‘Ear Tickle’ Therapy Could Help Slow Ageing

Sky News:– Getting a tickle behind the ear is not just good for a giggle, it could slow down one of the effects of ageing.

Scientists have developed a short daily therapy that recreates the sensation via a small and pain-free electrical current, which appears to re-balance the autonomic nervous system for people aged 55 and over.

It works by delivering signals to the nervous system through the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain stem to part of the colon, providing crucial fibres to every organ in the body.

The branch of the vagus nerve stimulated by the therapy is located in the skin of specific parts of the outer ear.

People who tried the therapy – named transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (TVNS) – also reported improvements to their mood and sleep.

The autonomic nervous system controls many key bodily functions that do not require conscious thought, including heart rate, digestion and breathing, and the therapy could help protect older people from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

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