Ear-Tickling Is The Newest Anti-Ageing Trick

New research, conducted at the University of Leeds, suggests the therapy may slow down an important effect associated with ageing.

A small study conducted by the University of Leeds has found that stimulating the ear with small electrical currents – also known as ‘tickling’ – could be used as therapy for anti-ageing. 

To investigate, 29 over-55s were given painless stimulation to the vagal nerve – found in the ear and connected to the heart, lungs, and gut – for 15 minutes a day over two weeks.

The nerve’s purpose is to transmit information from the brain to other organs, as well as being integral to the body’s nervous system; though with age it can become out of balance. 

The study found that those who were most imbalanced noted the most improvement with the tickling, getting a better night’s sleep and some noting an improvement to their mood too.

“These results are just the tip of the iceberg,” says study author Dr Beatrice Bretherton.

“We are excited to investigate further into the effects and potential long-term benefits of daily ear stimulation, as we have seen a great response to the treatment so far.”

The plan going forward is to continue researching the effect of vagus nerve stimulation to see what long-term benefits could be for those suffering from depression or heart failure. 

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The researchers, who published their findings today in the journal Aging, suggest that the ‘tickle’ therapy has the potential to help people age more healthily, by recalibrating the body’s internal control system.

Lead author Dr Beatrice Bretherton, from the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds, said: “The ear is like a gateway through which we can tinker with the body’s metabolic balance, without the need for medication or invasive procedures. We believe these results are just the tip of the iceberg.

“We are excited to investigate further into the effects and potential long-term benefits of daily ear stimulation, as we have seen a great response to the treatment so far.”

Main image by @adwoaaboah

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