ASMR – That’s what that head tingling is

What is ASMR?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and it refers to a phenomenon which is very difficult to explain to those that do not experience it. It is usually experienced through a relaxing tingling in the scalp and the back of the neck and can extend into the rest of the body. It is a very calming sensation that washes over you.

I first encountered ASMR, as do most people, as a child. I never knew exactly what it was. I experienced it when certain teachers spoke, during certain TV shows and at the dentist. I didn’t understand the sensation but enjoyed it, and would try and stay very calm and relaxed every time it happened to try and lengthen my experience of it. You can read the full story of how I found ASMR in this post.

Have you ever been at the doctor, or maybe watching someone paint on television and felt a relaxing tingling sensation on your scalp or neck? Keep reading if the answer is yes, because you might be someone who can experience this unique sensation and you’re just about to open your eyes to a whole new world.

Is ASMR actually real, or just new-age pseudoscience?

Relaxing in the grass with ASMR

ASMR is about relaxation and so much more.

Short answer: yes it is real – probably. Whilst there has been little scientific research conducted on the topic, the vast amount of anecdotal evidence is convincing that there is a common underlying condition. You can read more about the science here.

Can anybody experience ASMR?

It seems at the moment that the answer is no. Not everybody reports experiencing this sensation. Most people discover it by accident in their childhood, however some adults experience it for the first time. If you haven’t experienced ASMR before, it might just be that you haven’t found your personal triggers yet. Check out our article detailing the common triggers to see if any of them do it for you.

If none of the common triggers seem to give you the tingles, then maybe you could try a head massager. I’ve found these to give a similar sensation to ASMR, often times even much more intense.

Benefits of ASMR

Aside from the pleasurable sensation that ASMR offers there are a range of other benefits. Many intentional ASMR videos are essentially forms of guided meditations, meditating regularly has been shown to reduce stress levels and aid concentration among many other things. For a lot of people ASMR is a gateway to developing an ongoing meditative practice. 

Additionally people who suffer from insomnia and regularly have difficulty getting to sleep can use ASMR videos to distract and relax them, and send them sleep when nothing else will. Some ASMR videos are designed specifically for this purpose, however if you find videos that include your personal triggers they should all be effective at this.

I think I have ASMR, how do I get started?

For many people they might have experienced the sensation of ASMR before but not necessarily understand it, or seek it out too seriously. When you first find the ASMR community online it can be a very exciting time, knowing that you are part of a group and a very welcoming community. However it can also be very overwhelming and it isn’t particularly clear where to start. For some great tips to help you get the most from your ASMR you should check out our free ebook.

To get your free copy of our ebook How To Get The Most From Your ASMR, simply enter your email address below and subscribe for our free updates. We’ll send you your free copy of the ebook, and keep you in the loop with the latest news.

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 Apart from that check out the common ASMR triggers or grab yourself an ASMR inducing DVD settle down and relax into the awesomeness that is ASMR.

  • MrGamma

    Looks interesting… some foods and bad diets might make you an anesthetic…

  • Timothy Tipton Warlow

    I have a question about my own experience with ASMR. I do not have any of the common triggers that are mentioned here. Mine seems more cognitive than anything else. When I fully express a thought with someone who is deeply engaged in the conversation and they agree with me or give me some sign that they understand, I get an intense tingle in my head and scalp. I think its very odd, but I enjoy it and I think it has reinforced my ability and preference for good conversation. I am just curious if anyone else experiences anything remotely similar to this and if you have found anything else that goes along with it. Thanks!

  • Binkan

    I sometimes feel something similar when I have tension in my head/neck and I or someone else pokes (for lack of a better word) some points in the back of my neck.

    I’ve not much knowledge of muscle physiology or the peripheral nervous system (which I’m guessing this is related to), but it does /sound/ fairly pseudosciencey..

    I do EEG research and at first I thought this would be a pretty difficult thing to investigate, but looking at your site it seems like some people experience it just by watching videos?

    Anyone with half decent EEG lab set-up and access to people who experience AMSR could test for it’s existence easily enough, It would just need funding. EEG equipment is fairly cheap to run once you already have it, the most expensive part is probably researchers time.

    If there is any interest in actually carrying out this project, I’d be more than happy to assist, hell I’d run it myself if funding could be secured, in the mean time I have a different project to finish, for which the money already ran out a while ago ; _ ;

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