Tragus Piercing For Migraines: Does It Really Work?

Discover the connection behind this edgy ear piercing and your headaches.

Written by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Esha Saxena MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Shreya Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

Some people believe that getting a tragus piercing for migraines may help you deal with them. This alternative treatment for migraines was borne out of the fact that these headaches can be distressing and have the potential to disrupt your daily life. A tragus piercing involves piercing the little triangular fold of cartilage that partially covers the ear canal entrance with a stud or a hoop. This area is believed to house pressure points that may reduce the intensity of these headaches. But is there any scientific research to back this claim? Check out this article to know the answer to this question and more. Read on!

How Does A Tragus Piercing Work On Migraines?

Image: Shutterstock

According to the ancient practice of acupuncture, stimulating or realigning the pressure points and nerve endings in the body may help reduce intense pain. A study examined the potential benefits of acupuncture on migraine prevention by analyzing the results of 4,985 participants from 22 trials. They found that acupuncture helped reduce the frequency of migraine attacks in 57% of patients after 3 months (1).

It is believed that the tragus houses pressure points that acupuncturists use to treat migraines. Therefore, piercing that area may help manage these headaches. However, it is important to note that clinical studies are limited and more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of acupuncture on migraines.

Tragus piercings may help mitigate migraines. But how? Learn more about it in the following section.

Tragus Piercing For Migraines

The theory behind this claim is based on the vagus nerve. It is the longest nerve in the body extending from the base of the brain to the rest of your body. A study published in the Journal of Inflammation Research found that vagus nerve stimulation may help treat chronic inflammation disorders like diabetes, sepsis, lung injury, rheumatoid arthritis, and headaches (2). Proponents believe that getting a tragus piercing may stimulate the vagus nerve. This, in turn, may help reduce migraine headaches. However, the evidence is mostly anecdotal and more research is required to prove the efficacy of tragus piercing in reducing migraine pain.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Maintain a migraine journal before and after the tragus piercing to note any potential changes in the severity of the symptoms and frequency of the episodes.

The prospect of getting your tragus pierced to manage your migraine sounds very promising. But before you do so, it is important to know which ear to get a piercing on. Scroll down to find out.

Which Ear Do You Get A Tragus Piercing For Migraines?

A woman getting a tragus piercing for her migraines
Image: Shutterstock

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the side of your head where the migraine affects the most is where you should get the piercing. The theory suggests that stimulating the vagus nerve, a key component of the nervous system, may help influence pain perception as the nerve regulates various body processes. You can even get both ears pierced. However, it is important to remember that research is limited in this regard and it may or may not make a difference.

While the evidence on the effect of tragus piercings on migraines may be anecdotal, there are scientific studies that shed light on the effect of daith piercings on migraines. Check out the next section to understand the effect of both piercings on migraines.

Daith Vs. Tragus Piercing For Migraines

The idea that daith and tragus piercings can alleviate migraine pain is largely anecdotal and lacks scientific backing. Some proponents claim that getting daith piercings has helped decrease their migraine symptoms. Daith piercings involve inserting a piece of jewelry in the tiniest fold cartilage in your ear.

On the other hand, the tragus itself is situated just beneath the daith. Since the vagus nerve extends into the daith and tragus, it is believed that these piercings may help relieve headaches caused by vagus nerve problems.

A study published in the Frontiers in Neurology journal found that the frequency and intensity of a 54-year old male’s migraine attacks significantly decreased after receiving a daith piercing (3). However, the study only recorded the experiences of one individual and required more intensive research into the area.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The daith piercing was invented by piercer Erik Dakota in collaboration with a Jewish client who wanted a unique piercing. The name was derived from the Hebrew word “da’at” meaning knowledge.

Amanda Lee, a blogger, shared how getting her daith piercing helped reduce her migraine attacks. She writes, “I previously mentioned that I used to get migraines about once per month, and since I got my daith pierced (20 months later), I’ve only had 2 or 3 migraines (i)!”

Note: Each person experiences migraines differently as they are complex neurological disorders with distinct causes and triggers. There has been some research on the effects of acupuncture and acupressure on migraines, but not on ear piercings specifically. Whether you go for a tragus or daith piercing or both, ensure you talk to a piercer and a healthcare provider to understand the implications of getting this piercing.

Migraines can be debilitating, especially if traditional medicine fails to give you the desired results. Many proponents claim that getting a tragus piercing may help reduce their frequency and severity. However, it is important to note that these claims are based on anecdotal evidence and lack scientific backing. Therefore, those thinking about getting a tragus piercing to relieve migraines should approach the decision carefully because the effects may differ from person to person. Plus, ensure you consult an experienced piercer and healthcare expert to learn about what the piercing involves and its implications on your health before you take this decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a specific type of jewelry recommended for tragus piercings intended for migraines?

Since there is no scientific evidence that a tragus piercing may effectively alleviate migraine headaches, there is no specific type of jewelry recommended for tragus piercings for that purpose. Plus, every individual may react to different jewelry types and materials differently. Hence, consult a piercer to understand what is suitable for you.

Are there age restrictions for getting a tragus piercing for migraines?

The legal age for getting a tragus piercing is generally 18. However, this may differ from place to place as per the local and state laws. Hence, check with your piercing studio before getting one. Plus, it is important to remember that the effectiveness of this type of treatment may vary from person to person and that it is not widely accepted by the scientific community and health experts as a treatment for migraines.

What should I do if my tragus piercing for migraines doesn’t seem to be working?

If your tragus piercing for migraine headaches is not effective, consult your healthcare professional for alternative treatment methods and lifestyle changes you can make alongside the piercing. While piercings may provide relief for some, a thorough strategy under expert supervision is essential to help manage these symptoms.

Are there alternative migraine relief methods that I should consider alongside a tragus piercing?

Yes, alternative migraine relief methods such as adequate hydration, consistent and good-quality sleep, physical therapy, meditation, and acupuncture may help manage the symptoms of migraine. Consult your doctor for advice and guidance.

Can tragus piercing replace traditional migraine treatments?

No, a tragus piercing cannot replace conventional therapies as there is no scientific evidence that studies its efficacy on migraines. Migraines are complex neurological disorders that require a mixed approach consisting of prescription medications and lifestyle modifications.

Can I remove a tragus piercing if it doesn’t help with migraines?

Yes. If your tragus piercing is not helping with your migraines, you may consider removing it. However, wait till your piercing is completely healed and consult your piercer before getting it removed.

Key Takeaways

  • Proponents believe that the tragus houses various pressure points and nerve endings that may help alleviate migraine symptoms.
  • Anecdotal reports suggest getting the tragus piercing on the side of the head that often experiences the most discomfort due to migraines.
  • Daith piercings may help reduce migraines. However, research is limited to individual cases and anecdotal evidence.

Many claim that daith and tragus piercings may help reduce migraine symptoms. But is there any truth to this claim? Watch this interesting video for some insight on these piercings before you decide to get your own.

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine
  2. A review of vagus nerve stimulation as a therapeutic intervention
  3. Daith Piercing in a Case of Chronic Migraine: A Possible Vagal Modulation
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