Migraine Piercing Blog
Posted on Wednesday, October 11 2017 03:02:00 PM in News by Aidan Bradshaw
Migraine Piercing Blog
Tracy Perkins Daith Piercing Researcher and Piercing Teacher
Hi, my name is Tracy Perkins, I have been in the body piercing industry for over 20 years. I started out in a jewellery shop in Taunton in Somerset, where along with my partner at the time we changed the shop into a dedicated piercing shop. This shop is still trading successfully today offering top quality piercings.
During my time in Somerset, we developed a new set of piercing tools which are widely used all over the world today. I started to teach body piercing in 2003 and opened a successful dedicated training centre in Manchester which I ran and managed until 3 years ago when I decided to dedicate my work to daith piercings for Migraine.
In 1992 New York piercer Eric Dakota claimed he had invented a new piercing the Daith, However many of us long standing piercers had been doing this for many years.
Unexpectedly, people began to report that their migraines had improved. The effect began to be discussed in social media, and in March 2015 it “went viral” after Dr Thomas Cohn, a specialist pain doctor in the USA reported the effect on his widely read website. Since then, it has been estimated that many thousands of people, mostly women, have had a ‘Daith’ for their migraines.
I have been friends with Dr Chris Blatchley for many years. He runs the London Migraine Clinic where he offers alternative treatments for migraines. After much discussion and research, we decided that his clinic would be the first offer Daith piercings
Dr Chris Blatchley from the London Migraine Clinic contacted me having seen my survey results on the internet. Together we drilled down into the research and came up with some different criteria and re-launched the survey with me still driving traffic to get people to fill in the results.
This is where I come in. My father Dr David Soper was one of the first acupuncturists in Europe starting his practice in 1975 and achieving the Nei Ching PHD in 1987 (the work of the yellow emperor) so I had an immediate interest. Everyone was saying this is an acupuncture point and I wanted to try it. I trained in body piercing with Metalmorphosis the international school of body piercing in 1989 whilst and had been doing this and running my body jewellery business at the same time, ever since.
When I started piercing a daith for migraine relief the results were obvious immediately, there was no question this was helping and even curing some migraine sufferers. I continued to do this as both a cosmetic piercing and as an aid to help with migraines, monitoring the results and asking a series of historical questions about the migraines and headaches. I also started a Facebook page dedicated to this subject https://www.facebook.com/daithpiercingformigraine/
this was really interesting as people started to make comment and contact me for advice.
In January 2017 I did a questionnaire or survey, targeted to people on facebook who had migraines asking them to fill in 15 simple questions. Within just a few weeks I had 400 people and 400 sets of answers, this was quite revealing as it showed almost 90 percent of people with this piercing had relief and 24 percent reported being completely cured. Here are my survey results
Again the results proved this piercing works even on a cosmetic level to some degree. Chris introduced me to his piercer Tracy Perkins – she worked just one day a week to do the Daith Piercing at the London Clinic. I made regular visits to London to see Chris and Tracy and discuss the piercing, refinements to the piercing and how we could prove how it is working and what causes this.
Both Tracy and I have now been piercing for some 20 years and Tracy has run a Body Piercing School and designed instruments through her former company Pierce Artist. Naturally we spoke the same language and together we now research this. We now have 3 clinics Manchester, London and my clinic in Burgess Hill Mid-Sussex. (all in the UK)
Chris with his medical knowledge and years of practice as a migraine specialist suggested we look further into Vagus Nerve stimulation or to be more specific Transcutaneous stimulation of the cervical branch of the vagus nerve for cluster headache and migraine. Here are some interesting links:
Vagus nerve stimulation is now an excepted therapy for the treatment of refractory epilepsy and even depression. Over 10,000 people over a 12 year period have has an electronic device implanted giving direct stimulation to the vagus nerve using an electric current.
2) The way we use it is of course different and is as of yet unproven. In fact nearly everyone who is discussing this subject refers to acupuncture as the key or cure. There could be some similarities such as it is a point on the body using a needle for stimulation. Using a electrical detector we are able to determine where the vagus nerve ending are nearest the surface. Normally this is just at the top internal part of the ear canal just behind the daith. However it does differ from person to person, on occasions the best point can be just above the daith almost on the forward pinna and on others can be the lower part of the daith. Realistically a cosmetic piercing will only stimulate 20/30 percent (estimate) of what is available to stimulate. The points can be spread meaning that a medical piercing can stimulate anything from 50 to 80 (estimate) percent of what is available.
The medical piercing is without doubt much more effective than a cosmetic piercing for the majority of people. However we do encourage the cosmetic piercing for those unable to attend a medical piercing clinic. The chance is, you will get some stimulation from this and some relief from your migraines. The medical piecing supports on-going research and development and is of course more expensive than the cosmetic piercing.
The aim of the consultation is to try and establish the direct cause of the migraines or headaches. Nearly always we find that people have not had a chance to discuss their migraine in full with anyone. No one has listened properly and most have been pushed around to different departments of the National Health Service with no information. A normal scenario is being a given triptan from the list below. These can be of help but often are not and have varying degrees of side effects. On top of this you may have seen a neurologist and had a CT scan. If you have are you more aware of what it bringing on the migraines.
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) Zomig (Zolmitriptan) Maxalt (Rizatriptan) Relpax (Eletriptan) Treximet (Sumatriptan and Naproxen Sodium Tablets) Amerge (Naratriptan) Frova (Frovatriptan) Axert (Almotriptan)
The consultation consists of 5 parts.
1) Running through your migraine history and medication.
2) Describing the way you are and where the pain is coming from during a migraine.
3) Neck compression test and spine check. A lot of people have cervical vertebrae out of place which can push on nerves and result in migraines during times of stress or exercise. This test is designed to bring this to our attention and marked as positive or negative. The spine check is to evaluate your posture and see if anything is out of place.
4) Running through recommendations to increase your chances of longevity.
5) The probe test. This is the use of an instrument to show us the nearest surface points where we can pierce you for maximum vagus nerve stimulation.
After the best point is determined the piercing is then done, aftercare explained and aftercare solution supplied.
As researches we want to know what is happening to you and ask you to email us about once a month for the first 3 month.