Daith Piercings: A Case Study in Comments

Back in November, a look at recent articles about daith piercing as a migraine treatment resulted in a firestorm of comments and discussion. I have already responded briefly, but I would like to give an updated response in two ways this week.

First, because so many people are interested in this treatment, I would like to create a new post where we can update one another with the latest information about daith piercings and migraine.

But today, I want to respond to some of the criticism about the original article, and clarify a few things that might have gotten lost in the flurry of comments.

Before I do that, let me say again – if daith piercings help people, I will be the first one to cheer! Let’s just make that clear before we continue.

Some of the comments were beyond critical – they were very antagonistic. Incidentally, I think I’ve been approving almost all the comments. There was, admittedly, one exception – some accused me of being on a crusade because of religious reasons to stamp out piercings! Really?

Other criticisms included these:

  • The author has obviously never had a migraine. Well, the author most certainly has – mind-numbing, cyclical vomiting, brain crushing migraine attacks. I realize this comment didn’t come in a vacuum, but I do think we need to be very cautious about diagnosing how much pain someone else has experienced. Many of us have had doctors who have brushed off our attacks as nothing to worry about – we need to think carefully before we do the same to each other.
  • You want us to suffer / pay a fortune instead of trying an inexpensive possible solution! No, that wasn’t the point at all. I’ll talk more about this below, but I am not supporting “big pharma” and hoping to doom everyone to expensive treatments.
  • “Until you’ve tried it yourself, this article is null and void.” With the hundreds of treatments out there, and because every migraine patient is so different, trying every treatment would obviously be impossible. I could make a list of things that worked for me, but that list would be one person’s opinion. The question is, does a given treatment tend to help people with migraine? How do we know? Are there stories? Is there a clinical trial? Where is the evidence?
  • If it’s just placebo, why tell people? Why not let them have a little relief? Because if there’s something better they can try, why not start with that?

Listen, the point of the article was NOT that daith piercings do not work. The point was that, when the article was written, there was little or no evidence in the popular articles that were circulating. Other articles were being circulated claiming the benefits of daith piercing, but the evidence was not there. If you doubt it, go read the articles I linked to.

Now that the post has been up for a while, we have some people commenting and saying that the daith piercings have helped. That’s great! I’m sure we could get similar testimonials for other equally inexpensive and easy treatments. Now we need to start collecting the evidence more carefully. And I would love to see thousands helped as a result.

“I’m So Desperate, I’ll Try Anything!”

Now on to perhaps my biggest concern. First, I realize many of us have desperate moments – or weeks, or years – in which we would say,”I’m so desperate, I’ll try anything!” The pain and horror of migraine is why I’ve spend countless hours over many years in research and advocacy for migraine patients.

Now, let’s say we had a list of 25 treatments that you have never tried. They all were just as easy and inexpensive (let’s say). Now we put the list in order of evidence. The first 5 are well established, carefully studied, and have helped thousands. The next 5 have been carefully studied, and drastically help many, but others not so much. The next 5 are not well studied, but there is excellent, ongoing anecdotal evidence that they help people. The next 5 have a smattering of adherents, but no large following and no clinical trials. The last 5 – well, a few unsubstantiated stories, and that’s all. The trials seem to show that they’re of no help, or maybe even harmful.

Now, what if a TV ad came out, touting the benefits of one of the last 5 on the list? All of a sudden, everyone is talking about it. Your aunt tells you “You should try this!” Your boss says,”Why are you taking time off because of your migraine attack? I heard of this great new treatment…”

Which is better for you? To try one of the first 5 treatments, which is well-known and well-researched? Or to go with the latest TV ad?

Now we all fall into this trap sometimes – let’s face it. But why not start with the treatments that have the best chance of success, rather than the ones that happen to be on Facebook this week?

Here’s the sad truth that we need to face head-on. Many unscrupulous people hear us say we’ll “try anything”, and they prey on us and sell us products that are, indeed, “anything”. We waste our money – be it $5 or $500, on products that have no evidence behind them because they sound good and there are two pages of testimonials on the product website.

If there were only three treatments available for migraine, would I try all three? Sure. But there are probably more treatments than you can try in a lifetime.

If you read through the hundreds of articles I’ve written, I hope you’ll see that my desire is not to take away hope and support only expensive drugs (at times I’ve been quite critical of the expensive drugs!). My desire is to help you find the best way out of migraine, as soon as possible. And your emails tell me that many of you have been helped, and have found a way out.

Thank You.

That all being said, I would like to say “thank you” to those who commented – even those who were antagonistic. Although I obviously have some concerns, in most cases even these comments contained helpful thoughts. We need to be free to disagree, we need to be free to discuss the evidence. If we’re doomed to all think the same way, we’re never going to think outside the box enough to find real solutions to the age-old problem of migraine and headache.

Thank you also to those who left encouraging comments. We do tend to comment more when we disagree – so it was nice to see even partial agreement.

Thank you to those who offered constructive criticism, and links to more information, and personal experience. As regular readers know, I am always asking for that. These are the comments we’ll want more of.

Let’s keep working together to find treatments that work.

Now, since we are attracting many people who are interested in daith piercings, tomorrow I’ll set up a new post where we can continue to share information, so that you can see if this is something you would like to try.

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6 comments… add one
  • deirdre murphy Jan 18, 2016

    Very well written, I totally agree with you.

  • Sara reecr Jan 19, 2016

    I totally agree with this. I’m suffer from migraines and wondered wish them on anyone. I have tried many treatments and drug’s. Seen doctors and specialists. But some treatments works for some and others don’t. I will admit I’m one of them people that will try anything for relief. I have had the the Daith piercing. Not just for the relief it may give but I think it looks cute too. I’m planning to have my other one done soon. When it was done the pressure relief I felt was impossible to explain but that’s my experience. May not be the same for other suffers. I look at it has I go for treatment that relate to my migraines I.e pressure caursing a migraine, or hormones causing migraines. .. Unfortunately I have many triggers so I will try different maybe outrageous treatments. But I won’t encourage other suffers to have the same treatment has me. The only thing I would say is try and understand why are you getting them or what your triggers maybe. And then maybe you may find out what may help you. Great article

    • Michelle Jun 27, 2016

      hi Sara I could not believe what I was reading. The same happened to me, as soon as it was done to me I too felt a relief to my head. I didn’t even have a headache when I got it done. But I know exactly what you mean. I can only put it down to the pressure point, and would think that would mean it was in the right spot. Glad to hear this has happened to someone else.
      Its been 6 weeks for me, and no headaches and no migraines.

  • Kim Jan 27, 2016

    I am at that point where my headaches are a precursor of up and coming weather, to say nothing of being a walking barometer. I am going to give this serious consideration. My insurance changed where last year I had 18 Zomig, this year 9. That can last a month depending on the weather…… or stress.
    Glad to see so many positive outcomes

  • Sarah Aug 4, 2016

    Worked for me. However reall test will be when I return to work after summer break. That said I still use to have migraines. In fact the day I got it done I had the start of a migraine. Im 50 and if this simply relieves 40 years of pain it will be amazing. As now most migraine drugs are ineffective. Will keep you posted.

  • Fig May 1, 2017

    I understand those who don’t believe or those who have tried everything and want to hope it works. It worked for me. 1 month with no bad headaches. I am a skeptical person. I want to see studies. I took the risk. Pain relief was immediate… it changed anyway. Went from piercing headache to dull muted form with 1st side. After 2nd side the headache was missing. Very little pain. Easy to clean/care for with recommended piercing aftercare products. Thrilled.

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