and then treats these specific systems.  Ten people may have migraine headaches for ten different reasons and need ten different treatment types.  To say that a single point on the body is for a single purpose isn’t exactly how it works.  Especially since acupuncturists will use several points during a treatment.  Also, if we accepted that this one piercing had an effect on the body, what about other piercings?  Would they not have an effect on the body as well?  What about the risk of negative effects?  New Flower Studio piercer John Johnson has been an acupuncture patient for over 22 years and has discussed the relationship between these treatments and piercing many times and has always been assured there is no application of piercing in any way related to acupuncture.

daith gem

Acupuncturists do a series of tests to diagnose imbalances, like pulse, tongue features, and emotional states,  to develop a strategy of needle placement across the whole body and prescribe herbs to achieve desired effects.  Body piercers only care about the site of the piercing and the specific anatomical features that may contribute to the success or failure of a piercing over a long period of time.  A Daith piercing isn’t placed by a piercer who has any training in acupuncture, that’s not what we do.  A  piercer would need to know very precise placement necessary, angles, and depths.  These are things acupuncturists do.  Piercers care about aesthetics and long term wear of jewelry based on the contour of the ear.  These are two very different practices.

daith clicker gold

The reason we’re talking about this in this month’s email is because of the increase in requests for Daith piercings at New Flower.  We’re very happy to do them for you, especially Vanessa.  But, we have to be clear, there is no evidence at all to support any claims of pain relief.  A client who loves piercings and thinks this is a fun one with great jewelry options will be happy.  But if you’re looking for something more please be cautious,  Until there’s a body of scientific evidence supporting the claim that Daith piercings can offer migraine relief no studio, piercer, blogger, or anyone else should be reporting otherwise.

Daith piercings do not cure migraine headaches.

Daith piercings do not cure migraine headaches.

We do wish you well, but if you’re looking for non-medical pain relief we suggest visiting a qualified acupuncturist.  If you’re looking for a great piercing please visit a qualified piercer.  New Flower can assume no responsibility for helping people with their headaches.

John Johnson

John Johnson is a professional body piercer at New Flower Studio in Long Beach, CA. He’s also a Red Cross instructor and authorized OSHA trainer. He manages the online curriculum for the Association of Professional Piercers and is a member of ASTM International.