What is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and What Are the Benefits For Pet Dogs?
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is the new buzzword phrase in the field of mental health and well being in human beings. However, the concept has recently crossed over to the well-being of animals, especially dogs. Holidays4Dogs looks into the subject of autonomous sensory meridian response and it what it means in terms of helping our dogs to stay healthy and happy.
What is the practice of Autonomous sensory meridian response?
ASMR refers to relaxing feelings described as, ‘tingles in the brain’. This response happens due to certain specific triggers. These triggers are usually things such as quiet whispering, slow hand movements and light tapping. There are numerous ASMR videos available where people can experience the effects and now, ASMR videos are made specifically for the benefit of pets, such as cats and dogs.
Watching a few of these videos myself I was dubious; particularly as some seem to be of a sensuous nature. In addition, scientific research into the subject seems to be lacking.
However, in the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Sheffield and the Manchester Metropolitan University, claim that ASMR could provide benefits to both mental and physical health in humans.
One experiment was designed to discover whether there was any true merit in ASMR and its effects on people. Researchers from the psychology department of Sheffield University gathered two groups. One group, who had claimed to previously have experienced the effects of ASMR and another group who had never experienced such effects. Two different videos were chosen for each group to view. One ASMR video and one non-ASMR, (control video).
Researchers found that there was a significant decrease in heart rate when watching ASMR videos. However, this was only seen in the group who had reported a response to these triggers in the past.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate to benefit from ASMR. Some people might naturally feel relaxed by certain triggers such as whispers, or gentle tapping noises. However, others may find such noises irritating and distracting. Nevertheless, in the group who responded positively to ASMR, the participants experienced an increase in positive emotions, feelings of relaxation and social connection.
But – what about dogs? In the dog world, there are people creating ASMR videos for dogs. One such company is, Snack at Franks, a dog snack subscription service. They are trialling ASMR videos for dogs. The series of videos feature sounds from all sorts of dogs of all sizes, scratching, eating, grooming, licking and drinking.
While some dog experts agree it is a fascinating concept there is speculation on how this works with animals. There is little research that exists into the possible effect of ASMR on dogs. Many more studies still need to be carried out to establish the wider and long term effects on people.
However, it is true that soothing tones and a calm demeanour can benefit your dog. Any dog owner will surely have noticed this for themselves. The question is – do they really respond to recorded trigger sounds in a way that makes them feel more calm? We have included below, links to two ASMR videos on you tube. See how your dog reacts?
If you want to read more about the Sheffield study you can click on the link below.
www.relaxmydog.com – Relaxing Music & Tv for Dogs