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ASMR – free, intensely pleasurable relaxation for a lucky few

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May 27, 2013

ASMRrequests in her amazing Space Travel video

ASMRrequests in her amazing Space Travel video

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So I've been working on some pretty weird stuff lately, yet this may be a more embarrassing topic to write about. For some percentage of readers, this article could make a major positive impact on your life. For the rest, I'll come away looking like a total wacko. I'll take those odds.

Despite the very official-sounding name ascribed to it, there is no science to prove the existence of the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR. We have no idea what percentage of people have the ability to experience it, where it comes from, what it's for or what brain mechanics are involved.

But if you're lucky enough to be able to feel it, there's a growing and thriving community out there producing thousands of free samples of canned pleasure and relaxation.

Let me start from my personal experience. As a schoolboy, I had a particular French teacher whose voice would put me into a trance. As soon as she started talking, it felt like my brain would start tingling. Her measured cadence and accent felt almost like some sort of mind massage. It was incredibly relaxing – and felt amazing, almost like an audio version of one of these:

Head massager – nothing to do with ASMR but a comparable feeling!

I started to notice that certain voices and accents would give me these "braingasms" as I started to call them, and if I stumbled across the right voice I'd turn to jelly. I remember keeping one poor telemarketer on the phone for ages, just asking her to keep repeating herself as I melted into a pool of sheer relaxation.

An old girlfriend and I discovered that we could create a similar effect by softly crunching ice cubes in each others' ears – something about the sound would give us goosebumps all over. It was fantastic, but I never really thought much more about it, until I stumbled across this T.M. Lewin video about suit fitting on Reddit.

The infmaous T.M. Lewin suit fitting video that introduced me to the concept of ASMR

Now, I need all the help I can get with fashion, but this video made my head buzz so hard I couldn't concentrate. I watched it three times, then went into the comments section and somebody had left a link to /r/asmr, a community of others that experience these relaxing head tingles in response to a wide array of stimuli. I was not alone. In fact, there seems to be quite a lot of us.

Since then, I've been watching a vast array of long and otherwise incredibly boring videos specifically designed to produce the ASMR response. Most people I've mentioned it to have no similar response at all, and can't imagine why I'd sit and bliss out to an 18-minute video of a Russian girl folding towels, or a Greek girl waving her hands in my face, or somebody tapping their fingernails on a wooden box.

GentleWhispering delivers a simulated face massage in one of her most popular videos

You can probably begin to imagine why this is kind of an embarrassing hobby – I'm 36, male, bearded and known mainly for my love of super-fast motorcycles. And yet my brother catches me, asleep, with my phone on my chest and a video still playing. It's a woman whispering softly to me as she pretends to give me a makeover. Not cool.

But for those of us that feel it, it's so refreshing, soporific, hypnotic and addictive that we've just got to go hunting for more of the good stuff.

Here's what we know about ASMR

Not everyone experiences it. Sorry to those who don't, you're missing out. Those that do tend to respond to very different stimuli, although there are some strong themes:

  • Soft, soothing voices
  • Whispering very close to a microphone, or your ear
  • Even, measured speaking tones
  • Foreign accents
  • Mouth noises like lip smacking
  • Close personal attention, like haircuts, makeovers or doctor's examinations
  • Handiwork and expertise
  • Tapping sounds
  • Rustling or soft crinkling sounds
  • Gentle handling of precious items
  • White noise

And there's others. It's odd, in that each person is looking for the right person, with the right voice, doing the right things, even using the right microphones, to get them going – and what switches some people on can actively ruin the experience for others.

ASMR is experienced in different ways, but predominantly as a tingling sensation in the head and scalp area that may extend down the neck and limbs. There is sometimes a trance-like state involved, and it's often coupled with an intense feeling of relaxation.

ASMR aficionados make a distinction between ASMR and frisson, the goosebumps and tingles that can be produced by an amazing piece of music.

It seems to be possible to build up an immunity to the ASMR feeling, particularly if you indulge in too many videos, but it also seems that you can get the feeling back if you take a break for a while.

ASMRaurette performing a very relaxing cranial nerve examination role play

Here's what some people think might be going on here

Some people believe ASMR is a residual response from early childhood, an echo of the calming, soothing effect of a mother's voice on an infant, coupled with the close, caring personal attention a parent can give.

Others look further back in our evolutionary development, proposing that perhaps the sensation goes back to our roots as primates, a sensory reward for submitting ourselves to nit-picking and grooming by other members of our groups.

Either way, I don't believe there's any current research being undertaken even to prove the existence of the effect, or study what the brain is doing during ASMR tingles.

The Online ASMRtist community

There is a strong and growing community of YouTube "ASMRtists" out there producing a huge amount of material specifically targeted at different viewers' ASMR triggers. They pop up all over the world, which is great if you like accents, and enthusiasts quickly discover favorites – people that can hit the spot more reliably than others.

Some of the bigger names in the field, such as GentleWhispering, TheOneLillium, ASMRrequests and EphemeralRift go to almost comical lengths to create the right atmosphere in each video. Because expertise and demonstration of knowledge in a field can be triggers in and of themselves, you'll often see ASMR videos for which these guys have put in a lot of prior study and preparation.

As videos can easily get up beyond the 40 minute mark, it's clearly a huge investment of time and energy – and yet, time and again you'll see ASMRtists (particularly the really good ones) disappearing from YouTube due to harassment and creepy messages.

You can kind of understand why. To people who don't experience ASMR, the videos can rightly look completely ridiculous. Also, because a sense of intimacy can be a very powerful trigger, it's no surprise that some of the best artists are very attractive girls, and there's clearly some personal security risks when you're putting your face out there and developing strange online relationships with people who might start to rely on a false sense of intimate connection with you.

My five favorite ASMR videos

Here's a few videos that reliably get me buzzing. Your mileage may vary, even if you are susceptible to ASMR. Take a look and see if any of these work for you … and use headphones!

QueenOfSerene's Book Store Clerk role play

QueenOfSerene always seems to have put a lot of research into her role plays – which is great, because it helps the old suspension of disbelief along. Apart from the fantastic soft voice and mouth sounds, this video also features a lot of fingernail tapping and gentle handling of books.

asmraurette's "Cranial Nerve Examination"

Cranial nerve examination role plays are very popular – probably due to the close personal attention angle they offer. This video features some great mouth sounds too.

Gentlewhispering's "Relaxing Towel Folding Tutorial

Maria has become one of the most recognizable faces of ASMR. One of her videos was the first in the community to hit a million YouTube views, and she produces a huge amount of fantastic content. In this video you don't see her face at all, but you get to enjoy her voice, her slight accent, and her gentle hand movements. Plus, you'll learn how to fold the HECK out of some towels.

Ephemeral Rift's "Professor Clemmons" video

This one's extremely slow, and features lots of tapping, crinkling, a humming sound and a huge range of triggers. At nearly 48 minutes long, it's also fantastic to go to sleep with. Ephemeral Rift is a quirky guy though, be warned!

ASMRrequests' Sci-Fi Space Travel Role Play

Not just a great ASMR video, but an example of the amazing levels of effort that some ASMRtists are willing to put in. Imagine how much work went into every aspect of this video – Ally, the creator, told us it took her two fairly solid weeks and I wouldn't doubt it for a second.

How'd you go?

Let us know in the comments below if you experienced anything while watching these videos. Did you find them relaxing? Did you experience any tingling sensation? Did you feel like an idiot? Since there's so little data out there it's interesting to hear what you guys find!

Thanks to the ASMRtists above for allowing us to use their videos. Each of them has a YouTube channel chock full of relaxation and ASMR material. Here's some other resources if you find yourself tingling (or find it helps you sleep) and want to pursue it further:

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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106 Comments

I've known something was going on with me but I didn't know it had a definition--or a following.

Now I have something new to learn about...

Mark Butler
27th May, 2013 @ 11:12 pm PDT

Cheers Mark - one of us! One of us! You're in for a treat, this is highly addictive. :)

Loz
28th May, 2013 @ 01:54 am PDT

I believe (never having spoken to anyone about it) that this is a universal reaction to many of these stimuli is it not?

Rustgecko
28th May, 2013 @ 02:16 am PDT

Intriguing - I can make it about 5 secs into each video before wanting to scream and break stuff - not sure what that means!

Tamara Cartwright-Loebl
28th May, 2013 @ 02:20 am PDT

Maybe a SLIGHT tingling at the top-back of my head/scalp watching 5 minutes 23 seconds-worth of ASMRrequest, but nothing to make me need to investigate further - though I do find the idea/subject intriguing.

Personally, I found all the womens' voices too --- whispy/whispery(?) --- and Professor Clemmens -- well, I only got 37 seconds into that one.

I wonder if there's any correlation between ASMR and Synaesthesia (seeing sounds as colours)? Pity I don't seem to have either...

leafygreen
28th May, 2013 @ 02:48 am PDT

Didn't know there were other people out there like myself who experience this. The strongest stimulus in the past for me has been someone making very slow "tasting" noises close to my ear., say four or five inches away. The videos also produce the effect, but not as strongly. It is pleasurable, but not something I've ever sought out over the years.

shokan
28th May, 2013 @ 02:58 am PDT

OMG. I had know idea other people had the same experience. Foreign telly marketers hit the spot every time.

Cam Macduff
28th May, 2013 @ 03:21 am PDT

I´ve never been very fond of white noise, gentle tapping and so on, kind of annoys me, and to be honest, i thought "ehh.. great... what will they think of next?" ... at first... but then, in the Professor Clemmons video (don´t know if this counts), when he leans into the left side of the camera, like he´s whispering into your ear, i got this goosebumps, and tingly feeling in my lower back, it was crazy weird... felt good and little uncomfortable at the same time... dont´know if that counts, but i´ll definitely look into this, like you said, it varies what people experience.

Btw... ASMRrequests' Sci-Fi Space Travel Role Play is a very cool video!

Manes
28th May, 2013 @ 03:29 am PDT

I loved this article you did. I never thought this is a type of "science".

I think this is normal and it makes us human, this is emotions in their purist form, some are just not so strongly "connected" to them but they are there.

To the ASMRtists, keep it up guys you are awesome...

Gizzmo
28th May, 2013 @ 03:58 am PDT

This article is just awesome. I knew about this before and I experience ASMR very often for various reasons but it never occurred to me that videos could be made especially for ASMR. Thank you for opening the new world of these audio/video for me :).

Matej Klobusnik
28th May, 2013 @ 04:02 am PDT

Sounds related to SI:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_integration

Good book about it:

Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight by Sharon Heller

foobar4
28th May, 2013 @ 04:28 am PDT

Wow.. I absolutely do know what you were talking about! It never occurred to me that one could intentionally create such a state though.. For me it was always either human voices, or trips to the hair "stylist" (rare for me back then as I used to have extremely long hair ;-), and it's happened a lot less as I've gotten older.. in fact since entering my mid 50s it's rare anymore. This may back up the hypothesis you mentioned that it was a throwback to parental attention or perhaps also stone-age grooming sessions..

I just don't know if I could sit through a towel folding session, though..

Doc Rock
28th May, 2013 @ 04:59 am PDT

This might be the basis of therapy for some folks. MSR?

Any trance effects for me vanish at the first "Umm" or other glitch, but I'm not generally suceptible.

Bob Stuart
28th May, 2013 @ 05:36 am PDT

The space travel agent had me completely taken in. I even felt a tinge of disappointment when I realized that the experience wasn't real..!!!

I even took off my glasses for her...!!!??

All the other videos left me cold.

Thank you for this introduction to ASMR, Loz.

gerald
28th May, 2013 @ 08:23 am PDT

I'm so incredibly grateful you took the time to write this article. Thanks!!

UtahCafeRacer
28th May, 2013 @ 09:43 am PDT

I noticed this around the age of five, when the response was stronger than it is today, at 62. I often find myself on "YouTube Saturdays," watching video tutorials, unboxings and other close up manipulating of things that are narrated. I find myself watching all of their videos - listening as they go along, sitting all day at the computer. I found the videos above to be too contrived, and being gay, the whiny women didn't do a thing. I do have a number of favorites who are women, but the boop, boop a'doop voices made me want to run. Marilyn Monroe pulled it off to my satisfaction - these examples just cheap immitations like bad porn. Professor Clemmens was just creepy, slow; the tapping annoying. So, as with fetishes (which is where I've previously catagorized these stimuli), we've all got our own. Doctors' appointments, and the barber have been there since I was a small child.

dsiple
28th May, 2013 @ 09:50 am PDT

Huh...I never really thought about it, I had just always assumed everyone reacted the same way from time to time, but I definitely know what you are talking about. The first time I remember was in elementary school, when a girl in my class was talking to me. There have been people with accents that are just telling me about their day, or something going on, and I have to try so hard to not look like an idiot, drooling myself and staring :P

Hal Otacon
28th May, 2013 @ 09:56 am PDT

It never occurred to me that other people don't experience this.

Going to my hairstylist is the best. Especially when she uses the scissors that do not cut all the hair, just thins it out and helps shapes it. She works them very fast so the sound and the tactile input as it gently pulls the hair on my head create the tingles. Lol, my scalp is tingling just writing about it.

I've always thought it was the energy fields of both people (myself and the other person) interacting that caused that. Since we all have energy fields I just expected that everyone experienced their interaction.

I didn't expect much from the videos, based on my theory of the energy fields interacting, and have slow internet so have only watched portions of the first two videos. To my surprise the cranial nerve exam got the tingles going. Not as strongly as if we were in person, I suspect, but enough.

Thanks for writing a great article and letting me know that, while I'm more alone than I would have expected, I'm not as all alone as that.

Naomi F. Gray
28th May, 2013 @ 10:43 am PDT

Strange, I assumed everyone experienced this. No? Guess not. In the interest of science I want to share one that haunts me to this day. Age mid-thirties. Visiting a couple I did not know with several other people. We were sitting in the living room just chit-chatting. The lady of the house came up behind me and touched a spot about halfway between my right shoulder and neck with the very tip of a finger nail. A most delicious sensation flooded my entire body like an electrical current. I could hardly breath.

Robert Bissett
28th May, 2013 @ 11:15 am PDT

Interesting discovery! I think I have versions of this :) I didn't realize there was a name/concept for it AND a growing community. Haircuts have always been this way for me and I can kinda get some of the sensations from these videos and all the soothing sounds involved. But last year I randomly discovered a youtube video as I was searching for body awareness meditations just to explore and relax on my own. www.youtube.com/watch?v=80V7vpjT7Ic This one really does it for me! …Especially in conjunction with it being a relaxing meditation. Something about this womans' accent and gentle way has kept me returning to participate in this periodically. It makes my head and body sensate in tingles and brain/body-gasms! Great to fall asleep to as well!

Satial (Say-shull)
28th May, 2013 @ 11:17 am PDT

did nothing for me, glad im not mentally special

Daniel Leo Alan
28th May, 2013 @ 11:19 am PDT

The female voices don't do it at all for me... Professor Clemmon on the other hand I find completely fascinating and inmediately hypnotic.

The storyline of ASMRrequests' video is amazing, as is the video itself. I don't find it at all stimulating or relaxing, I just find the whole video great!

I wonder if it does have to do with gender or sexuality... I am a 32y/o gay male... Just found TheLyricalWhispers, a young british accented man which I found far more captivating than the girls.

Samuel Sebastian Holden Bramah
28th May, 2013 @ 11:28 am PDT

I've noticed my reaction to some ASMR stimuli, but most of these actors sound canned and false. I didn't respond at all to most of it. The only one who sounded real and gave me any stimulation was the cranial nerve exam vid. The lip sounds were too bright there, though. Keep researching this, please! I'm an acid rock fan and jazz aficionado, but Whitney Houston's "Giving you the best that I got" buzzes my scalp and sends shivers down my spine for some reason. Ditto some of Sade's songs.

ljaques
28th May, 2013 @ 11:49 am PDT

Yes, I experienced the tingling, a sense of having entered a different "state" of mind. The only one I've tried so far is the "spacey" one. Did it happen because she was a pretty girl with a pretty voice? Who knows. But it was a nice trip. I'll probably go again!

Robert

brassclams
28th May, 2013 @ 12:04 pm PDT

This must connect to childhood memories. Anyway, as an adult I find people who whisper when they don't need to, to be insincere and therefore sinister. I get the tingling, but only for an instant before my suspicion-meter goes off.

kuryus
28th May, 2013 @ 12:25 pm PDT

Whispering, people touching my face/ hair/ scalp, and white noises will give me tingles down my spine, but I absolutely loathe mouth noises and certain crinkles so the effect doesnt last long.

Tom Donovan
28th May, 2013 @ 12:31 pm PDT

I get that feeling any time a girl runs her fingers through my hair. I become a docile lamb. Likely it's an evolutionary response/reward for grooming practices, but it does feel good to induce it.

Ever taken ecstasy? It makes everything on Earth produce this effect, just FYI. I wouldn't condone taking any drug, but it is one of those things that anyone that has done it would fully understand. I wouldn't be surprised if the drug community is huge into this.

Jay Lloyd
28th May, 2013 @ 12:35 pm PDT

Thank you for writing this article, I am impressed and very happy with the number of commenters you are reaching already with this article who it seems have asmr, or the unnamed feeling, as some may have been explaining it themselves up until this point and are just finding out its been given a name by others thanks to you.

I have experienced ASMR since I can remember and became a part of the asmr artist community a bit over a year ago and I can tell you both prove to be incredibly rewarding experiences everyday. I feel very lucky. Great job, Loz, love all the artists featured, as well.

Jennifer AppreciateAsmr
28th May, 2013 @ 12:59 pm PDT

Nothing except for "Professor Clemmons", same comments as Manes, gets a little uncomfortable with the whispering.

It's the crackling sound that get me.

Interesting.

abe
28th May, 2013 @ 01:05 pm PDT

Only time this has happened to me is whan an old girlfriend (Barb, where ARE you?!?!) was singing softly in my ear. But then.... I also fall asleep with a fan on, blowing softly on my face. The sound/airflow work wonders (tho no tingling) at putting me to sleep.

KMH
28th May, 2013 @ 02:47 pm PDT

I didn't get anything out of any of that but I really enjoyed the foxy space travel lady. I love redheads!!! Very sexy.

sailr
28th May, 2013 @ 03:12 pm PDT

The sound of chopsticks clacking together has always intrigued me.

Librarian Lady vid #1 is fantastic and made me giggle like an idiot.

When professor Clemmons leaned into the mic I freaked out and snatched the buds out of my ears.

Harold Gorebinsky
28th May, 2013 @ 04:52 pm PDT

have the tingling with ASMR & can trance out when in isolated state with soft music etc

Plus I have mild Aspergers if this helps anyone.

Stephen N Russell
28th May, 2013 @ 06:10 pm PDT

Known about this for years - since I was a very small child. Combined with TM it can be a formidable mode of thinking. I have also associated it with kundalini. And many other things too wild and woolly to discuss here. I remember reading a story about Einstein watching his maid knead dough to make bread. The writer insinuated that it was sexual. Wrong - as soon as I read it I knew why he was doing it... I have recently acquired an Emotiv headset and other things and intend to do some research on this. Both to find out why, and also just to experience it more.

It's funny - if I ever told people about this they treat me as if I were barmy... and I may well be, but I never cared what they thought about me. I was the one experiencing the sensations - and they were beautiful.

walkerjian
28th May, 2013 @ 06:19 pm PDT

Very little from any of the proposed videos, maybe because my expectations were to high from reading all the replies first?

Maybe a little from some of the crackling in Professor Clemmons and some of the higher end sounds in Sci fi Travel.

Then again, as others have said, I found the female voices to be fake and annoying, where in real life, I have had some fantastic experiences. Female Irish voices (one especially, shame her only tingle was a poker machine), have been know to really draw me in, as did a certain physiotherapist, and when she touched the back of the neck or a light touch to the shoulder, wow.

But I wonder if this was more to do with a sexual experience, in most of the Irish voices and physio occasions, I was also physically attracted.

One thing that always gives me a ting-asim, and I do not often read; Is the touch from the pages of an old and not recently touched/used book. For some reason I always get a tingle right up the back of the neck, followed by a full body shiver driven tingle down the spine. An amazing feeling.

ELM
28th May, 2013 @ 06:34 pm PDT

I feel like it must feel when you stumble across a coven of fellow travelers from the planet Zargosz, and you thought you were the only Zargoszian here on earth.

I first encountered this feeling when I would get my hair cut, when I was maybe eight. (I'll be 64 next month, so that was a long time ago.) Since then I've discovered that I get it mostly when someone's paying me personal attention. I've learned to relax into it to prolong it, almost like the way you tune your mind to produce alpha waves. It's a very mild addiction -- I don't go around looking for it, I enjoy it while it's happening, I try to keep it going, but I don't get any strong feeling of disappointment when it fades away.

I haven't checked out any of the videos yet, it would be interesting if they work, but I don't think I'll be let down too badly if they don't.

...and I can quit any time! :)

I had no idea that anyone else ever had this experience. When I read the bullet point in the story above about haircuts commonly bringing it on, it just about knocked me over.

HMishkoff
28th May, 2013 @ 06:37 pm PDT

The female voices were unbelievably annoying. The man voice was marginally better. This is a big turn off.

But what gives me tingling sensation is music !! Tangerine Dream, Daft Punk, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Supreme being of leisure, Art of Noise, The Crystal Method and many others.

A good golf shot, a good volleyball spike. Being on a mountain top works for me too.

But the most intense tingling sensation I ever had was playing a PC game: Ultima Underworld (1980 something version). I could hear a beast (?) coming towards me with chain souds, raking sounds and muffled grunts. That was almost too much. I couldn't concentrate on the game.

I guess I'm an edrenaline junkie (I don't indulge in extreme sports though). ASMR seems like the complete opposite.

To each his own ;-)

Guy Lamoureux
28th May, 2013 @ 06:49 pm PDT

I get this all the time, since childhood. Whispering never works and the videos did not work for me. Usually it's a particular persons voice, like some telemarketers that I will keep on the phone for as long as possible. The reaction also occurs when someone is looking at something I own, like a book or something, The effect is much more intense and relaxing than words can describe.

David R Aldridge
28th May, 2013 @ 07:26 pm PDT

These videos prove there is no accounting for taste. To me, they were all amateurish, untrained. There are voices I like; none of these were them.

Art Toegemann
28th May, 2013 @ 08:09 pm PDT

Awesome! I thought it was just some kind of fetishism... I suppose it might still be defined like this to many. I heard a reading of Hakim Bey of Poetic Terrorism around 2am one morning on community radio and my brain went nuts. That was the first time I recorded something that did it from audio and I played it repeatedly for years. Blade Runner soundtrack would also make me buzz to a lesser degree. Also experienced a powerful strange euphoria from letting bath water go cold while still in it reading a book, however that has been clinically studied.

Asmraurette is fantastic isn't she? and as for EphemeralRift he sends me into uncontrolled hysterics.

John McMullen
28th May, 2013 @ 09:05 pm PDT

Tamara Cartwright-Loebl "Intriguing - I can make it about 5 secs into each video before wanting to scream and break stuff - not sure what that means!"

There is an opposite effect called misophonia. I experience both sensations so I am especially picky when it comes to ASMR videos, namely because both share many triggers.

These are my two favourite links about misophonia

This one is about the intensity of the reaction (I have ony hit a 6-7 once or twice)

http://www.misophonia-uk.org/the-misophonia-activation-scale.html

This one is about the triggers.

http://misophonia.info/symptoms-and-triggers/

Brenna Turton
28th May, 2013 @ 09:41 pm PDT

I am glad to see your article! Several years back when working at a large Home improvement place - i had this experience with a random customer. IT WAS bizarre! I had no idea why I wanted this person to continue talking about problems with their kitchen sink. Like several of the other commenters - the persons voice was giving me the same sensation as a hair cut!

Mot
29th May, 2013 @ 06:11 am PDT

I first experienced this when I was young at our drop in centre .. one of the leaders talked us through a great relaxing experience.

I felt none of this with the above videos...I felt the girls were losing their voices more than providing some soothing tones...did not work at all..more annoying.

The body awareness meditation was the only one to what I experienced when I was younger

Having experienced yoga...there was one instructor that stood out with her calming voice and approach ... the other both my partner and I felt too abrasive to have a great yoga experience.

Terry Mancini
29th May, 2013 @ 07:32 am PDT

So nice to see this quantified. The 2 or 3 people I've told about this in my 64 years had no idea what I was talking about. Soft voices in various accents does it for me--an intensely pleasurable tingling in my forehead that I don't want to end. I've had great luck with YouTube vids of Kofi Annan especially (indeed many Africans speaking English), and U.S. southerners Jimmy Carter, Lindsay Graham and Robert Gibbs (even though I agree with none of their politics). Also sometimes TV or online art instructors (though NOT Bob Ross for some reason--his voice annoys me very much, maybe because his mic was always turned up so much I could hear the saliva in his mouth--perhaps an example of misophobia). Currently I enjoy listening to the Chinese painting instructor Henry Li--his YouTube channel is Blue Heron Arts. Also seeing these instructors stroke a painting with a brush works, which reminds me of the old Fugs lyric, "Whenever I see a piano leg touching the floor I get horny.")

pimpernel
29th May, 2013 @ 07:42 am PDT

Just reading this article induces a bit of ASMR in me...

Does anybody get ASMR from those "how to paint" shows on TV? Perhaps that is the underlying appeal of these shows. Especially "The Joy of Painting" with the late Bob Ross.

Nibblonian
29th May, 2013 @ 08:09 am PDT

Ok I just about came unglued with the booking a spaceflight video. The others left me tingling also. Mostly up and down my spine

Steve Timpson
29th May, 2013 @ 08:28 am PDT

Vid 1 - Nothing gave up after a few min

Vid 2 - Nothing gave up after a few min

Vid 3 - I think it started to give me headache gave up after a few min (Skepticism growing)

Vid 4 - Tried forcing it -- connected with something --sort of like the mental equivalent of grounding an electric wire. Tingles down my neck, euphoric head feeling. Heart rate/BP apparently unaffected.

If this is what you refer to I have been able to summon this feeling at will as far as I can remember, but the video amplified it. So much so I threw the headphones off at under 2 min. 15 min later I am still a bit disturbed by it. It was very strong.

I need to read more on this before I continue.

Question: I assumed this came forth as a passive involuntary result of the queues, but that did not work. Is this a passive meditation thing or a more active mental engagement? I can't rule out what I experienced is not ASMR but the biproduct of the suggestion and desire to explore it.

geez...

mindchasm
29th May, 2013 @ 11:13 am PDT

I am going to guess that pretty much all of you are easier than average

to hypnotize.

You should remember that and be careful what you allow

to mesmerize you.

There have always been those who use such things (drugs,pornography,music)

to take advantage of those who are easily tranced-out.

I am especially referring to the corporate/political/military psyops realm.

Billions and billions of $ have been invested in the pursuit of dominion over the sub-conscious realms.

Griffin
29th May, 2013 @ 11:32 am PDT

PS

Television...

why do you think it's called "programming"?

To clarify the dollars that I say have been spent,

Madison Avenue is ALL about

making you buy things that you don't even want...

let alone,need

and

getting you to vote for people that you don't even like...

let alone,trust.

This goes for all the other national media advertising centers,

as well.

If that isn't mind control,

what is?

How much have they spent on their studies

and developments?

Now,

move onto the military and political realms,

including the Nazis,the Russians,the Chinese,etc.

The Pentagon admits MK-Ultra...

what else is there?

Don't be paranoid but don't be blind,

either.

Griffin
29th May, 2013 @ 11:39 am PDT

This is very interesting indeed.

dsiple, I've experienced "that feeling" from Marilyn singing "I wanna be loved by you," but since that does have "boop boop a doop" maybe that is not the one you mean? Marilyn also hits it on her "Happy Birthday Mr. President" recording. In that number, the seductive quality is not hidden; nevertheless I agree that the sensation we are discussing is not in and of itself sexual. There was a DJ in the 1960's who went by "Dick Summer" (no implications in the name) whose voice regularly gave me some of that feeling. So did Jean Shepherd's voice on his radio program, as did Susan Stamberg's on NPR. Bob Perkins announcing jazz tunes on WRTI in Philadelphia made me feel that way too.

ralph.dratman
29th May, 2013 @ 01:10 pm PDT

it's used in ads , I could remember (of course I can) a few that made the hairs stand up on my arms . special noises , special waveforms , special harmonies . I found several engine types and build styles that make me happy , feel the tingling . these hardwares "sing" to me , I feel every part moving and working - and feel any problems way ahead of and visual and audible let alone measurable problem

Károly Hőss
29th May, 2013 @ 03:18 pm PDT

I'll be checking the vids right away, but before that I have to point any interested readers to The Monroe Institute.

They've created some technology called Hemi-Sync that works with distinct audio feeds to each ear (the "use headphones" prompt rang a bell here -no pun intended) and they produce lots more thematic "tapes" than the ASMR community probably has to offer. Some of their titles can touch some rather... weird (scary?)... topics.

I've been using their stuff (intermittently) for the last 2-3 years and most of it (that I remember) works marvellously.

Just a pointer for any interested souls out there...

Τριαντάφυλλος Καραγιάννης
29th May, 2013 @ 04:28 pm PDT

Hmm. I wonder if this is some variant on synesthesia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

Wombat56
29th May, 2013 @ 04:45 pm PDT

Great article and trial selections from youtube. Happy to know there's a bona fide name for this cool sensation. It reminds me of the old trick we used to do as kids, which I revived for my granddaughters. The "crack an egg over the head" trick. It's fun to watch them bliss out as the pretend egg gets cracked open and runs down the back of their head. :)) I really enjoyed the "book store" girl - very effective for some "tingles", and the "space-ride" lady worked as well. Somebody ought to patent that, eh?

Leavond
29th May, 2013 @ 05:39 pm PDT

I haven't watched the videos yet, but I believe I have ASMR going on... however, it is the OPPOSITE. There are sounds that complete ENRAGE me. There are sounds in songs that make me want punch someone. It is so completely jarring that if I am at someone's house and they start to play music that has one of the sounds in it I suddenly flip out and demand they turn it off. It is the same with a rhythmic tapping sound. If it is CONSTANT (tap tap tap tap) then it makes me feel totally crazy. If it is intermittent (tap tap ....... tap ....... tap tap.... tap tap... tap) then I am totally fine. One of the sounds that does just put me to sleep, is sadly, listening to a radio broadcast of a Red Sox game. I find this totally annoying, because, I WANT to be keeping up with the game! (Red Sox fan, yo!)

Knowing that there might be other sounds that I find soothing kind of makes up for the 'I want to stab people' feeling that certain sounds invoke (and no, I have never stabbed anyone, and don't intend to except perhaps in self-defense). One of my friends listens to LOTS of that kind of music and he now calls it 'stabby music'. *sigh*

Good to know I am not alone, and grateful that so far nobody else seems to have this really bad reaction that I do.

Isabelle Hakala
29th May, 2013 @ 06:36 pm PDT

Not to be reductive or even facetious but my susceptibility has been markedly increased by the stronger 'recreationals' - the ones with acronyms containing the letters d, s m, l and a.

Beyond that I must admit to a quiet infatuation with crisp soft soothing female voices I can still remember goosebumbs

The fitter was good but not close the girls too breathy

And Grifin may have a point

Mmadu Adiro-Eba
29th May, 2013 @ 06:52 pm PDT

If you like this, you MUST watch the movie "Beyond the Black Rainbow". it is basically 2 hours of this plus awesome synth music

Lee Maskell
29th May, 2013 @ 08:06 pm PDT

Interesting, but what does it for me is music. I've often had the hair raising/tingling/mind melting scenario when listening to music. (It often spurs me into "I need to listen to this on repeat while I draw") But those situations are never 'relaxing'. They pump me up. I get that sensation and it's like it kicks me into high gear. I guess the sensation feels so good I just have to go out and DO something.

The other videos on here made me sleepy and relaxed. (Though it IS early morning). But what really did it for me was the last video "Space Travel Agent". When she's talking it's relaxing, but the first 35 seconds of the video is what really kicked it for me because of the music/sound effects. (I admit I didn't watch it all the way through. After those first 35 seconds the rest were more like "awww but I liked that other feeling")

Alya Fenume
30th May, 2013 @ 06:34 am PDT

I think the way these videos work is that they lull you into a feeling of security and relaxation - but personally I never got a feeling of security from any of them. In fact when each one came on, my little dog went ballistic in a frenzy of barking, calling out the alert! Not many videos make her do that, usually it has to have a dog or animal (excellent example, "Cody the Screaming Dog" makes my dog freak out the same ha ha).

Nevertheless as a class of video, I think they are absolutely terrific. I liked OneLillium and her "test bunny" video, that one was pure, ecstatic fantasy. You'd have to have a pretty hard heart not to be thrilled by that.

Even still - because I have no knowledge of OneLillium - I couldn't muster up any feeling of security watching it. But it was thrilling.

Grunchy
2nd June, 2013 @ 07:04 pm PDT

Whether real or imagined, it did cause a tingling in the center of my forehead (maybe lower center just above the eyebrow ridge), which I've felt before, but I found it irritating.

Ironically, the first time I felt it was when someone was putting something very close to my forehead when I was around 7 or 8 years old, but never touching me. I've tried to duplicate that feeling all my life (I'm 46 now), even though I find it irritating and almost unbearably ticklish, with some, but few moments of success.

I didn't watch any video for long, so the feeling didn't get intense, but while it always piques my curiosity, I can't say that I find it relaxing. That may be my combination ADD/OCD, or something entirely different. I don't know.

Dave Andrews
3rd June, 2013 @ 03:14 pm PDT

Video 1 and video 4 caused an intense tingling sensation in my neck and head, and I started giggling uncontrollably. I felt relaxed and content. This after just a few minutes into each. Haha! Unbelievable that this actually works. Thanks for the tip.

EdC
3rd June, 2013 @ 10:31 pm PDT

Funny... I seem to have the opposite reaction to many of these types of noises.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that I have "misophonia"... as someone smacking their lips, tapping their fingers, etc can drive me friggin bonkers! These videos are like hell for me! :-O

www.misophonia.com has more info

SlowburnAZ
4th June, 2013 @ 01:04 pm PDT

other than that hair tingly device, the only time I feel this sensation is when I am drawing and someone else is watching me, paying attention to every line I draw. I love it so much I don't want them to stop watching!

Dan Dan
9th June, 2013 @ 07:12 am PDT

The glug-glug-glug sound of liquid pouring into glass, changing pitch, and fizzing, drives me up the wall in 2 seconds. The intensity of the sensation frightens me.

Max Orbit
10th June, 2013 @ 01:41 pm PDT

I love crinkly sounds, hearing people read, soft spoken tones and elegant presentations.

But most of my audience prefers roleplays and touching camera with hands or brushes like this one. I'll never understand why :)

DianaDew Asmr
12th June, 2013 @ 12:39 pm PDT

this is amazing, there are other people like me :-)

Check this out...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdb1x2vQ2Z0&feature=youtu.be

I could watch that kind of videos all day long.

Watching people doing their crafts is putting me in a trance like state.

And I thought i'm a little bit weird ;-)

Philipp Briese
13th June, 2013 @ 03:21 am PDT

I am posting this message because I suspect that a certain feeling I get occasionally is what you are all talking about but I am not sure because it is a bit different from what I have read here and the triggering mechanism, still a mystery to me, does not seem to fall into any of the categories described here. I have tried describing what I feel to my wife and close friends yet none of them seem to know what I am talking about. Trying to describe it is very hard because words dont seem to do it justice. Also let me state that I am not a religious person but as an amateur astronomer who observes the skies at night I do feel that we have to believe that something bigger and more awesome exists in the universe and if the word God must be used then so be it.

Being an engineer and a bit of a scientific person I used to consider that the sensations I felt could be explained by chemistry in the brain but even that explanation is difficult if not impossible to prove.

I will try to describe it here and would like to know if any of you have similar experiences.

Some days usually after waking up in the morning and unrelated to any external stimulis I get a feeling of goodness. It´s as if everything everywhere was perfectly correct and right. When it begins it comes into the back part of me head and begins increasing causing sensations of pure bliss radiating down my neck. When I used to get it at younger ages I just felt it and enjoyed it but lately, at 67 years old, I have found a way to feed the sensation making it last a bit longer and be more intense. I say, sometimes out loud but most of the time in my mind, "thank you" and the sensation increases a bit longer. I have even said ¨thank you God¨" on occasions and felt the increased strength. This is a sensation which only lasts 10 or 15 seconds but it is very powerful and usually so overwhelming that it brings tears to my eyes and I have to sit down.

Has anyone felt this sensation under these conditions in the group? Am I talking about the same thing?

Certain musical groups and singers can create somewhat similar emotion in me and can last for the whole song or album. It is also very strong and pleasurable however the emotion described above does not seem to be triggered by anything external to my body like music.

Best Regards To All

John

Banana5
14th June, 2013 @ 07:03 pm PDT

This is great! I've had this sensation ever since I can remember, and seemingly random things would set it off. Recently it's been the window washers at my place of work. The instant I hear that sound I get the tingles and I pretend I'm reading at the computer while I listen to it and watch them out of the corner of my eye. Crazy!

I had it again last night while I was listening to one of my roommates play the guitar, and this morning I finally decided to do a Google search; lo and behold, other people have experienced the same thing. I love the Internet sometimes. So far I've only tried the "cranial nerve exam" one, but it definitely worked; I felt it to varying degrees, but it was certainly there. I can't wait to find more videos! Honestly, I was kind of hoping I'd stumble upon a secret society of mind-readers or something, but this is almost as good.

And to those of you who are curious but aren't sure if you're experiencing it; sadly I think you may not be able to. I knew right away just from watching a few minutes of one video. It's a very familiar feeling, and it is in no way sexual. It is also quite different and separate from the feeling I get when I hear music I really like.

Luke Pola
23rd June, 2013 @ 01:13 pm PDT

I noticed that audio could effect me in drastic ways after discovering recordings that were designed to help me sleep better. After watching one, the next morning was like waking up to a new me. Anyways, they say there are no nerves in the brain to send a tingling sensation anywhere, and a headache is felt through the muscles and bones that surround the brain. The artists that have stumbled across this phenomenon are really good at the tingles, and quite frankly, they've changed my life for the better. I like the videos here http://www.asmrstudio.com/ Oh, and science has a name for those incapable of feeling any sensations. Anesthesia. Medications, and poor diet might be a reason why some don't feel them. I found Omega 3's or more fish oil in my diet helped a lot with my sensitivity. Hope that helps.

MrKappa
23rd June, 2013 @ 11:09 pm PDT

This is pretty weird... I don't seem to be experiencing any physical sensations, but I find the spoken presentations to be _deeply_ fascinating...much moreso than the content deserves. I've never been hypnotized and until now I would have said I'd be a lousy candidate for hypnosis...maybe I'm wrong about that. That space travel agent...wow. [and I don't mean that she's pretty cute]. After a minute of that, I could hardly look away...

The coo-ing voice tones...something a mother might use with her baby? Do babies get fixated on it...or is there something in the maternal instinct that brings these voice tones out? Definitely worth looking into what's going on here...

Tokenn
28th June, 2013 @ 10:18 am PDT

I just learned the name of this response (phenomenon?) yesterday, but I've felt it for as long as I can remember. I always knew there'd be others who felt it, and that it was only a matter of time before it would have a name.

The irony of all this is the way I learned about ASMR. Yesterday, I was chatting at a party with a friend, describing a young-adult manuscript I wrote called 30 Decibels. It's speculative fiction about a dystopian society where only some people can talk and the majority must whisper. The friend then mentioned she'd just learned about ASMR and that people make whispery videos to trigger it. I guess it's also ironic that 30dB is making its way around Hollywood studios, producer attached, looking to be developed for the screen – audio and all!

Thanks so much for posting this, Loz!

Margo Rowder
5th July, 2013 @ 03:11 pm PDT

For those who are hard to trigger or just looking for something a bit different, give this video a try. It's a soft-spoken tutorial on how to make chain mail.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUoq-efzZwY

Sean Robertson
6th July, 2013 @ 01:53 pm PDT

I just came across this term on YouTube as I found a video of somebody eating ramen.

Total eye opener! I'm super thrilled to find out that this is "a thing"! :)

The videos you suggested did very little for me. The whispering just puts me very much off. Except for the Professor Clemmons where I did experience some triggers, but not enough to keep me around.

Probably the biggest trigger I've experienced regularly through my life, is when somebody calmly eats a really crisp apple close by. If I have the opportunity to just sit back and listen to it, the combination of the biting and chewing sounds sends me into that almost trance like state of comfort, relaxation and experience of pleasure.

Chewing other foods or typing on a keyboard for a longer period of time also seems to do the trick for me.

Great article! Thanks! :)

Emser
28th July, 2013 @ 04:11 pm PDT

Google brought me here. I too have experienced this my entire life, always thought I was just odd. Very interested in discovering more about this capability I have. Amazing!

Skowronek
30th July, 2013 @ 05:04 pm PDT

I can't believe how much this community has grown. I wandered into it when they were all just known as whisper videos several years ago. There were only a handful of them out there. My first favorite was Sundewdew but I don't believe she's around any longer. I was away from the community for a year or two and when I came back it looked like it had exploded. I can't believe how many "whisperers" there are out there now. I remember in the early days of the community people were trying to figure out what it was that we were feeling or where it came from. Of course, the popularity of it has brought about some strange people, too, who use it for....unsavory purposes, I suppose, but to each their own, I guess.

Holly Smith Mills
2nd August, 2013 @ 03:49 am PDT

The folding towel vid made me sleepy. I had to take a nap right then. The ones with the tapping make me alert and focused. I used to tap my pencil in school when I was reading or studying and would get called down for it by the teacher. When Prof. Clemmens leans in to whisper in your ear that produced a tingle.

I have to say that Irish and Scot accents whether male or female snag my attention. I have loved for years listening to Fiona host NPR's Thistle and Shamrock.

Personally I prefer a rich alto voice to a whisper voice in a female. I used to thrill to the Uncola Man with his Jamaican accent and bottom of the well voice. I LOVE the digiridu, but I have to be careful not to jack the sound too high because then it switches from being pleasurable to wanting to smash it.

I've got to tell you about Bob Ross though. My daughter was in the recovery room just after major surgery. She was about 6 years old. She was in a lot of pain and they were slowly stepping up the doses of morphine every 15 minutes till they found the dose that would take care of the pain and not over drug her. So they have a TV on PBS and Bob Ross comes on and starts painting his "happy little trees," and his

"happy little fences". She fell asleep to the sound of his voice and stayed asleep for the whole show! One minute after it was over and the sounds of the TV had gone onto less restful stuff, she was awake and in pain again. It took 4 more increases of morphine to get her back to the state where she could rest again! I believe that for the people that respond to this stimuli that a great deal of non-drug pain therapy could be accomplished with this.

I find these responses fascinating. Some things (like tapping) made me alert and in in a state of increased ability to remember information. Others like the white noise sound of the towel folding (they have a deep white sound in that vid too) make me want to sleep. Must remember this when I have insomnia. My brother would have trouble sleeping as a baby and my mom and dad would put us in the car and drive around the block and the engine sounds would put him to sleep. I am thrilled to find out that there are others out there that "get" this stuff even if they may not have the same triggers as I do.

Kathy M. Kestner
5th August, 2013 @ 08:33 pm PDT

Asmraurette's "Cranial Nerve Examination" and ASMRrequests' "Sci-Fi Space Travel Role Play" definitely had an effect on me (particularly the retinal scan of the latter)...I'm now realizing that this "examination sensation" is similar to how I've felt when visiting my eye doctor, and they position the phoropter in front of my face (touching the bridge of the nose). The sound of the doctor's voice close by, the clicking of the device as different lenses were rotated into place and adjusted (and no doubt the world coming into sharper focus) all produced that tingly, cozy feeling very similar to the "exam process" of these two videos. Definitely intrigued (and happy) that I'm able to enjoy these things - I just never realized that it was a topic of collective experience and discussion! Many thanks for your insightful article, and help in my realization...

kenstru
7th August, 2013 @ 01:11 pm PDT

Dude, you have hot the bullz eye!

I do get get the feeling after watching some videos. One of such is video is this one where Amy Walker teaches american accents-www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc2Y7xxkp5s

Most of her videos have similar feel.

Remarkably, I can produce the feeling without the help of any audiovisual aids. Here's how!

I ractice the Buddhist Vipassana Meditation since my childhood. I can produce the so called "ASMR" by doing the meditation for some time. I can also produce it with active meditation. My dad is a mediator and he taught me meditation since my childhood. I used to get the same feeling when he used to give direction while in meditation. Now I don't need his directions and do meditation myself and can produce the same feeling.

This phenomenon and how to produce it might already be described in a Buddhist, Hindu or similar texts. Someone has to study and interpret it.

GeekOIndia
21st August, 2013 @ 03:44 pm PDT

Didn´t feel anything at all, had given up all hope! Ok, my brain is boring. Crap. But i thought that i had to give the last one a chance! Then I heard those futuristic computersounds, and they did something and if the woman hadn´t been talkin i think I might have a chance to experience this too.

Maybe it didn´t work because i get stressed out by other people in general? And those mouthsounds, it HURTS my brain, it´s like someone stings my brain with very very small knifes when i hear that kind of sounds.

Cool stuffs! I think you who can experience this is our future telepathic cyberwarriors! Evolution, not something from our roots! :)

Jenny Häggström
21st August, 2013 @ 04:35 pm PDT

I first experienced it when I heard Alan Rickman's voice. Listening to him read Shakespeare's sonnet 130: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuNjDWdmRro

Enjoy!

Lizzy von Pianist
26th August, 2013 @ 12:54 am PDT

This is amazing- I had no idea there was a community of people obsessed with this, or that it has a name. The first time I ever felt this sensation was when I watched/listened to Bob Ross paint. It was hypnotizing- a feeling like someone using their fingers to pretend "crack" an egg on my head, only this feeling spreads invisible fingers of bliss straight through the center of my body.

Bob Ross

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX2AEfZpWT8

Another amazing person:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe33HmvfPSw

Dylan Grieve
29th August, 2013 @ 06:52 am PDT

I wasn't sure what to expect when I clicked on the video for "ASMRrequests' Sci-Fi Space Travel Role Play", but after watching it for only a couple minutes, I noticed a tingly feeling in my extremities, and as the couple of minutes turned into about five I could feel goosebumps breaking out on my arms and legs. I honestly hadn't been expecting anything to happen, as I skipped the other videos linked and went straight to the Space Travel video...but was kinda shocked and amazed when the tingles started.

I am wondering what will happen when I try one of the other videos now. How crazy is this? I read someone's comment above about their parents sticking them in the car and driving around to make them sleepy...to this day, if I am not driving, I am lulled into a trance-like state in the passenger's seat, or passed out in the back seat. The only time I have felt these sensations while someone is touching me, is if my tummy is very lightly stroked or my hair is being played with, and with the hair, it's only in certain spots that it triggers tingles and goosebumps. I am so intrigued by this, I've gotta watch more of these videos and see if they all cause similar responses.

And interesting side note, my boyfriend's dad often has trouble sleeping, and has found that watching the show "Ancient Aliens" always ends up putting him to sleep...he says the narrator's voice just lulls him to sleep and he had no real explanation as to why, because the subject matter is very interesting to him. I'll have to tell him what's going on too, maybe that can help him find other ways to fall asleep. Thanks for posting this, it's provided a wealth of information (as I suffer from insomnia as well!)!

Shavonne Turburville
8th September, 2013 @ 09:51 am PDT

I have been trying to find audio that will trigger this response as I have experienced it all my life only with certain voices male or female and there is nothing sexual about it but braingasm is an apt word to describe the sensation I had just given up searching through meditation audios when I stumbled upon this article and i'm so pleased to find it has a name and that I'm not alone! All of the female voices in your piece triggered my asmr its a heavenly sensation for those of us lucky enough to experience it and requires no concentration if you are in doubt as to whether you've felt it or not I would say then you probably haven't you do feel tingles all around your brain and into the centre where it is most intense and makes me feel like going limp very trancey :-) thanks for enlightening me.

Matthew Hardy
14th October, 2013 @ 11:07 am PDT

To see good asmr videos check out my youtube channel:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCz5Hh4LCMJkZQe3g_uCOObQ

ASMRgirl
2nd November, 2013 @ 05:33 pm PDT

Me too,I thought I was the only one.I 1st noticed this in primary school when I'd go into a trance like state when the teacher or mum would read me a story book,I once tranced out on a train when a lady across from me started reading to her child to calm him down.Sadly it only worked on me lol.I get it alot so much can trigger it.I can invoke it if I go brain dead.But I can't seem to do it if I want to go to bed early or if I've had alcohol bummer :) Glad to be part of the special few.

Belinda Purcill
2nd November, 2013 @ 08:41 pm PDT

Wow, I guess like many others who have posted, I thought I was the only one, or at least I wondered. I've never spoken about it to anyone because how do you describe and phrase the question appropriately? Soft spoken people just put me in a daze and every muscle in my body relaxes. I have found certain celebrity interview videos that have just that effect. The statement about becoming desensitized after repeatedly listening to the same audio is very accurate, the videos I watched don't give me that same relaxation like they used to so I felt like a weirdo constantly searching for videos on youtube to get that feeling. That's when I stumbled upon the types of videos as shown above and I found that there's a name to describe this feeling; I'm both surprised and very relieved. I hope more people speaking out will spark some research on the subject; it's very interesting that not all people experience this.

sjr
12th November, 2013 @ 03:45 pm PST

As much as I believe early childhood may have a great deal of impact on us, i.e.: the mother's voice, it is proven that sounds at differing levels can have tremendous impact on us. For example: The Schumann Resonances are electromagnetic waves that exist in the space between the surface of the Earth and the Ionosphere - 7.83, 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz. They are said to be the heartbeat of mother earth.

When a person's brain waves resonate with 7.83 Hz, it has been shown in scientific studies to be an essential requirement for physical and psychological health. Laboratory research has also shown that exposing living cells to the Schumann Resonance had the effect of increasing their immune protection.

Many experts believe that the wide range of artificial Electro magnetic frequencies we are surrounded by every day, (including electrical appliances, wifi and mobile phones), masks the natural beneficial frequency of the Earth. This can cause us to feel more stressed, fatigued and 'out of balance.' Therefore by 'tuning' in to 7.83 Hz we get back to a state of resonance or attunement with the planet's own magnetic frequency and experience the benefits which include enhanced reading/learning, rejuvenation, balance and grounding.

Though I am not saying resonances at that level compare to the ones stated in your article, all animals respond to auditory stimuli so I am thinking the effects referred to in your article are sounds at a level that engenders a sense of satisfaction.

johnmauldin
23rd November, 2013 @ 11:38 pm PST

Know the feeling...

the angelic voice of Angie Dickinson does the trick for me ;)

DDHawk
27th November, 2013 @ 02:35 pm PST

I've had this experience randomly since childhood. I always associated it with reading certain things. For example, I can recall getting this sensation when reading a Publisher's Clearing House mailer as a kid. The instructions in this mailer were earnest and bland and detailed and there were all these stickers and things to do and constantly being told you might be a winner and all. There was just something about it that made the back of my head tingle, but it was more than that really, that's just the part I could describe. Some instruction manuals have had this effect on me too, but most don't. I could never put my finger on what quality made a bit of writing a trigger except that it had to be matter-of-fact and detailed. Although I have often thought it'd be great to be able to intentionally find triggers, it seemed hopelessly random. The feeling I get at the hair stylist seemed different, more ordinary, less intense. I've never noticed any auditory triggers before but some of these videos seem to at least achieve the barber level of tingle. Thanks for writing the article about an unusual phenomena.

Andrey Kolmogorov
8th December, 2013 @ 01:01 am PST

I find the ASMR videos in stereo - switching the whispering from ear to ear - ridiculously relaxing/tingilating...yes I made that last word up!

Tom Howell
19th December, 2013 @ 06:27 pm PST

ASMR stuff doesn't work for me at all. On the contrary, it actually causes me some pain. I heard about it so I decided to go and watch a Youtube video labelled ASMR. I watched it with my eyes open, and it just seemed like an ordinary video. I then tried closing my eyes, and thats when the pain started. It felt like the feeling when someone runs their fingernails on a chalkboard. My eyelids felt like opening and squeezing shut at the same time, my head hurt all around, and I just wanted to close my ears. Guess it sucks that I miss out on it, though. For those that it does work for it sounds really nice.

Indigo Richards
20th December, 2013 @ 12:56 am PST

My experiences are much the same as Indigo's — anti-ASMR! The ASMR sights/sounds HUUUUUURRRRT!

Are Indigo and I mutants?

For what it's worth, I have Asperger's syndrome amd wonder if there's a correlation between this and anti-ASMR. If Indigo and other ASMR-repulsed people are reading this — also, if researchers are reading this — it would be good to see if there's a correlation between Asperger's and having problems with ASMR.

Kate Gladstone
24th December, 2013 @ 10:16 am PST

It still is not absolutely clear to me that what I think is ASMR is actually the same thing that everyone is talking about. I first felt it around 12 years of age when a barber was cutting my hair. It seems to happen most when someone is doing something for me, especially if the closeness is greater than usual, but closeness is not a necessary condition. I suppose I'll call it ASMR for lask of anything better for now, anyway.

The first 3 vids really did little for me. In fact, I was a bit annoyed that I couldn't hear all that was said with the depth that I like (Besides hearing the actual words, I usually have the volume a bit higher because I want to hear everything - the puffs, hisses, gulps, mumbles, and so on that I use to further interpret the emotional state of the speaker and to flesh out the meaning of what they are saying by adding emotional tone. It sometimes annoys others, but a brief intake of air can change the meaning of what I hear utterly, let me know if they are lying, and if they are, whether it is a white lie or meant as deception, how they feel about the lie, and whether they regret having to utter it. I honestly believe that I can hear that, though people usually just say that I must be deaf to have it that loud. I have good hearing.) Besides that, the high pitch of their voices was grating to listen to.

But the other 2 vids did give me a bit of a taste of the barber chair, so I'm beginning to think we are talking about the same thing. This is really the first I have ever heard about others having this feeling. It is really liberating to know that there are others who understand - I have never mentioned this to anyone in my life before.

Dubiaku
5th January, 2014 @ 01:05 pm PST

Oh my god this is wonderful. I always found it weird when a coworker's voice would nearly put me in a coma (and I'd keep wanting her to walk by my desk just so she would talk!), and my sister always thought it was so creepy when I would go to sleep listening to videos of someone whispering at me. I could never adequately explain that feeling- I started describing it by saying it feels like getting a massage...but through my ears. Only that didn't really do it justice. I love that I can explain it better now!

Mary Margaret
8th January, 2014 @ 10:38 pm PST

Thank you. I, like soo many people sharing here also had my first similarly super delicious, crazy confusing moments with it starting around six. I stored them away waiting for the time an explaination would be found. Well we're not quite there yet but we are at a point when a growing group are sharing their gift with others - making videos on YouTube of what they know will make soo many people feel oh so good. What a wonderful growing connection. This is not similar to si and Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight - these are HSPs who process information intensly and are easliy overstimulated. Luckly there's only a couple of super despressed and despressing people. Griffin, so sad. Yes it's sad you haven't experienced it yet which sucks but it's hardly that outside the box. The truth is you actually have experienced it as well just on the super low, practically nonexsistant end of the spectrum. It is just a spectrum like everything else. There's a couple doctors who share the belief that it may be an evolutionary trait. That could make these abilities not only awesome to experience but super important.

Sooz
4th February, 2014 @ 06:12 am PST

I thought everyone felt it. I have some YouTube videos I watch everyday...or when I am bored. Rain in the background of someone talking. Sounds stupid but might watch same one 20 times.

Sean Stout
11th February, 2014 @ 03:04 pm PST

Wow, didn't know what this was before I saw this article. I use to get into trouble in school as a child because I would just sit at my desk and crinkle paper till I tranced out. I would snap out of it when my teacher would interrupt my crinkling. I will have to read more about ASMR. Loved the towel folding.

Linda Rozen
25th February, 2014 @ 05:30 pm PST

I agree with Indigo and Kate, for me too these videos were a bit painful, and I couldn't watch for more than a few seconds each. To me the pain is only very mildly physical, it's more on the psychological side: for some reason, the fact that there's somebody whispering in my ears, making small noises feels wrong, a place where you're not supposed to go, you know? It feels like it's related with something from the very early childhood, and for some reason the idea that someone would try to replicate aspects of the living experience you have a very small child seems disturbing to me. I don't know why, but it feels like it's a way to experience reality you should be done with by age 6. It just feels creepy that adults would submerge themselves voluntarily to this kind of flux. I don't even know where this feeling comes from, I just find the idea revolting on some deep, obscure level, can't really explain...

Nick Arthur Swanson
4th March, 2014 @ 02:19 pm PST

Wow! I never knew this was a "thing". I always thought I was just strange, because no one I've spoken too could ever relate. All of those videos gave me great relaxation and head-to-toe tingles. For me, a naturally anxious and tense person, those types of moments are invaluable! Btw, I always found that a silly little public access show that featured exercise routines for the elderly, was for this.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=txjlhm21IVg

SJ
16th April, 2014 @ 06:53 pm PDT

Just stumbled on this without having ever heard of this thing before. I tried watching some of the videos but had to stop, it seems I'm more like Indigo and Kate above in finding the soft whispering and all a bit offputting, if not "creepy". Actually, it does feel a bit creepy to me.

The freaky professor video, ouch, that one I couldn't even go beyond a few seconds, it makes me think of horror movies, or something like a poor man's David Lynch, definitely not as intriguing!

Also, I don't know if this is relevant but as a woman, watching and listening to those women in the videos with their veeeeery soft whispering voices, saying things like "you're beautiful" and "you're nice" and emulating the gesture of touching the viewer on the face and such, ah, I don't know what it is, it just feels wrong in a million ways. NB This is not a criticism just my own personal reaction.

THAT said, the "Departure - Space Travel" video, now that was interesting, and very soothing and relaxing, as well as weird. The "actress" if we can call her that made a bit more of an effort for sure! But is it really something new or peculiar to itself? It looks like hypnosis, some form of hypnosis.

Maybe it's just that I can't really connect to this kind of videos that deliberately attempt to induce the reaction that's described in the article. I've had something like a similar reaction to real-life experiences, like at a hair salon, getting my hair washed and cut and styled, tell me anyone who doesn't enjoy that (when it's done properly and nicely). Somehow even at the dentist's, even for complex procedures, it's maybe not such a clearcut tingling sensation but definitely a special kind of relaxing in its own category. I think it's the combination of being tended to and trust, the fact of being in the hands of someone taking care of your health. But I guess that's very common (maybe not at the dentist's). Eye examinations, same thing, with the added bonus you need to focus your eyesight and attention so it's sort of a "mindfulness" exercise in itself.

It'd be interesting to see proper scientific studies done on this. Anyway, thanks for explaining this so well in the article, you made it clear even for people who've never heard of this. It's fascinating.

monim
25th April, 2014 @ 02:10 am PDT

I am so glad I am not the only person that gets this feeling. I used to say I would pay someone to type on a keyboard or write on a chalkboard to relax me and now I don't have to with these videos. I always watched Bob Ross on Sunday afternoons and fall asleep and now I know why! I love white noise. I love what I call "floaty music" like Pink Floyd. I am not a drug user, glad though because I could really see me letting that overtake my life. I tend to like videos where the person is really doing something, like the shoeshine video, Bob Ross...I like the keyboarding ones where it looks like they are just typing a real paper, not just randomly hitting keys. My favorite thing is watching people look for something in paperwork, or books, as they use their finger to search, flip pages, unfortunately I am usually at a job and cannot go full comatose mode. I also do not want to admit to that person that they just made me feel incredibly relaxed and sleepy! I do love seeing my husband flip through a magazine or newspaper though so I just need to record him doing that??

Jenguin
15th May, 2014 @ 07:20 am PDT

I stumbled across this while searching for something more tactile, however, it explains a lot. I had a girlfriend years ago who had the sexiest, sultry voice ... talking with her was the most arousing thing as she spoke with so softly and sensually. God, it worked for me!!! As soft as her voice was it penetrated every pore of my body. I love people whispering in my ear, face and head massages, certain sounds that give me this braingasm. Sometime ago, I saw a therapist to help me deal with stress. During our sessions she would get me to close my eyes while she talked gently about a relaxing scenario, namely the beach, where she would get me to time my breathing with her description of waves coming in and going out. She recorded one of these so I could use it at home or wherever. It was felt so good listening to her dulcet voice. I love massage as well for the tactile stimulation it gives. On occasion i've had masseuses who will talk very quietly in the massage. That coupled with the touch gives me incredible sensations through my body and brain. Amazing stuff! :)

Flamejob
6th June, 2014 @ 02:42 pm PDT

Ahhh...! You're the first person I've seen who pointed out that you can seem to build a temporary immunity to ASMR.

A video that has me buzzing intensely will be rendered completely useless after about ten-fifteen minutes (which is totally unfortunate, as I'd spend my entire life rocking that tingly amazingness if I could!)

Page turning is big for me, and weirdly it seems connected to my concept of possession. if it's MY book, the ASMR sensation is much stronger. As a kid, a classmate marking up my math test with a pen in elementary school would set off the most intense ASMR imaginable.

Leading me to believe for years that I was batshit crazy.

Jessica Burnie
16th June, 2014 @ 01:29 pm PDT

I just recently came across ASMR and am fascinated. Of the five senses that we have 4 of them reside in our head, attached to the Vagus nerve. The sense of touch is the only one that is all over our bodies. These senses allow us to experience the world we live in and our brain makes judgements through them. The first one I listened to, was Maria and I wondered how much of the visual experience overlaps the sounds. I certainly got brain tingles (some down to my lumbar spine) but could easily identify sexual triggers. I decided to listen to another one with eyes closed. I listened to one that was 40 ASMR triggers and found that whispering, air blowing, a vibrating phone sound and certain tones in bell chiming would give me the tingly sensation. I also found the two guys talking about fitting a suit quite stimulating! I listened to the Sci-fi space travel one and enjoyed that ok. When she did the close up sound across the forehead that sounded to me like a heartbeat and swallowing sound I about flipped out of my body! (wonder what that sound was? and could it be a kick back from being in the womb?)

I lost my sense of smell two years ago (to a virus- anosmia) and have felt like I am not my whole self and am not experiencing the 5 D world. (as I like to call it- 5 dimensional for the 5 senses :) ) I get sad sometimes when people call a smell out and I cannot smell it. I can remember that I liked that smell. (or not)

It is amazing how strong our sense of hearing and sight is. And how much I expected the touch to happen any minute with some of the role play. The anticipation of touch sometimes gives me the tingles. :) I will keep researching and learning about this as it is incredibly fascinating!

KEC
21st June, 2014 @ 05:07 pm PDT

I just posted a 7-minute video that demonstrates how I enjoy a state of elevated bliss via lightly touching the face. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpVqhRJul_E

MaxResonance
4th August, 2014 @ 11:57 am PDT

I get that feeling with some music for instance the trumpet playing in a Hazel Oconnor song "will you" or the duet from the pearl fishers,even "another cup of coffee" by Mike and the mechanics does it for me and I can sit and play some tracks time after time.

I recorded the trumpet part of "will you" several times and made it into a 7 minute song many years ago and still listen to it although now its via the PC rather than cassette :-)

uksnapper
15th August, 2014 @ 01:34 am PDT
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