This is another debate that comes up frequently on ASMR message boards and in social media. Is it the same thing as goose bumps or the feeling you get when you hear a really great song on the radio? I have a feeling I am going to tick a lot of people off with my assessment on this subject, but I’m just going to go for it: it’s all in the same family of feelings.
It distresses me that as a community, members frequently bash one another because of their goose bumps or fission feelings that “aren’t” technically the ASMR feelings we have accepted as our own criteria. If I may step on a soapbox for a minute, these feelings are very valid and can help folks discover their true ASMR triggers. Telling someone “no, it’s not the same thing” essentially shuts them off from that discovery and is a disservice to the continued understanding of this area of the mind.
We tend to accept on premise that ASMR probably has something to do with a release of dopamine and we know that the chills experienced during music illicit the same brain response. We also know that ASMR often feels like goose bumps without the raised skin effect so are we not shooting ourselves in the foot by alienating other conditions rather than learning from them?
When I began writing the ASMR book, I spent a lot of time reading about things that are seemingly unconnected to ASMR. For example: “Why do people watch things?” “Why are certain sounds more pleasant than others?” These queries did not always lead me to relaxation sites but often led me to education sites such as “How do people take in information? Sight, sound and touch” and audiology sites that explained head space, the inner workings of binaural sound and biological concepts that I should have memorized way back when.
Because we still know so little about ASMR, it is vital that we examine as much information as we can from a variety of fields of study without prejudice. Finding similarities as well as differences will lead us to better information that will help researchers develop more ways in which to study the phenomenon and give it widespread credence throughout the entire scientific community.
Until next time, Tingle On,
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Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR: http://www.amazon.com/Idiots-Guides-ASMR-Julie-Young/dp/1615648186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432674500&sr=8-1&keywords=Idiots+guides%3A+ASMR