Two interconnected things for this week’s blog. Firstly, I had my first gong therapy experience at the weekend. And secondly, on the same day, I found out about something called ASMR – autonomous sensory meridian response. For me, the gong experience caused ASMR.
Known informally as ‘brain tingle’ or ‘spine tingle’, autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli. The experience is usually a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. ASMR is different for everyone, categorised by a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin.
According to the University of Sheffield’s Psychology department, ASMR is a real, physiologically-rooted phenomenon and may even have a place in the treatment of mental ill health and stress. Interesting!
I didn’t know this ‘response’ had a name. It’s something I’ve experienced for as long as I can remember and, for me, is usually an auditory thing rather than visual. After some digging around the internet, I found that there is a whole movement dedicated to ASMR, with lots about how ASMR can help you relax and sleep – always like catnip to me. Each to his/her own, so if you’re interested, try a search for ASMR videos.
My gong experience triggered a massive brain tingle. I didn’t want it to end. It was like being on the verge of the most delicious sleep, but staying conscious throughout. Apparently, you can become immune to ASMR if you use it too frequently. So, like everything, balance is key. Finally, it’s not something that everyone has, so have a go with some of the online videos and see if you have it.
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