NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It does not completely stop someone from using drugs or drinking alcohol, but one Nashville man said listening to certain YouTube videos is helping him with his recovery.
Andy Keuter has been in treatment to combat his addiction to opiates and alcohol. However, videos online that give him Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, otherwise known as ASMR, make him feel relaxed and replace cravings.
"I can compare to using it as a substance. Euphoric would be a great adjective," Keuter told NewsChannel 5. "You're being present and still getting good feelings, and it's things that your body does naturally and to me that's what's exciting about it."
ASMR is described as a soothing, calming yet tingly and fuzzy sensation that typically starts in the head and spreads throughout the body.
Countless ASMR videos on YouTube and podcasts have grown in popularity throughout the years with millions of viewers. They use microphones to amplify seemingly ordinary sounds that include whispering, tapping objects, rubbing soft items and eating crunchy food.
The certain sounds trigger the sensations, which for many people can be weird or even irritating.
"If it makes me feel better then call me weird, I don't care," Keuter said.
Dr. Craig Richard, professor of Biopharmaceutical Sciences at Shenandoah University in Virginia, has studied ASMR and began ASMR University. He said it can help with anxiety and insomnia.
While there is still plenty of room for more research, Dr. Richard told NewsChannel 5 that ASMR can help mitigate symptoms of withdrawals like stress and sleeplessness. Although health management should also be under the guidance of a clinician.