FEELING A WEIRD TINGLE?
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Scientific backing for the youtube ASMR sensation.
"Do you experience ASMR?"
It’s the kind of question you might have been asked during Freshers’ Week if ASMR existed back then. The kind of probing, on-the-spot question to induce chronic self-doubt, back sweat, and stammered non-committal responses to avoid giving yourself away. Well, don’t fear. Dawn is here.
Ok… so what is it?
ASMR, short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is essentially a kind of sound therapy that not everyone experiences. It’s been sweeping the internet, with millions using the videos to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. If you do experience it, it feels like a relaxing, tingling sensation that starts in the crown of your head and moves down the body. In a nice way. ASMR artists film themselves performing tasks like whispering, stroking, and crinkling papers using hyper-sensitive microphones to try and trigger viewers into having an ASMR response. I know, I know, it sounds weird.
You really need to just try it.
According to a study by researchers at the University of Sheffield, people who experience ASMR had a reduction in heart rate of an average 3.14bpm when watching the videos, which is similar to the physiological effects of music and mindfulness therapy.
“One noise fits all”, does not apply.
If you’re trying to figure out if you do experience ASMR, it’s important to try a few different kinds as you never know what’s going to do it for you. Kind of like… lots of other things. There are three main types:
Trigger heavy - these focus on specific sounds like microphone brushing or ear cupping.
Casual role play - (bear with me here), this would be a simple scenario involving soft talking and the occasional trigger sound or visual.
Visual trigger videos - these are for people who are triggered by sounds and visual stimuli. Imagine someone touching your face, if that gives you the tingles you’re lucky enough to have visual triggers too.
FOR THE NERDY: More than a feeling. [source: journals.plos.org]