What is ASMR?
As a hypnotherapist, I see a lot of clients who have issues with anxiety, insomnia and being able to relax. There are many different ways to relieve the symptoms and promote relaxation, but one you may not have heard of is ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Put simply, this approach uses ‘triggers’ to encourage relaxation and ‘tingles’. These triggers can be almost anything and can remind you of happy childhood memories, for example the sounds of hair bring brushed, a cat purring, watching someone get their head stroked or massaged; or they can just be oddly satisfying, like squelching slime in your hands, popping bubble wrap or crunching your feet on freshly lain snow. Well now you can access these triggers on YouTube and Instagram videos, and use them to help you calm down, relax, or even fall asleep!
How does it work?
These videos tend to be sensory or tactile and often Hyper-real, and use techniques that we may use for visualisation in Hypnotherapy. For example during hypnosis I may help you to relax by taking you on a ‘journey’ through a beautiful woods in Autumn, and describe the beauty of the vibrant colours, the earthy smells, the crisp dewy air, and describe the sound of the leaves crunching and cracking beneath your feet, trying to encompass all of our 5 VAKOG senses – visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory. This can elicit a hypnotising and relaxing effect on clients. But now it is possible to trigger these responses yourself by watching ASMR videos online, which can promote a similarly relaxing and lightly hypnotising effect on the viewer: a brain massage, if you will. The main difference is that these videos tend to focus on just one of two of the senses and make it hyper-real.
How to use ASMR
I have started to recommend my clients explore these videos and their own triggers to help them when they need to relax or focus, and to help them achieve a mindfulness state. So how do you know which videos to search for? Well, the best advice is to just explore the wonderous rabbit hole of ASMR videos online, and just see which ones evoke a calming, satisfying feeling, or which ones give you goosebumps and tingles, and go from there. But if you want a more direct approach, then think about what sounds and sensations you like? what kind of feeling you want to elicit? what do you associate with these feelings and memories? Of course some will have the opposite effect and trigger unhappy or uncomfortable associations, so be mindful of these occurring too and try and stay away from any negative triggers you may have.
What I have found works for me
For me, I have found that I find someone getting their hair played with and massaged very relaxing, and almost instantly I get the automatic response as if I was the subject in the video! While it is not for everyone, I have found that it can be very rewarding and relaxing for my clients (and myself), especially those who tell me they find it difficult to relax.
Uses of ASMR
What uses could ASMR have? Well the obvious uses are relaxation and sleep promotion, but I believe it can be used to alleviate symptoms associated with other issues that clients come to me for, including chronic pain and fatigue, weight loss and smoking cessation – just imagine if you felt the need for the fulfilment that a cigarette or bar of chocolate provides you, what if you could fulfil that need by meeting a more primal need through an ASMR video so that you would no longer feel the craving!!
For more help
If you suffer from anxiety, phobias or insomnia, hypnotherapy can be a great way of tackling it. Call me on 07758099705 for a free 15 minute consultation, or message me for more details.