Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ASMR Poll: Do you Experience a Tingling Sensation?

This has been a popular if not controversial topic that has arisen over the past while in several places online, like Reddit, the forum and even the Facebook group. Is it possible to experience ASMR without a tingling sensation?

This has long been listed as one of the most common (if not the most) sensations to accompany ASMR. We’re still not sure or agreed on what the sensation is or how it is caused – whether it’s in the brain, triggered by events, similar to how we perceive pain, or on the scalp and skin, perhaps caused by the flexing of hair follicles, which is reportedly experienced during bouts of frisson. Others have suggested it is Goosebumps. While these are theories and all possibilities, this tingling sensation is much more pleasant and intense than Goosebumps, which is why perhaps we are not satisfied to just leave it at that.

But not everybody experiences this tingling sensation. More and more people have come forward about this, and it’s hard to judge whether or not someone experiences ASMR because they lack this. Perhaps ASMR experiences are unique to the individual, and not all the same. People tend to experience it in differing levels of intensity. Triggers that will work reliably for some, may not work at all for others. Some have suggested that ASMR lies on a spectrum.

Some have experiences while watching trigger videos or are affected by events in real life, and claim to feel the positive, and sometimes even negative, effects of ASMR. They feel calm, and relaxed. There is a response of some sort – that’s for certain. But is it ASMR?

So this poll isn’t so much about whether one can experience ASMR without tingles. And it isn’t one that is answered with simply “yes” or “no” – that would be too simple. This is a poll to see just how varied and unique ASMR experiences can potentially be. We don’t want to shun people, or tell them they don’t have ASMR. We can’t really know for sure. The community tries to be as accepting as it can be, and welcomes anyone, even people who don’t experience ASMR but support those who do – so why not people who lack some of the “symptoms”? I think we need to approach this with an open mind. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, however. Remember that we know nothing for certain for the time being.

So the options for the poll are:

Do you experience a tingling sensation when exposed to triggers?

a) Yes, in or on the head/scalp region – you experience a tingling sensation, but it rarely, if ever, travels past the head and maybe the neck.

b) Yes, but in other parts of the body other than the head – you experience tingling sensations in the stomach or the legs or arms when exposed to triggers, but not the head. It could be one area or several, but it doesn’t include the head.

c) Yes, all over my body, right from the head down to my toes – this could be due to a high level of intensity; a stronger than usual ASMR event, especially for people who mainly experience the sensation in or on the head. So we have to be careful with this option. But perhaps you consistently experience tingling all over the body without fail. If you honestly experience a full body tingling as a standard response, as in at least 99% of the time, then vote for this. If only rarely, or not at all, consider one of the other options.

d) I don’t experience any tingles whatsoever – you may experience some sort of response to triggers, but there is no tingling sensation at all in any part of the body.

As per usual, 3 months or 90 days left to vote in this poll, which is on the sidebar to the right, before it closes and the results displayed here on the blog. Happy voting! Please feel free to add comments to help explain your choice and express your opinions.


  1. What honestly comes to mind, and I don't experience it, but people claim they get SSRI shivers.

    One thing that comes to mind are the chills that can shoot through you while watching a horror movie.

    Another thing that comes to mind is basic psychology.

    Another thing that comes to mind are the reported vomiting during the Twilight movies in the theaters.

    Another thing that comes to mind are the pokeman cartoons in the 90s in Japan.

    What I specifically experience and consider ASMR, I am currently not experiencing any longer. It was definitely a physical sensation in and around the brain. I've never taken SSRIs. (well one time someone let me try thier medication, and I did feel the withdrawl 'shivers')

    In any event, yeah. I don't feel anything right now, but I absolutely did for a while. What percentage of the population experiences what I did/will is probably good.

    It's a "feeling" and some people are more sensitive than you and I. Right now at least.

    I wonder if the sensation is more prevalent in the senior citizen demographic, or the youth demographic?

  2. As far as I can tell, ASMR tingles are no different from the tingles that accompany any strong pleasant emotion. IMO it's a mistake to focus on the tingles. What's interesting is the emotion that causes them.

    1. Different-definitely different for me. My ASMR tingles feeeel in a literal physical sense. It's a sensation like touch but in a way that's deeper and more intense than touch. Like a pleasant version of pain.

  3. I experience ASMR in RL situations such as having my hair done, having nails done, having skin carressed. It's always from touch of some sort. I don't get this tingling from videos, unfortunately, but I would describe the blissful drowsiness I get from ASMR videos as a mild ASMR response.

  4. I'd never realized what that feeling was, but ever since I can remember, I'd been able to trigger a full body ASMR. I'd told other people about this, when I was younger, but no one knew anything about it, nor seriously believed what I said. Rarely, my ASMR will trigger solely in my head (not self-induced) but with equal intensity of that of the self-induced ASMR. It can sometimes be more difficult to trigger, and as a result, will only spread to half my chest, and it seems if it's triggered constantly, it loses it's intensity rather quickly. However, if I leave myself to "recover", it again regains it's intensity and it once again becomes easier to trigger. It's very odd, and I wish I knew how I triggered it, as even though I can trigger it willingly, I don't understand how.

  5. I have experienced this as long as I can remember. I remember enjoying listening to my fellow classmates whispering to me or to each other during naptime in kindergarden. My head would tingle intensely and during particularly intense eposides it would run down my spine, arms, and even down to my toes, but very rarely. I am triggered mostly by shuffling papers to this day. I tried listening to a video online and I was mildly triggered, nothing too intense, but it did happen and I fell asleep within 15 minutes. Having my hair cut is a great trigger for me as well.

  6. I've always had the "feeling". It's very indescribable to me. I think "tingling" sounds like too much of a harsh sensation as I associate that with the feeling you get when your foot is asleep (unpleasant).
    To me the word I would use to describe what I feel, is, fuzzy. Maybe even warm and fuzzy. A slightly ticklish feeling.

    I get the sensation in the back of my head and down my spine. It kind of makes my head and my body feel heavy and limp.

    1. Ticklish! That's just right! A different kind of tickle.

  7. I have been watching asmr videos for around 2 or 3 years, and I have no idea what tingles feel like. (I envy the people that do!) But I do have to say the various sounds and visualizations can be so relaxing to the point where I fall asleep in my chair . But for some reason, if the sound is strong in my left ear, there's this one tiny spot inside my left thigh that just starts going off, and it doesn't necessarily feel very pleasurable, if at all. But overall, I still love asmr.

  8. Is it weird that I have very intense ASMR only on my right side? Ive never felt a reaction on the left side of my body, only my right.

  9. 100% of the time I experience intense whole body asmr from a certain trigger. Other triggers that set me off are only from the neck up.

    A hair buzzer at about somewhere between 6 and 7 o'clock 1 inch from the back of my neck, (not touching). Before it gets to my neck. I know its coming every time and i anticipate it, Trying to explain what this feels like has just never came out right, And anyone I asked if they knew what i was talking about looked at me like I was crazy. My whole body tenses up, my head tilts back, my eyes close. Theres Tingling in my brain towards the back of my skull. It shoots down my spine and it feels as if my spine is a giant nerve thats convulsing uncontrollably. I grip the armrests and try to fight it because of self conciousness about how I appear. Theres no way to keep it from happening. I twitch and tremble in my chair. I'm the weirdo the hairdresser wonders about when I leave the haircutters.

    I find that the most pleasant trigger is a slow pencil drawing being done in front of me. But it has to be justttttt right. Does'nt work every time. Also less intense triggers are whispering and certain delicate friction noises.

  10. ^a hair buzzer on the back of my neck is pretty much the most intense trigger of mine I know, I can get several of the yt videos to work and would vote C if I could.

  11. I can't get ASMR from any videos, though I do feel really relaxed after watching them. My ASMR manifests when I get my hair done/styled (which is really intense and is something I don't really like), any time someone touches the back/top of my head, tapping and Bob Ross. The ASMR is definitely between a B/C.

  12. I had never experienced these sensations until I got involved in church; we all called it "feeling the Holy Ghost", or "the presence of the Lord" It was always triggered by some kind of "spiritual" thought or context. But I haven't been involved in any churches for years, and now I can invoke the sensation voluntarily; it's like flexing some kind of psychic muscle. It's always on the right side of my body, usually starting at the base of the skull and radiating to my jaw and neck and down to my arm and leg. It seems like the church thing triggered it initially, but now it functions autonomously. This feeling was what kept me in an abusive and cultish church for years--it's hard to break away when you can physically "feel" God.

  13. I feel mine as a warmth in my chest and neck. I also feel relaxed and agreeable. Triggered only by people / experts doing or fixing something for me: doctor exam, watching a mechanic fix my car, guy replac the screen on my phone

  14. Definitely do feel tingles, especially in neck on either one side or the other at a time, depending on where the sound is coming from. But depending on unknown factors, I can also experience them in my legs, arms, fingers, toes, front of my scalp, top of my scalp, down my spine and on the back of my ribs so intense I think I might die.

  15. Definitely do feel tingles, especially in neck on either one side or the other at a time, depending on where the sound is coming from. But depending on unknown factors, I can also experience them in my legs, arms, fingers, toes, front of my scalp, top of my scalp, down my spine and on the back of my ribs so intense I think I might die.

  16. Usually get tingles mainly in my neck or scalp, but depending on unknown factors I occasionally feel them in my legs, arms, fingers, toes, down my spine, and -$ometime$- even on the back of my ribs so intense it hurts-in a good way!


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