Daith Piercing for Anxiety: Does it Work?

Updated October 6, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are You Wondering About Daith Piercing For Anxiety?

Have you been wondering about daith piercings for anxiety? Some people experience anxiety that prevents them from performing normal activities. Anxiety affects millions of people around the world. Different forms of therapy can be used in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

However, some people cannot afford the conventional treatments, or they do not respond to traditional methods for dealing with anxiety. Because anxiety disorders can disrupt people’s personal and professional lives, those experiencing it are constantly looking for a solution. Fortunately, there is an emerging alternative treatment for anxiety that is not only cost-effective but also pharmacy-free. So, what is this method to relieve anxiety symptoms? Daith piercing for anxiety.

What Is A Daith Piercing For Anxiety?

A daith piercing for anxiety is done at the innermost cartilage of one’s ears. Daith piercings go through the inner ear cartilage just above the eardrum. A hollow needle is used for piercing. After getting the piercing, the jewelry that is used is a curved barbell during the healing process, then once the piercing is healed, the jewelry can be changed out. Bead rings are popular amongst people who have gotten daith piercings for anxiety.

The first person to perform a daith piercing was Erik Dakota, and his first client was a Jewish woman who named the piercing “da’at,” meaning knowledge. The client named the piercing that way because she felt that only a knowledgeable person could do it. Daith piercings can only be performed using a specialized needle that was first designed by Erik Dakota. Although it was initially done for aesthetic purposes, today Daith piercing for anxiety is very common. After getting the piercing, some people claim that it helps reduce their anxiety.

Daith History

It is believed that an ear piercing helps with social anxiety and anxiety disorder because the ear contains several acupuncture points that are often the target for acupuncturists. Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicine that helps in the flow of energy in the human body. Most holistic health professionals use pressure points to alleviate anxiety.

The pressure points that are usually targeted with cartilage piercings are the vagus nerve that extends from the brain to the rest of the body. Therefore, the application of daith piercings for anxiety relief is similar to acupuncture. Practitioners say that in piercing targeted parts of the body, such as with a daith piercing, the needles assist in unblocking the energy gateways in the body.

One of the modern founders of ear acupuncture says that the ear cartilage has three essential pressure points. There is the shen men, also referred to as the stress-relieving pressure point; you can get a shen men piercing on the outer ear for this. Then there is the tranquilizer point, which induces relaxation. And the point zero, which is the calming point in the ear. For the daith piercing for anxiety to work in treating anxiety related symptoms, the piercer must target point zero.

Practitioners of daith piercings for anxiety relief believe that it can permanently alleviate anxiety or reduce anxiety. If you’re seeking a solution to your anxiety woes, then understand that you are not alone. So many people struggle with anxiety, and solutions to the anxiety problem are very desirable. It is important to try to dig into the details about whether or not this piercing practice actually works, though.

Research And Ideas Behind Daith Piercing

Most of the information on the use of daith piercings for anxiety is anecdotal since there are no clinical trials in the US with scientific evidence supporting the symptom relief effect of daith piercing on anxiety. Most Western doctors find it hard to believe that daith piercings or another type of body piercing can help with anxiety. Western doctors attribute the results of daith piercing and anxiety to other factors, such as the stimulation of the endorphins or reduction of muscle tension and improved circulation.

There are a number of people who believe that daith piercings for anxiety is an effective treatment to reduce anxiety. Studies have been conducted, which concluded that the stimulation of specific reflex points in the ear can help in relieving symptoms of distant pathology. A study done in China concluded that ear acupuncture on subjects experiencing anxiety and migraines achieved positive results after only one acupuncture treatment. They concluded that comprehensive auricular acupuncture could reduce headaches and can alleviate the clinical symptoms of anxiety and migraines, especially when combined.

Many clinical results are based on the use of acupuncture to relieve anxiety and migraines. There is a connection between acupuncture and piercings. Indeed, daith piercings are done at the pressure point—the same position that practitioners of acupuncture target to heal migraines. Theoretically, daith piercing produces the same effects as acupuncture. Nevertheless, more studies should be carried out on the application of daith piercings as an alternative treatment for anxiety.

The Placebo Effect

Some people do not believe that daith piercings for anxiety works. They think that a daith piercing to treat anxiety is a placebo effect, meaning that the treatment works because one believes that it is working. Any benefits or positive results that one gets because of a placebo effect are because of their own body and mind.

However, this does not mean that daith piercings for anxiety do not work. There must be some truth behind these claims. However, until there are sufficient scientific studies completed, one cannot promise that a daith piercing can relieve, reduce, and combat anxiety definitively. You should carefully weigh your decision.

Preventing Infection After Daith Piercing For Anxiety

In order to avoid and reduce the risk of infection with your ear piercings, you should complete the following steps should you decide to get a daith piercing for anxiety.

  • Get your piercing at a licensed shop or parlor.
  • Ensure the piercer is knowledgeable and licensed to do the daith piercing.
  • The wound should be kept dry, and one should avoid activities such as swimming.
  • Do not pull off the jewelry to prevent irritation, as this makes the wound fresh.
  • Jewelry should not be removed until the wound heals completely, which can take around six months to one year.
  • Sanitize your hands before touching the piercing.
  • Use cold compresses to reduce the swelling.
  • Clean the piercing daily using a saline solution to reduce risks of infection.

Risks Associated With Daith Piercing

Just like any other procedure, daith piercing is associated with several risks that one should consider before getting the piercing. It is painful to get the piercing and takes a long time before it can heal completely. Daith piercings take longer periods to heal, starting from five to twelve months.

Because a daith piercing is a cartilage piercing, it has higher chances of infection than the standard lobe piercings. If the infection is left untreated, it can lead to an ear infection and subsequent loss of hearing. Some people have experienced toxic shock syndrome and sepsis because of daith piercings, which could be due to bacterial infections.

In some cases, daith piercing does not work for the purpose for which it was intended, and the person may think of letting the piercing close. Unfortunately, this may leave an unsightly mark behind even after the piercing has closed.

Some opponents of daith piercings for anxiety or migraines argue that the dangers of daith piercing outweigh the benefits. Researchers and head specialists say that the benefits of daith piercings for anxiety and migraines result from the placebo effect and that the effects are temporary and psychological. Besides, the possible risks or side effects of getting an infection from the piercing may make anxiety symptoms worse. One should avoid daith piercings if they are taking blood thinners or if they have diabetes, autoimmune conditions, or hemophilia.

Consider Seeking Out Online Therapy

Are You Wondering About Daith Piercing For Anxiety?

Research shows that online therapy can be a powerful tool for people experiencing anxiety symptoms. For example, one broad-based report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews examined the effects of online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on people living with generalized anxiety disorder. They aggregated the results of 30 studies, with over 2,000 participants, that utilized online CBT as the main method of treatment. Based on these results, researchers concluded that online CBT is a useful modality when helping those experiencing anxiety disorders.

With more options and the ability to manage settings, you’ll be matched with someone who can address your specific concerns. A mental health professional can help you understand the thoughts and behaviors that may be triggering your anxiety. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from those who have experienced similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“An amazing therapist that really listens to what I’m saying and gives me sound advice. Kris has upped my confidence in my own ability to control my anxiety, something I didn’t think was possible. I’m incredibly thankful and grateful.”

“Melissa gets to the heart of the matter which I appreciate. And she subtly calls me on my bullshit which I also appreciate. Our work together on my mental health has me always suggesting BetterHelp to people. Melissa also shows a bit of her personality which is good for me because I don’t like when people just repeat back what I say with a stale piece of age-old advice. Thank you Melissa for being a big help in my life as I struggle through anxiety, stress, and self esteem issues.”


Daith piercing may or may not work for treating anxiety, and there are several risk factors to consider. Whether or not you decide to get the piercing, getting to the root of your anxiety can allow you to live a more fulfilling life. Our counselors at BetterHelp can help.

Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:

Does daith piercing help with anxiety?

There are no official clinical trials to back up the use of daith piercings and other piercings for treating anxiety, or managing weight loss or migraine pain. The theory behind a daith piercing helping those who experience chronic anxiety has to do with the vagus nerve connecting to the innermost cartilage of the ears. The hope is that cartilage piercings will help relieve migraines, anxiety effects, and even encourage the body to lose weight. But there is nothing conclusive to show that a daith piercing or any other piercings actually treat anxiety or provide symptom relief.

Which side should you get a daith piercing for anxiety?

If you want to treat anxiety with your daith piercing, it doesn’t matter which side you get these types of cartilage piercings on. Both sides affect the vagus nerve. But if you’re attempting to treat migraines, you could pierce the side of your head that experiences the clusters of pain.

Which piercing is best for anxiety?

Piercings that affect the vagus nerve are said to potentially help with anxiety or migraine. A tragus piercing is said to potentially help with migraine pain. A rook piercing is said to potentially help with stress and anxiety. And similar to rook piercings, a daith piercing could potentially help alleviate increased anxiety and other symptoms related to stress and worry.

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