Recently my niece introduced me to some ASMR videos on Youtube and I was like whaattt!
She showed me a very strange video of a person eating edible soap. But.. Its not the video that’s important, its actually the sound. I did a bit of a research and found a lot about ASMR and I have got strangely addicted to it. Of late, I’ve downloaded some sleep apps which have ASMR sounds of rain or pebbles. ASMR can have a tremendous impact on you, Not just the relaxation but it can trigger a lot of memories
Turns out that I have a long history with ASMR and sounds. Here it goes:
First Experience : So it happens that I now remember my first experience with ASMR. (memory trigger working)
If I remember correctly yet faintly, I should have been probably about 3-5y old when my mum would make me fall asleep on her lap with her stroll over my face and once I’d slept she would have put me down. I remember very faintly that she would then be continuously whispering.. Oh boy, not to me, but she was actually chit-chatting with my aunts or relatives. That whisper was my first ASMR experience that I now remember. If I woke up, my mum would pat me and make me sleep again and she would gently stroke my scalp.
My Second significant ASMR experience which I remember was in my school days. Myself sitting in class where our teacher was on sick leave and the class monitor would ask us to put our heads down on the desk. Just so that no one would chit-chat or make noise. While our heads were down, I put my ear flat on the surface of the wooden desk and quite surprisingly I was hearing some sounds. Sound which felt like a furnace burning far away. Actually it was the fan which was attached to the ceiling rod which was then touching to the floor rods overall there was this faint vibration on wooden bench in a very soft and gentle way. I then tried to tap my nail on the desk to see how it sounded. It was fun and I enjoyed it. It was ASMR. I showed this to the guy beside me and he also started soft knocks with his nail at one and I would reply back on the other. I was pure ASMR and fun.
I continued doing the same on walls; I would place my ears on the wall and tap the wall gently with a stick. And then comes the shock of my life – I used my nails to scratch the wall out of curiosity but little did I know that came out, the most annoying sound/vibrations which shook me. Wait a minute, I’ve heard that sort of a sound before. The sound of a chalk on the blackboard by our teacher. Its really unpleasant. Turns out that this sound was also ASMR but with a negative or unpleasant experience.
These were the days when there weren’t any digital tools. Now comes the Television. I used to put my ears on the speakers flat and turn the volumes at different levels to understand what’s coming out. It was fun too. I remember I was once on stage giving a speech. The way the speakers are placed is totally opposite of you and you don’t even realize if what you’re speaking can be heard on the other side. I was given a mic and I kept testing the mic just because I couldn’t hear it back! Similar thing happened when I was at a quiz contest. The host kept asking and it was difficult to hear, because the system was made mostly for the audience and the stage people always have difficult time adapting to it. I was a novice back then about all this. Experimenting has taught me a lot now.
So, bring out the walk-man and the tape recorder age! I did record a lot of my own voice and heard it again and again. It was soft and gentle ASMR. The sound of my tongue, lips, moisture in the mouth, air in/out of my lungs were my favorite. I still do it sometime on my phone’s voice recorder. Silly yet nerdy fun.
I was about 10y old and our family went to the beach for the first time. My mum showed me a seashell and asked me to listen to it. It was pure bliss. The ASMR created was unique. She’d say you could hear the entire ocean inside it and its true. If you’ve got a large seashell, do try it out. Do close your eyes for maximum effectiveness.
Well, the scientist inside me never stopped experimenting, the seashell broke and I tried it with a glass, large empty pipe or anything deeply hollow and the results were replicated.
Doesn’t end here.. and so I got married ( It gets interesting now.. ) and then comes all sorts of “other” sounds with the “other” gender. Starting with the immediate notice of the increased “pitch” of my wife. I remember my school physics teacher explaining “pitch” or “shrillness of a sound” in the sound chapter by giving an example that boys and girls have different voices. Girls had have high pitched voice or the shrillness is high.. Little did I know or think about today.
Until now I’d hear my mom’s or sister’s voice which was a bit less pitched for the fact she was a bit elder, but my wife’s voice was exactly what my physics teacher had described.(Probably he got married that year ). My wife’s shrillness for me was like another level of shrillness – Not in a bad way, but its something I’d never experienced before. Perhaps I’ve heard such a pitch with my other female friends but oh boy, marriage was shrillness prolonged. ( I hope my wife isn’t reading this.., but I guess I’ll just apologize in advance for her having a “shrilled” voice haha.. ).
One of the most interesting ASMR sounds which intrigued me was sound inside one’s belly. The way food or water travels inside your stomach or has all these chemical reactions to process the food has as a soft ASMR too..Its kind of a bubbly sound; Very hard to explain in words. Try hearing if you get a chance!
And if you are expecting a child, You must definitely listen to your child swimming inside. Its pure fun. Try talking to them! Did you know that at about 18-20 weeks your child could start hearing you and about 26 weeks it could also react. You could start ASMR with your child while its still inside. Most mothers do it..
Besides, If you’ve not eaten for some long hours and you’re really hungry, your stomach cramps up, that’s the negative ASMR of the stomach becoming angry! Its so loud sometimes that even a person next to you can hear it.
So you thought it was the last? Haha, no.. A couple of years ago, a grown up man like me – I bought a stethoscope ( real one ) for my daughter to play. I’d be honest here, It was more for me than her; I played with it more. I heard her heart beat so fast. I’d put the end on her neck and ask her to speak as part of my experiments. Overall I really enjoyed listening through it until it broke. I’m planning to get another one soon. Really a great ASMR.
In conclusion, sounds are really important. Scientists have built a room called the “anechoic chamber” where there is 99.99% sound absorption. Which means you could probably have trouble listening to your own voice. They claim that a person would start having headache if they stay 30 mins in that room and then start getting more severe as time passes. Woah – That’s something new. And we thought we all wanted some peace. Read more about it here.
Turns out, we need sounds around us to motivate us. Sounds that are pleasant and comforting. Last year, I went to a forest which had a placard “Stop talking among yourselves, listen to the insects, birds, water droplets, the wind, your footsteps.. listen to your soul”.
Did you know that the most popular app in 2008 was called “iFart” – All it did was to play different fart sounds. It was #1 on the App store during Christmas in 2008. By 2009 it was top 20 app of all time. Funny ASMR ! Btw, I still do have a fart app on my phone which is incredibly funny. I also had a mosquito repellent sound app which never worked, but it did make some high frequency sounds which were surprisingly strange enough for me to try it.
Today there are various other apps for Hypnosis and Calming. They help people go into a state of trance and bring you back. They heal you. A good session of those sounds can refresh and recharge your mental battery.
So open your ears, feel the ASMR !