If you enjoy certain sounds, then you might experience Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), which occurs when a person feels pleasant tingling sensations on the scalp, back of neck and upper spine in response to various audio-visual triggers. Some common triggers include whispering, chewing, hand movements and tapping. Over the past few years, ASMR videos have grown in popularity on YouTube, while spas and massage therapists have started to offer ASMR-themed experiences to promote relaxation.
“ASMR refers to an uncontrolled experience characterized by static-like or tingling sensations that are triggered by a combination of different stimulants,” shares Celeste Luna, an ASMR massage therapist in Agoura Hills. “ASMR massage aims to trigger all of our senses and features a combination of feather-like touches, repetitive motions, light whispering and area-specific massaging.”
According to Luna, benefits associated with ASMR include better sleep, flexibility and circulation, as well as an improved mood. Sessions are customized according to clients’ preferences. “Treatments can range from a guided meditation and gentle feather touches in a prone position to feather-light facial strokes along with light aromatherapy,” says Luna.
After discovering ASMR YouTube videos in 2012, Lauren Lightfoot opened ASMR People for Peace, a special relaxation studio in Los Angeles that offers ASMR massage services. Sessions range from 30 minutes to an hour, and incorporate various triggers such as tapping and whispering. She also offers a pampering service for women that includes hair brushing and gentle stroking with a makeup brush.
“I encourage clients to bring their own hair brush and any other items they like to feel on their skin, such as feathers or ribbons,” she says. “I also offer tingle therapy in the form of a turn-down session, where I go to the customer’s house and give them a gentle ASMR massage. It leaves them so relaxed that they immediately fall asleep.”
While many of Lightfoot’s clients enjoy her ASMR services solely for relaxation purposes, others get them for pain relief or if they are having trouble sleeping. “ASMR rejuvenates the mind and can assist with alleviating insomnia, stress and pain, as well as improving depression and anxiety,” Lightfoot adds. “It’s a gentle care approach to each of our senses that activates a meditative or relaxing state of mind.”
For more information, visit asmrpeopleforpeace.com and dreamscapeceleste.com.