ASMR is the name given to the relaxing videos that became fashionable in 2018 on Instagram and YouTube. When searching for the hashtag #asmr on social media, you can see people kneading slime (a type of modeling clay with different colors and textures), cutting soaps into pieces or chewing on crunchy foods. This type of publication is sought after by those who want help in destroying themselves and being able to sleep. That's because ASMR, which means Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (or Autonomous Sensory Response of the Meridian, in Portuguese), in response to the stimulus caused by these images and sounds, the brain "relaxes".
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Videos that seek to stimulate ASRM promise relaxation and help at bedtime Photo: Pond5
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On Instagram, there are more than 5 million ASMR posts. The success was such that the social network considered the format as the trend of the year in its 2018 Retrospective. On YouTube, when typing the term in the search bar, the tool offers a result of 13.5 million options. The related contents are films with different audiovisual stimuli that aim to generate a relaxing sensation in the listeners.
ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Response of the Meridian, in free translation, the name given to the sensation that occurred after exposure to specific auditory and visual stimuli. Many people describe a "tingling" that runs through the back of the head and spine, while others feel a deep relaxation
On the Internet, you can find videos and audio that seek to activate these triggers and can be composed of whispers, strokes, brushing hair, writing with pencils on a sheet of paper, nails tapping gently on a surface, folding towels, passing pages of a magazine , among many other options.
ASMR can be described simply as a variety of calming sensations (eg, tingling, relaxation, calm, drowsiness) due to a variety of gentle stimuli (eg, whispers, soft conversations, light touches, metallic sounds), succinct the ASMR University page, online portal to encourage scientific research in this niche.
Although the term sounds scientific, it was actually thought of in 2010 by Jennifer Allen, who created a community on Facebook that aimed to better understand these phenomena. It was at that time that content of the genre began to emerge and still had no defined name.
Brazilian Youtuber that makes ASMR videos has more than 1 million subscribers on its channel Foto: Reproduo / TechTudo
Scientific studies on ASMR are still incipient and, therefore, there is still no conclusive opinion on the effectiveness of videos and the possible sensations caused by them. But as far as confirmed, the experience can vary from person to person. Some do not feel any stimulus while others need a specific trigger, such as dramatizations in which someone gives personal attention and whispers or accompanies daily tasks, such as spraying a bottle of water or wrapping a wrapping paper.
Maria, supervisor of the YouTube channel Gentle Whispering, told the American website Vox that the experiences can also change according to the day or mood of the listeners. I realized that one day you will be more sensitive to role-playing and then the next you will be more sensitive to whip sounds, "he explained.
In an interview with The New York Times, Columbia University sleep disorder specialist Dr. Carl W. Bazil said ASMR content could offer new ways to shut down the brain. People who have insomnia are in an excited hyperstate. Behavioral treatments guided imagery, progressive relaxation, hypnosis and meditation are all done to try to trick your unconscious into doing what you want to do, he explains.
According to the BBC, a study by the University of Sheffield, which was the first to measure the physiology of those claiming to experience ASMR, found a reduction in heart rate of about 3.14 beats per minute while watching the videos. According to the researchers, the participants experienced a significant increase in positive emotions, including relaxation and feelings of social connection.
How do I know if I have reached ASMR?
As scientific studies on the phenomenon are scarce, it is difficult to determine the perception of the phenomenon. However, the specialized website ASMR University explains that the sensations can be physical or psychological. The physics would be light and pleasant tingles, sparkles, imprecise or waves in the head, neck, spine and throughout the rest of the body. Mind jewels are described as deep and smooth sensations of relaxation, soul, comfort, tranquility, tranquility or drowsiness. Some people call the peak of the stimulus "brain orgasm" (brain orgasm, in Portuguese) and compare the sensation to what it feels like when someone messes with your hair or gently slides the fingertips on your cheek.
ASMR was identified by Instagram as the most popular niche trend of 2018 Photo: Divulgao / Instagram
What would be the benefits of ASMR?
Also according to the ASMR University website, some individuals with clinical diagnoses of medical disorders report that these videos are useful for their insomnia, anxiety, panic disorders and / or depression. The page itself, however, points out that studies on the event are still lacking.
Meanwhile, researcher Bryson Lochte investigated ASMR during his doctorate in neuroscience at Dartmouth College and compared it to the chilling wave sensation that strikes the body in emotional emotional response. J Mathias Benedek, research assistant at the University of Graz, Austria, believes that the Autonomous Sensory Response of the Meridian may be a softer and quieter version of the same phenomenon.
Therefore, it is possible that everyday experiences may evoke anticipatory mechanisms similar to those caused by music, awakening memories of past pleasures that we anticipate and relive every time we watch and listen.
Where can I find ASMR content
The hashtag #asmr on Instagram has more than five million publications Foto: Reproduo / TechTudo
There are a number of content produced by ASMRtists (fusion between the terms ASMR and artist), as the stars of that niche are called, on the main audiovisual platforms on the Internet. On YouTube, there are channels with hundreds of thousands of followers, such as ASMR Darling, Gibi ASMR, Sweet Carol, ASMRMagic, among others. Already on Instagram, the search for the hashtag #asmr allows you to find more than five million posts that seek to make viewers reach the promised sensations.
On Spotify, there are several playlists available. There is even one created by the service itself, called ASMR Sleep Sound, which has 61 audio with sounds of fabric being folded, pencil drawing, rain, horses, typing, zipper, among others.
Spotify ASMR Playlist Photo: Reproduo / Taysa Coelho
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