The ASMR Phenomenon
No matter how many developments we make in the field of science, mysteries remain. The human body has been extensively studied but there are still processes that remain complicated to understand if not unknown.
One such phenomenon related to the human body is the ASMR. ASMR stands for the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It seems like a serious dilemma considering the name but is actually just a human body response to certain triggers. Moreover, it can’t be said that it is complicated in terms of understanding but just kind of surprising in its existence.
What is ASMR?
ASMR is explained to be a euphoric experience that consists of a static or tingly sensation of the skin. The sensation begins from the scalp and proceeds down the back of the neck and the upper spine. As a result, the person may feel a sensation of relaxation. It is essentially related to positive feelings and has been even called as low-grade euphoria.
Triggers for ASMR
ASMR is not an uncommon phenomenon. It can be experienced by some but they may not be able to identify it as such. The feeling can be triggered by different things. For example, you may be watching something, listening to something or as a response to certain touch or external sensation. Most people, even if they don’t recognise it as ASMR, relate it to feelings of relaxation and tend to enjoy it.it is important to mention that as of now, not everyone is known to experience ASMR tingles. Some people just discover it accidently and others may have discovered it as early as childhood. On the other hand, it is not a subject that has been deeply studied yet. However, it does not mean that this sensation of tingles is imaginary; it is very real, even if not experienced by all.
The following triggers have been discovered to induce ASMR tingles:
Many people have reported feeling the ASMR tingles in response to whispering. People who are deeply interested in and curious about ASMR often take benefit from intentionally made videos. Some of these videos are based on the action of whispering. These videos have usually a person talking intentionally in whispered voice to evoke the ASMR tingles in the viewer.
Triggers are not only limited vocal noises. Some people reported responses to acoustic noises like the scratching of fingers, breaking of egg shells, crinkling paper or the sound of an animal eating. One can find many videos related to such ASMR tingles producing acoustic sounds on YouTube.
This is also one of the common triggers that evoke tingles in the body. Actions such as tender personal attention may be able to give somebody an ASMR experience. Many people have reported going through ASMR when getting their hair cut, nails painted, ears cleaned or back massaged. Inspired from this, some people have become ASMR artists, also known as ASMRtist, who intentionally create such personal attention situations as if it is being directed towards the viewer. There are many reports that have mentioned a quite strong ASMR experience in reaction to this simulation.
Binaural ASMR is a practice adopted by video makers that simulate environments to produce this response. They often use the technique of binaural recording. The concept is to simulate acoustics in a 3D environment. The idea is to produce a feeling in the viewer that they are close to the actor and vocalist in the video. To successfully experience ASMR through such binaural recordings, it is suggested to listen to them through headphones rather loudspeakers.
The entire process is quite technical. Using the headphones, the video is meant to produce the sound in a way that the sound from the right earpiece is only audible to the right ear and similar is applied to the left earpiece and left ear. To produce this effect, the recording is made using two different microphones. These are placed at a certain distance that is equivalent to that between two ears. These two audios are not mixed and remain separate regardless of being used in a video or just remaining in audio format.
Binaural ASMR works in three steps. The headphones simulate the binaural hearing, then the listener perceives that they are close to the performers and the source of the sound. In the third step, the perception is converted into listening to the audio as a three-dimensional sound.
Benefits of ASMR
After all the above discussion, ASMR seems to be just a simple bodily sensation discovered accidently. However, ASMR can be used beyond just a temporary feeling of relaxation. Intentional ASMR videos are gaining popularity among people who have come across this phenomena and seem to be interested in it. ASMR Darling and ASMR Maria are just two of the many ASMR artists who upload videos to induce this response in people who seek it.
Since ASMR is related to positive feelings, it has been known to reduce stress and increase concentration. Intentional videos are a way to guide meditation in people through ASMR. This practice has also been adopted by some people who are just beginning to step into a regular meditative practice. Some people have also reported that ASMR tingles tend to relax and distract a person from unwanted thoughts so it is easier to induce sleep. It may work to solve insomnia issues when nothing else is working.
ASMR does seem to be a simple discovery. Yet, it seems to evoke the curiosity of many. The phenomena also remain to be studied deeply in terms of science. Meanwhile, if you have already experienced it, you may want to share your story and how you discovered it and those who have not can find ASMR intentional videos on YouTube uploaded by ASMR Darling and ASMR Maria who posts under Gentle Whispering ASMR.
Even though the scientific knowledge on the subject is yet to broaden, you can easily find information on the ASMR phenomena on the internet including history and common triggers.