What is this? Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Never heard of it? Neither had I until just a few days ago.

It’s apparently a new phenomena in wellbeing. It decribes a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that some people experience listening to certain sounds. So what are the magic sounds? Simple stuff like folding towels, brushing hair, turning pages, tapping, scratching, rain, a soft voice.

It is said to create a sense of calm and relaxation, especially at bedtime. A cure for insomnia. YouTube has heaps of ASMR videos.

So how does it work? Some say it’s sounds that remind them of comforting childhood experiences. Some say the simplicity of the sounds is lulling and soothing. Some say that the videos are so long you just drift off listening to them. Suggested names for this experience include “auditory induced head orgasm”, “attention induced euphoria” and “attention induced observant euphoria”, and the more down to earth terms include “brain massage”, “head tingle”, “brain tingle”, “spine tingle” and “brain orgasm”.

Jennifer Allen, who is thought to have first noticed and described the phenomena, came up with the acronym ASMR –

  • Autonomous – spontaneous, self-governing, with or without control
  • Sensory – pertaining to the senses or sensation
  • Meridian – signifying a peak, climax, or point of highest development
  • Response – referring to an experience triggered by something external or internal

Research into ASMR is in its infancy. Some say it’s a load of bunkum. Others are fence sitters. Yet others are willing to concede that there just might be some thing real happening, that it’s not just a weird fad. That being said, the scientific community is yet to validate the therapeutic value of ASMR.

However, it seems there are plenty of people out there who are huge fans, tuning in every day to listen to – soothing sounds. So much so that about 500 new YouTube videos are uploaded each day!  The creator of Gibi ASMR  was earning enough in ad revenue to treat it as her full-time job six months after starting her channel. Today, she has about 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube. This stuff is BIG!

If you want to watch one, I suggest  you either go to her link or search You Tube to find one for yourself. There’s heaps. Most of them seem to be around 30 minutes.

I am the first to admit that listening to the sounds of rain or waves breaking on the shore are deeply soothing for me. I listen to soundscape music – nature sounds mixed in with soothing music. Binaural music is apparently a form of ASMR. I also listen to a lot of that and often have it as background music during meditation sessions.  So maybe I am an ASMRist.

What do you think?

Raili Tanska

Listen to the sounds of nature

8 thoughts on “ASMR

  1. My daughter found ASMR a few years ago and I believe in the benefits. It helps soothe and calm her mind and body, as she has problems with mood regulation. I know different things work better for different people, but I certainly recommend people giving it a go.
    I’m glad you’ve found it and seeing some benefit 😊

  2. I was looking for other posts about ASMR after making one myself, this is great! As someone who’s been engaged with the ASMR community since around 2012/2013 it is so interesting to see other people’s initial reactions to it.
    I particularly love that you’re very open-minded about it, as I feel ASMR often can get quite a negative association, sadly.

    1. Hey, nice to meet you! I have no doubt that ASMR works for some, maybe not for others. Being open to trying out new things sometimes surprises us with delight, or not. But you will never ever know if you’re not willing to try !

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