For anyone who is new to ASMR, the whole thing can seem downright bizarre. Forty minute videos of someone mumbling and pretending to give you a haircut? What the heck is that about? But if you’re like me, these videos can give you a peaceful – even a euphoric feeling.
Before the term ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) was coined, there were dozens of names for the feeling that certain sounds or situations triggered. Some people simply referred to it as head tingles, while others called it brain massages.
What’s interesting is the fact that it took so long for people to realize that others felt these sensations. But in recent years a community dedicated to triggering tingles has exploded on Youtube, and you can find thousands of videos featuring every type of ASMR trigger that you could imagine.
Even though there is now a comprehensive term to encompass brain tingles, experiences and triggers can vary wildly from person to person. Some people may just get a pleasant, soothing feeling, while others will get full blown tingles. And some don’t get any sort of reaction at all, but use ASMR videos as a way to deal with insomnia and anxiety.
While there is a great deal of variation in ASMR, it seems that one of the most common triggers is whispering. You will find thousands of videos on Youtube featuring whispered narrations of the most boring chores imaginable – and most of them have racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
Another common trigger is role-play, and most people would be shocked at the high quality role-play videos available on YouTube. Not only are many of them well acted and scripted, but several of them have special effects budgets that would seem impressive by cable TV standards. Below is Departures by ASMRrequests, which is one of the most famous ASMR role-play videos.
While whispering and role-play are two of the more common triggers, there are plenty of other options out there. You can find everything from reading a newspaper, to tapping nails on a hard surface. If you’re interested in seeing if you experience ASMR, try out a few different videos to see if they trigger anything. And if even they don’t trigger ASMR, you’ll still probably feel relaxed by the end.
The majority of the ASMR community is centered around YouTube, although there is also a thriving section on Reddit, and a few small websites dedicated to ASMR (like ASMRFlix). ASMR artists also seem to skew more towards women, but in recently many more men have started to produce videos as well.
For such a widespread phenomenon, there was been very little research done on the subject. In fact, no brain scans have been conducted on people who experience ASMR, and the scientific community is only now beginning to wake up to the fact that it even exists in people.
One of the problems that scientists face with ASMR is that there is no reliable way to measure it. Some suspect that it is purely a psychological effect, while other believe that there may be a physical component to it. Also, the wide array of triggers and experiences also put up another roadblock to studying ASMR. It is so completely different from person to person, and triggers so diverse, that some scientists have stated it would be extremely difficult to study.
No matter what is discovered in coming years, ASMR is huge phenomenon and here to stay. If you’re interested in ASMR, you should browse through ASMRFlix to see if any of the videos trigger ASMR in your.