Some migraine sufferers say they've managed to pierce the pain away

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 19:24:13-04

CINCINNATI -- More than three million Americans deal with migraines each year, according to the medical research nonprofit Mayo Clinic. That's a beast of a national headache, and although there are ways to mitigate the pain, nausea and dizziness experienced by migraine sufferers, researchers are still far from definitively identifying either a cause or a cure.

Acupunturists and body modification specialists claim that relief could be as simple as the prick of a needle.

Some migraine sufferers have acted on their advice and gotten a "Daith piercing," a piercing of inner ear cartilage that advocates claim disrupts part of the trigeminal nerve that conducts migraine-associated pain.

Mythbusting site Snopes rated the helpfulness of the piercing as unproven, but anecdata from the Huffington Post indicates that it does help at least some people with migraines manage or even completely banish their pain.

Not ready to sport a metal ring in your inner ear? The "Daith" method can also be performed via acupuncture, which pierces the same spot but doesn't install any new jewelry in the process.

Derek Johnson performs the Daith procedure in his role as a licensed acupuncturist at UC Health’s Integrative Medicine.

Watch the video above to see Johnson's technique and learn more about the piercing some are hailing as a miracle. (But keep in mind: If you do pursue it, make sure you're being treated by someone who knows what they're doing and that you keep seeing your doctor afterward.)