Soothing words whispered in your ear, the gentle tapping of fingernails on a smartphone, the slow sliding of a hairbrush, the crumpling of a fabric… Do you like it? Then you will love the videos ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response). In recent years, they have been very successful on platforms like Youtube.
The acclaimed whisper videos
People who are sensitive to ASMR – which not everyone is – say they experience a pleasant tingling from the top of the head to the shoulders. Many evoke a deep relaxation and an ease of falling asleep. “It’s like stepping into a good hot bath,” says Nyxia, a YouTuber who regularly posts videos. Like most ASMR followers, she says she is particularly receptive to whispers (Frontiers in psychology, February 2017). “On the other hand, the noises of mouth are unbearable to me”, she adds.
ASMR, like a caress for the brain
Soothing, funny at times, sometimes suggestive, these videos immerse you in a cocoon:
“The person who whispers in your ear takes care of you. We return to his mother’s arms. It’s very regressive, ”observes Dr Pierre Lemarquis, neurologist. The sounds and their depth effects stroke your brain ”.
A specialist in music therapy, he is not surprised: “We have more neurons devoted to hearing than for all the other senses combined. »Also neurologist and author of Tickling (and other little neurological hassles), Dr Laurent Vercueil notes for his part the importance of the “zoom effect”.
“When someone speaks to you in a whisper, you feel very close to them. She’s asking for your attention. A lot of relaxation techniques as’hypnosis, the sophrology or the meditation work that way. “
What is the difference with pleasant music or a “whale song” type relaxation CD? “With video, more senses are affected”, explains Dr Vercueil. In fact, the image (soft light, slow gestures, animal presence…) adds to the effect of bewitchment.
One of the latest scientific studies on the subject (Plos One, June 2018) shows that in people who are sensitive to it, ASMR slows down the heartbeat and increases the conductance of the skin, which reflects a response from the nervous system. Conquered, Dr. Lemarquis does not hesitate to recommend these videos to his anxious, depressed or suffering from chronic pain patients.
Each ASMR sequence plays on different springs. Here are three videos decrypted by our experts.
ASMR video “The purring of the cat”
By Cosmic key ASMR on Youtube
- Dr Vercueil: “Studies carried out in felines suggest that in addition to signaling a relaxed state of the animal, purring also represents a social message intended to mobilize attention and care. It is the vibration induced by the purr that causes the relaxing effect. Holding a purring cat is more important than hearing it. It would be interesting to know if viewing this video elicits proprioceptive responses in the viewer that would be related to the suggested perception of a vibration. “
- Dr Lemarquis: “The creator of this video cleverly combines the virtues of ASMR with that of “Purring therapy”, namely the soothing qualities of the low frequencies of small snoring, real anti-stress, reassuring by their monotony and whose hypnotic effect has been demonstrated. Our mirror neurons at the same time activate our brain as if we were stroking the feline, which is also tranquilizing. “
In video: ASMR video The purring of the cat
ASMR Video “Time Travel”
By NyxiaASMR and PastilleASMR on Youtube
- Dr Vercueil: “The whisper is spatialized, moving from one ear to another, the tone is monotonous, the rhythm flat. These are the usual ingredients of hypnotic induction combining attentional focusing (it is as if the regular movement of the sound source acts as the pendulum swinging in front of the eyes) and the confusion induced by the flow of speech. “
- Dr Lemarquis: “This time the cerebral caress is essentially sound and stereophonic with some electro sounds supporting two charming and mysterious voices which hypnotize us. It gets closer to “Sound massages” developed in relaxation for example by Pierre Bassery, in Lyon, or by Peter Hess, in Belgium, who uses Tibetan bowls. “
In video: ASMR video Time travel
ASMR Video “The Soap Cutting”
By Helen.ASMR on Instagram
- Dr Vercueil: “The sound is very discreet, apart from the pieces that fall one after the other. The effect is based on the precise vision of the soap cut by the cutter. What generates the ASMR effect is visual, and it seems to me that this is what may suggest thehaptic effect (related to touch, Editor’s note). The viewer can perceive the resistance of the soap under the blade. It is possible that this sensation, the interface between the blade and the soap, is pleasant for some. “
- Dr Lemarquis: ” The water, which flows endlessly and calming like a shower or watching the rain fall warm inside, constitutes the background sound of this video. On top of this are the traditional ones whispers and the pleasure of cutting without effort or noise a soap that one supposes to be pleasantly scented! “
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