What is ASMR?

You know that relaxed feeling you get during a haircut? Or when you let the people in Sephora do your makeup? If you feel super relaxed during this process to the point when you want to fall asleep, you probably experience ASMR. Or maybe you feel a slight tingly sensation starting at your scalp and moving down your spine, giving you goosebumps. That’s also ASMR.

So what is ASMR? It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. As The Washington Post describes it, “it’s a pleasurable tingling that begins in the head and scalp, shimmies down the spine and relaxes the entire body.” Wikipedia even compares it to “to a mild electrical current”.

ASMR is a self-treatment that can be used for insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. And there’s also a variety of triggers that can cause this sensation.ASMR University provides an indepth analysis on the responses and stimuli. Basically, it can be caused by tactile/touch (massage, hair combing, etc), visual (slow hand movements) or audio stimuli (whispering, fire crackling, ocean waves, wind blowing etc). The response can either be physical (slight tingly feeling) or psychological (peacefulness, restfulness, contentment).

ASMRtists, experts who can produce this effect, usually spend a great amount of time on YouTube perfecting their craft. They spend ample amounts of money on equipment such as cameras, lights and especially microphones. Some spend thousands of dollars in order to buy microphones that can create binaural sounds. Binaural sounds are noises that can be heard from ear to ear, and they are best heard while wearing headphones.

My favorite ASMRtist is Olivia Kissper. She usually includes both visual and auditory stimuli in her videos. She also gets exceptionally creative in delivering her videos by creating role plays and inspirational dialogue. In addition, she labels most of her videos by what they’re intended to treat. They range from help with insomnia and anxiety, to fun role plays that will relax you. If you’re new to ASMR, I suggest playing the videos just before you go to bed and have an open mind to the benefits of it.


4 thoughts on “What is ASMR?

  1. Does this help with stress management then? I am going to check it out. Also might be a good thing to share with students as as way to manage their stress to. Thanks for introducing me to something new that will help me help myself and others.


  2. Wow. I didn’t know this was a thing. I’m definitely going to check this out! I like meditation for clearing the mind and helping with my mental health. Maybe this will be a fun new practice to include in my mental health routine. ☺️


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