ASMR – Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

December 3, 2019
ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response


This week for ZTT I welcome back myself!  This is my second Gem of Zen contribution, the first being ZTT #21 – Rainy Days, White Noise and Hygge.

If you would like to contribute your very own ‘Gem of Zen’ as part of the Zen Tip Tuesday series please go here to find out how (you might also like to visit all the Gems of Zen we have so far). I would love to hear from you!

ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

I recently learned of the term ASMR and did a bit of research to find out more about what it was. It soon became apparent to me that it needed to be a topic as part of the ZTT series.  Have you heard of ASMR?

What is ASMR?

ASMR is short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The official definition of ASMR is that it is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. The unofficial definition for ASMR might be this:  

Have you ever felt a certain tingling, relaxing sensation when somebody brushed your arm, stroked your hair, or whispered in your ear?  If so, that is ASMR – Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a phenomenon that’s difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves.

Here’s a quick video that explains further.  It goes for 2 minutes, 46 seconds and you’ll need an open mind and a sense of humour!

As mentioned at the start of this post, the term ASMR is something I’ve only recently become aware of, having seen a story on it pop up in my Facebook news feed.  Though the term is new to me, the sensation described is not.  We’ve all had that tingling feeling at times have we not?  Now there is a term for it, a community that seek it for relaxation and stress relief, and people who make ASMR videos for them!

If you Google ASMR and click on video’s you will see a heap of ASMR videos come up. I’ve got to admit that some of them seem a bit creepy (eg whispering women with feather dusters … um … yep) but I guess different sounds for different folks bring those ASMR results!

What Triggers ASMR?

Popular triggers include:

  • Whispering
  • Soft Talking
  • Scratching and Tapping
  • Physical Touch
  • Personal Attention
  • Hair Play
  • Page Turning

Benefits of ASMR

Aside from being a pleasant sensation, many people who watch ASMR videos say it helps reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Survey research suggests that the most common motivation for watching ASMR videos is for the mental health benefit of aiding sleep and reducing stress.

Extract from

Much of the benefits attributed to ASMR come from anecdotal experiences and therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. Many people claim that ASMR helps them relax much like meditation.

It has also been attributed to mood upliftment and promoting a sense of wellbeing and happiness.

Many of the ASMR videos available online act like guided meditation and therefore come with the benefits of guided mediation like reduced stress and higher concentration.

The biggest benefit that pursues people to watch ASMR videos is however to help with insomnia. However scientist have conflicting theories about this.

Some claim that it may become a thing of habit much like a white noise machine and may lead to further complications when the stimuli is not available.

Another camp disagrees and says that it is more like guided meditation, hypnosis or progressive relaxation and hence can be safely practiced for curing insomnia.


I think this is something we’ve all experienced now and then throughout life – that tingling, goosebumpy nice feeling. Triggers would be different for everyone.  The thing is that now it has a name and there are videos out there that might help you achieve it.  If this helps people to relax, obtain some stress relief and feel better, then that’s all good in my books!

What are your thoughts on ASMR?  You know that tingling sensation they’re talking ’bout, right?

Ciao for now,



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  • Reply Leanne | December 4, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I’d never heard of ASMR Min – it sounds a bit weird to me, but I guess everyone has different comfort levels with this sort of thing and it sounds like it definitely works for some people. I’m not sure I’ll be buying feather dusters any time soon though!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Reply Min December 4, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Leanne. It does seem a bit weird and some of the videos felt a bit weird and creepy to watch. I thought it worth including in the pool of ‘Gems of Zen’ though because it’s been proved useful for relief of stress and anxiety, helps with depression and is great for relaxation and as a sleep aid – so therefore a way to help achieve a sense of zen! 🙂 The relaxing sensation is one I think we’ve all felt at times – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Not sure I’d seek out ASMR videos to achieve it myself but someone else might find this option beneficial! 🙂

  • Reply Victoria December 4, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    I will try almost anything to relax and relieve my stress. I have never heard of ASMR but do know what the feeling is I get it when someone brushes my hair.

    • Reply Min December 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      I get that feeling when someone brushes my hair too Victoria. It’s a lovely feeling! 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 5, 2019 at 5:30 am

    This is a new thing Min, something I’d never heard of before and I’m not sure what to think to be honest! It’s interesting to hear about new things that may help people relax so thanks for sharing. #mlstl

    • Reply Min December 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm

      I’m sure you’d have had the ‘tingly feeling’ they speak of before Deb … but yes the term ASMR is new to me and the whole world of ASMR videos is new to me too!

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins December 5, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Hi Min,
    Now I know what that feeling is called! You’ve peaked my interest…I’ll be seeking more info on this!

    • Reply Min December 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      It’s interesting to learn new things isn’t it Nancy?

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