Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation — sometimes referred to as “tickling” — may have a number of benefits, especially for people over 55. Specifically, it appears to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system — responsible for low-intensity activity — while decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for high-intensity activity, and which has a tendency to begin to dominate the autonomic nervous system as people grow older. The cumulative effect of this is to make us more susceptible to a number of chronic health conditions. However, transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation can, over time, help us to recalibrate and keep the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in balance.
- This therapy involves sending a small, painless electrical current to the ear.
- The ear provides physicians with a gateway through which they can tinker with the body’s metabolic system.
- The vagus nerve of the ear is the only branch of the parasympathetic system that can be easily stimulated without invasive medical procedures.
“Scientists found that a short daily therapy delivered for two weeks led to both physiological and wellbeing improvements, including a better quality of life, mood and sleep.”