5 Types of Ear Piercings and Their Possible Health Benefits You May Not Know About
Alexandra Rush reports on some of the health benefits that you might possibly gain just by piercing your ears. This phenomenon is looked into by two specific fields: acupuncture and auriculotherapy.
Acupuncture and Auriculotherapy Explained
Before diving into the six different types of ear piercings and their health benefits, it is important to get some scientific background. The correlation between parts of the ear and other parts of the body was first identified by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French neurologist and physician. His research shows that by piercing certain parts of the ear, it stimulates the surrounding nerve areas. In certain cases, this sends a flow of energy through the body which helps alleviate types of pain and regulates the body’s functions and internal organs according to lifemaghealth.com. There are two different cultural approaches to auriculotherapy. “The Asian approach is based on the understanding of health and disease of Traditional Chinese Medicine, using concepts such as qi, yin, yang and five elements…. In contrast, Dr. Nogier’s approach was biomedical, using concepts of neurophysiology,” explains Gary Stanton in a scholarly journal article. This science is now researched worldwide, and the results are being published in other journals. Auriculotherapy is now considered by many physicians to be an evidence-based medicine, as a result of this research.
#1: The Daith
The daith is located in the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear, where the outer ridge that runs along the top of your ear connects to your inner ear, above the ear canal. It is a popular theory that the location of this piercing may help to relieve migraines. Daith piercings for migraine relief gained popularity in the mid-2010s, and supporters of this theory have been growing ever since. In one case study, a 54-year-old man who suffered from chronic migraines decided to get a daith piercing. After being pierced, he claims to have experienced a large reduction of migraine attacks. In the Facebook group ‘Migraine Again’ one member says: “I am so glad I got mine done. Been 7 weeks and have had 2 migraines instead of at least 15 in that time. Might be a placebo, might not, but I don’t care either way, I just know I’m not in as much pain.” Allegedly, the migraines will be relieved in different sides of the brain depending on which ear the daith is pierced on, however by having a daith on both ears, it will relieve the entirety of the brain.
#2: The Conch
Conch piercings are a type of cartilage piercing that is named after the spiral shape (a conch) that ears take after. Supposedly, this piercing targets the acupuncture points that aid in muscle relaxation. To add to that, these conch piercings are also associated with the ability to combat chronic pain. “I’ve been able to significantly reduce my codeine intake by about 90%. Before the conch piercing, there were days when I was taking as much codeine as I had been prescribed, and sometimes it didn’t seem to touch the pain at all,” describes one blogger who suffers from both Fibromyalgia and a degenerative condition. Though it may be one of the more intense ear piercings, there seems to be some benefits that are worth the effort.
#3 The Forward Helix
The forward helix piercing is located on a small piece of skin at the very front of the ear that attaches the ear and the head together. The forward helix may stimulate a specific acupressure point to help relieve tense muscles, encourage blood circulation, and prompt your body to release energy for healing. By increasing the blood circulation and muscle tone for the face, as well as the rest of the body, this piercing might help to lessen the appearance of wrinkles on the face. This piercing is also relatively painless to get.
#4: The Helix
The helix piercing, also known simply as a cartilage piercing, is located on the upper outer rim of the ear. There are two different types: flat and on the rim. There are also many variations to the helix piercing, including the single, double, or triple helix. Almost Famous Body Piercing, a tattoo and body jewelry shop in Maine, advocates for the helix piercing as a form of allergy relief. Located where the helix is usually pierced is a point called the allergy point, which if stimulated, or pierced, is said to relieve symptoms of allergies such as congestion or a sore throat. Depending where on the helix the piercing is placed, it can also possibly aid with insomnia.
#5: The Lobe
This common ear piercing is often given to children as their first piercing. The first hole on the lobe is located at the bottom of the ear that lacks cartilage. The first hole is an acupuncture point appropriately named the vision point. According to hercampus.com, pirates believed that wearing a hoop in their ear would improve their eyesight and allow for better sailing. However, author Dave Feldman’s Imponderables website quotes acupuncturist Dr. Steve Given from Santa Monica, California, as saying: “There are reports of people enjoying vision improvements after having their ears pierced. In fact, when I studied acupuncture, the subject of pirates piercing their ears just for this reason was discussed.” Furthermore, the third lobe piercing may also help combat depression. Less evidence is available for the third lobe piercing, but body modifications can make us feel better about ourselves, so hormones released during and after the piercing process might also make us a bit happier.
Disclaimer: Though more case studies are making their statements on if piercings can really aid in health benefits, it is important to note that this is a new alternative medicine practice that is not fully accepted yet. Scientists don’t know enough about this treatment to rule out the placebo effect. But we do know that getting acupuncture to treat migraines is fairly effective. Piercings may initially have the effects previously mentioned, but once healed there is the possibility that the effect of the piercing may decrease over time. Piercings can also be dangerous, especially in cartilage areas, so it is important to clean the piercing every day in order to prevent bacterial infections and piercing bumps. In conclusion, if you are up to trying new alternative medicine practices and aren’t opposed to having some fun bling in your ear, these five piercings may just be right for you.