What is ASMR?

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What is ASMR?

A new wave of sensory relaxation has taken YouTube by storm. Chances are you’ve probably already seen it on your social media feeds. ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response is that sensation you get when you hear something, and it gives you goosebumps or brings on a sense of relaxation. For many people it’s the sound of someone whispering, others it’s the sounds of eating food. While the triggers are vastly different from person to person, anyone who enjoys ASMR videos will tell you: it’s deeply satisfying.

What causes that feeling of satisfaction? Well. . . Scientists aren’t exactly sure. Some scientists liken the experience to synesthesia – a sensory mix-up that might give words certain colors or music a scent. But that’s not exactly what’s happening. Frisson – the shivery chills that happen at a particularly exciting point in music – might provide a better explanation. But the difference between frisson and ASMR is the emotional state of the person experiencing it. Frisson is a state of excitement whereas ASMR is commonly known as a state of relaxation.


If you don’t experience a response to ASMR videos, don’t be alarmed, that is the normal response! Studies are still being done to determine where ASMR is processed and what the connections are in the brain. As of right now, the science shows that people who experience a response to ASMR videos tend to have a higher openness-to-experience personality trait than those who don’t. This may mean that open-minded people are more susceptible to the ASMR experience. Other than that, there’ve been some studies researching parts of the brain that light up when watching ASMR videos. These studies have shown that those who do experience a response have new and different connections going on in their brain when compared to someone who doesn’t!

Overall? The jury’s still out regarding ASMR. Some people use it to fall asleep, some use it to calm down from anxiety, and for most switching up the type of ASMR helps to keep the sensation going. Do you have a response to ASMR? Let us know in the comments!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product / s are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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