How ASMR and Sound Healing Combat Stress and Burnout

How ASMR and Sound Healing Combat Stress and Burnout

By: Dr. Patrick Porter, Neuroscience Expert and Creator of BrainTap

Exhausted, irritable, frustrated, anxious, and unable to focus?

The culprit is burnout, a growing mental and emotional health problem in America, one officially classified as a medical condition by the World Health Organization, which refers to emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

Combating burnout is difficult in a society that has forgotten how to unplug and relax from work and school pressures. Stimuli such as texting, social media, and Alexa compete for our focus, making concentration more difficult than during my childhood.

When I was twelve, my father taught us a relaxation technique that I recorded and used to transform from a struggling student to a three-sport athletic captain and honor roll student. This turnaround inspired my early interest in the bridge between sound, relaxation, and improved focus and well-being. It even inspired BrainTap, a program I designed with scientists and mindfulness experts to help those who suffer from anxiety, insomnia, pain, or low-energy health issues.

Old-School Beats

The concept of sound healing isn't new, rather an ancient practice used to improve mental, physical, and emotional health as well as reducing stress and bolstering the immune system. Vibrational therapy uses vibrations from gongs and tuning forks to relax the mind and body. Binaural beats, also known as brainwave entrainment or braintapping, uses auditory stimulation to synchronize and balance brainwaves so they align to the frequency of a beat.

Braintapping guides your mind from an awake, reactionary mind into an intuitive, creative state where learning and healing can occur. Sound healers infer this is because the body relaxes and blood pressure is lowered, which improves circulation and respiratory rates. It stabilizes the limbic system which is involved in motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. The body is calmed, breathing becomes rhythmic, and the muscles relax. 

Rhythm Nation

Sound healing has a new ally in the ASMR community, one bringing relaxation to the mainstream. The term ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The sensation is triggered by sounds as varied as tapping on thick plastic surfaces, close whispering, the crinkle of medical gloves, and newspaper pages being flipped. The triggers cause what is described as electrostatic-like tingles to travel across the scalp and back of the neck. These tingles bring a sense of relaxation and calm throughout the entire body.

Many surmise that one of the earliest and unintentional ASMRists was actually Bob Ross, the painter, and host of The Joy of Painting. His soothing voice, calm actions, gentle affect, and tapping on canvas was, in effect, sound healing for viewers. By now you've probably heard of ASMRists like GentleWhispering and WhispersRed and even celebrities like Cardi B and Janet Jackson are requested to create ASMR videos that utilize their raspy, whispering voices and calm demeanor.

Viewers around the world bond over the unexpected euphoric sensation they receive from certain triggers. They discuss the ‘best' parts of videos and express how they often do not even make it to the video's end because the relaxation was so effective.

How ASMR and Sound Healing Combat Stress and Burnout

Snoozing…and Winning

Given the current fascination with ASMR, it's understandable why people are investing in the legitimacy of sound healing. Digital medicine is quickly becoming a go-to solution for enriching patient care. As more research results are published, sound therapy will become an essential part of healing protocols. With its ability to calm and relax, sound therapy helps the body stay stress-free so it can heal at an appropriate rate. With the thousands of cross-generational ASMR subscribers, it's clear that relaxation and sleep aids are necessary, especially those easily downloaded or available online. 

A truly healthy body needs a freely functioning nervous system, and because 70% of the nervous system is in the brain, it makes sense that body healing begins there. Modern work hours are longer, technological stimuli is everywhere around us. Burnout is taking over the adult workforce as well as its children. Sound healing is a safe, simple way to revitalize and reboot your mind and health, to unplug and recharge. Whether student-age or retired, people can combat burnout with a good night's sleep. They may not even realize they are aware of sound healing but utilize it each time they watch a video from their online ASMR libraries.


Patrick K. Porter, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and speaker who has devoted his career to neuroscience and brainwave entrainment. As the creator of BrainTap®, Dr. Porter has emerged as a leader in the digital health and wellness field.

BrainTap’s digital tools and mind development apps use Creative Visualization and Relaxation, a biohacking technique that has made tremendous advances in helping mental, physical, and emotional health issues. BrainTap has been praised for helping people relieve symptoms associated with stress, insomnia, pain, and much more.