The Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Physiological Activity and Golf Performance
Electrical nerve stimulation is a promising drug-free technology that could treat a variety of ailments and disorders. Methods like Vagus Nerve Stimulation have been used for decades to treat disorders like epilepsy, and research with non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation has shown similar effects as its invasive counterpart. Non-invasive nerve stimulation methods like vagus nerve stimulation could help millions of people treat and manage various disorders.
This study observed the effects of three different non-invasive nerve stimulation paradigms in human participants. The first study analyzed the safety and efficacy of transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation in healthy humans using a bilateral stimulation protocol with uniquely designed dry-hydrogel electrodes. Results demonstrate bilateral auricular vagal nerve stimulation has significant effects on specific parameters of autonomic activity and is safe and well tolerated. The second study analyzed the effects of non-invasive electrical stimulation of a region on the side of the neck that contains the Great Auricular Nerve and the Auricular Branch of the Vagus Nerve called the tympanomastoid fissure on golf hitting performance in healthy golfers. Results did not show significant effects on hitting performance or physiological activity, but the nerve stimulation had significant effects on reducing state-anxiety and improving the quality of feel of each shot. The third study analyzed the effects of non-invasive nerve stimulation of cervical nerves on the back of the neck on putting performance of yips-affected golfers. Results demonstrated that cervical nerve stimulation had significant effects on improving putting performance but did not have significant effects on physiological activity. Data from these studies show there are potential applications for non-invasive electrical nerve stimulation for healthy and athletic populations. Future research should also examine the effects of these stimulation methods in clinical populations.