Have you ever been for a haircut and had a warm, fuzzy, tingly sensation in your scalp and neck? Maybe someone whispering to you or brushing your hair makes you feel ready for sleep? This is ASMR, and it is something that I have been into and experienced for a long, long time.
What is ASMR?
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. When we break that down, “autonomous” means that it happens automatically without our control, “sensory” means that it is to do with sensations and our nerves, “meridian” describes a flow of energy through the body and “response” means to happen because of something. In conclusion then, it is an uncontrollable sensation of a rush of energy through the body in response to something, which I think summarises ASMR quite well.
What causes ASMR?
As we’ve just mentioned above, ASMR happens in response to something, though the “triggers” for ASMR can vary wildly. Some triggers might be sounds, some may be visual stimuli, others may be smells or tastes. There is no definite stimuli which dictates whether or not the tingling rush you feel in your scalp and neck is ASMR.
Typically, our “triggers” st
How many people experience ASMR?
Estimates suggest that as many as 80%, or 4 in 5 people, can experience ASMR. This means to suggest that most people have the ability to tingle, if they know what stimulates it for them.
Why would someone listen to ASMR?
Primarily, most people listen to ASMR to help them relax. Some people listen to ASMR because they are addicted to the rush of the tingly sensation, but there are some theories to suggest that we can become desensitized to our triggers with time. This is usually referred to as “tingle immunity”.
What are some common triggers of ASMR
There are as many triggers as there are people who experience ASMR, but common triggers include
- Tapping (on ceramic, wood, books, glass and son on)
- Whispering or gentle speaking
- Guided meditation videos or tracks
- Gloves (latex, leather or satin are the most common)
- Crinkly plastic, foil or paper
- Foam and slime sounds
- Focused activities, such as watching someone fold napkins or make tea
- Eating sounds
- Mouth sounds (“tsk”, tongue clicking)
- Medical appointments (cranial exams,dental check-ups, eye exams – “follow the light”)
- Pampering treatments (haircuts, manicures, beauticians)
- Mock torture, for example, being “forced” to tingle
- Massage, hugs or personal touches of comfort
So if you think you know your trigger, pop it into Youtube and follow it with “ASMR”, and you’ll probably find that there is at least one video for that
My trigger isn’t on the list, can I still experience ASMR?
Absolutely! There really is no limit to what can be classed as a trigger for ASMR. As long as it’s a relaxation tingle that flows from the top of your head down the back of your neck and shoulders, it’s most likely to be ASMR.
What was your first experience with ASMR?
When I was very young, I used to visit my grandmother on alternate weekends and she used to keep cellophane bags from greetings cards to store odd bits and pieces in. I can remember her folding these cellophane bags meticulously and the soft crinkle sounds. She also used to read the flavours, ingredients or information on snack packets, and again, I’d tingle.
I’m really curious, where can I learn more about ASMR?
My personal, favourite (non-affiliated) site is ASMR Lab, which explains more about this tingly phenomenon!
You can also check out my Youtube ASMR channel (EnglishTinglesASMR) here!