ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a relaxing tingly sensation which mainly begins in the crown of the head and often works its way down the spine and limbs. This feeling is often described as calming and comforting and occurs when hearing certain sounds, a soft voice or watching someone else carefully perform a task.
Research into this phenomenon of What is ASMR is taking place at various institutions all over the world and as interest in the subject grows it is only a matter of time before we understand better the physiology of ASMR. How it occurs in our bodies and why. For further information on where to find current research and published papers see my blog.
So far what we do know is that not all people experience this sensation but hundreds of thousands of people all over the world do and it is not only a pleasurable feeling but also a useful one!
Triggers for the ASMR sensation are vast and varied, each person has their own which are most effective. Some of these are:
Tapping, crinkling, page turning, pen sounds, soft speaking, whispering
Watching someone perform a task, explain about an object or task in detail
Back and arm stroking/tickling, hair play, whispering in the ear
Eye tests, haircuts, massage, facials
Do you experience asmr?
Due to the relaxing and calming nature of the sensation, ASMR can be very therapeutic. Over time we are finding that the feeling is so soothing that it is helping people to relieve insomnia, anxiety and pain. ASMR can also be a fantastic tool in the practice of mindfulness.
So many people have experienced the ASMR sensation as long as they can remember and for a long time many searched for visual aids on TV and YouTube. Shopping Channels, The Joy of Painting (Bob Ross), Antiques Roadshow to name a few have in the past been regularly frequented by people looking for instant triggers for their ASMR.
On March 26th 2009 there appeared a video on YouTube titled ‘Whisper 1 – Hello!’ the description said
I know this might sound really weird to some but I love hearing people whisper! So I thought I would make a whispering channel.
Then begins the whispering voice of an English girl named WhisperingLife and with it the very first ASMR video. Since this time the feeling brought on by the whispering has been given its name as ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and Whisperers have been named ASMRtists. Other terms are Sleep Whisperer or just ASMR Content Creator.
An ASMRtist is someone who works to create the ASMR tingles in another. This is mostly in the form of a YouTube video where the artist will use sounds, soft speaking, whispering, guided visualisation and more to induce tingles in the viewer. It can also be induced in person.
Since most people have experienced the tingly feeling in day to day life situations way before experiencing it through a video, sometimes the response can be even stronger in person. Examples of this would be through hair play or speaking softly. Also through nurturing childhood actions like back tickling, arm stroking. Most ASMRers talk about times in school when the teacher would quietly read a story, going to an eye test or having a hair cut. There are so many stories.
The ASMR community has grown online by the hundreds of thousands over the years so far and shows no sign of slowing down. The benefits of this feeling are continuing to grow from help during childbirth to calming methods for children with learning disabilities. ASMRtists regularly receive testimonies from viewers along those lines.
As the culture of self awareness, mindfulness and complimentary therapies grow, ASMR is becoming very useful for so many. ASMR content on YouTube is becoming a genre all of its own and strong bonds are being formed between people all over the world through a growing online community. Watch this space for there will undoubtably be much more to come!