Forget botox and facelifts, tickling your ears may just be the solution to anti-aging, a new study suggests.
Conducted by the University of Leeds, the research used 29 subjects all over the age of 55 to test the effects of what's being dubbed as "tickle therapy" or "transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS)."
To do so, researchers stimulated the ear with "small, painless" electrical currents, which eventually sends signals to the body's nervous system through the "vagus nerve." Fifteen minutes a day of "tickle therapy" for over two weeks "may slow down an important effect associated with aging," the study says. It also further claims to protect against chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and atrial fibrillation.
"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," explains Dr Beatrice Bretherton, lead author of the study.
"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 researchers add that they'll continue to see if the therapy can also benefit those suffering from depression or heart failure.