This is a bit off my usual topic, but it’s something I’ve been contemplating recently.

First of all, what is ASMR? It stands for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’. The best I can describe it is as a meditation or relaxation technique focused on using specific sounds to create a specific, enjoyable state conducive to sleep and stillness. There are a lot of sounds that people use to induce this state, including tapping, whispering, scratching, and crinkling. Some people have ASMR, some people don’t. If you’re interested, there are tons of videos on Youtube and you can check it out to see if you do.

I first became aware of ASMR videos about a year ago after seeing it mentioned somewhere, but I’ve had the response since I was a little kid. I remember the sound of my mother sweeping a concrete walkway with a straw broom. I knew as soon as I heard it described that I experience this particular response, and I now view ASMR videos fairly frequently. For me, watching the video helps, as well as the sounds.

Recently I broke my ankle, and it occurred to me to try using ASMR videos for pain control. There isn’t much scientific information out there about ASMR, probably since it’s hard to study and not a well-described response (what actually is occurring, for instance?). So the only thing I could do was experiment. It seems to help; I can ignore the discomfort during the video and sometimes even doze off. I can’t say I notice a lasting improvement, though; it seems to be only a matter of distraction. It’s possible any video that distracted me sufficiently would help.

I’m interested if anyone else uses ASMR for pain control and if so, how it works for you? Let me know, and by all means share your favorite ASMR video!

Here’s a link to more info, too: