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ASMR: Why the Hype?

PostedApril 2, 2019

So, if you haven’t heard about Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) well, things are about to get weird.

ASMR a.k.a. “brain tingles” or “braingasms” is the new wellness trend that everyone is talking about. Could this interesting new trend rival mindfulness?

With 4.9 million videos tagged on Instagram and more than 13 million ASMR videos on YouTube, yep, it is the latest buzz, and celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Elle Fanning, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Garner (to name but a few!) are hooked.

Intrigued?

ASMR is a feeling that some people experience as a result of certain sights and sounds, such as whispering, folding towels or the sound of hair being brushed. Say what now?

Millions of people have watched and are mesmerised by a video of a woman whispering into a camera. She simply whispers in a melodic voice and makes seemingly random hand movements. It is characterised by the tingling of the skin that starts at the crown of the head and works its way down the spine which leads to increased feelings of calm and relaxation. The body is flooded with waves of euphoric tingles which, believe it or not, isn’t sexual.

This sensation can be triggered by a multitude of seemingly ordinary, everyday sounds – fingers tapping, pages turning or plastic crinkling. Maybe when you were a little kid getting your hair washed sent a delightful wave of tingles through your scalp. Or, maybe your yoga teacher just has the most pleasing voice ever when they’re talking softly through a meditation and you start to feel a calm and blissful static that may start in your head and move down your spine. If you immediately identify with one of these, you may have the ability to experience ASMR.

However, if the thought of watching a person you’ve never met folding towels does nothing for you, that’s okay too. Turns out that although it could be a ta-da moment for some, it certainly isn’t for everyone.

Although the term ASMR may sound very technical, there’s actually no good science or research behind the phenomenon. But people are going crazy for ASMR videos for their sleep-inducing, de-stressing, and mood-boosting effects. Could it be that this phenomenon has positive potential? Well, there don’t seem to be any side-effects; it doesn’t give you heart palpitations, and it doesn’t seem to be addictive. It makes people happy with no drawback. People are using ASMR to help them cope with things like depression and chronic pain. Yet, we wouldn’t want to go so far as to say that AMSR is a treatment for those conditions. But it might be beneficial to people who are already receiving treatment in another way.

ASMR is, to put it frankly, still one big ole’ mystery. But one thing that we do know is that some people immediately identify with it and some just don’t. Could it mean that they just haven’t found their triggers yet? That’s possible, but it’s likely that some people’s physiology just isn’t hardwired for it.

The wide range of individual reactions is once again a testament to the wonder and uniqueness of our senses.

Source: www.psychologytoday.com, www.glamourmagazine.com, www.womanshelathmag.com, www.bustle.com, www.newyorker.com, www.popsugar.com, twitter.com, www.ripleys.com, www.thelist.com, www.huffingtonpost.com.au, www.sciencefocus.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.