Updated: Nov 12, 2020
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The well-manicured nails of a feminine hand tap on the back of a wooden brush, 'tap tap tap' in your right ear. It moves to your left 'tap tap tap.' You hear the whisper of a soft and comforting voice 'now I'm going to brush your hair' she moves her hands to the left side of the screen and you hear the gentle scrape of hair being brushed, again to the right. At this point, if you are susceptible to ASMR you should experience a tingling on your skin, starting at your scalp, moving down your neck and spine. If you were afraid or disturbed it would be called a 'shudder,' if you were cold a 'shiver' but this is a positive sensation and a sign of extreme relaxation.
So, what is ASMR?
ASMR has become the industry term for a unique corner of the internet that mostly contains whispering women. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response sounds a bit too complicated and ASMR is all about quality sound. The concept is simple, a soft voice describes specific sensual actions whilst providing clear sound effects that provoke a physical response. It is designed to promote both relaxation and euphoria. The sensation is described by some as 'a mild electrical current...or the carbonated bubbles in a glass of champagne.'
The Queen of ASMR is know as 'Whispers Red' (you can enjoy her videos here) she features in the recommended podcast 'Work in Progress.' Work in progress is a podcast about 'the meaning and identity we find in work' and an excellent resource for practising your listening and vocabulary, for more suggestions listen to this Dead Air episode for a list of ways to improve your English. In episode 14 of Work in Progress a young lady called Emma explains her transformation from small village Mum to an ASMR star. Download and use the sheet attached to listen, learn and practice at home or in class