It's just a given that over the course of our lives we will get sick at some point or another. While serious illnesses require extensive medicinal treatment under the supervision of a physician, for things like colds, it can be preferable to treat things naturally.
The same can even be true for health issues like chronic migraines. No one knows for sure what causes these incredibly painful headaches, but for those that suffer from them, relief can never come too soon.
First, what exactly is a migraine?
If you've never suffered from one, it's easy to think it's just a particularly bad headache. However, they're even more intense than that. These headaches cause acute throbbing in one area of the head; on top of that, nausea, vomiting and extreme light and sound sensitivity are common accompanying symptoms. They can last for hours or even days at a time, too, which makes them particularly crippling.
Unfortunately, migraines can't be cured and management can be tricky.
Specific drugs have been developed for both prevention and pain management, but they aren't entirely effective for everyone. For people who don't respond as well as they'd like to medication, their next plan might be to seek out some of the alternative therapies that have reputed benefits for migraine sufferers.
A newer alternative that is currently trending is the daith piercing.
This piercing is placed through the ear's innermost cartilage fold. It can be a bit tricky to pierce and people with the piercing report different amounts of pain during the process; after the approximately ten minutes it takes to pierce and place the jewelry, healing takes between three and six months.
The idea behind using the piercing as treatment ties to acupuncture, another alternative medicine that involves placing needles in various pressure points on the body and has long been used to treat migraines.
While there is definitely debate on the efficacy of acupuncture itself and the daith piercing, too, there are many who feel they have greatly benefited from it. Kimberly Glatz, who had suffered from migraines for over a year, said: "I've seen some difference, I don't know if it's from the piercing or not. I can't exactly pinpoint what changed my headaches, but I've definitely seen an improvement and it's worth trying."
Regardless of the doubts, many feel like the possible benefits far outstrip the negatives.
Dr. Thomas Cohn, a board-certified pain management doctor, has heard all the criticism, but doesn't see the downside. In a post on his blog, he explained: "it is not universal, and it has not been studied formally. If a person enjoys ear piercing and suffers from frequent headaches, it may be worthwhile to consider getting this spot pierced. Since body piercings are generally less than $100, this may be a very economical treatment alternative." Although he has received criticisms from people writing it off entirely as "some pseudo-placebo effect," he doesn't understand these opinions. While it might not work, he says that doubters should consider that people seeking relief with a piercing have likely exhausted other more traditional avenues with limited to no result.
Watch a little more debate from both sides in the video below and decide for yourself.
Whichever side you land on, it never hurts to learn something new!