Daith Piercing - How it Works

Migraine Piercing - How This Works

This is one of the most argued about and debated subjects on the internet. There are groups of professional researchers and groups of both piercers, doctors and acupuncturists with opposing views.  Unbelievably, there is even a group of supposed UK piercing professionals abusing and sabotaging other piercers who advocate this daith piercing for migraine, anxiety, depression and IBS.

It appears to us that very many piercers, migraine specialists and migraine organisations are saying this is either placebo effect, or acupuncture or a mix of both.


Acupuncturists mostly agree this is interesting but they can't work out why it works. A lot of piercers are getting acupuncture charts and trying to pierce point zero. Point zero is on the descending part of the ear called the daith and is quite central on the ear. This point is used for treating various conditions including pain, sedation, addiction treatment, and inflammation. Not for migraine. It is common knowledge in the piercing world that the piercing works better if the placement is the other end of the daith almost into the top part of the ear canal. Maybe those piercing sceptics are piercing the wrong place and therefore not getting the results they are looking for?

The reason for reduction or elimination of migraine (in our view) is Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

During 2016/17 myself and co-researcher Tracy Perkins collected data for the first ever White Paper published on this subject. Published by fellow researcher Dr Chris Blatchley (Migraine Specialist) and Professor Arnold Wilkins (Essex University)

See the white paper SEE HERE

We came up with the following conclusion:

The correct point for the piercing creates Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

VNS has been used for many years to help with migraines, depression, anxiety, crohn's disease, epilepsy, cluster headaches and IBS and to relief the effects of fibromyalgia

The picture below shows the Vagus Nerve and the auricular branch which we stimulate via the daith piercing directly at the nerve endings which in turn act as receptors. This, when done correctly, can have a remarkable effect on migraine, cluster headache, ocular migraine and many other kinds of headaches. Also we have recorded some remarkable results for celiac disease, IBS, anxiety and depression, also the negative effects of fibromyalgia. Or, in other words most of the studied benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation which are common knowledge already. 

So far we have concentrated on migraine and headache and are conducting a detailed ongoing study of the people who have come to one of our five dedicated clinics for this treatment. 



The Vagus nerve can be stimulated in different ways and we are looking at Vagus Nerve Stimulators which use an electrical current to stimulate either the vagus nerve directly at the "side of neck" or the receptors at the end of the auricular branch in or around the daith of the ear. 


There are quite a lot of  VNS stimulators on the market claiming results for depression, anxiety, migraine, epilepsy, IBS, and celiac disease. 

These are a few of the electrical Vagus Nerve Stimulators using both invasive and non invasive methods together with their claimed benefits.

1) Nemos claims epilepsy- non invasive.

Mainly used in Europe and targeting the same point as the piercing, being the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. This is a 4 hour daily treatment using a hand held electrical pulse generator to send electrical impulses through the daith area.

Trial results show "After 5 months of use epilepsy seizure rates reduced by 23% on average using 25Hz of stimulation"



2) Gamma Core claims migraine non invasive

A treatment study of people using this, (specifically the evidence submitted to NICE - National Institution for Health Care Excellence) claims complete pain relief within 2 hours of using the device in 20% of patients. This is now available on the NHS however getting one is a totally different ball game. 


3) Nexeonmed claims debilitating neurological disease

Picture shows a "next generation" machine that has been used for epilepsy, obesity and depression. Research is ongoing  and inconclusive as far as we can make out from their website and results searches.




4) Parasym anxiety treatment  - non invasive

Claims Vagus nerve stimulation via the tragus to correct dysfunction causing chronic disease.

No test results found however they are beginning clinical trials SEE HERE


5) AspireSR  -  Intrusive vagus nerve simulator

Claims Epilepsy.

"In AspireSR clinical trials, over 60% of seizures treated (n=46) ended during auto stimulation.3 For seizures that ended during stimulation (n=28), the closer stimulation was to seizure onset, the shorter the seizure duration.3"

This is the most well used VNS on the market, but it is implanted under the skin and directly on the Vagus Nerve. Being invasive it is used to treat epilepsy as this can be life threatening whereas a migraine is not considered life threatening and therefore invasive therapy can be too risky.




Having looked at these we hope now you have some idea of the power of VNS therapy. 

The above come into 2 categories:

1) Stimulation from the core vagus nerve itself (side of the neck) and

2) Stimulation for the auricular branch via the daith or tragus area of the ear. 

Category 1) can be further divided into invasive (surgically implanted) or non invasive through the surface of the skin. The surgically implanted version showing far better results than the non invasive gamma core. 


We can conclude that a daith piercing is semi invasive and if done at the cluster of nerve endings in and around the start of the ear canal close or through the daith it can be very effective. 

We cannot speak for other people doing this piercing, but based upon our recorded research of people coming for this treatment to one of our four dedicated clinics we have data that shows: At present April 2018 we have a 72% success rate of elimination or reducing migraine severity by 75% for a minimum period of six months.

Quite outstanding.

If you wish to contact us or book, see our Book Now Page for details of our 4 dedicated UK clinics

Published by Richard Soper & Tracy Perkins

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This is a further study on Gamma corer v Nemos titled:

Vagus nerve and vagus nerve stimulation a comprehensive review