A is for ASMR

Hello, how are you holding up during this unusual and strange time? I hope you are taking the chance to slow down, simplify and enjoy quiet moments.

A while ago I had an idea to write an A to Z of mindful moments blog series, where i’d share ideas and notes for finding a mindful moment or two, which I never got round to starting. I think it might be quite apt to begin it now … I hope you enjoy these suggestions and I’d welcome any of your ideas. So here we go…

A is for ASMR

ASMR – you may have heard of it, or you may experience it yourself. ASMR means Autonomous Meridian sensory response. It’s those tingles you get down your back when you are getting haircut, or a massage. Or perhaps it’s the shivers when someone is whispering to you, reading aloud or turning pages, playing with your hair, or it could be writing on paper sounds, or typing and tapping sounds.

It could be when you experience a really nice moment of customer service in a shop, someone packing a bag for you or perhaps some crinkling or humming sounds.

These tingles can come in waves or short bursts and can help with mindfulness, anxiety and falling asleep. I’ve experienced these tingles since I was a child without really knowing what they were or how they appeared. ASMR is the first thing I go to now if I need help falling asleep, or if I am in an anxious moment an ASMR video has been known to help calm me and ground me. It’s perfect for relaxing, whether you have an hour or only a few minutes.

There are many artists in the whispering community (as they call it) on You Tube all offering us a mindful moment or two, you just have to find the right trigger that works for you. I came to ASMR around seven years ago, we have an old house that needs a lot of work and at that time I had small toddler running about the place, so for some downtime I started watching organisational videos on You Tube, how to fold clothes, sort pantry cupboards and such, then one day I came across a towel folding one from an artist called “Gentle Whispering”. I watched it and had tingles galore.

The word ASMR was used a lot in her videos so I looked it up and thought “oh that is what it is?” the tingles and shivers I’d had since childhood. Watching Maria – Gentle Whispering Channel led me to another Channel – Whispers Red. Emma, whom I’m pleased to say I know IRL (in real life!).

A few years ago now I contacted Emma and we started corresponding – she’s lovely! We’ve chatted quite a bit and some time ago she commissioned me to write a mindful meditation for her ASMR Happens live event that was held in London in April 2017. This was followed up by another live event in San Francisco. You can follow the link here to read her blog about her live events.
Emma, when not working on her channel, or undertaking various collaborations, has two dogs, two children, a husband and a new book to promote Unwind your Mind – The life Changing Power of ASMR I caught up with her for a few moments to chat about it all.

How did you come to ASMR?
I have experienced the ASMR sensation my whole life. It has always been a part of my normal sensory experience. However I didn’t know there was a name for it and assumed that perhaps everyone experienced it, maybe it wasn’t important enough to have a name? It was a lovely experience though and I felt it all the time. Haircuts, eye test, having may hair played with, whispers in the playground etc.. I first discovered ASMR videos on youtube in November 2012. After a car accident and many operations I was struggling to sleep. I searched for nature sounds to play in the background but came across asmr. It took a while but then I realised this was a name for my feeling and I haven’t look back since!

What does it mean to you?
Nowadays ASMR means such a lot to me. I have lived it for the last 7 years since discovering it and becoming active in the asmr community online. ASMR means connection, kindness, mindfulness, calm, sleep, therapy, self discovery and so much more. The sensation is very calming and allows us to relax sufficiently enough to fall asleep. The videos are a way to trigger the feeling but also to connect with likeminded people all over the world. They really do bring people together from everywhere. 

You’ve written a book!! How did that come about?
At the beginning of 2019 I was contacted by Rider publishing, part of Penguin Random House. They wanted to see an introduction to ASMR on the book shelves but also a book that can serve as a way to explain how to utilise asmr in our daily lives. I have always spoken of ASMR as a mindfulness practise and have studied all aspects of it for many years so was very keen to take up the challenge. 

Current favourite triggers or artists?
My current favourite asmrtists are Bluewhisper & Somni Rosea for their voice and presence. I love a soft spoken kind voice, relaxing visuals and natural ambient sounds. My favourite triggers are light tapping, nature sounds and soft spoken voices and whispering. 

Next projects for you…

Years ago I began testing out various formats of live asmr and this year I continue to do that. I’ve just returned from delivering a workshop and live stage performance in Gold Coast Australia soons I will be launching an academy to train spa professionals in ASMR treatments which they can provide to their customers. I have also made an ASMR music album which will be released over the next few months called ‘Dream Away – Sleepy ASMR Songs’

You can find out more about Emma’s work on her You Tube Channel – Whispers Red ASMR

Thanks for reading and see you next time for another mindful moment.