Having trouble with anxiety or insomnia? Try ASMR, the Big O for your head.
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a pleasurable sensation, typically in the head or scalp, sometimes moving down the spine and arms, in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli.
Otherwise known as “head orgams.”
Yes, you read that right. This sensory trend has people watching videos of woman tapping on wooden surfaces, running fingertips over brush bristles, and whispering soothing words. The reported tingling sensation is not only said to feel great, but many feel it has helped them with anxiety and insomnia.
I know what you are thinking. Porn incognito. ASMR creators and devotees are quick to point out that, while sensual, these videos are geared toward the desire for affection and caring rather than lust.
At first glance (okay, after several glances) these videos seem mind numbingly boring. But maybe that is what ASMR seekers are after, in a way. While many use these videos as a form of connection and being comforted by another human, the fact that they are rather monotonous would surely help to induce calmness and sleep.
After viewing several different ASMR vids on everything from role play (bubble gum chewing barber?) to magazine page flipping, I admittedly could not wait to turn them off. None that I watched were offensive or inappropriate, more just … pointless. And long. Most ASMR videos are between 20 and 30 whispery, smacky minutes.
But perhaps I was missing the point. ASMR has been compared to Magic Eye 3-D Images. You know those visual puzzles containing a hidden image that you can’t see until you can? Maybe the sensory effects aren’t experienced until they are, then there is no turning back.
If you are confused, no worries. Explaining this whole ASMR thing is like describing a sunset, it has to be seen to get a clear grasp. Following are a couple of ASMR videos that will give you an idea of what this whole thing looks like.
Now you get the picture. Well, sort of. Did either of these videos do anything for you? Make you feel more sedate, drowsy, tingly? Annoyed, bored, weirded out? Not everyone likes yoga, massage, or meditation. Same for ASMR. This practice may not be for everyone.
For those who do partake in a big way, the calming benefits and euphoric feelings keep them coming back. ASMR video creators take the ritual very seriously. YouTube sensation, Maria (pictured in the videos above), uses high tech microphones to capture every tiny swish, whisper, and tap. This does make a huge difference. ASMRers who use regular equipment are so hushed you have to turn your volume way up to get beyond lip synch status. And Maria has quite the fan following, almost 100 million women and men tune in regularly to get their tingle on.
Or, as Maria puts it, “showers of sparkles.”
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