Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response [That Strange Feeling You Can't Explain]

Thursday, January 3, 2013 0 Comments:
It’s a well-known fact that you can find anything you want on the Internet. There are communities that band together around the strangest and most niche topics. Recently, I stumbled upon a Reddit-based community that discusses the topic of ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response.
Not sure what that is? Neither did I. Then I spent some time researching it and found out that it was an apt description of a phenomenon that I’ve experienced since childhood but could never describe. It’s called ASMR and there’s a chance that you are in the same boat that I was once in. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is ASMR?

youtube asmr playlistASMR is best described as a physical sensation of tingling that often begins in the scalp and moves down through the spine and sometimes to the limbs. It is a pleasurable feeling that some would call relaxing. ASMR is also known as AIHO (attention induced head orgasm) or AIE (attention induced euphoria).
The feeling of ASMR is triggered by a number of different stimuli, and the effective triggers can differ from person to person. Some common triggers include:
  • The sound of lips smacking, such as when eating.
  • Slow or soft speech patterns. Whispering, too.
  • Receiving personal attention from someone, such as having your hair done, having your make-up done, receiving an eye exam, receiving a massage, etc.
  • Having someone play with your hair.
  • Certain sounds may trigger the effect, like fire crackling, paper scratching, white noise, running water, etc.
  • Watching someone who is performing a meticulous task, like fixing an electronic, working origami, making tea, etc.
Not everyone experiences ASMR. If you have absolutely no idea what I’ve been describing so far, then it’s probably that you do not have the ASMR response. However, if this sounds like something you’ve experienced before, then it’s likely that you can manually trigger it by watching videos that include the above triggers.
Here are some videos that have been known to trigger the ASMR response. They will make use of one or more of the above triggers. Sit back, relax, and just watch! If you start to get chills, then you know you have it.

Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting

Out of all the people I know who have ASMR, it seems like the most common trigger is Bob Ross. He just has that kind of voice that not only soothes, but makes you want to chill out and listen. On top of that, he always has nuggets of wisdom that he injects into his show.
It’s too bad that he is no longer able to continue his show. RIP Bob Ross. Thank you for leaving behind 30 seasons of The Joy of Painting that we can enjoy for our ASMR fixes.

Fountain Pen HD

This video has two main properties that can trigger ASMR: the scratching of the fountain pen’s tip against the tough canvas paper, and the intricate detailing of the writer’s penmanship. Personally, the scratching is what gets me with this video.
Even if you don’t get an ASMR response out of this, I think you’ll enjoy watching it. The clip is relatively short and it gives you a glimpse into the world of calligraphy and skillful handwriting.

T. M. Lewin’s How to Iron a Shirt

ASMR can be triggered by particular accents and forms of speech. The man in this video has a British accent, but combined with the gentle tone of his voice we’ve got a successful ASMR-triggering clip. As a bonus, you’ll learn how to properly iron those pesky wrinkles out of your shirts.
Educational and shiver-inducing! It doesn’t get any better than that.

Yang Haiying Making a Cup of Tea

Yang Haiying is a soft-spoken Asian woman (Chinese, I believe) that has over 7,000 videos uploaded to her Youtube account. The videos cover a whole bunch of topics ranging from painting to cooking to the making of tea. I’ve only seen her tea-related videos, but she has the kind of voice that will shiver you right up. It’s no wonder she’s so popular over in Reddit’s ASMR community.
She’s even acknowledged it, too. Some of her videos are titled and tagged as “Inadvertent ASMR,” so she definitely knows the power of her sweet voice.

Making Fire With IKEA Products

Lastly, this video demonstrates the ASMR triggers of clacking, scratching, shaving, and crackling–all distinct sounds that have been known to trigger an ASMR response. If these sorts of sounds don’t trigger you, then at least you’ll learn how to make a fire from scratch using only IKEA products.


Did you feel it? Did you get shivers running down your spine and a tingling sensation along your scalp? If so, congratulations! You have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy such a pleasurable experience.
If you want more ASMR-related videos, then hop on over to /r/ASMR at Reddit and join 17,000+ other users who also enjoy head tingles. If craftsmanship and meticulous work is one of your triggers, then be sure to check out my list of 8 artisan videos. I guarantee that at least one of them will surely trigger your ASMR response.

Thanks for reading :)


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