Several days ago, I had a migraine. I had been loyal to my diet changes, so I was confused about the trigger. I hadn’t been anywhere that was heavily-fragranced, but the weather had been changing frequently throughout the week, and weather changes sometimes trigger my migraines. Regardless of the cause, I found myself struggling to cope with my responsibilities through the pain, nausea, and brain fog.
Having read about daith piercings, I began pondering the value of this since pain relief was my primary focus as I worked my way through my migraine toolbox. I have reservations about this procedure though. Is it a good idea to do something that places continual pressure on a nerve? Until I know more, my logic says, “No,” because pinched nerves can lead to long-term problems. I also happen to be allergic to most metals including posts used for piercings. Allergic reactions to even my highest quality earrings led me to stop wearing earrings long ago.
My inquiring mind did urge me to learn more about the philosophy behind daith piercings though. Since so many people report migraine relief from the procedure, there must be something to it. What I found was that some doctors think that the vagus nerve and/or the trigeminal nerve are involved in migraines, and stimulation of these nerves has provided relief in some migraine patients. Amazingly, I was able to process some additional thought on this matter despite my pain. It was probably the pain that drove me on to see if I could use what I had learned in a way that was not as permanent as a piercing. Unlike many of the 49ers, I found gold!
My thinking went like this: If I could stimulate the nerves under the region where the daith piercing is done, perhaps I could find some relief. So, I stuck my finger there and pressed, and it worked! However, as I became tired of holding my arm up, I had to let go. As soon as I did, the pain came right back. I had to find a way to keep the pressure on until this migraine eased. My next trial was to roll the corner of a washrag into a small ball and place it in position while lying down on a pillow. My head and the pillow kept it in place so that I didn’t have to hold it. The relief was so wonderful that I promptly fell asleep – for 4 hours. When I awoke, the area was bruised. I know that most migraineurs would agree that a little bruising is worth the migraine relief. So, I didn’t relent using my new “tool,” but I did modify it somewhat. I found a teeny tiny washrag that I used to bathe my children when they were babies, rolled the entire cloth into a larger flatter ball than I had with the corner of the larger cloth, and placed it over the whole region. This time, I fell asleep for several hours without pain in my head or from pressure on the daith region.
I can only find a couple of the baby washcloths in our house – the rest are probably located in the same place that socks go when you wash them. However, I am searching for more, with a stop at Babies-R-Us planned for the near future. If I find a product that I can link to, I will update this post promptly. My hope is to pass along something that really might be helpful to as many migraineurs as possible. Admittedly, this tool requires the user to lie down, but isn’t this what you feel like you really need to do anyway in the midst of the pain? Maybe there will be a standing up version of this tool in our future. I have an idea for the design, but I don’t know how to get it made. Any ideas?
Although diet change is my most effective tool, I have found that magnesium and daith pressure are valuable additions to my toolbox. I’m thankful for these treasures, since I’m barely able to convince myself that heat, ice, and massage make any difference. If you find that any of my “golden tools” are helpful to you also, I would love to hear about your experience:).
3/21/16 Update: Babies R Us has these washcloths which are the same as mine:)