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Ear Piercing for anxiety

Can an Ear Piercing be Useful for Anxiety?

There are various pressure points throughout the body that can be manipulated for several beneficial reasons. For example, your toes can carry pressure points that can be used to improve pain or illness in the head/brain. One pressure point that has been gaining popularity in the past few years is the one located on your ear's inner part.

A Daith piercing is a circular piercing on the inner ear. This is said to be a pressure point that improves anxiety and migraines, and headaches. Many people swear to have improved headaches and/or anxiety after a piercing in the inner ear. Can you get an ear piercing for anxiety? Let’s find out.

Pressure Points

The body has hundreds of pressure points placed near joints and nerve endings. Massaging a pressure point can:

  • Provide pain relief
  • Relieve tension in the surrounding muscles
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase energy

The ear alone has many pressure points that can be used to alleviate many problems. Pressure points can be used to activate the vagus nerve. This nerve is the longest of all 10 nerves coming from the brain stem through the rest of the body.

Research shows that stimulation of the vagus nerve can benefit numerous parts of the body. Vagus nerve stimulation can be beneficial for:

  • people with epilepsy and depression.
  • improving the recovery time after a seizure.
  • heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, sweating, and speaking.

People argue that the Daith piercing can be beneficial for migraines, headaches, and anxiety because of the constant vagus nerve stimulation. Getting a piercing at this pressure point will cause vagus stimulation. The vagus stimulation will then be able to help with the conditions.


Ear Piercing

Acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the use of small needles placed into the body. Traditional Chinese medicine can be seen as silly because it is not based on a scientific method. However, many studies prove that acupuncture is effective. Some of the benefits of acupuncture are:

  1. Pain relief
  2. Better sleep
  3. Weight loss
  4. Stress relief
  5. Migraine relief
  6. Nausea relief

Scientists state that if the ear piercing for anxiety is beneficial, it’s because of the similarities between the earring and acupuncture. Acupuncturists can use the needles in that area of the inner ear to improve migraines, headaches, and anxiety.

It is proven that acupuncture can benefit these conditions from the inner ear. Therefore, there is a chance that the piercing can be beneficial for some individuals if it is done correctly. If the piercing is done on the inner ear but not on the pressure point, it may not be as effective. At that point, it would simply be an ear-piercing.

Anxiety-Related Migraines

Anxiety can cause migraines and headaches. In fact, chronic daily headaches and migraines are common in patients with anxiety disorders. In many cases, migraines and headaches can be an early sign of mental disorders.

In turn, migraines can cause anxiety. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical, in the brain. The brain parts that deal with pain, sleep, and mood use serotonin to send messages back and forth between cells. When you have a migraine, these cells are more activated than they are regularly. This can lead to an imbalance in serotonin and may lead to anxiety.

Emotional stress can also cause headaches and migraines. While under stress, chemicals are released throughout the brain that can cause vascular changes. These vascular changes can lead to a migraine headache.

Anxiety-related migraines can be painful and last from hours to days. They may come daily or nightly. For some, it can be debilitating, keeping them from leaving their bedroom or eating a meal.

Does it hurt?

People always wonder before a tattoo or piercing, “Is it going to hurt”? For everyone, there are different levels of pain. While one person may claim it was their most painful piercing, others may state they barely felt it.

Because the Daith piercing is done on a thicker, more awkward part of the ear, it can be a difficult place to pierce. It is one of the piercings that takes the longest and has a lengthy recovery time. During the recovery time, there is also a chance of infections and damage.

Compared to the normal piercings (earlobe), the daith is a little more painful. It doesn’t seem to be as painful as some other piercings, such as the industrial (two piercings on the ear's top fold).

Avoiding snagging the piercing on clothes and hats, washing regularly, and being patient will improve the chances of a problem-free recovery. Ultimately, if you take the precautions and stay patient, it will be a manageable experience.

Does it really work?

anxiety about ear piercing

For some people: yes. Much of the research on the effectiveness of the Daith piercing is scarce. There are little to no studies were done on if this actually works. There are, however, personal testimonies that this piercing has changed their lives. Could this be a placebo effect?

A placebo effect happens when something works, just because the person thinks it will work. When a person believes that it’s working, it may be considered beneficial to those who have the piercing. However, research is scarce on this, as well.

So, there’s not a definite answer, yes or no, on whether the ear piercing for anxiety is beneficial or not. Whether it is beneficial or just a placebo effect, it may help some people relieve migraines, anxiety, or headaches.

Always make sure you are at a clean, certified parlor where they can pierce your ear. Don’t forget that the piercing (if it is beneficial) has to be done on the pressure point. To avoid infection, follow the instructions of the piercer, and ensure all of the products used on you during your piercing have been sterilized.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/daith-piercing-for-anxiety#how-it-works
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vagus-nerve-stimulation/about/pac-20384565#:~:text=Vagus%20nerve%20stimulation%20may%20also%20shorten%20the%20recovery%20time%20after,for%20the%20treatment%20of%20depression.
  3. https://www.verywellhealth.com/vagus-nerve-anatomy-1746123
  4. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/headaches#:~:text=Researchers%20have%20suggested%20that%20a,according%20to%20a%202009%20study.
  5. https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-headaches-link
  6. https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/stress/
  7. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/0003-4819-136-5-200203050-00010


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