I’ve suffered from frequent headaches ever since I was about eight years old. We’re talking about four headaches each week, and sometimes those headaches last for 3-10 days! It’s terrible.
Because my headaches so regularly, I’ve got the routine for treating them down.
Step one: Take four to six 200 mg ibuprofen liquid gels as soon as the headache hits.
Step two: eat something, have a little caffeine, and take my hair down to relieve any tension on my scalp.
Step three: If after four hours the headache persists, take four to six more 200 mg ibuprofen liquid gels.
Step four: lay down as still as possible for 30 minutes with a firm pillow beneath my neck.
Step five: take a warm bath with my head submerged.
Step six: go to bed.
Step seven: repeat until headache goes away.
Sometimes during this process i’ll experience slight relief, but the headache won’t go away completely. Sometimes it does go away. And every once in a while it goes from a headache to a full-blown migraine with light sensitivity, nausea, noise sensitivity, all that terrible stuff. These frequent headaches make it tough to work sometimes, but I can’t just take work off every time I get one. There’s not an employer in the world that would deal with someone missing that much work.
I hate relying on ibuprofen just to be able to function. In a typical week, I take anywhere from 24-32 200 mg ibuprofen tablets (6-8 pills about four times a week) to deal with my headaches. My big concern with this is that:
- Ibuprofen can cause heartburn, stomach damage, and ulcers.
- Ibuprofen has been linked to heart attacks and blood clots.
To Daith or not to Daith
When a close friend’s mom pierced her daiths as a last-ditch effort to relieve migraines, I admit being skeptical. But as a headache sufferer myself, I could sympathize with trying anything for shot at even just a few symptom-free days.
It seemed to work for her and several people I talked to. I was still on the fence though, until a three-day headache hit. I had enough. That day I went home and took some ibuprofen, called a friend to provide some support, and we headed to Enso Piercing + Adornment in Salt Lake City, Utah to get both of my daiths pierced.
For those who are unfamiliar, your daith (pronounced DäTH) is the crus of the helix in your ear – a thick piece of cartilage. Peep my amateur sketch to the right for a visual.
It is said by some acupuncturists that the daith corresponds to an acupuncture point that may relieve headaches. Well, I’ve never done any sort acupuncture, so I had no idea going into this what to expect. In addition to not knowing whether or not this was going to work out, I was nervous about the piercing process itself.
Getting the Piercing
The people at Enso were amazing and made the experience comfortable. I picked out my earrings, both loops made of implant grade titanium (meant to reduce infections and reactions) and an opal bead for each ring.
I waited for my turn and was led back to a room with a bed and all the hole-maker’s supplies. He sanitized everything, and my friend started recording. So…. if you can stomach it. Check out the video of me getting pierced below. There’s not too much blood, and surprisingly no swearing, but view at your own risk. 🙂
Let me answer a few questions you might have.
Q: Did it hurt?
A: Freaking yes. I was literally sick to my stomach as we were leaving Enso.
Q: How long do they take to heal?
A: Anywhere from 4-12 months. These are definitely a commitment.
Q: How much did it cost?
A: $180 for both ears.
Q: Do you recommend getting both done?
A: All of the people who I know that pierced their daiths recommended getting them both done at the same time for the best results. I’m not sure that there’s any science or research behind that, but it’s what I did just to be safe.
So, I’m about 23 days into having this piercing, and I’m actually excited to share my results. I’ve been keeping a daily log, which I plan to continue, documenting whether or not I have a headache. Here’s what I’ve found:
In 23 days, I’ve only had seven headaches that I had to take ibuprofen for. So that means I’m getting less than two headaches a week. MY HEADACHES HAVE BEEN CUT IN HALF. I’ve also noticed that sometimes a headache will start coming on, and instead of my normal routine of taking ibuprofen as soon as possible before it turns into a migraine, the headache will go away! In fact, this has happened three times so far. Not to mention I haven’t had any migraines yet. Instead of taking 24-32 ibuprofen a week, i only took 12 a week to treat the few headaches I get.
The 50% decrease in headaches is a MAJOR plus. Really the only con I’m dealing with is keeping them clean and dry and a little soreness still. However, I’ll take that slight inconvenience over the major inconvenience of constant headaches any day.
I cannot recommend that you get this piercing because I’m not a health professional, and of course I cannot guarantee any of your results. But I am definitely glad I took the leap.
I’ll continue to track my progress through out the year! We’ll see if my results continue, increase, or decrease. Keep checking back.