What Does The Word Asmr Mean? - Facts

Updated on August 16, 2023

ASMR is in mouths for a decade now!  Yet what does the word ASMR mean? ASMR acronym is abbreviated from Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Other sources describe it as a euphoric experience characterized by a constant or numb feeling on the skin.

It normally starts on the head and then moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.

ASMR History: How Did It All Start?

The word was coined in 2010 by Jennifer Allen when she launched what is now the most comprehensive ASMR resource. At first, people thought Allen’s idea was preposterous because there was no scientific evidence that pointed to what she said.

Back then, YouTube was flooded with hockey commercials that promised orgasms by massaging your brain or tapping on different parts of your body.  However, what they were doing was simply tapping their nails on a surface. One video even promised ASMR using what are known as ”triggers.”

how asmr started

These triggers are auditory or visual cues that can induce ASMR in audience members. Some examples of what are the most popular sounds for ASMR are tapping, scratching, whispering, and slow hand movements which can be anything from writing to folding towels.

So, What Does The Word ASMR mean?

In the present years, there were a lot of what is ASMR tests that turned up positive results. Now, what was once an idea has been coined as a perceptual experience that may include positive feelings including relaxation and mental tingling.

It can be acquired through simple triggers like tapping, scratching, whispering, practicing yoga or meditation, watching someone do a task with attention to detail, or playing video games for instance.

ASMR trigger means

What are the triggers that cause ASMR? There are sounds you can use to induce ASMR. The most popular sounds or triggers include tapping, whispering, brushing, and many others. However, there’s no single source of personal experience with triggers. Here are the most popular ASMR triggers:

  • Listening to someone give a soft, whispery, perhaps somewhat personal and intimate massage
  • Watching somebody slowly and carefully do something very methodical and detailed, such as arrange objects on a tabletop or disassemble electronic devices or other gadgets
  • Watching somebody perform a task with attention to minute details, such as doing something very precise or delicate
  • Listening to crinkling sounds, perhaps even eating crisp foods like potato chips
  • Feeling special personal attention from someone who’s giving you their undivided and focused awareness and engaging you in a positive way (no matter how subtle)

Your turn!  What are your experiences with ASMR? If you feel confused go through this guide to find which ASMR is right for you.

How Is The ASMR Stimulated?

ASMR is usually stimulated through different methods which may include seeing somebody who did something very precise or methodical, hearing certain trigger sounds like tapping or whispering, smelling specific smells that are often associated with what is ASMR.

People who are known to induce ASMR using these triggers are called ASMRtists. There are also other things that can induce ASMR like:

  • Practicing yoga or meditation in a very methodical way, perhaps even with attention to subtle details
  • Playing video games
  • Listening to music that has a mellow, pleasing tune and relaxing patterns of sound
  • Seeing yourself in a mirror or seeing a reflection of yourself
  • Watching movies or TV shows, or perhaps even individual scenes with intricate details
  • Reading a book and taking in every detail
  • Many practitioners of ASMR use role-play to stimulate ASMR. To recreate the feeling of receiving personal attention, many choose to act like they are in a spa or salon having their hair washed by either another person or by themselves.
  • People who experience this form of ASMR usually sit in a comfortable chair and close their eyes while an ASMRtist does the magic.

What Are The Benefits Of ASMR?

There are plenty of benefits associated with giving people the feeling of ASMR. One study has shown that watching videos that induce ASMR can actually help in reducing stress levels in the body. Some people even report getting better sleep when exposed to stimuli that give them what is ASMR.

ASMR has many health benefits. Even YouTube videos are not just for entertainment but also with therapeutic value. There are claims that ASMR can help with anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and even dealing with chronic pain. Apart from it, ASMR key benefits include:

  1. Relieves stress
  2. Reduces anxiety and panic attacks
  3. Provides pain relief for people with chronic illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, and heart problems
  4. Improves mood and fights depression
  5. Helps you sleep better
  6. Provides mental clarity and emotional stability
  7. Improves focus and comprehension
  8. Relieves symptoms of insomnia
  9. De-stresses you quickly
  10. Helps relieve fatigue
  11. Helps with rheumatoid arthritis
  12. Helps people who have tinnitus
  13. Reduces blood pressure

Sleep ASMR is also a great practice that does work today! Intentional and unintentional ASMR videos can be found online and on social media.  There are even dedicated ASMR video makers who create their own videos to induce ASMR. Do you know how much ASMR YouTubers make with their content?

What Is The Anatomy Of An ASMR Trigger?

ASMR triggers are usually sounds or visuals. There are also other triggers like touch, smell, taste, etc. Triggers that induce ASMR include words, visual stimuli that have some form of detail, and auditory stimuli.

One of the most interesting facts about ASMR is that many people experience it without being aware of what is happening to them. You know the feeling when you’ve been given a nice, warm hug from behind?   It’s a great feeling and it makes you feel safe and secure in the arms of the person hugging you.

So, how do you get these wonderful ASMR feelings? For most people, it is through some sort of soft-spoken trigger. The effective trigger is often calm and soothing. They are usually about the mundane things in life, like cooking or making crafts.  Many people find themselves feeling a satisfying feeling of relaxation when they listen to or watch these ASMR videos online. This is no accident!