Anti-Valentine is the webmaster of The Unnamed Feeling blog, helped form the ASMR community, and assist in research and media relations.
The Unnamed Feeling…
When I was a young boy, I remember having these experiences where I would listen to the radio on the bed. I would have my head pressed right up against it as I lay there, taking in every word—to the point where it actually left deep grooves in the side of my head (they went away eventually, don’t worry.)
I also clearly remember when I was about eight or so, sitting outside in the sun on the back porch, near the pool, listening to the old gardener we used to have years ago whistle while he worked. I was just so caught up in the moment and had these intense tingling sensations just flow from my head.
This was the beginning of a life-long journey that would bring me to my most recent discoveries, and attempts to try to get behind the origin of this seemingly undocumented phenomenon—something that I had taken for granted for years, and hadn’t known if anyone else had ever experienced the same feeling.
I continued to have these sensations throughout my childhood, my teenage years, and in to adulthood. It was only in 2009 that I searched for something related for the first time online, even though I had the internet for years, and came across a forum where people were discussing this exact thing; a strange, but pleasurable feeling that felt like tingles in the head—which some described as akin to an orgasm or perhaps being on a high after recreational drug use. Some addicts who also experience these sensations claim it even rivals ecstasy as far as the effects are concerned.
I naturally read through this two-part series of threads where people talked about it and gave their opinions on what it was, as well as what caused it. Not only that but I began to search for other threads similar in topic, and also began to actively try and experience this sensation more and more often. One thing I did was to start collecting audio clips, watch video clips online, listen to the radio, and watch certain programs on TV that were dead certs—that is to say, guaranteed to create this head tingling sensation.
ASMR and Other Terms
I started to plan a blog, which I felt would be part of a pioneering effort in a niche which had up to that point been untapped—or so it seemed. It was early in 2010 that I finally unleashed The Unnamed Feeling blog upon the internet; a blog that is dedicated to news, commentary, theories, and the sharing of stories regarding my experiences with this phenomenon. This unexplained thing first became known as AIHO (Attention-Induced Head Orgasm), then AIE (Attention-Induced Euphoria)—for those looking for a less sexual approach. Several other acronyms came about like ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response)—probably one of the most widely used. Some casual or humourous terms for it include braingasms, headgasms, and WHS (Weird Head Sensation.)
"I remember when I was eight, sitting outside near the pool, listening to the old gardener whistle while he worked. I was just so caught up in the moment, and had these intense tingling sensations just flow from my head."
So how do you know if you happen to experience ASMR? A number of causes or triggers are shared by people, which I will list here. If you happen to have anything in common with these, then you might be an experiencer of ASMR.
- Listening to specific people talk (usually soft-spoken or well-spoken voices or whispers.)
- Listening to the radio or podcasts when these people are talking.
- Watching certain TV programs or YouTube videos, like instructional ones, infomercials, adverts, historical or factual programs.
- People talking in a foreign or indigenous language, other than your own.
- Getting tickled lightly, especially on the back or shoulders.
- When someone strokes or plays with your hair softly.
- Having your hair washed and cut at a salon.
- When you listen to certain soft or distant, and usually repetitive, sounds like a bouncing tennis ball, trickling water, or construction noises like tapping hammers.
- Listening to certain types of music—perhaps ambient or industrial for instance, or songs with soft lyrics.
- Watching someone draw a picture, paint, or build something, perhaps like a sculpture or even a card tower.
- Watching someone write.
- Someone drawing on your body.
- People reading a newspaper over your shoulder.
- People looking for something in their handbags.
- Someone doing something very slowly and carefully.
- People working at computers; perhaps the sound of keys being tapped or the click of a mouse.
- Listening to someone chew gum.
- Someone using sign language, or signing.
- People whispering.
- Listening to elderly people talk—the slow, methodical way they speak.
- Listening to strangers talk, rather than family or friends and more well-known individuals in one’s life.
- From reading various pieces of reading material.
- Someone showing you how to do something.
- Someone clipping their nails or using a nail file.
Possible Symptoms and Side Effects
Symptoms or side effects that might occur after or during the sensation which might be caused by one or several of the above triggers, and experienced by only some of the ASMR population, include:
- A headache (usually just a slight one however.)
- Slight nausea.
- Tiredness, probably due to the relaxing effects of the event.
- Watering eyes at the conclusion of an event, probably because it ended!
- Numbness in the fingers, reported by some.
- Seeing visions and funny symbols, especially when eyes are closed.
- Sadness or irritability when the event ends, with people claiming they don’t want it to end.
- Temporary loss of motor functions or bodily control, such as not being able to form a tight fist.
Type A and Type B ASMR
One can also further divide ASMR into two groups.
Type A: consciously controlled trigger of an ASMR event.
Type B: uncontrolled or externally triggered ASMR event.
Type A would refer to an activity such as meditation, where the person is alone with no distractions. They can make the sensation occur at will, just using the mind. They don't rely on external stimuli.
Type B refers to watching TV, listening to the radio, hearing someone speak, or being physically touched. This is what is meant by external factors that trigger ASMR. It involves the senses. Type B ASMR experiencers may rely solely on one sense during an ASMR event, or may use two or more at the same time, such as sight and hearing.
Some claim that Type B is the more common one as it is perhaps easier to trigger and may result in longer, more sustained events. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that external triggers are much more likely to enhance an already existing event. Even climate effects such as the cold could add to the overall experience. Stroking the skin on one’s arm while an ASMR event takes place also acts as an enhancer.
With these Type B triggers, sometimes repetition of the trigger or playing a video or sound clip on a loop can increase the sensation drastically. It’s not unusual, however, to become immune to a trigger after a while. It’s like you build up a tolerance level or become bored with that sample, and this is when people start to seek out more and more things that will create the sensation, often searching for the ultimate in triggers. Sometimes one can not only build up a tolerance to certain triggers, but might also stop experiencing ASMR altogether, temporarily. It usually resumes after taking a break for a while.
Type B experiencers might be able to experience Type A ASMR, and can train themselves to do so. They can think back to past events which triggered ASMR, or imagine someone talking, perhaps a reliable inducer (one who is able to trigger this response.)
Potential Uses for ASMR
- ASMR is used by people who suffer from insomnia to help induce sleep.
- It is used by people suffering from stress as stress relief or a mood enhancer.
- It can potentially be used as a form of alternative medicine, such as a natural painkiller. People who experience ASMR have noted that inducing ASMR helps them get rid of headaches and migraines, for example.
Theories and Public Reaction
Some mistake this sensation for heebie-jeebies, chills, goose bumps, or pins and needles. But these are all usually associated with generally negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, pain, or just being cold.
ASMR is generally experienced as a positive feeling, which usually results in bouts of euphoria, with varying degrees of intensity, often described as being similar to a tide sweeping in. It can fade in and out, or can be a more constant feeling all over the cranium, spreading to various other body parts on occasion. Naturally, seeing as this sensation seems to originate at the head, it’s quite something if it can reach all the way down to the legs or even the feet! That would constitute a major event, especially if it’s a whole body sensation.
Not everyone reportedly experiences these tingling sensations in the head and neck region however. Others claim that they experience negative feelings or sensations, even pain from being exposed to certain triggers, and it has been suggested that an underlying condition such as misophonia might be involved.
It is a topic that not everyone understands—with people who experience it often feeling alone, isolated, and misunderstood. Perhaps they are even regarded as a freak or an outcast, particularly if the subject is brought up with someone who doesn’t experience it. I’ve only brought up the subject with a few people in my entire life, and was met with either confusion or indifference most of the time. And I’ve read many other stories where people reacted in much the same matter, even recommending the poor fellow’s committal in one instance!
Generally speaking, it seems to be something linked to people with certain personality traits. Usually people who experience it are gentle in nature, perhaps spiritual, deep, introspective, and maybe even introverted. Creative or predominantly right-brained individuals might also be more prone to experiencing it. This is because quite a few people who tend to exhibit the symptoms happen to be artists or musicians. This might just be coincidence though. I personally am half-half; half logical (left brained) and half creative (right brained). Dr Ane Axeford, a clinical hypnotist, suggests that people who experience ASMR are HSPs (Highly Sensitive Person), or are more likely to be HSPs. She claims that the typical personality of experiencers is indicative of this. She goes further to say that we are more susceptible to hypnotism. Indeed, there has been some speculation that the psychological effects experienced are akin to a light form of hypnosis.
It seems to occur less and less as one gets older, with people reporting more intense and/or frequent ASMR events in their youth. There’s been much debate over whether ASMR is hereditary. Some are able to support this theory, claiming that several members of their immediate families experience it. It has even been suggested that ASMR is a reward system passed down through generations.
Some speculate that it is an evolutionary grooming response, and this is partly supported by the fact that watching makeup videos and hair-brushing videos on YouTube is popular among many experiencers. That and going to the salon and having one’s hair cut and washed, or even just someone playing with your hair, can trigger this response.
It is not known whether there have been scientific or medical studies on this subject, or if there are proper terms for it. I’ve even spoken to doctors, in real life and online, and even though some of them might actively experience this, I’ve had word from one that there may well not be much official research put into this—mainly because it’s hard to explain, and not a pathology, like a disease such as cancer. This seems to mean that it’s not as important.
There have been several theories and opinions, such as a physical consciousness of a serotonin release in the brain, or even endorphins. What this means is that you can actually feel the chemicals being released. Serotonin is thought to possibly be the precursor to ASMR, and responsible for the feelings of well-being. Torsten Wiedemann, ethnobotanist and member of the ASMR research team who first put forward the serotonin hypothesis, also supports the belief that ASMR is non-sexual, seeing as he thinks dopamine, which is a chemical released in the brain brought on by feelings of arousal among other things, is the anti-ASMR chemical, stopping ASMR from taking place.
Others include narcolepsy, a tendency to fall asleep in relaxed situations. Some people who experience tingles have been diagnosed with this condition. Whether this is coincidence or not is unknown. It seems as though a lot of people, particularly those who suffer from insomnia, use trigger videos to help them sleep. Some even think that ASMR is linked to insomnia.
ESP (extrasensory perception) is a theory as well as the controversial theory of indigo children— evolved or evolving human beings.
Another theory suggests that it is a synaesthesia, where multiples senses or parts of the body are stimulated, such as the eyes (sight), skin and scalp (touch), ears (hearing), and less commonly smell and taste. Others deny this, however, and say that synaesthesia has more to do with colours. However, there are different types of synaesthesia and at least one of them reportedly involves tingling sensations being experienced.
There’s a highly controversial theory that suggests that ASMR is in fact frisson or cold chills. Some research has been conducted on frisson, and after reading through a study on this, I came across something that the two do seem to have in common—the fact that they both invoke some sort of physical and psychological effects. Frisson does result in flexing of the hair follicles, which is possibly the tingling sensation experienced in both ASMR and frisson. However, that is where the similarities end. ASMR and frisson responses are generated by different triggers and have different physical and psychological effects. ASMR results in a relaxed state of mind, whereas frisson often makes a person excited.
And then another theory suggests that it’s drug-induced, or that drugs might increase the overall intensity of it. Some drugs like SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), which are often prescribed for depression, are thought to lead to ASMR immunity, with alcohol possibly having the same effect.
Naysayers and unsupportive types have suggested it’s something negative and more serious, like an issue with the brain such as a tumour or cancer, or they just label it as a fetish of sorts. But the most hurtful is suggesting that it doesn't even exist.
"A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?"
— Albert Einstein
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Anti-Valentine
Jampantti on May 28, 2020:
I had no idea what this thing was before someone else pointed me to it. Now I know it's called ASMR. Thank you for the illuminating article. I first bumped into ASMR ages ago, I just didn't know what it was and I guess it didn't have a name back then. Anyway, I first learned about the term "ASMR" here: https://asmrstate.com/asmr-definition/, and have been researching their content and many others as well. It is fascinating that there are people who seem to do this for a living. I hope you have a good day!
kinolieber on August 26, 2017:
Haven't had AMSR in years - I'm 68 now. But these sensations have returned since I started taking Lexapro. No triggers, just when relaxing. Very pleasurable. As a kid and young person the sensation had one cause: when someone handled a possession of mine, like a toy or a watch, or a recently received gift and inspected and admired it. I remember I would sometimes tell the person, when they tried to return the item to me, to keep looking at it so as to prolong the pleasurable sensations at the back of my neck. When I got older it would happen when someone read something I had written.
alex on February 23, 2017:
also, recently i have been taking L-Theanine. its derived from green tea. one morning at work a coworker with an accent said something and this feeling triggered big time. it was so strong i had to take a break from running my machine and sit down. it was like almost falling asleep after an orgasm. I dont tell people about this most likely because they would think Im weird or gay.
alex on February 23, 2017:
FINALLY! I have been searching off and on trying to find info and anyone else who would understand what this is. Same story mostly. Remember reading a comic when i was young and it happened, now i collect video clips.
Jennifer on January 20, 2016:
Great summary for us newbies!
As far as I remember I've experienced these sensations since I was a little kid but I never knew that it wasn't just me being weird when a friend of mine mentioned experiencing something similar. Googled around and finally found out what it's called!
What triggers it for me is usually something like someone typing on a keyboard or the popping of bubble wrap or the crackling sounds of tin foil like in this video: https://youtu.be/uEtPs1AtxBI
I wander what I other triggers I will find now that I can actively look for them :)
Jenna on July 12, 2015:
Thank you for the information!
Until a few years ago I thought I was the only one who experienced this, since then I have discovered the asmr/whisper community on youtube and my eyes have been opened up to the tons of people who share this feeling.
In the past few days I have watched the web, the best ASMR I think is Duff the psych:
And the best way for me to find my trigger was to go through a list of them:
I really hope more people start making these videos!
Hasna Ali on June 30, 2015:
OMG this is so cool.. I haven't really spoke to anyone about this feeling because I really thought I was extremely weird.. A few things that really make me relaxed, tired, calm and sleepy are;
. Watch someone clean / the sound of cleaning (like moving objects around)
. Watch someone make something out of paper / folding a tissue, plastic bag etc ..
. Someone drawing on my body especially my arms
. Watch someone focusing on a certain, like drawing for instance
Wow, this is crazy! To have people out there feel the same :D
bkalif on March 21, 2015:
OMG! I just recently discovered the term ASMR! I've experienced this as long as I can remember. Listening to people talk in a foreign language makes my head tinkle, watching craftsmen work (especially something calm, like watchmaking), watching people sorting papers, writing, typing on a computer, having my hair cut -- I genuinely thought that I was just a weirdo and I never mentioned it to anybody -- until now, when I discovered that I'm not alone! Thank God for the Internet.
oxygen3 on September 22, 2014:
I've experienced something like this for as long as I can remember. It used to be caused by my being excited about something, but now I can trigger it whenever I want. I imagine it's a pinched nerve or something. I'll be seeing a neurologist in a few weeks; hopefully I'll get some answers.
Leslie on September 03, 2014:
I think the serotonin theory has some weight behind it, but with the absorption rather than the release of it.
I've experienced ASMR for going on 20 years (that I can recall), but within a week of starting an SSRI (Sertraline) I have lost the ability to experience the sensation. I'm not sure if this is a permanent side effect, or one that will subside when I become accustomed to the medication, but I know it's one I don't like.
Kelly Bryant from Herington, Kansas on August 17, 2014:
its no bad thing i think of it as a gift from god it can ease your sole at the peek of depression pick you up and energize your spirit or just plain just make you feel good ive had this sensation since i was a child in the 1970s and believe me it helps im guessing everyone at some point in there life has had this feeling but just dont talk about also in my openion it Colombians body spirit and sound to creat this tingling sensation but i only have it when i listen to music
Sarah on August 08, 2014:
I don't know if I have this. At first I was sure but once I passed the triggers list I wasn't so sure anymore. Usually my triggers are with people touching me on my back, neck, shoulders and ears area. Though most common trigger with me is warmth. Especially if I take a warm shower while its freezing outside or I am hugged by someone who is really warm while I'm really cold. I know that I have experiencing this from a young age (I'm 15) I remember telling my patents about how my brain feel like its growing, and it's tingly or how it's running down my spine. It still happens but less often since the triggers come across less often. Another trigger is watching something very emotional happen or being a part of something very emotional, or even music with a deep base and an amazing sound turned up in my head phones. Is this considered ASMR? Or is it something else. I have been wondering about it for most of my life. I asked friends and most didn't understand what I was trying to describe. My mom is in the medical field and she didn't know anything about it either. When I trie to search it up online previous times, my searches were too vague and general since I knew too little about it.
ASMR Conventions on July 30, 2014:
Hi ASMR fans,
How would you guys like to meet some of the ASMRtists in-person? Wouldn’t it be rad to see a live ASMR session happen?
Please check out and like on Facebook “ASMR Conventions”. There is more info on that page. I already have some ASMRtists that are already on-board with the idea of having a convention.
“If you build it, they will come”.
Samantha Burns on July 28, 2014:
Well I've never experienced this before, but I find this all to be very interesting. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't heard of everything out there. I first heard of it from a guy that I work with. He asked me if I'd ever heard of it before and I said no. Then I asked him what it was and he said it's kinda a long story. So I decided to look it up. All of your stories are helping me understand. But now I'm even more curious as to if the guy I work with experiences asmr. A lot of people mentioned Bob Ross painting videos found on youtube. I looked those up and also found more comments about asmr. I wonder if i'll ever experience it...
samborino on July 27, 2014:
@anthony people explaining something while they are sitting beside me is my main trigger, it happens more with women than men but if a man is soft spoken it has the same effect. So yes that is my main trigger as well
chipmunk on May 22, 2014:
I get tingles and I can get them when I'm angry as well. But I have found out another way I get them, I am a reguolar at the gym and sometimes I will stretch a muscle (e.g. ankle muscle) and I will get a tinge of pain. When this happens I get a strong short surge of tingles afterwards. :)
monkowlish on May 21, 2014:
I have had this for 25 years!
I get it someone else touches anything belonging to me (weird right?)
Bunny Jean on May 06, 2014:
I actually found the ASMR videos to be quite annoying. After a couple of minutes of "trying" to hear, I moved on. My brain did not tingle at all. The ladies who did videos on Mahjong were very irritating. Being a bottom line type of person, I was wondering what was their purpose?
Wicked Fetch on March 06, 2014:
I'm opening a spa this spring and I'll be offering ASMR services with Facials!
Dom on March 06, 2014:
I have started experiencing this since I turned 18. I am now 20 and every time I study calculus the tingles begin. It feels as if it is in the scalp area but it is actually beneath which makes me believe it's happening in the dura. The dura is the outer membrane of the brain which is the only area in your brain that has nerves for feeling. More than likely a trigger makes your brain activate several regions of the brain at once and creates more blood flow. The blood flow will produce swelling and the brain will begin pressing on the dura in a pulsating manor. This will surely account for the sensations I'm having in the back portion of my head
khan on March 01, 2014:
i dicoverd this feeling in 10th grade. when i was playing a game on my mobile. after that i felt so relaxed that both sides of my head were tingling.Also i was able to concentrate on my studies better. what i used to do in 2 hours i did that in 10 minutes. believe it or not my mother is my witness. but sadly i haven't got that feeling again since that day. not as strong as that one
GeneralTHC on February 27, 2014:
Wow! First time I ever searched for this and I found it right off the bat.
Yeah, I experience this, too. I have experienced it my entire life. I've never talked with anyone about this. It's very hard to explain. I would NOT describe it as tingling or orgasm-like--frankly it's like nothing else. It's just a pleasant sensation. I guess I experience it in my back and neck area, but it's just a very pleasant feeling in general . It's not sexual or anything like that. I never know when it's going happen, though. And it certainly can't be forced or depended upon, though I have learned to control it a bit. I think I first experienced it and most often experience it while I'm listening to someone talk. Can't be just anyone, though. It's just a very strange thing. I'm glad others experience it because I could never explain it. Though I have experienced it many situations. Watching someone draw or paint has brought it on. But you never know what's going to bring it on. A brief touch has brought it on, like a cashier handing me back my change. Once it's triggered I can keep it going for a quite a while even when the trigger is gone. It's a very, very weird thing, and I know this sounds nuts. It's not an intense feeling it all. I have to be very still and quite or it's easily lost. Whatever it is, it's nice. I think it's like being slightly hypnotized or mesmerized or something. Don't know what it is or really how to explain it, but I know we're talking about the same thing.
Now something else I've always wondered, too. I also get another feeling that I can't explain. I can just say it's the exact opposite. It's bad, very bad. I've also experienced it my entire life. I don't need any one else to trigger it. Usually a thought will bring it on. It's just a sensation of emptiness, like I'm in the wrong place or something. It's very awful. You ever heard of that?
TheConfusedGuy on February 25, 2014:
I don't know if this is even ASMR, I don't get the feeling with ANY of the "causes" but when I listen to techo, dubstep, hardstyle, cool raps, the music you hear when you see people charging into battle in a movie, motivational epic speeches and such, not soft sounds at all, can someone please identify what this is?
Anthony on February 03, 2014:
It triggers most often for me when someone is explaining something to me in person. Simply that. It is usually when I am stationed and not up and walking around. It also helps if there is something visual that they are explaining such as pointing to something on the computer that they are talking about, or using their hands to explain a thought.
I wonder if this is anyone else's main trigger?
Anthony on February 03, 2014:
You act like people are so judgmental of the feeling you experience. Regardless of people's reactions, you should always feel maximumly blessed because it is an absolutely euphoric feeling that I yearn to feel more often. I don't like the part about the less occurrence as you get older, because I feel like it may be true. I'm just hoping it's not and we can understand this phenomenon better and trigger it consciously. Those "Type As" are so lucky! :)
Anon on January 31, 2014:
I don't know if this is linked to having misophonia, which I suffer with. Basically certain sounds like someone eating loudly can send me over the edge with extreme rage! On the other hand, I love listening to a hoover sound and certain accents on youtube. I just get a happy feeling almost like you do when you get good goosebumps. I'm glad to find out I'm not weird haha ;)
angela.. .. on January 28, 2014:
when i get hair cut my back begins to tingle.. it's strange, the cause is the sound of the scissors..
Wat on January 15, 2014:
I usually get this feeling from watching instructional videos, especially ones made by old ladies ^_^
Miss Marie on January 06, 2014:
I absolutely love this feeling. I thought I was just weird for loving to watch guys work, but now I understand that it's just ASMR! I am totally going to binge watch them at work tomorrow :)
anonymous on January 05, 2014:
I first discovered this about 2 years ago in a darker time of my life. Whenever I was sad, which was pretty much all the time, I found that if I focused right, I could feel it start about where the spine meets with the neck on the back of your head. It felt like a brain orgasm but I also as well felt a very strong energy around me but in a way that it felt like I was releasing this energy from my body. I've always had this inconsolable unearthly rage inside me and I think it's a way to release bad energies in your body. Because I'd find that after I focused and released this energy I felt optimistic, somewhat happy, and adventurous. I think that's all it is. With practice you can release chemical endorphins into the brain or expel bad emotions. Something of the sort. You would know it if it happened because for me every time the sensation started where my shoulders meet the back of my neck and it is an intense cold chill feeling at first that gradually disspiates and relaxes you throughout your back as it ends. But its all under your control, I can do it whenever I want, even today if I just concentrate on it. It was a complete accidental discovery though.
EccentricMangoe on January 01, 2014:
I love that feeling so much. To me it usually happens when someone arranges something like in first grade we everyday we had to mess up the alphabet then someone would put it together i would watch them hypnotically and i would feel like crying when its over and now i know what this is! it is so amazing that i am lucky enough to get this feeling alot. ilove it.
it happens when.
someone is doing puzzles or aranging something
listening to someone soft-spoken
and so much more i cant seem to describe.
Anon on December 28, 2013:
I've always wondered what this was, this tingling in my scalp, the goosebumps and then chills going down my spine. I always get this feeling when ever i listen to metallica, or iron maiden. I dont really start feeling the effect till the guitar solos. Just the sound of that high squeal coming from the guitar makes my skin tingle all over. my main songs that i listen to, that cause these effects are songs like Metallica - Fade to Black or Iron Maiden Wasted Years. These two songs are amazing. I also love a sound of crinkling of potato chip bags, and i Love people playing with my hair
Quinzel on December 27, 2013:
I had always wondered what this was, if I was alone experiencing it or not. It's nice to know there are others. I get the rush from people braiding or styling my hair. Best of all from my four-year-old niece with tiny, clumsy hands; always wanting to practice braiding on my long hair. I've never done drugs because I'm allergic or resistant to most and I'm asexual so sex does nothing compared to the sensation ASMR gives me. I must wonder, is asexuality common among those with ASMR? Perhaps there is a connection. Thank you for the article though. It was quite informative.
TallAfrican on December 18, 2013:
I've had the hairfly example where I get tingling sensations as if a creature is twisting my hair. They are more annoying than pleasant
I've had the amazing head euphoria one only once, I was doing some ironing whilst listening to premier radio - UK, and I got this thing which felt like a head rush but started from the top of my scalp. It felt ice cold and made my knees weak. Lasted only a few seconds.
Some reading I've been doing said it might be related to pineal gland.
I can sometimes trigger manually a much lighter version when concentrating - I believe it has to do with a latent ability to control the release of chemicals in the brain. Glad I'm not the only one who has experienced it.
Ninjablossom on December 18, 2013:
Glad I found this! I was trying to describe it to a friend and best I could come up with is - it's like flipping a bliss switch in my head! It's like runners high with out doing anything or the euphoric feeling when taking an e. I'm interested in people who don't get it from videos etc. I've found I can get it when watching trees blowing and clouds, I guess this is a kind of meditation but some music can bring it on. But no tingling for me, it's like a wave of warmth and the euphoria which when it lasts is like blissing out or buzzing and just calms down slowly - that's why I hate the term brain orgasam, it's a slower build and decline and not sexual - and it leaves a kind of content ness. Some days it feels triggered easily and others not at all so wonder if my mood effects it.... And I've noticed it so much more since I quit drinking. This is one of the more rounded articles I've read on this, thankyou!
adkdan on December 16, 2013:
Well this is fascinating. I got here looking for validation/identification of the pleasant electrical sensation I have occasionally experienced upon (or really just before) awakening in the morning. So my experience of this very pleasant sensation seems physically similar to y'all's, but very different in several ways. I don't find anyone else who mentions it occurring upon waking up. I'm in my early 50's, and this only started happening to me a few years ago, and is very rare. But when it does, I don't want it to end, don't want to fully awaken which shuts it off. Also, I've experiences 'scalp tingling' akin to what someone else likened to a fly on top of the head, and that's a very different thing. This is inside the skull - it feels like synapses are just firing rapidly and randomly light a little lightning storm inside the skull. Resonate with anyone? - especially the part about upon awakening. I'd like to know if I've 'got' the same thing as others here.
Hairfly on December 11, 2013:
For me it is a feeling as if a fly is on the top of my hair, fidgeting--I run my fingers over that area of my hair and there's nothing there. I can't describe it as a good or a bad sensation, just that it is there, but the more it happens, the more I worry that it might be something a doctor should check out. I am really amazed that so many people have the same sensation in varying degrees. The only thing that worries me is that it could be something that could develop into something malignant. This forum is somewhat reassuring.
Jennifer on December 06, 2013:
I have ASMR too, as well as synesthesia. What's incredibly fascinating to me is that the majority of the posts I've seen across all the ASMR websites are spelled correctly. Makes me wonder if there are links in the brain that predispose us to certain characteristics. Any other comments posting site on the internet is RIFE with poor grammar and spelling mistakes. Coincidence?
Vik on November 15, 2013:
I always have these and it's the most euphoric thing on earth, drugs and sex? crumbles next to it. i get it from music and music videos often ambient or intense . sometimes it's like waves of tingling energy across my scalp , other and much more intense are the ones that are like a feeling i'm having trouble describing, sort of like an orgasm that shoots between the end of your neck and back of your skull and rises ballooning upward and it freezes you up , happens usually at the climax of a musical piece and lasts few seconds and then you just fall apart and collapse in relaxation and just breathe heavily for a moment .i haven't discussed this feeling with anybody else because i've heard no outside mention of it until now , everybody has shivers from awe inspiring music and film but i haven't seen anybody just orgasm and collapse from it like me . i also have other bodily feelings from intense music and all of them are just wonderful ...just thought i'd share, i'm probably not coming back here again, if you want to contact me just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig on November 08, 2013:
I used to get these a lot when I was younger, not so much now, but I think the serotonin theory is most likely, in my late teens/early twenties I took a lot of ecstasy, and the feeling of 'coming up' on E was nearly identical to that of ASMR episodes, and of course the way ecstasy works is by releasing loads of serotonin into the brain.
I only get it nowadays from listening to very melodic and uplifting trance music (as in the form of electronic dance music). or if I'm getting intimate with a girl and she is whispering or breathing into my ear.
Deb on October 24, 2013:
I have always had this! People playing with my hair since a child and these days anything from someone folding sheets delicately, a colleague filing invoices delicately and always softly spoken people on the phone!! I always thought everyone got this, fascinated that they done!
Million Shibru on October 11, 2013:
i have been experiencing such feeling for a long time. it is so nice that i don't want it to go. i usually feel this when some shows me how to do something. but sometimes it happens even suddenly and i don't know the cause.
shaggypete on October 03, 2013:
Cool story, Adam! I have had this as long as I can remember. I still remember when I found this page - I remember where I was, what I had been doing, what chair I was sitting in. It was a life-changing moment for me, after 30+ years of searching. I have since discussed it with my family and found out BOTH of my parents and ALL THREE of my brothers have it as well! Each of us has different "main triggers".
Mom - French, Spanish, and playing with hair
Dad - Chewing in ear, typing on keyboard
Bro1 - uh, can't remember what he said
Me - Foreign accents, soft-spoken voices, meticulous work with hands
Bro2 - Documentaries
Bro3 - Telephone surveys
Haha, so cool.......
Here's my YT channel I started a while back - not popular at all, but it triggers some folks, so I keep doing it. I just want to "give back" and help where I can!
Million on October 01, 2013:
i have had this feeling when going by car on a bumpy road, when the heat of sun touches me on a cold day, when some people come near me, when someone does something as i see (i mean when i see them writing, speaking, drawing, ...). i usually wish that it would never go away but it always does.
adam on September 14, 2013:
This is crazy! As a child, it would ALWAYS happen, out of nowhere, when I was in a store with my mom. It always involved her being at a makeup counter and me sitting there waiting, hearing the saleswoman talk in that relaxed, soothing tone that they are all prone to use ( Clinique make-up gals were the best! lol). All of a sudden, a tingling would start in the top of my head, and then a sensation that I can only describe as the equivalent of the sound " wahhhhhhhh" would start enveloping my entire body, this most pleasurable feeling rushing through my body. I would try to focus and make it stay. I didn't want it to end. Then, all of a sudden, I would feel it leaving ( maybe as a result of me trying to force it to stay), and I would "wake up" feeling so rested. While it was happening, I couldn't tale to anyone,as if I were in a trance. I also DIDN'T want to talk anyone, because I was afraid it would break the spell.
One day, I described it to my mom and she flipped out, exclaiming that it happened to her, too, and that she had asked her whole family since her childhood if they, too, had it. She had asked my dad when they met, and apparently, I was the only other person to experience it. We took it as another example of our closeness and started calling it the "brain shivers". We would leave a store, usually a makeup counter, and i would say " Did you just feel what I did?" and the majority of the time, she'd say " OMG. I was wondering if you were feeling it, too. She was talking to me and I could barely answer her of pay attention to what she was saying because I was in this blissful trance". I've then ALWAYS wondered about other people experiencing it, and have googled different words many times to try to find something. Today, googling (scalp tingles, peaceful feeling triggered by voices) I finally found this page. Yay! So glad to meet you all and to learn more about this! It is, without a doubt, the best feeling I've ever had in my life. Better than sex.
Stacy Hoffman on September 13, 2013:
I can't believe this! I thought I was the only one that experienced this! My triggers are hearing someone clean, shuffle papers, write on chalkboard, hair cuts, manicures, getting my makeup done, eye exams. As soon as I hear or experience these things, I am immediately in a trance-like state that I don't want to end. I've been using make up tutorials on Youtube as to put me to sleep for months now and just happened to stubble across an ASMR video. Now I know I'm not the only one. CRAZY!!!!
W on September 12, 2013:
Bob Ross painting videos are almost guaranteed to trigger a sensation. But I have to be careful because it can become addicting.
Phil on September 06, 2013:
So I'm not crazy then. I only came across this as i have waking lucid dreams (Hypngogia) and thought what the hell. It is awesome!!! It can be a persons mannerisms and voice. I have a girl at work like this and i make her fill out all the figures maticulously and slowly and use a calculator (I can't watch her, it has to be in my peripheral view for some reason) and my brain is fizzling like sherbet and can go down my spine or work its way up. I've lost my hair now but i forgot hair ace the hairdresser was too. It really needs to be random movement/sound though. I can make it happen on its own but it's about a tenth of the feeling. I've never mentioned it to anyone before.
W on August 23, 2013:
I have had this wonderful experience since I was a child. However, I admit that I often forget about this phenomenon until I get an unexpected sensation. When these unexpected sensations occur, without a doubt, it becomes the best part of my day and I try to maintain the sensation as long as possible. Since the feeling often comes on when I don't expect it, I am sometimes too busy to sustain the sensation. But if I am able to push off whatever I am doing for a few minutes, I almost always stop what I am doing to enjoy the sensation. Similar to other posts, my experience is often triggered from an elderly employee who likes to talk and has a slow, soft delivery. There is an employee at my work who fits this characteristic. It is sort of funny that most people avoid talking to him because he is so long winded. But for me, it is an entirely different experience. Other employees have asked me how I can stand talking to him for so long. Instead of tell them about the sensation, I tell them that I am intrigued about his life experiences. Overall, these experiences have been a wonderful surprise at random occurrences throughout my life. ....and on some occasions, I receive a sensation when I am highly annoyed at either a person or event. It is strange how I can go from highly annoyed and wanting something to stop to being highly stimulating and not wanting the situation to end. Of all my experience with this phenomenon, I find this portion to be the most vexing. Anyone else experience an event that went from neurosis to enjoyment due to the onset of ASMR?
Maelstrom on July 05, 2013:
Ultimate youtube ASMR trigger: JUST INCREDIBLE http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd...
Denise Plunk on June 29, 2013:
I was very happy to discover this page and the fact that I am not the only person with this head sensation. For me however, it happens when I see something out of proportion, mainly people with a birth defect, or some sort of deformity. My head goes wild. Just now I was looking at the "face swap app" and when I saw the weird face swaps, the sensation escalated.
The Blagsmith from Britain on June 15, 2013:
Once upon a time I was extremely apathetic until we moved to Japan with my wife (who is Japanese) and experienced the large earthquake that triggered the huge tsunami there. After I returned I found I would react easily to emotional things. I would cry if something was sad and I would feel delighted for someone or something if something was great. During the apathy these things would have washed over me.
After returning to England with the children after the British Government evacuated us I have since suffered from Diverticulitis and now have Degenerative disc disorder - believed to have been triggered from the weakness of my stomach muscles during the diverticulitis operation. Then I started getting migraines which were triggered from high blood pressure from which I now receive medication. Since that last diagnosis I have felt an occasional tingling down the left side of my head which spontaneously occurs - even during relaxing moments.
I believed that they could have been related to the hypertension but I then remembered a long time ago I once used to listen to subliminal tapes with music that would talk me through the ability to calm my body by imagining a scenic paradise. This meant I used to voluntarily induce a tingling that I would genuinely feel throughout my body. As I was writing this comment I also feel the tingling. So I can only deduce that the tingling is a response to high emotional states whether as an involuntary response or self-induced.
Dawn on June 14, 2013:
I'm so glad I found this! I definitely am a ASMR experiencer. Before I found this, I thought I was one of the fewest people who had this kind of issue. I never shared it with anybody until I saw a lot of these people who share the same symptom!
Shane on June 04, 2013:
:) I can do this at will as well as having various external triggers, I use it to relax/de-stress..... I've always thought of it as releasing some kind of a brain chemical ..... this is the first webpage where I've read about others experiencing similar sensations...... Cool :)
I have tried to describe this to friends and always got a "your a bit weird" response each time!
Ramolis on May 19, 2013:
I have quite a bit of experience with this feeling, and may have some valuable insight.
The first time I can recall having this feeling was in church in my teens. I attributed it to a religious sensation, and would try to have the feeling during the praise songs each week. Sometimes the experience would be almost overwhelming, like waves washing over me. As I experienced the feeling more, it became easier to trigger, and I started to have it more, and outside of church.
Having played a lot of sports growing up, psyching myself up before a big game, because an every week activity. I started to notice considerable athletic improvement when psyching myself up, and with practice could learn to trigger adrenaline when desired.
I began to learn that by focusing my mind on the thoughts that triggered the tingling sensation I could cause it at will. I found the process much like psyching myself up for sports, though the trigging thoughts were different. I do quite enjoy the feeling and have spent a lot of time practicing triggering it. In fact to some extent I can project the feeling to other parts of my body, and when doing so that part of the body will show bumps.
I no longer believe the experience to be religious in nature (though I do think many people believe it is). I think this filling is a normal triggered emotional response, that like many emotions can be triggered, with practice.
Steve on May 17, 2013:
Watch the joy of painting with Bob Ross does it every time for me and also you learn about painting
caramattson on April 26, 2013:
wow. I always just assumed most people did this....until the other day when my 14 year old son approached me about it and I explained that it was just a thing.....and my husband thought I was crazy. So my son and I both do it....he while listening to speakers at school....myself mostly while listening to soft speakers on the telephone...which I do a lot for my work. Glad I googled this and found your page. It will be nice to let him read this. thanks.
Chris Howery on April 15, 2013:
Wow, crazy. I never really though about it. But all my life when I would experience just about all the "trigger" you listed I would tingle, and in some cases completely zone out. Sometimes I would kinda be upset when it was over, and in the extreme cases fell "hungover". I never knew what it was or never searched it out, but I have lost out on a lot of conversations from the tingle and zoning out. Great article and opened my eyes.
w on April 05, 2013:
i didn't know this was called anything, i've never noticed other people reacting the same as me - i'm the type that goes into a sort of a helpless state, especially if my hair played with. but i experience this also when someone reads out loud with the book in their hand, turning the pages - the whole thing. also whispering, soft voices, gum popping, being in the library when books are handled, key typing (if I'm not doing it.) nice to know i'm not alone!
scram on April 03, 2013:
When I watch someone brushing someone else's hair, my head and back tingles. How weird! Thanks This American Life
oopsidoo on March 30, 2013:
OMG! There is a name for this? My trigger is watching people slowly perform things like wrapping a gift, slowly read things outloud in a soft voice. It can be so random and I have never tried to make it happen. One time, when I was a child, I became so transfixed on this woman wrapping a christmans gift that I wouldn't move. I was literally fixated with my head just paralyzed. I loved the feeling. It doesn't happen so often now. But when it does, it is very mild.
One funny thing that triggers this, is listening to my chickens clucking! they are soft and sweet sounds that are so reassuring. I just love it.
sasha on March 23, 2013:
Can't believe I'm just finding this now! I've always called the sensation 'bunnies', b/c it feels like a bunch of sof bunnies are being held to your face..... anyway, feels great that others know what I'm talking about.
MrGamma on March 06, 2013:
People who are incapable of feeling it have anesthesia. I've found proper eating, especially the avoidance of large amounts of sugar and niccotene help bring me to a more spiritual and sensitive state. Anyway, you might enjoy http://www.asmrstudio.com/ Thank you for posting the television interviews, they are very interesting.
Guest29 on March 06, 2013:
The asmr you tube videos help me a lot dealing with anxiety and excessive worrying. Only a few minutes of a random video (i have no preference what's so ever, everything seems to work for me) help induce a state of calm and safety that lasts for days. I'm grateful that we live such amazing times when people share so much with each other, and where support and acceptance are available so easy.
Andrew on March 02, 2013:
This happens to me when I take telephone surveys... O_o Totally thought I was all alone...
Johny on February 27, 2013:
I thought im alone :O i get this feeling when person that clean computers comes to our company to do his job or when im at hairdresser, it feels so good ...
Aj on February 16, 2013:
Honestly i thought this was simply a thing that was enduce by intimidation, fear or touch of others, good to know its not just something that i experience.
alicia on January 20, 2013:
I have had this for as long as i can remember, i called it "fizzy head" i can induce it my self but i get it when i listen to uplifting music, i also can get this feeling in my butt, thighs, shoulders lower back and when its something really plesent the sensation starts at my head and shoots all the way down to my legs and the feeling that comes with it is "i feel so good to be alive" I have also had it when i am ill like with the flu and while meditating. I love it.
karly on January 16, 2013:
I get this and no one I tried to explain it to ever understood. Nice to know I am not the only one experiencing this phenomenon
barbara on January 14, 2013:
Hi, I just found this site and was amazed. I keep telling my doc that I feel like I have this numbess or tingling feeling in my head. Nothing has ever been done, I thought maybe I had a brain tumor or something. It scares me when mine occur. I'm not sure what triggers it though. i know most of the time that it happens is when I am sitting down. I want to learn more about this. thank you all for your posts. thanks for helping. Barbara
rcobbett on January 05, 2013:
Does anyone here have ADHD or suffer from depression? I was wondering if large amounts of dopamine is released when a trigger occurs. its such a nice feeling. never taken drugs, but totally get why people do if this is the feeling. just glad i dont have to pay for this feeling.
julierosie on January 02, 2013:
Hi, my experience of this goose pimply sensation on my scalp is not quite the same as others here. Mine started about a year ago (i am a forty six year old female) and i don't remember anything in particular triggering the feeling. It only last for seconds at a time. Also i get the same sensation on my leg and buttock. sometimes it happens at work when ironing or at any time. Could it be stress induced?
NathaNater on December 31, 2012:
I have definitely experienced this, and other phenomena like it, and didn't realize others had also and that there's a name for it. Very interesting subject and great to know that others have experienced this! Makes me want to do more research on it.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on December 31, 2012:
My friend on Youtube just told me about this today when we were having breakfast. I was like, "what the heck is ASMR?" But then I came home and looked it up...and BOOM. Yes, I've experienced this many times, particularly with the more common trigger of someone cutting, dying, or washing my hair. When someone brushes my hair or when someone lightly touched my back, I get the tingles. Amazing phenomenon, and this whole time I've been thinking that everyone gets these sensations...when I mentioned it to my hubby he looked at me like I was nuts! LOL. Awesome hub and thanks for your research on this. Blessings!
IdrilC on December 21, 2012:
I'm glad I found this! I am surprised that so many people have written/commented about this, yet at the same time surprised that some people don't experience it. I have always experienced this, very often to a soothing voice but ALWAYS when given a questionnaire by someone - is this a weird one? I didn't see it on the list!
Angela on December 15, 2012:
I'm female, age 49. First remember having ASMR as a child when other little girls would brush my hair. I have seen a number of other people experience it when having their hair played with but I never asked anyone if they have other triggers.
Other triggers for me:
Certain voices (like the ones in the youtube relaxation, whispering and ASMR videos. And, yes, like many others have mentioned, Bob Ross!).
Someone else in the house who is moving around and doing something but they are trying to be very quiet so they won't disturb me because I'm either lying down or studying.
People keyboarding and clicking a mouse, especially if they are trying to be as quiet as possible.
Some of the most intense ASMR I've had occurred in quiet public places, especially retail, and was induced by a total stranger who was near me. The person was very quiet and just browsing or looking over something but, again, I got the definite feeling the person was trying to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible. It feels like as they are looking at whatever it is they are looking at they are also paying some attention to me in some .
Riding the bus - there are different buses on my route, of course, but it seems there's one or two buses in particular that induce ASMR in me and combined with particular drivers, their way of driving, induces ASMR. There have been times when I had really bad insomnia that this helped relax me a lot. The buses are numbered and I always try to ride the ones that induce ASMR in me.
In the past year I've had spontaneous ASMR. Reading everyone's comments and the mention of serotonin is intriguing and I wonder if there is a connection b/c in the past year I've improved significantly after being in a major depression for a few years ... so maybe my body is making more serotonin than it normally does and that is triggering the spontaneous ASMR.
I'm very intuitive, introverted, lots of creative ideas but I can also be very detail oriented, too. Always been interested in the spiritual, the paranormal and I've had many experiences that can only be described as clairvoyant, claircognizant, etc.
For me, ASMR is very different from the shivery, goose bump feeling that comes from listening to music sometimes - because ASMR is so relaxing whereas the music response is more exciting, stimulating. For anyone interested in the music shivers, Dr. Paul Silvia, (University of North Carolina at Greensboro- Psychology dept.) has been researching this phenomenon.
Houston on December 14, 2012:
I've had this sensation for years, usually when I'm home alone and petting my dogs or when I'm working with people in a task related setting. I am a teacher and whenever I'm working with students at a computer, whispering triggers it.
Jon on December 12, 2012:
I used to just get it a few times like when someone spoke in an accent or they brushed their hair. then I found the videos on youtube and I watched them all the time I still watch them. I don't know is it wrong to watch them I mean is it like having lustrous thoughts? I mean I don't feel anything sexual t words them the majority of the time. Please let me know.
summertime175 on November 23, 2012:
I've been having these since kindergarten. I'm so glad I found this article. I'm not so sure my tingles are so simple... I think they are more about the thoughts and mindset of the people creating the videos as they make the trigger sounds and movements. It's hard to explain. I also expirience tingles when people, usually younger, foucus on something small and intricate. My mom and aunt expirienced these when they were younger... Mom gets these when she eats horseradish sauce :P Is it the same thing?
Angel Mist on November 20, 2012:
Thanks for the info. I will have to say though I seem to be one that is out of the norm when it comes to these experiences. I have only just started to experience the light feeling in my head over the last year or so. I am almost 40. I have started to notice the feeling come when I was on my way home from work, driving. It didn't last for a long time, but the feeling was a lightness about me. I really cant explain it, but it felt nice. I get it mainly in my head, but have found that it moves down into my chest, and that is as far as it seems to go. Again I was surprised to find, in your article, that most experience it in the youth, with it downgrading as the years passed on. As I said this was new to me only recently. But thanks for the info. Think I may have to research this a bit more.
TTX on October 30, 2012:
Fantastic found. I have experienced this feeling since I was young, couldn't explain it, but knew how to trigger it, or sometimes it just triggered by itslef. Weirdest triggers would be animal licking hand or eating leafy branches from my hand. Now the infamous screen licking pug works like a charm almost every time. Soft speaking/whispering sometimes triggers it too. There are certain but very rare ocasions that a person, just by being around triggers ASMR, he/she doesn't even have to talk or touch.
stacy on October 28, 2012:
had it for years but only with head to head physical contact only and the more i concentrated the more intense it becomes i even have to stop and release my head from theirs because it gets so intense.
Eve26 on October 27, 2012:
I get tingles by the sounds of some ASMR videos. Lately i discover this video with straws sounds. Its one of my favorit ASMR videos.
Broekzak on October 23, 2012:
I've experienced this occasionally ever since I can remember (I'm 33). Never realized some (most?) people don't know this feeling at all. Gets mostly triggered by voice for me, no whispering needed. Just a slightly serene / monotonic tone combined with the right timbre will do the trick.
It feels like part of my brain flips into a different mode in which the neurons act like small needles tickling the inside of my head in waves. These waves can propagate towards the neck and back.
In bad cases I loose my focus completely and lose track of the conversation (my brain stops interpreting and just listens to the sound of the words instead). This lasts only a few seconds until I realize what's happening and "will" myself out of it with some effort.
Interesting thing is that I seem to be able to get this effect (or nearly the same effect), but not as intense, by lying down, and concentrating (and visualizing) on tensing/relaxing muscles related to breathing (around the ribs, spine). Hard to explain exactly what I mean here, but when it "works" this can create an instant and complete relaxing/tickling sense throughout my entire body, lasting a few seconds.
Norman on October 10, 2012:
I've gotten these my whole life! I remember my teacher triggering them as a little kid whenever I asked her for help on something. It was all vocals that triggered them as a kid. But now it's really different, I'm starting to get different types of tingles. It's almost as if I have a tingle for each emotion. I've noticed that they're strongest when I'm angry and listening to thrash metal. I've also noticed that the angrier I get, the stronger they get and the more effects the have on me. For instance, the other day my mom really pissed me off so I started listening to thrash metal and I noticed that the tingles started making me feel powerful.... I feel almost invincible when I get my angry tingles now. I've even done tests to see if they actually have some type of effect on pain tolerance and strength. Turns out that they actually do, if something is causing me physical pain while I have my angry tingles, they actually just increase the intensity of the tingles making me feel even more invincible. Almost like it's self sustaining or something. They also can increase my stamina and my strength somewhat, but not by much. Just enough to know that there's a difference.
Seasons on October 06, 2012:
I tried to explain this to a few friends and my mom when I was younger, but no one got it!
I get it most intensely when someone is drawing a picture of me, or writing me a note or text in the same room as me, putting makeup on me, cutting my hair or tickleing the sides of my neck and shoulders. Those scalp massagers also really do it too.
I get it across the top and back of my head, neck and shoulders.
I also get another sensation that's similar, but doesn't feel good.
Whenever I see someone in a movie standing too close to the edge of something very high, or whenever I stand near the edge of something every high, I get the same tingling, but it's uncomfortable and I get it in my feet running up my legs. Also some harsh sounds give it to me (nails on a chalkboard, nails screeching across anything really) The only person who understands what I mean is my grandmother, she gets the same feeling, but for different reasons.
Marcus on September 27, 2012:
I always seem to get this feeling when watching a fight or battle, does anyone else get this or am I a secret sadist or something? :P
Throck40 on September 27, 2012:
I get that tingly feeling when i hear someone eat crunchy food or chips.
Johnny on September 12, 2012:
@Norm, I think it's common not to experience ASMR only in the head. I feel it mostly in my back and upper arms, but also in the rest of my body, especially the ears and neck area.
Norm on September 12, 2012:
I have had this ever since i can remember, mainly when listening to specific music or watching particular film scenes etc However I experience the tingling all over not just my head. It this common?
ASMR vids on August 31, 2012:
Hello everyone FEEL FREE TO CHECK OUT THIS CHANNEL
Sam on August 27, 2012:
It's been happening to me for years , but I almost put it off as some weird neoroloical issue , or chemical inbalance . Mine usualy hits me whenever I'm blue , tired , or just in a general sense of unwatching peace . I always assumed it was some sort of natural reaction to combat stress , possibly some weird evolutionary trait ( my mom has this happen to her every once in a while , and we've talked about it before . Being a semi hardcore christian , she puts it off as an "acarisia de un angel" , something she read in a book about Archangels from a woman who randomnly mentioned what sounds like this experience) , or again , a chemical inbalance furiously pumping endorphins into me
sharewhatuknow from Western Washington on August 27, 2012:
I certainly believe animals experience ASMR. Someone here brought up the subject of cats purring while being stroked. I also had a large mixed-breed dog, very intelligent, that would paw at my leg when I stopped brushing his coat. As soon a I would start brushing him again, he would just sit there, almost as still as a statue. Once I stopped brushing him, after about 5 seconds he would paw at my leg again.
Mezzie on August 27, 2012:
This feeling has come to me several times in my life, and I've tried to talk to people but they wouldn't understand. I got very surprised and bouncy when I found this page! Though, I've tried lately talking to my brother and mother about it, but it's like taboo. They only go quiet. However I'm glad I found out about this, thanks!
Maks Milczarczyk on August 23, 2012:
How therapeutic to read these posts. I thought I was alone completely and at a loss for words. From this day fourth I devote my life to the exploration of this sensation. There has to be something to this.
Chris on August 22, 2012:
You can't imagine how relieved I am right now, now that I found out there are others who share the same feelings. And now there's actually a NAME to the whole thing.
I'm 27 and live in Germany. I first encountered ASMR as a boy (must have been 7 or 8) when I listened to one episode of a series of children's audio plays on my cassette player. While on another adventure, the protagonist held a little monologue about his plans (still can remember it like yesterday) and this segment ALWAYS started ASMR.
Now it's mainly people talking with a warm, soft voice, especially female voices and very often in businesslike situations when the talking style and cadence is explanatory, helpful or polite.
Many times in private life, but also during my university time and now my job as an educational consultant, I meet people who are very friendly, polite and seemingly-warm hearted. And with a small fraction of this group I encounter ASMR. It in no way affects the talk or discussion I have with them, in fact I'm very certain that they don't even notice me experiencing a pleasant physical phenomenon, while dealing with their questions and/or problems.
Whispering or non-human sounds generally don't have any effect on me. But when ASMR happens, it first starts with a little tingle here and there on the head, almost as if someone randomly pulled on a single hair. If the feeling persists, it grows into something that feels like carbonized water, steadily dripping on your head and running down in streams on different sides, but then also upwards, in a pulsating manner. It's great and veeery relaxing. I found some videos on YT (which were not even labeled ASMR) that I listen to in the evening, after a stressful day.
I think many of you know these "Head Massagers"? Those metal sticks with stiff wires expanding from it in an egg-like shape? When I first tried that I thought: "Finally, maybe now I can show my friends what I was talking about!". But it was quite disappointing, sometimes even uncomfortable and was not even close to the feeling I encounter during ASMR... in fact, it was far from it. So the door is still closed for them, at least for now.
Keep up the good work and spread the word! I'm sure there are many more out there who wonder if they're alone with this great "gift"!
thundergirl on August 22, 2012:
I get those sensations too. Waves of energy lightly flow over my scalp. Sometimes the hairs on the back of my head above my spine will vibrate gently. Sometimes I can feel the hairs on my arms stand up too. But the sensation is mostly on my scalp. It is very pleasurable and relaxing. I get them when least expected like when I see someone's fingers on something that belongs to me. Or a quiet room with a female voice will trigger it. It doesn't matter how good looking the person is or how sexually appealing they may or may not be. It is not in any way sexual and holds no romantic attraction. It is often triggered by females near me or females in videos talking softly. Sometime a man will cause it if he is doing something soft, like silently flipping though a book that belongs to me. I really enjoy the sensation and I can conger it up again and again, hours after the initial sensation, if my mind's eye replays the action that triggered the sensation. I try to get the most I can from each one by replaying the action in my memory, because it feels good and I know deep down it has positive health benefits (like meditation or acupuncture might give). I figured out a long time ago not all people experience this because I never hear anyone talking about it. I decided to do a search because a coworker was taking to me in the office today and it triggered the sensation.
Vanessa on August 17, 2012:
I get asmr when peaople whisper or when pages of a book are being turned...I like the sound they make.
McKenzie on August 13, 2012:
I've always noticed that certain things give me tingles in my back, like people playing with my hair and noises like whispering. I never ever get tingles in my head though.
Franck on August 11, 2012:
Hello, sorry for my English: I'm French! For the first time this morning I've tried to find something on the net about what i was feeling since my youth: The ASMR! I don't even know that yhere was a name for this marvellous thing. I'm 45 years, and sincerely, i thought that i was thi only to have this kinf of feeling. And believe me or not , when i discover the fact i was not alone, i was nearly to cry. I will continue to read you articles. Goodbye.