Being tickled, despite all the laughing involved, feels much more like torture than fun. But according to scientists, there are some proven health benefits we should consider the next time we slap our partner for trying to be cute.
Did you know there's a published history of tickling? From fishermen using it to tickle a trout for the purpose of putting it into a deep trance, to the practice of tickle torture itself, it's been used by people from all over the world, including the Han Chinese and the Nazis. And while tickling clearly has a dark side, the benefits will provide you with a more positive aspect of it. Her are five proven health benefits to take note of:
1. It can help to strengthen social bonds.
Charles Darwin analyzed how tickling can strengthen social bonds in 1872, noting that chimpanzee babies appeared happy when tickled. He thought perhaps it could be used to produce humour, especially in those unable to understand the humour of jokes at such a young age. And Psychology Today
found that adults and teens like to be tickled by those of the opposite sex, while children seem to have no preference. Feeling distant from your partner? Tickle time!
2. It helps us to detect skin threats.
If a part of you feels particularly sensitive to the touch when being tickled, it could be the result of insects, parasites or other threatening external forces, like dangerous surfaces. the soles of your feet and armpits are vulnerable areas that send an alarm that potential danger could be interrupting the health of the skin. [bctt tweet="5 Ways Getting Tickled Might Help Your Health"]
3. It might be able to reduce Incontinence.
It's a distressing issue to say the least, but a product produced in 2010 believed that tickling certain nerves in the foot might help to awaken the sacral plexus, which controls most of the activity in the pelvis, which was hypothesized to then send impulses to the bladder, therefore controlling urges to pee.
Whether you like it or not, laughing seems to be one of the main side effects of being tickled. It may even prove to be a sign of submission, notes scientists interviewed by Mental Floss. The hysteria involved may be your body's response to lessening the weight of a possible threat, therefore causing the invader to stop. Darwin thought the opposite, however. He believed laughing to be a genuine response. Laughter without tickling has health benefits as well, including burning calories, boosting immune system function and lowering stress hormones.
5. Ear tickling can help your heart.
A 2014 study from the University of Leeds found that tickling can help to reduce stress on your heart when it involved the tragus, which is the minuscule triangular flap at the opening of the ear.
By tickling the tragus, electrical stimulation shoots to the vagus nerve, which can help the heart to work better, reacting more efficiently to changes happening. It might even help to calm people down.
Are you afraid or a fan of being tickled?
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