Conch Piercing for Pain Relief.

Chronic pain is a bitch. I don’t like to complain about it, but it’s a fact of life for me, courtesy of both Fibromyalgia and a degenerative condition in my spine. Living with pain and the exhaustion it causes isn’t easy. “Faking it” in order to appear as though one is living life normally can be just as exhausting as the pain itself.

It’s easy to take medications and think that you’re doing all you can. It’s very tempting to feel sorry for yourself, which can be very dangerous because it’s a hole that’s hard to get out of.

I’m here to tell you, though, that I’ve found something else that helps.

Ear map

A “map” of different ear piercing positions.

Having had a daith piercing that successfully dealt with my migraines and cluster headaches,  I was excited to hear about a piercing that was reported to help with chronic pain.

I read as much as I could and spoke to an acupuncturist about it, who told me there was no reason why it might not work, especially given the success of my daith piercing. It seemed to be a therapy to which my body responded in a really positive way.

On October 18, I returned to the same professional body piercer who had pierced my daith and had another piercing done on an acupressure point in the ear that is treated to ease chronic pain. It’s called a conch piercing. It’s the one nestled in the centre of the “shell” of my ear.

The first night, I slept a lot, which is very unusual for me. In fact, I slept right through the night! I observed the next day that I couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. Since then, I’ve slept consistently better than before the piercing – probably because my brain is less jangled by pain than before. 

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.
In the seven weeks since the piercing, I’ve taken less and less of it. I still have pain, but I can manage it most of the time with ibuprofen or paracetamol, only needing to take codeine occasionally.  When I do need to take it, I take one pill, not two.
Reducing my codeine intake is something for which my liver and kidneys will thank me forever, and has other… erm… regular health benefits which need no spelling out to anyone who has ever taken codeine frequently.

Conch 2I’ve also coped a lot better with the hot weather, which always caused my Fibromyalgia to flare and render me almost useless. I still have summer to get through, but I got through some very hot weather last week without falling apart, so I am hopeful that it is a sign of improvement that I will enjoy from now on.

I deal much better with stress than I did previously. I used to experience temperature spikes and pain flares whenever I experienced stress or strong emotions. Those seem to have diminished to instances that last only minutes instead of hours.

So, here’s hoping that it will continue to diminish my pain in the long term.

I’ll keep you updated.

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The Hell-Fired Pizza.

I want to establish from the outset that I am not a wimp when it comes to spicy food. Indian, Asian, Mexican… I love it all.

For lunch today, my husband ordered a meat lover’s pizza with chilli. It was delicious – until I bit into the hottest fuelled-by-all-the-power-of-hell piece of chilli I have ever experienced.

What I experienced at that point in time was way beyond taste, pleasure, or delicacy. It was excruciating.

My mouth was on fire.
I lost sensation in my lips, then almost passed out.
My eyes were streaming.
I was using bad words, but slurring my words.
My dear man thought I was just being funny. I wasn’t. This was one of the rare moments in my life where being a comic genius was not something I had in mind.

That supercharged little sucker burned my mouth, throat, oesophagus and stomach for at least an hour, only moderately assuaged by milk. I have had a persistent stomach ache for 9 hours, and my mouth and throats are still sore.

And now, the assault continues as the nugget of hellfire works its way through my system.
N e v e r  in my life have I experienced anything like this.

Suffice to say that while the volcano is not erupting hot lava,  it is definitely shooting out dangerous levels of sulphur and brimstone.  It’s probably worthy of an official health and safety warning.

At least there is one thing of which I can be certain: this, too, shall pass.
And that, my friends, is going to hurt.

pizza

Edit: On reading this, a friend sent me an article about two guys in New Zealand making someone eat a Fijian Bongo Chilli, which had exactly these after effects. He was suing them for assault.
I don’t blame him. 

All About That Daith… No Trouble!

Last week I posted about my new daith piercing and how it had banished the headache I had for the previous four days.

A week later, and I still haven’t had a headache. I can’t remember the last time I went a whole week without a headache… it may have been some time back when I was in high school.

I did have two flashes of pain on Sunday, like the ones I often get before a migraine sets in. Nothing eventuated, though.

I can’t really overstate how significant this is for me. This is little short of a minor miracle.

I still have my chronic pain from fibromyalgia and the pain and compromised movement from a lower spine that thinks it’s 85 years old, but I can manage that.

I have got through hot weather, busy days and work deadlines without tension. These things have always been headache triggers for me. One day I will get brave and eat some cashews, just to see if I pass that test.

People who didn’t know about the piercing have commented on how relaxed I seem. I certainly haven’t felt the tension I generally have before under those same conditions.

So, it’s a very happy “so far, so good!” From me.

If you suffer migraine or cluster/chronic headaches, it’s certainly worth considering a daith piercing. It still seems to be working for me.