Ever felt soothed by the sound of someone cutting your hair or whispering into your ear? Then you could be experiencing the phenomenon of ASMR. Standing for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’, the term describes the tingly sensation people get when they watch certain things or hear certain sounds.
Not everyone is susceptible to ASMR, however, but those who do experience it describe it as a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that starts in the scalp and makes its way down the body. ASMR trigger videos have become hugely popular on YouTube in recent months, and can range from quiet, calming tasks – such as cleaning or applying makeup – to sounds such as whispers, accents, and crackles.
Unsurprisingly, the unusual sensation has become a popular way of relieving stress and inducing sleep. In fact, celebrities like Cardi B, Billie Eilish, and Jake Gyllenhaal are all said to be avid users.
We met ASMR specialist Emma Smith who explained more about the practice.