What is ASMR?

     Would you like to find a way to have a euphoric experience that requires no effort, helps reduce insomnia, offers natural high with no hangover and is free? It’s called ASMR and I want to tell you about it, read on!

     Years ago I was watching a video that was part of a neuromuscular therapy certification program. The portion of the day’s study was focused on the nerves and muscles of the lower posterior leg. After describing the objectives of the practical applications, the teaching therapist began drawing a mock up of the muscles on the subject’s calf region and then proceeded to manually work the muscles.

     Ten minutes into watching I found myself falling into a state of drowsiness as the presenter’s soft voice added a very soothing effect. If you remember Bob Ross’s calming voice as he suggested we “put a little happy cloud here and there” or recall a soft voice in the distance as you fall asleep, then you know the feeling. These sights and their accompanying sounds can be very pacifying, which is the direct intent of ASMR videos, which you can watch anytime you choose.

     ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) elicits a particular response in the brain when certain triggers occur. Triggers can be the sounds of whispering, brushing of hair, light tapping or they can be visual such as watching someone’s hair being brushed, observing a painter creating art, makeup application or other slow movements. The physiological response is often a slight tingling feeling that begins in the scalp and can travel throughout the body. Many folks report benefits including positive emotions, stress reduction, calmness, and ease of falling asleep even without the experience of the tingling sensations.

     Now be aware…YOU’RE GOING TO THINK IT’S WEIRD…. at first!!

     Trust me, it’s a phenomenal tool to know about and share with friends and family. At first glance the videos will appear to be sexual, but they’re not meant to be. Some people have found ASMR to be a helpful in getting them started with a meditation practice. A study by Barratt & Davis (2015) showed “temporary improvements in symptoms of depression and chronic pain in those who engage in ASMR.”

     Here are some of the more popular ASMR videos for you to enjoy and note how many views this first one has on YouTube!

1) Gentle whispering, female host:

2) Hair brushing, female hosts:

3) No speaking in this one, just very soft sounds from different objects. Male host, 10 HOURS long!

Best, Lorna

Works Cited:
Barratt, E. L., & Davis, N. J. (2015). Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state. PeerJ, 3, e851. http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.851

Tags: ASMR, Fitness, health