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ASMR: What are the impacts on mental health?

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ASMR stands for "autonomous sensory meridian response."

It's a relaxing, often sedative sensation. Some even describe it as a tingly feeling on their scalp and neck.

Videos are posted online, meant to trigger this feeling. The videos often involve a person whispering into a sensitive microphone, tapping, scratching on objects, or eating.

Many viewers credit the videos for helping with insomnia, and for some even mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

According to Google, the parent company of YouTube.com, the term ASMR was not coined until 2010. With such a new idea, relative to studies on mental health, experts are just beginning to explore the concept of ASMR and what it means for mental health.

Dr. Elisabeth Ruggerio-Wallace, a Psychotherapist in Benton, says the concept of ASMR is so new they are not sure how to explain the videos’ popularity. "There is no definitive research or no definitive answers," she said.

Dr. Ruggerio-Wallace said there might be correlation between tactics used to reduce certain mental health issues, and ASMR videos. Hear more on what she has to say, plus, an Arkansan has found some success making ASMR videos on YouTube. We talked to her about her experience, and how ASMR has helped her.

The full story airs on Channel 7 Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm.

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