Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) offers one of the best examples today of how online technology can be harnessed to bring cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to address emotional disorders. ASMR is defined as “a euphoric 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, precipitating relaxation.” (Wikipedia)
Harnessing the Power of the Digital World
ASMR is not new, but it received new life in 2015 when a special Facebook group was set up by cybersecurity expert Jennifer Allen. The ASMR community on YouTube is able to easily access a collection of special videos developed by videographers for the sole purpose of triggering relaxation or concentration. The videos are auditory and visual. Some present sounds, such as keyboard typing, whispering, the sound of pouring water or crinkling paper. Other videos are purely visual. Examples are people carrying out routine tasks, such as reading a magazine, preparing food, reading a book or magazine, etc. The videos can be accessed on demand. Therefore this therapeutic approach is available at any time that a person needs it, wherever they are.
Triggers to Relaxation
Each person is impacted by different triggers. What works for one may not for another, even when both are suffering from the same issue. A trigger that seems to have a universal impact is a whispering or soft voice. According to research, 75% of people who turn to ASMR to help them with stress, anxiety, ADHD, insomnia and other conditions, are triggered by whispering. Others find that their trigger is an annoying noise, such as drinking, loud chewing, or crunching.
Viewers watching or listening to the ASMR videos feel relaxed, their mind is emptied, the chatter is silenced and the body is stilled. Viewers suffering from insomnia are able to relax and fall asleep. ADHD sufferers feel calm, their stress levels go down and they are less anxious about the world.