Is ASMR Beneficial for Our Health?
The unexplored phenomenon of an emerging community on the Internet
An Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is where a person experiences a static-like tingling sensation. This usually begins across the skull or neck and cam move throughout the body. ASMR is an unexplored topic in an emerging community that recently started to catch science’s attention. There have been numerous reviews on multiple forums about this particular topic and the findings are peculiar. In 2010, a Facebook group created by Jennifer Allen brought together many followers of this phenomenon that haven’t found a specific word to express what they were feeling. The group has grown exponentially since then. In the following paragraphs I will explain in more detail what ASMR is about, its benefits, and I will share my personal experience with it.
First of all, ASMR is the term for the sensation that people get from watching stimulating videos or practicing in activities where they feel “tingles” that originate in the brain and spread out to other parts of the body. ASMR comes to be so personal that there is a great debate about its influence. Some people see it as creepy or bizarre while others enjoy it so much to the point of falling asleep. There is no strong foundation for it since it varies from person to person. Again, for those who support it, there are testimonies that state ASMR is not just about sounds such as whispering or tapping metallic objects. Since people’s opinions and likings are not the same, they develop asmr in different forms. They go from roleplays; which is acting out in different situations such as pretending to be a doctor, stylist, or even a flight attendant, to gameplays and educational videos such as teaching another language, giving book reviews, etc. What works for one person may not be so pleasant on others. That’s the reason why ASMR artists; who are the people that make these kinds of videos and upload them on platforms such as Patreon or Youtube, try to make diverse ASMR videos that uses or combines sounds with roleplays and more other mundane tasks such as spraying a water bottle, scratching surfaces, or pouring liquids. These youtubers tailor the contents of the videos to please their audience as much as possible. ASMR artists monetize on this niche and also increase the popularity of ASMR; therefore, the community has been growing considerably since 2010.
This phenomenon has little information about health-related benefits, but there are reliable testimonies on how it can decrease stress, insomnia, and chronic pain. It is also said to relief muscle soreness and help relax the body to the point of falling asleep after minutes of listening to ASMR videos. Moreover, depression symptoms tend to be soothed with the sounds; thus, the mood improves. Certain sounds like spraying water or close whispering produce a sensation in the brain that causes a feeling of relaxation. Besides that, some variegated pictures and slow movements incite this sensation as well. However, a few people claim that it stimulates sexual sensation too. Even though the majority of videos do not contain erotic neither sexual-oriented activities, there are some exclusive videos that combine ASMR with erotism.
Although ASMR has no medical background nor scientific evidence that treats or cures diseases, it provides relaxation. ASMR can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Particularly those ASMR videos where there’s personal attention content can be helpful for people who suffer them. It might not eliminate them completely, but ASMR certainly make it more manageable to a certain point.
In my personal experience, I use ASMR to help me sleep better at nights. I also use it when I need to focus on my studies or when I need to calm down. I discovered it two years ago when I used to work in restaurants. My favorite sounds are spraying, tapping, whispers in German and ear-licking. These are the most effective ASMR for me. But I am a very demanding person, so once I listen to one trigger, I do not want to go back to it at least for a month. I start looking for more content that is new and extraordinary.
If you happen to be struggling to focus, sleep, meditate or just relax, you may want to give this a try. I highly recommend to check out my favorite ASMR artists on YouTube that create the best videos for our community. They create a cozy, friendly environment to get you relaxed. All you've got to do is put the headphones on, and get comfortable on your couch or bed, they’ll do the rest.