What is ASMR, and what are tingles?
I keep using the acronym ASMR all over the place, and you might not even know what it stands for. Well buckle up, buttercup, and I’ll give it my best shot.
ASMR = Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response
(It’s a mouthful. That’s why we just shorten it down.)
Think back to a point where you felt very relaxed, soothed, but also somewhat excited.
- Maybe someone was talking softly, touching different items and talking about them,
- or maybe they were touching you or another person gently.
- Could be that you were a kid sitting in class, watching your teacher demonstrate something.
- Could be that you were watching an infomercial, and finding that the way the actor showed the goods was simply divine.
You had this feeling that everything in the world was just fine. This is often the prelude to the famous ‘tingles’.
Have you ever felt a wonderful, stimulating sensation down your scalp, neck, spine, maybe even a tingling inside your brain? Some people get chills and goosebumps when they feel but almost always describe it as pleasurable.
It’s usually induced by a particular stimulus, usually something gentle and soothing, often it’s caused from watching another person doing something gentle and soothing that tends to cause this sensation.
Many people don’t feel this sensation, but that doesn’t exclude them from enjoying the relaxing and soothing activities that often bring on ASMR.
The ASMR Community
There is a whole group of people on YouTube who make videos with the specific intent of producing that amazing tingling sensation. They are committed to making these videos on a regular basis, AND they have a lot of supporters and enthusiasts who lovee watching them.
These people all knew what ASMR is, and they seek it – and each other – out to stimulate and experience the feeling.
It’s not JUST about the tingles
After a while, tingles wear off. You tingle a lot and just like any other stimulus. if you keep using it, the effect wears away. I had this weird crisis when my tingles wore away for the first time (you can get them back but we can talk about that a different time).
One day, was watching Tony Bomboni, hands down my FAVORITE ASMRtist, and he was doing a makeup roleplay or something. And…I just wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t that his ASMR wasn’t very good, it was that it wasn’t happening. I tried some other stuff that usually produces the tingles and I still didn’t feel it.
Just so you know: my tingles came back, and they always can. You just build up a tolerance and if you stop the stimulus for a while and come back, you’ll get them back. No worries if this is you 🙂
Anyway, after I stopped freaking out, I realized that I still like watching the videos. They were still
- Helping me fall asleep
- And I really just liked hanging out watching someone who cares SO MUCH about other people and helping them feel good
- AND I loved being in the comments with all these other supportive people
This is when I realized the coolest thing ever:
ASMR is not just about the tingles!
- It’s about the people.
- The connection.
- The health benefits of relaxing or getting into a meditative state.
- It’s a lifestyle.
And all those ASMRtists on Youtube aren’t just out for the views. They want to help. Their passion inspires me literally every single day.
So there you go, I hope you learned something! And if you experience ASMR I strongly encourage you to become part of the community in some manner, and try to share this with anyone who has expressed feeling anything like this, because I know how awesome it is to realize that you belong a group of highly sensitive individuals and you’re not just the odd one out.
It can change your life.