Old 11-17-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

So for those who don't know much about ASMR:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autono...idian_response


I often have debates with my girlfriend over ASMR and its effects (she majored in psychology so it's always interesting). She says that much like hypnotism, you essentially have to be coerced into believing it to feel its effects. The more gullible your mind the more real these feelings or effects are. Whether it be tingles from whispering or believing a pill relieves pain for a chronic illness some people will assert that these effects are real. Locally we also have an "allergy elimination clinic" that takes pride in supposedly eliminating allergies through treatments of this pseudoscience. Some claim to have had their allergies removed entirely. This leads to wonder if said allergies were legitimate in the first place or if they were all your own brainwashing. I find it amazing that you can convince yourself that some side effects can happen (and then become quite real) even though it's complete pseudoscience.

My question is at what point does a simulated state of mind or feeling become real? If you have a powerful propaganda tool convincing someone that a pill will make you feel better and it does, wouldn't that make it legitimate in some sense? This obviously isn't for real diseases that have very real consequences to not seeking professional help where pseudoscience will not help you at all save for maybe some side effects. In other words it would be a fake remedy for a fake illness.

I love watching ASMR videos primarily for their relax tone and ability to focus on a situation designed to "trigger" certain senses. Despite me knowing that it's completely fabricated in my mind I've been able to convince myself that these "tingles" really do happen. If I'm able to consistently replicate a placebo effect, how much legitimate merit does it have?

Chiropractors may not heal my aches and pains (because it's complete bullshit) but if I feel good after a treatment regardless, is it simply a fabricated feeling that I'm conditioned to have just because in society it's "do this feel that" or is there more to it? I'm curious.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

I don't think I use ASMR videos to their full effect, like I enjoy the relaxing vibes and it usually does the job of putting me to sleep (the main reason I watch them) but I see a ton of people discussing how the same video puts them almost on the border of a state of lucidity.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

apparently using ASMR to fall asleep is similar to using background noise to fall asleep or watching something on tv eventually it becomes a habit that makes it difficult to go to sleep normally haha


I don't typically feel tingles watching ASMR vids but they do occasionally if I'm in the right state of mind. All it does to me is tickle and I wonder if it's just because it's a loud noise close to my ear kinda like someone chewing in my ear or something
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

Quote:
My question is at what point does a simulated state of mind or feeling become real? If you have a powerful propaganda tool convincing someone that a pill will make you feel better and it does, wouldn't that make it legitimate in some sense?
States of mind and feelings are all real; none of them are "simulated". And there are a myriad of things that can make someone feel better from different rituals, drugs that help with certain feelings, or just talking to people. Undesirable feelings by themselves are not an illness or a disorder though, it's just a state, so anything that improves them isn't even a placebo, it's direct treatment/help.

That being said, the problem arises when people conflate undesirable feelings with supposed mental (psychiatry) or non-present physical (chiropractic) illnesses and then pretend that these sorts of "treatments" such as ASMR, hypnosis, chiropractic, what have you, are curing or treating these "illnesses" -- that is pure pseudoscience / quackery. In reality it's just people feeling bad in some way and then feeling better when they do something about it. Nothing special.

Quote:
Chiropractors may not heal my aches and pains (because it's complete bullshit) but if I feel good after a treatment regardless, is it simply a fabricated feeling that I'm conditioned to have just because in society it's "do this feel that" or is there more to it? I'm curious.
You're saying two things at once here: first that he chiropractors do not heal your aches and pains, which one can suppose is the reason you go to them; therefore, they are ineffective treatment, and of course it's well-known that their methodology isn't scientific and very questionable (you already know this). Then second it makes you feel better right after, and chiropractic manipulation can provide short-term relief but isn't shown to be effective in the long term. So nothing more is really going on here; you're getting exactly what you already expected.

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Old 11-17-2015, 04:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

Relevant I guess:




link to article if you're interested: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/i...cebo-medicine/
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

that's actually really interesting
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

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Originally Posted by kommisar View Post
She says that much like hypnotism, you essentially have to be coerced into believing it to feel its effects. The more gullible your mind the more real these feelings or effects are. Whether it be tingles from whispering or believing a pill relieves pain for a chronic illness some people will assert that these effects are real.
I don't believe these things are related. If you manage to be in such a relaxed state necessary for ASMR to occur then any slight nudge to one of your senses causes a real reaction somewhere in your brain. Perhaps your brain is confused as how to process this drastic change in sensory input or your brain is trying to fill in some gaps kind of like an optical illusion, but with touch and sound instead of sight.

Whatever the case I'm pretty sure it is not related to the placebo effect.

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Old 11-18-2015, 12:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

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Originally Posted by kommisar View Post
My question is at what point does a simulated state of mind or feeling become real?
The short answer: when it's demonstrated to be real.


Longer answer that goes into several topics:

The "tickling" sensation you feel when watching ASMR is most likely just reflexive, the same way you'd flinch or feel pain if suddenly a loud piercing shrill blasted into your ear suddenly, or cringe when you see someone hurting themselves very seriously in a video. So in this sense, there is most definitely a sensory response to these things, and is probably a huge part of what leads people to think the video is "doing something".

That kind of placebo stems from a reflexive response, but then there is also a different kind of behavioral response that stems from habit. When you go see the chiropractor, your expectation is that you have a problem, you see a doctor of some kind, and he fixes your problem. When it is not clear to yourself how you determine whether or not you have the problem, it is easy to just accept that expectation and believe your problem is fixed.

So in these cases, the only thing at work is probably the placebo effect, which may or may not work depending on what the problem is. From testing, we know what placebo is effective on and what it's not effective on, and chances are whatever your problems were, placebo was effective on them. (If it wasn't effective and serious, you would've went to a real doctor)
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

ASMR is definitely not placebo for me: It's something I experienced for years growing up without ever understanding what it was or why it was happening:

1. Hearing high heels on marble floors
2. Getting a haircut, but namely with buzzers to the hairline
3. Someone drawing on me
4. Watching someone put on makeup (in college when I was really stressed out and sleep-deprived, sometimes I'd find that watching a YouTube makeup tutorial would trigger the ASMR and put me right to sleep. Makeup tutorials were a godsend)
5. Hearing things click together like tiles (e.g. Mahjong)
6. Certain types of whispering (I don't yet know which kind. Not all whispering triggers it for me, but usually sounds with hard consonants work well)
7. Watching someone write in a slow/controlled manner
8. Watching someone perform a task, especially if the moving/flipping of paper is involved.

This was *all* before I knew ASMR even existed and that others experienced these sorts of things too. I kept quiet about it because a lot of it was, frankly, kinda weird and hard to describe.

ASMR is a lot like a "brain tingle" that sometimes makes its way down to the spine, shoulders, etc. It's different from the feeling of an orgasm, different from the "chills" you get when listening to a piece of music you like, and different from the pleasurable feelings you might get listening to something calming / soothing like white noise. It's a very distinct tingling sensation.

If you experience ASMR, you'll know that you do -- you won't need to guess at all. Your story will likely be very similar to mine, which is pretty much the same as every other ASMR story out there.

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Old 11-18-2015, 02:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

I've always felt ASMR growing up especially during doctor visits and haircuts, or certain sensory overloads with sound.

the studies I've read essencially all just say "it might be a thing but there's literally no way to identify one cause since it varies wildly from one person to another and can be considered subjective"

it's like the anticipation of someone tickling you without touching you. ASMR does the same for me. but an identical feeling that is triggered without contact doesn't make it a placebo does it? it would simply be a different way to trigger said sensation, which is what ASMR does.
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Old 01-6-2016, 06:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

I don't think that certain sounds causing you to feel certain things is something that can be argued really, especially considering the feelings and the sounds that cause the feelings are pretty subjective per person. That can even be said unrelated to ASMR completely, but with musical taste.

The only real common ground ASMR has between the people who feel it is a sense of relaxation. What triggers these feelings could be different for each person.

Also pretty much everything Reincarnate said was on point, at least for me.
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Old 01-6-2016, 09:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

Just the mere thought of a nail file triggers a bad ASMR response in me.

I had to turn my TV off when I saw this commercial:
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

Not about ASMR but the placebo effect, I've actually had a random thought about this recently...sort of.

So far the thread seems to be coming at the placebo phenomenon from the perspective that placebo is fake medicine. But I somehow doubt that that's true. I am not aware what placebo doesn't work on, but I know it works even on cancer cell growth in lab mice or rats who get injections of saline instead of injections of the drug they are testing.

Take for instance what we now know about the brain and depression. Less cell growth, reduced hippocampal area, anti-depressants actually interact with the brain's immune system (not just the neurons as we've been told), proper treatment for depression involves therapy. What if one's immune system is what gets activated when one changes because of thought patterns changing in therapy? What if the immune system is what is involved in the placebo effect, signaling any sort of varied immune response? Thought literally controls the immune system then.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: ASMR, Hypnotism, and the Placebo effect

There are a lot of responses that are clearly thought-driven responses, e.g. hunger. You can convince yourself you're not hungry, and it goes away. Now I don't know if it actually goes away or if you just ignore it, or at what point there's a difference, but things that go away because we think they have and things that we just think have gone away are both grouped under the placebo effect, where one would be very real and the other is as real as you care to consider it.
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