Satisfying Sensations - More Than ASMR
ASMR is not the only comfortable experience our bodies can produce. There are other pleasant sensations such as warmth, coolness, light massage, a sense of lightness in the body and the sensation of a stream under the flesh.
A simple warmth can turn an egg into a chick.
You might think that there is nothing new with those kinds of sensations, but a simple warmth can make you feel as comfortable as when you take a shower. A cool sensation can give a sense of shade in the midst of a hot atmosphere. A “light massage” resulting from muscle contractions can give you the pleasure of getting a massage on your head. A sense of splashing water can wake you up. A gust of wind can neutralize your stifling. The sensation of flowing liquid or air feels like a gentle-relaxing rub.
You see, those are all basic sensations, but the combination and intensity create tons of flavours.
Arranging 7 tones in good combination, beats and pitch yields the sound of harmony.
Sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and savory when mixed properly delivers tons of addictive dishes.
Those are all satisfying sensations that your body can provide—with different mixtures. For the time being, however, the only sensory phenomenon that has received attention and research is ASMR.(1)(2)(3)(4) Therefore, the description below only explains what scientists have learned.
The potential benefits of ASMR for Mind and Body treatment
ASMR is sudden pleasurable response of the nervous system when the sensory nerves react to special stimuli outside the body.(1)
Brain Orgasm—another term for ASMR, one of the sensations that has been studied for its potential benefits. A study examining participants who had this sensory phenomenon found that they responded with decreased heart rate, calmness and excitement, promoting feelings of positive affect. The research suggests that the affective responses of ASMR have potential therapeutic benefits for mental and physical health.(3)
ASMR triggers: Externally vs Internally Triggered ASMR
Most people experience ASMR through triggers from external objects such as visual and audio stimuli.(1) Externally Triggered ASMR corresponds to the sensitivity of the sensory nerves or willingness of the brain. In this case your sensory nerves and your brain are very picky, they only react to special stimuli outside the body according to their ‘taste’, and only at the right timing. You cannot expect to get a response for every trigger.
Contrary to the common occurrences, if you are able to consciously trigger and activate signals from inside your body, then you can perceive those phenomena quickly, any time you want. Your nervous system cannot force its liking because you explicitly give the order… this time you’re the boss.
1. Barratt, E. L., & Davis, N. J. (2015). Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state. PeerJ, 3, e851. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.851
2. Janik McErlean, A. B., & Banissy, M. J. (2018). Increased misophonia in self-reported Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. PeerJ, 6, e5351. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5351
3. Poerio, G. L., Blakey, E., Hostler, T. J., & Veltri, T. (2018). More than a feeling: Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is characterized by reliable changes in affect and physiology. PloS one, 13(6), e0196645. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196645
4. Fredborg, B., Clark, J., & Smith, S. D. (2017). An Examination of Personality Traits Associated with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). Frontiers in psychology, 8, 247. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00247