Conch piercing for chronic pain (A brief guide)

In this guide, we will discuss the topic of Conch piercing for chronic pain, why it is called conch and where it is located, what you can do if it gets infected and additional recommendations.

Moreover, we will talk about the principles of acupuncture and what it is in general terms.  

Conch piercing for chronic pain

You may have heard how Conch piercings and some other ear piercings seem to relieve or help reduce chronic pain.

For instance, there are people that believe the daith piercing has helped them relieve migraines as stated in mapleleafaussie.wordpress.com:

“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.”

Moreover, this seems to be possible based on the principles of acupuncture.

Some studies have shown an association between the use of acupuncture and pain relief, but no evidence specifically related to the use of the conch piercing.

When you pierce the cartilage, it can take longer to heal since there is not a good blood supply.

This means the aftercare is essential to prevent infections, so make sure to follow the instructions from your piercer.

According to Corinne O’Keefe Osborn from Healthline, your piercer most likely provide the following aftercare directions:

  • Clean your piercing at least twice per day for at least three months.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching or washing your piercing.
  • Find a store-bought saline solution or dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt into one cup of distilled or bottled water.
  • Gently wipe the area around the area with clean gauze or paper towels saturated with saline.
  • You do not have to rotate your piercing during cleaning or at any other time.
  • Give your piercing a sea salt bath once per day by putting warm saline in a mug or shallow bowl and tilting your head to dip your ear in the solution for three to five minutes.
  • Do not remove your jewelry until your piercer says it’s OK.

Piercing for Pain Relief

There is a group of people who believe that piercing works for pain relief, particularly when done in specific parts of the ear. For example, some people hold the opinion that a Daith piercing works for pain relief, especially migraines or chronic pain, but there is no evidence for this belief yet. Conch piercing has also been thought to help with chronic and acute pain.

Ear Piercing for Back Pain

There is no evidence to support that ear piercing is helpful for back pain, but some people believe that a Daith piercing or a conch piercing helps with some types of chronic pain. It is believed that a Daith piercing may be good for helping with pain that has a neuropathic origin or pain due to spinal injuries.

Why is it called conch and where is it located?

As indicated by Ruby Buddemeyer from Cosmopolitan, “Your conch is smack-dab in the middle of your cartilage and it kinda-sorta resembles the spiral shape of a conch shell. You’ve got two options when you’re getting your conch pierced: inner or outer, both of which depend on the anatomy of your ear, since you might have more room on the higher fold of your ear (which is perfect for studs) or the lower fold (which looks great with hoops).”

You can consider it looks very cute or nice or you simply want to try it to relieve chronic back pain or migraine headaches, whatever the reason is, it is important to know the risks first and be prepared just in case.

Also, consider that conch piercings typically take 6 to 9 months to fully heal, so they will definitely take longer than when you pierced your ear lobe for the first time.

As it is expected, the area might get red, swollen and you will even see some clear-ish fluids coming out from it.

But let’s also see what happens when it does get infected.

What if my conch piercing gets infected?

Are you getting or did you get a piercing? It can happen that you get one as a form of personal expression or because you wanted to give it a try and experience yourself the benefits it is supposed to have.

However, there are always risks when your body is injured and it is believed that cartilage piercings are more prone to infections, and getting an infection can be not only extremely painful but also may require antibiotics.

If you believe you have an infection, refrain yourself from removing the jewelry unless your physician has indicated you to do it.

If you remove your jewelry while having an infection, it can cause an infected abscess to keep growing. Some symptoms of an infection include:

  • Noticing the area turning red and swollen skin around the jewelry
  • Pain or tenderness.
  • Having a yellow or green discharge coming out from the pierced area.
  • Having nausea and/or fever.
  • Having red streaks.
  • Feeling your symptoms get worse or persist for more than a week.

Remember, always consult with a doctor if you experience any of the signs of infection.

Some of the warning signs of a series infection include having high fever, sweating, chills, vomiting, and pain that gets worse over time.

Conch Piercing for Migraine

Conch piercing for migraine is something many people swear by, but there is no scientific evidence that getting the conch part of your ear helps with migraine at all. Many people get conch piercings for migraines and other types of chronic pain but while it helps some people it is not a proven thing. The daith piercing is also said to help with migraines.

Conch piercing and acupuncture

As indicated in almostfamouspiercing.com, “Acupuncture and auriculotherapy came about during the stone age and have advanced into the specific fields of medicine that they are today. This happened in the ’50s with the help of Dr. Paul Nogier who is known as the Father of Modern Auriculotherapy. He noticed that there was a connection between a part of the ear that was stimulated and another part on the body and that it could be measured with modern equipment.”

Basically, either with acupuncture or auriculotherapy, the main idea is to stimulate a specific spot to stimulate the reflex points in the area.

It is believed that doing so can improve the flow of energy in your body and subsequently help alleviate pain.

Most of these points are found in the ears and experts in acupuncture call the ear a “microsystem” since there seems to be a point for every part of the body.

However, is acupuncture effective? According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “research suggests that acupuncture can help manage certain pain conditions, but evidence about its value for other health issues is uncertain.”

What is Acupuncture?

As we have discussed, acupuncture is considered a technique in which practitioners are able to stimulate certain points in the body, often inserting thin needles through the skin.

This is an ancient traditional Chinese technique.

Moreover, acupuncture has been said to provide positive results when treating pain, often chronic, such as low-back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and even help prevent migraine headaches.

This method is said to send signals to the body through inserting needles or other means into specific points, to ‘turn on’ self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. 

In Traditional Chinese medicine, vital energy or Qi circulates through natural pathways in the body that are known as meridians but when there is a blockage of this flow of energy, imbalances happen and illnesses/pain appears.

Many people hear the word “needle” and start to panic, so they often wonder if it is safe.

Needless to say, if performed by an experienced and well-trained practitioner who uses sterile needles. It can be considered fairly safe.

Why is this blog about Conch piercing for chronic pain important?

There is no solid evidence about conch piercings being effective to treat chronic pain, only personal experiences when getting it and how they felt after getting it.

Some might say their pin got reduced significantly or they didn’t have to rely so much on pills to deal with the pain.

Moreover, it is believed it follows the same principles as acupuncture and auriculotherapy which do have a certain scientific background in how effective it can be treating different types of pain.

However, it is important to consider the risks since it is still an injury and the symptoms you may get to experience if your piercing gets infected.

As recommended, consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms we have mentioned, as soon as possible.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Conch piercing for chronic pain

How bad do conch piercings hurt?

The conch piercing doesn’t hurt any more than any other cartilage piercing.

It is said to fall halfway on the pain scale, even though most people indicate it certainly hurt more than a lobe piercing.

In the end, it is a subjective and personal experience when dealing with the pain since not everyone has the same pain threshold.

What ear piercing helps with pain?

The ear-piercing that is said to help alleviate the pain that comes with migraines is the daith piercing.

In addition, the rook, which is the cartilage in the middle of the ear is said to be helpful in easing period pain.

However, consider there isn’t really a study about the relationship between getting a piercing and the reduction of pain.

What is the most painful piercing you can get?

The most painful piercing you can get is said to be the piercings made in sensitive areas such as nipples or intimate piercings.

On the other hand, the least painful piercings include the earlobe, navel, tongue, and eyebrow piercings while the nostril and male intimate piercings are typically said to be experienced with a medium level of pain. 

What piercing helps with sinuses?

People believe if you are having sinus migraines, the daith piercing would be useful to help ease anxiety-related migraines and other symptoms.

However, the evidence suggests the effectiveness is really subjective where there is no clear proposed mechanism of action.

What piercing helps you lose weight?

The principle of losing weight is not really associated with piercings but with acupuncture, which is said to help to control your appetite and to lead to weight loss.

According to acufinder.com, “Ear Stapling involves having your ear pierced at certain acupuncture points with a stainless steel staple and will, allegedly, control appetite, food cravings and, ultimately, help you lose weight.”

References 

O’Keefe, C. (2019, Aug.) How Much Does It Hurt to Get Your Conch Pierced?. Retrieved from healthline.com.

Mapleleafaussie.wordpress.com: “Conch Piercing for Pain Relief”

Almostfamouspiercing.com: “Ear Piercings As Acupuncture: Finding Relief Through Auriculotherapy”

Nccih.nih.com: “Acupuncture: In-Depth”

Buddemyer, R. (2019, Sept.) Conch Piercing 101: What to Know Before You Get Pierced. Retrieved from cosmopolitan.com.

Exploreim.ucla.edu: “Acupressure for Beginners”

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