What is the purpose of ASMR

More relaxed in the stressful everyday student life? - The relaxation method ASMR in the test

Six out of ten people in Germany are frequently affected by stress and almost a quarter of them say they are frequently stressed.1 More than half of the students also suffer from a high level of stress due to time pressure, success and performance pressure, but also self-doubt.2 The possible consequences are not without concern. In addition to physical complaints such as muscle tension, back pain and headaches, stress can also cause psychological impairments such as nervousness, irritability or burnout.1

 

ASMR - relaxation in the age of stress

"In order to minimize the risk of stress, countermeasures should be taken urgently," argues Selina Berner. In her bachelor thesis, the graduate of the Psychology (B.Sc.) degree asked which method students can use to relax in their everyday life, comparing Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) with Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).

While Progressive Muscle Relaxation - or Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PME) - has been practiced for almost a hundred years, the story of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response only began in 2009: videos in which people whispered quickly gained wide reach on YouTube. Several successful YouTube channels specializing in the relaxation method followed, a podcast broadcast on National Public Radio, a first book, and first research results.3,4

"Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response spreads a gentle and pleasant tingling sensation that starts on the scalp," explains Selina Berner. These so-called tingles "lead to relaxation and calming." In order for the tingles to be evoked, triggers are necessary that can be auditory, visual, tactile or even scenic, can be combined with one another and are perceived subjectively.4

 

How well can students relax with ASMR?

To find out how relaxing Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response actually works, Selina Berner conducted an empirical study with 125 students. These were randomly divided into three test groups, the first group receiving an ASMR relaxation exercise and the second group receiving a PMR exercise. The third group was used for control and was given an exercise that was not designed for relaxation.

Since the survey fell during the period of the corona pandemic, it had to be carried out online due to the guidelines in force at the time. Therefore, the participants received around five-minute exercise videos specially developed for the examination and recorded their degree of relaxation before and after the exercises with the help of a relaxation questionnaire, which was also created especially for the examination. The ASMR group's video consisted of several auditory triggers, including rhythmically moving the bristles of a hairbrush, stroking a seat cushion and tapping a wooden box.