Do certain sounds and sights...excite you? Perhaps you love the sound of a specific accent, the crackling of fire wood as the flames greedily lap at the twigs, it could be the rain relentlessly tapping against the window pane or the feeling of having your hair stroked? Maybe it’s the rhymic, hypnotic clacking of a horse cantering across the dirt or the visual of an oddly satisfying Youtube video that feeds your OCD tendencies? Well, it’s all based on the principle of ASMR and it's definitely 'a thing'.
Before last year I had no idea about ASMR aka Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. I had experienced it. Most people have however I had no label for the condition nor an explanation for the science behind it. It was just a feeling that could just as easily feel relaxing and soothing to sleep inducing.
So what is ASMR?
At this stage scientists haven't pinpointed exactly whether its a chemical or physiological phenomenon. The official definition is a static or tingling sensation on the skin that usually begins on the scalp and gravitates towards the neck and upper spine. It’s described as a pleasurable experience but not everyone gets a rise out of ASMR and some people may feel nothing at all.
For those who are affected, being triggered is definitely a good thing.
Its said to be one of those phenomenon which originated in some weird corner of the internet until it evolved into a more mainstream version of itself, kind of like Mukbang (where people are paid to eat via streaming video while interacting with their audience via webcam), with celebs like Jake Gyllenhaal, Margot Robbie, Kylie Jenner and Jeffree Star getting in on the ASMR craze. Since there's a huge market for ASMR artists so it seems like everyone is having a bit of fun with the concept.
If you're still not sure whether you're susceptible to enjoying ASMR, I've rounded up 5 of the most watched sight and sound based ASMR videos below.