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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A Bump In The Road

An update to my post earlier today: the headache remained mild and went away after a couple of hours and some Advil. 

This is, once again, completely uncharacteristic of my decades-long headache pattern. 

The only thing that has changed is that daith piercing. I am absolutely certain this is not merely some hinky kind of placebo effect. I was bracing myself for a full-on headache today and it didn’t develop past an oddly annoying, vague kind of thing that was banished by some ibuprofen.

Weird… But very, very welcome!

I Guess It Had To Happen…

Today I woke up feeling as though I should have had a headache. My shoulders and neck were achy and I felt a bit cloudy in the head. I was surprised about the absence of any headache, and realised then that I would probably have a new set of symptoms to learn since my daith piercing.

My pain levels from my fibromyalgia are high, and at times almost overwhelming today, so I was encouraged that my head hadn’t gone out in sympathy. Since I try to not let my pain dictate what I will or won’t do, I headed for church with the friend we are visiting for the weekend.

What I had not really thought about was my sensitivity to fragrances in a social setting where people don’t know to sit away from me if they are wearing perfume.

We chose a spot where I was not surrounded by people,which is always my preference anyway. An older gentleman came over and sat in front of me. I’m sure he thought he smelt lovely but it was an almost instant effect in causing that familiar sinus pain behind my eyes.

For what it’s worth, my husband commented when we got our of church that the man’s deodorant or cologne, or whatever it was, was unpleasantly strong, even for someone who isn’t as sensitive to those things as I am.

So far, though, the pain has remained much milder than usual, which is a nice surprise. I did have some nausea while sitting there, but that passed once I got out into fresher air, which is also unusual as it usually lasts as long as the headache does.

It will be very interesting to see if this headache hangs on for a day or two, as my fragrance-induced headaches always have done before.

I’ll keep you posted.