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Sunday, November 23, 2014

ASMR, Migraines and Me

For the last 20 or so years, I have suffered from debilitating migraines. Each migraine sufferer is different, and my particular migraines usually include vomiting, light sensitivity and brain fogginess. Now I am on a daily medication now to keep them under control, and it is working great, but still a few sneak through, usually because of my bad decision making (a concert, dehydration AND whiskey shots on the same day?). Now anyone who knows me, knows I HATE quiet. I always have a fan, the tv, music or an audiobook going, sometimes more than one. But the problem when I have a migraine is, I need darkness, so no TV. I also have difficulty following an audiobook when I am in mid-migraine. And music, sometimes I just can't listen to music.

Then I discovered ASMR. Now ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a long way of saying those tingles in the scalp or spine that some people get from certain auditory triggers, such as scratching or crinkling plastic. Not everyone gets these tingles, and not every trigger works for every person. You can check out a few of the more common triggers here, ASMR Triggers Even if you don't ever experience the tingling sensation, ASMR is very relaxing to listen to. They can help some people get to sleep and there are many ASMR artists on YouTube! Most of them are a combination of soft whispering, the repetition of certain words or sounds, tapping, scratching and the like.

So what does this have to do with migraines? I discovered today, when my head was not quite right from some medication management stuff my Doctor is having me do, that ASMR videos are PERFECT for when I need some sound, but nothing that requires deep thought or for me to follow a story line!

Now there many different ASMR artists and styles. And if you want to try this at home, you might want to play around a bit and find what works best for you, before you are in the grips of a blinding migraine. I have a playlist all set up and ready to go that I can start with the a few taps on my iPhone. In fact, I have an App that strips out the loud pre-roll commercials and makes it easy to built playlists and follow your favorite artists, I personally prefer male artists, but there are LOTS of female artists out there, I would venture to say maybe 75% of videos are from female artists. What I love about these, they do not require your attention. If you drift off, that's okay, you didn't miss anything. While still filling the silence with pleasing sounds.

I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites. You'll notice my list is all male, many with accents, and lots of geeky themes.

The first artist I found was Ephemeral Rift. He does some of the most interesting videos. Here are a few to give you an idea of his range of work:

Another great artist is WhisperMister. He has a very soothing accent, and he does some great geeky roleplay videos!

And one last one, before I leave you to explore on your own, Ricky7Whispers

What do you think? Have you tried ASMR? Let me know in the comments!

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