In the past few years, a new type of video has found its way to YouTube. Videos that trigger autonomous sensory meridian response, more commonly known as ASMR, have become super popular. ASMR videos have really taken off on YouTube and, signaling it’s move to mainstream, last year’s SuperBowl featured a beer commercial which was done in an ASMR style (more like a parody really).
What is ASMR?
Chances are, you’ve already experienced it at some point in your life. Probably many times. Most folks describe it as a ‘tingling sensation’ that generally feels good and relaxing.
Autonomous sensory meridian response 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.
ASMR signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterized by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin.”Wikipedia
The experience of ASMR is generally triggered by something happening to, or around, the person experiencing it. These triggers can vary from person to person but generally fall into the categories of visual, audible, or touch. There’s also a very common trigger called ‘personal attention’ which seems to be common as well.
Popular ASMR Videos
One of the most popular types of ASMR videos on YouTube are barber shop videos. Specifically, barber shops that offer services such as scalp massages and face massages like those in India are very popular.
Indian Head Massage
One of the first viral ASMR videos was of an Indian barber in Pushkar named Baba Sen who performed what he called a “7 Chakra” massage. For the most part, it was a very energetic scalp & face massage mixed with Baba’s Reiki. Baba believed he was removing bad energy from his clients and replacing it with good ‘cosmic energy’. Interestingly enough, the video really predates the ASMR explosion on YouTube and actually has no mention of the term in it at all. You can watch it below:
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube of Baba performing his massage on clients. Some folks consider him to be the father of the ASMR video. Sadly, Baba Sen passed away in October of 2018 from a sudden heart attack, but he made his mark on YouTube and people traveled to India from all over the world to experience his head massage.
Another popular type of ASMR video are Reiki videos. These tend to make heavy use of visual triggers. Watching the video gives one the feeling they are receiving the Reiki session directly from practitioner.
The best video makers will perform Reiki with respect to the camera in a way that makes the view forget they’re watching a video and feel as if they’re actually in the live session.
If you watch the video above while laying in bed in the dark with headphones on, you’re likely to experience some pretty significant ASMR.
You Can Become Immune
An interesting phenomenon with ASMR is that you can actually become immune to it if you watch a lot of these videos. Those in the know call it “tingle immunity”. Generally, if you just take a break for a few days you’ll get some of it back though.
ASMR videos can provide a good outlet for relaxation. With ASMR videos regularly hitting views in the millions, there’s a good chance you’ll never have to worry about running out of good ones to watch.
Rylie is freelance writer, fitness blogger, and travel junkie. Originally from Toronto, she currently resides in Lima, Peru but is always on the move to discover new adventures.