Could it be that we are bombarded with so many ideas these days that one phenomenon that’s been going on for years has only today come to my attention?

ASMR: have you experienced it and, if so, does it work for you?

In case, like me, you haven’t a clue what it is, it stands for a therapeutic exercise called “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” and it’s a response to certain focussed sensations, in particular amplified sounds such as tapping a hard surface, the clip of scissors, the hiss of gas on opening a beer bottle, or a human whisper.

Some people don’t get it and the last of the above examples really doesn’t do it for me. I detest noticeable sibilancy – that “sssss” sound the English language makes which normally goes unnoticed by native speakers but becomes exaggerated in recordings and whispers.

I think it was in a history of native Australians that I read of their distrust of English colonists when they heard them speak. They couldn’t understand what they said, of course, so it sounded to their ears like a bunch of snakes. I understood that in many aboriginal tongues, there is no such sound.

Apart from that one, does any of the rest produce “tingles”? And why?

They seem at pains to exclude the likelihood of sexual responses to the stimuli. I’m a bit sceptical about this. The other thing which is likely, I think, is good old nostalgia. When I came across the Soundcloud site, I played around with a bunch of sound clips to make a personal piece of nostalgic sounds. These sounds, some of them rarely heard now and some forgotten, do evoke pleasant memories for me, a kind of tingle, I suppose. I think we all have them, the sounds of waves lapping over pebbles, the noise of children playing, ducks squabbling over breadcrumbs, a light aircraft passing overhead, the sound made by a manual typewriter… Maybe the tingles are the same as when detecting the presence of any ghost.

However, returning to the sexual/non-sexual issue, are we in any doubt as to the intention in this 2019 beer commercial? Nope.

ASMR: Science – How Stuff Works

ASMR: It helps people, it’s not sexual (BBC)


Brain Kaputnik

I realise I am not posting that often lately. The new home seems to be taking up more of my time. I could post about that but I’m afraid it might be too boring. Instead, I’ll tell you about my dream…

I have on record said that I don’t remember my dreams much and it’s true, but I woke this morning in the middle of a dream. I say “middle” but it could’ve been the end; how would I know? An odd thing about this dream I remember is that what with the stress of moving ebbing away, I’m sleeping better and, therefore, I ought not to be aware of dreaming, which, as I say, is the normal way with me. But that’s irrelevant.

So, in this dream, I’m aware of walking amongst working men. Actually, I’m walking more against them in that they appear to be coming out of places, like factories or mines or something, and I’m pushing past to get inside whatever it is they’re coming out of.

It turns out to be some kind of washroom as I’m then inside looking in cubicles, and toilets and showers. I’m going around corner after corner until I enter a space which seems to be a refectory and I sense this is what I’m there for.

The refectory is laid out in a smorgasbord style with great dishes and plates holding all sorts of foods, nothing of which takes me fancy. I’m feeling disappointed when I spot a bowl of risotto. I’m not actually recognising it as risotto but it is clearly labelled as such; just “risotto” and no clue as to what ingredients have been cooked with the rice. I’m happy with the risotto as a man would be happy with an offer of an umbrella on a rainy day.

I pick up a clean plate for my meal and place it on the counter in front of the risotto container when a man walks to my left hand side and speaks to me. I don’t get what he’s saying, small talk possibly, but I notice out of the corner of my eye he’s sizing up my empty plate for his own food. I pick my still empty plate up; he carries on talking while I watch him, intently, spoon all kinds of food selections directly onto the clean, white table cloth where my plate once was. I feel like it’s one of those Laurel and Hardy moments, where I’m Laurel and he’s Hardy.

And at that point I woke up.

The main reason I’ve neglected blogging lately is a lot of my mind has been taken up with plans for our new home. The reason we moved was to get back into growing fruit and vegetables again. I’ve made a start at digging over the plot, about one of the three areas we’ll use in a rotational method. The fourth area will contain permanent planting.

There is nothing I enjoy more sometimes than a bit of mindless labour. Having been involved in employment where the brain is used disproportionately to the body, and mainly performed in a sedentary position, entirely indoors, I find wielding a spade in the fresh air very therapeutic. It’s probably healthy too. Certainly, there’s no discernible stress and providing I give it a break after three quarters of an hour, I don’t suffer any physical problems either. During the break, I drink a cup of tea and stand and look and dream.

If I were a businessman, I’d sell it on the internet. Mindless Therapy. It could be a perfect counter to all this Mindfulness Therapy I read about now.

Do you Think too much? Way too much Conscious Awareness in your life? Is this Stressing you out? Come over to my School of Mindless Therapy Garden, switch off and grab a fork and spade!

It might be a bit like Tom Sawyer and painting that fence…