Migraine attacks are the WORST. Not only do they cause a lot of pain, but they can also prevent you from living your best life. Could a tragus piercing help relieve the sharp pain of migraines? Here’s what science says plus other great alternatives.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, up to 80 percent of people living with headaches and migraine illnesses have tried alternative treatments. One of these methods is the tragus piercing. Here’s why it might work.
The tragus piercing can help stimulate the vagus nerve, the longest of the 12 cranial nerves. It carries tons of information from your brain to your organs and vice versa.
According to the American Headache Society, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can help with chronic headaches like migraines and cluster headaches. VNS can also help treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as:
Tragus piercings appear promising because of the results that have been achieved with acupuncture. Studies show that when acupuncture is performed in the same area as the tragus piercing, migraines and tension headaches are relieved.
A 2016 Cochrane review analyzed 22 different studies with a total of almost 5,000 participants. The researchers found that acupuncture helped reduce the frequency of migraines more than no treatment at all.
As a reminder, piercings and acupuncture both involve needles, but they’re not the same thing. We need more studies to prove that tragus piercings can specifically provide relief.
There is no science to support the idea that piercing one ear will give better results than the other ear. But most people do it on the side of their head that is most affected by migraines. You can also choose to have both sides pierced, but it’s still possible that it won’t make a difference.
Tragus piercings are generally super safe when done correctly. But there are still a few things to consider before trying this method.
- Healing takes time. Tragus piercings take longer to heal than earlobe piercings. It may take 6 months to a year for you to fully recover, but the discomfort should subside in a few weeks.
- Go to a professional. You should never make a piercing yourself at home. (Trust us.) You must also follow your professional’s aftercare instructions to reduce your risk of infection.
- It is not for everyone. People with diabetes, hemophilia, or any other health condition that prevents the body from healing should avoid piercings.
- Be careful what metal you use. You should find out if you have any skin sensitivity before pulling the tragus trigger. Nickel is the most common metal allergy, but some people are also allergic to other types such as copper, stainless steel, and silver.
- Call your doctor if there is a problem. Let your doctor know as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of infection such as pus, itching, burning, swelling, or throbbing.
Would you like to learn more about aftercare for tragus piercings? Check out this great guide.
Tragus piercings aren’t the only remedy for migraines. Here are some great, proven treatments to help you feel better.
- Prescription drugs. Lots of medications can help you Symptoms. Popular options are ergotamines, triptans, beta blockers, and antidepressants. The type of medication you will be given will depend on the cause.
- Relaxation techniques. Studies show that meditation can help improve the quality of sleep and make you more resistant to stress. This is not only good for your general health, but also your head. Bad sleep and high levels of stress are common migraine triggers.
- Drink enough. About a third of migraineurs claim dehydration is a trigger, according to the American Migraine Foundation. They suggest drinking 2 liters a day to help ward off symptoms. You may also want to avoid drinks that can dehydrate you, such as alcohol and caffeine.
- Magnesium. Some research suggests that people who are magnesium deficient are more likely to experience migraines than those who don’t. A small study from 2008 found that 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day reduced the severity and frequency of participants’ migraine attacks. PSA: You should always speak to your doctor before changing your supplementary regimen.
Some anecdotal evidence supports the idea that tragus piercings can reduce migraine symptoms. But there isn’t enough science to show that 10/10 will help. But it might be worth a try! Only go to a reputable piercing site and keep your piercing clean to reduce the risk of infection.