What is ASMR?
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, and it’s a phenomenon some people experience when exposed to certain auditory/visual stimuli. To put that in plain English, it’s a relaxing, tingling feeling that occurs when you watch certain videos or listen to certain sounds.
In the YouTube era, ASMR has exploded in popularity. Creators make videos designed with various “triggers" intended to give people the sensation—and some of those videos have tens of millions of views.
These videos vary considerably in their content, since ASMR-sensitive people have different types of triggers. Some show women brushing on makeup or tapping on bottles. Some show people cutting hair, crinkling up newspapers, eating fried foods, or whispering into microphones. To the uninitiated, they appear...strange.
Viewers often watch these videos with headphones, which help to amplify the sensation of being up-close-and-personal with the source of the sounds.
Of course, some people aren’t sensitive to ASMR. To those folks, ASMR videos might seem vaguely disturbing or off-putting. Some assume the videos have a sexual component, but according to one study, only 5 percent of ASMR viewers say they watch the videos for, ahem, romantic reasons.
So, does ASMR really help people? Until recently, there wasn’t much scientific evidence to support the therapeutic use of ASMR. The term itself was invented by Jennifer Allen, a non-scientist who simply wanted to create a name for the sensation, and the phenomenon was largely ignored until the 2010s.
The aforementioned ASMR study was the first of its kind and was performed by researchers at Swansea University in Wales. It showed that the phenomenon has a range of possible benefits: Consumers of ASMR media say they have less stress and anxiety when viewing the videos. Many report sleep improvements, and some even say ASMR helps them deal with chronic pain.
Here’s how one participant described his experience after finding ASMR media:
“I was totally amazed. I can only describe what I started feeling as an extremely relaxed trance-like state that I didn’t want to end, a little like how I have read perfect meditation should be but I [have] never ever achieved.”
A separate ASMR researcher told NBC News that about 20 percent of people experience it strongly, while another 40 percent have a milder response. Some scientists believe ASMR could eventually become a regular treatment for certain psychological conditions.
With that said, there’s not too much science on the phenomenon at this point. If you enjoy ASMR videos, go ahead and watch them; they’re certainly not doing any harm (although the sensation may go away for a while if you watch too many videos in one sitting). If they’re not your thing, however, don’t worry—they’re clearly not for everyone.
Psychologists have only just recently began taking ASMR seriously. ASMR causes brain tingles which feel like your brain is being psychologically massaged. These brain tingles are often referred to as "Braingasms". Though they are nothing like an orgasm at all. Other effects are relaxation, calmness and sleepiness. Scientists have discovered that ASMR and meditation are extremely similar. The popularity and recognition of ASMR was spread through social networks. Mostly Youtube.
The feelings associated with autonomous sensory meridian response actually differ by person Some ASMR actions trigger different ASMR responses in different people. The common feelings are head tingling, relaxation, calmness and sleepiness. Some people also report feeling shoulder tingling, thigh tingling and feelings of love.
Some studies have been conducted by various European and American institutions and universities. ASMR is difficult to research because the effects of it are psychological rather than physical. An example of study is the Sutter Neuroscience Institute, which have found out that ASMR can be used as an excellent psychological sleep aid. Psychologists such as Dr. Michael Yasinski have also discovered that the effects of ASMR are extremely similar to meditation. When tested, people exposed…
In a way they are. Both meditation and ASMR require the person to be open minded and in a quiet room in order to work. Both meditation and ASMR relax the individual and calm them, sometimes making them sleepy or allowing fresh ideas to pour into their heads. Psychologists studying both have found that the brain activity of people meditating and people experiencing ASMR are pretty much the same.
Since this is still being studied, we are not yet entirely sure why. It is suggested that ASMR only works on sensitive people. So far we have discovered that ASMR and meditation are actually very similar and produce similar results. In order for meditation to work, the individual needs to be open minded, so maybe you would need to be open minded for ASMR to work too.
Are there any physical rather than perceptional things that cause autonomous sensory meridian responses?
As of this moment in time, there is no scientific explanation. ASMR has been known for centuries, but it has only recently started to be taken seriously and investigated by scientists. It is very difficult to study because the effects are psychological rather than physical. Many psychologists have however found that ASMR and the effects of it are extremely similar to meditation. When tested on psychiatric patients, ASMR calmed the patient down in the same…
To be completely honest, as of today we still do not know exactly how, or why, it works. ASMR has only just began to be taken seriously by psychologists, so studies are still ongoing. We do understand that certain triggers such as soft whispering and the sound of soft chewing can trigger ASMR effects, such as brain tingles, but not how or why.
Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, affects people who are sensitive to visual and audio stimuli. We do not completely understand it yet and it is still being studied. We do know that it makes people calm and relaxed, but it only works on people who are open to the idea. Those who are critical will likely experience no ASMR, since it is psychological.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. Its a modern concept, still under scientific discussion, wherein a person experiences a pleasurable tingling in the head, scalp or other peripheral regions of the body in response to an external stimuli. The intensity of the response varies from person to person, hence the meridian. However, it is still a matter of debate as to the classification of this phenomenon since it is mainly a quirk.
I think it's something that has been around for a long time. But only til recently has it been recognized by the masses and given an official name of ASMR. I've been able to trigger "ASMR" on my own since I was a child but had no idea what to call it, and most, if not everyone I knew had no idea what I was talking about when I tried to explain it to them…