ASMR helps to lower blood pressure. Image credit Samuel Rios (Unsplash)
You may have seen lots of videos on YouTube with abbreviation “ASMR.”
What is actually ASMR?
ASMR videos include a lot of whispering, tapping, scratching and other sounds which make your senses tingle.
Did you know that these videos, which may look and sound quite strange, actually produce scientifically proven relaxation effects? For most people anyway.
Scientists from Australia have also demonstrated that patients, who were exposed to ASMR videos before an operation, have experienced on average 3.9mgHg decrease in systolic blood pressure after the operation .
What does autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) mean?
It describes the sensation that you may experience from certain sounds, i.e.
- whispering or speaking softly
- tapping or scratching sounds
- slow movements
- repetitive tasks
People who enjoy ASMR say it feels like a tingling that starts on the head and moves to the rest of the body. Others experience a calm feeling starting on the head and moving downward.
How does ASMR work?
In one study , researchers analysed brain images of participants with fMRI machines while they were watching ASMR videos. When the study participants felt the usual tingling sensation, their brains showed activity in the areas that control emotion and empathy. Also the brain areas associated with social engagement were activated.
Researchers believe that benefits of healthy social engagements are attributed to the neurochemicals released. These processes increase oxytocin, decrease stress hormones, and decrease anxiety. This may help to explain why ASMR is reported to help to relax, deal with stress, decrease anxiety, and fall asleep faster.
Scientifically proven benefits of ASMR
Though research on ASMR is relatively new, early studies demonstrate that ASMR produces the following benefits:
- Improved mood, reduction of anxiety and depression
- Pain relief
- Deeper concentration which puts views in a “flow state”
- Better sleep
- Reduction of blood pressure
The great thing is that ASMR is accessible to anyone. You can try it for free at multiple online resources.
Most people feel relaxed and calm when exposed to ASMR. It is natural to expect that it may help to fall asleep faster. 82% of survey respondents in one research program indicated that ASMR helps them to experience better night sleep.
Does ASMR help with anxiety?
The above mentioned research indicates that ASMR is likely to help reduce the production of stress hormones. Another research showed that ASMR may help reduce heart rate by as much as 3 beats per minute. These factors combined do help reduce anxiety for most people. Unless you belong to the group below.
Does ASMR have a positive effect on everybody?
Not everyone enjoys an ASMR experience. Some people just don’t like ASMR sounds and others do not feel any effect at all. The good thing is that it takes just a minute of watching a popular ASMR video on YouTube to know if you enjoy it or not.
- ASMR media is a popular relaxation tool. Scientific evidence of calming effects of ASMR is rapidly growing.
- It has been scientifically proven that ASMR helps to lower anxiety, blood pressure, depression, heart rate and also helps to manage pain and fall asleep faster.