Undergraduate student completes research thesis about ASMR and progressive muscle relaxation

Denisa Vondruskova recently received her Bachelor’s Degree from Palacky University in the Czech Republic.

For her Bachelor’s Thesis she completed a research project titled, “ASMR and Jacobson progressive muscle relaxation.”

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique developed by Dr Edmund Jacobson, hence it is also called, “Jacobson progressive muscle relaxation.”  PMR involves tensing and un-tensing muscle groups, progressing from the upper torso to the lower torso.

Both ASMR and PMR can help someone to reduce their stress and fall asleep more easily.  However, ASMR involves a passive process (passive exposure to gentle stimuli) and PMR involves an active process (active tensing and untensing of muscles).

Denisa may be the first researcher to compare the relaxation techniques and effects of ASMR and PMR.

Below is a summary of her methods  and findings, followed by a link to an English summary of her thesis.

Denisa recruited 9 participants (3 males , 6 females; 20 – 45 years)  and divided them into 3 groups based on their experiences with ASMR videos:

  • Group 1 (n=3): positive response to ASMR videos
  • Group 2 (n=3): negative response to ASMR videos
  • Group 3 (n=3): neutral response to ASMR videos

All the participants in the 3 Groups underwent 20 minutes of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) technique and 20 minutes of in-person ASMR trigger technique (eg, soft speaking, whispering, hand movements, tapping, scratching, and crinkling).

After exposure to the PMR and ASMR relaxation techniques, all participants completed a semi-structured interview.

The general finding is that both techniques resulted in comparable physical and mental relaxation for all 3 groups.  Interestingly, the groups who reported negative or neutral responses to ASMR videos, experienced relaxation to the in-person ASMR triggers.  The findings also support that ASMR triggers are specific to individuals – each participant identified triggers that relaxed them and triggers that did not.

No association was found between the type of ASMR experience and the PMR response.

Learn more about Denisa’s Thesis project:

Learn more about ASMR research:

  • Tips:  How to be an ASMR researcher.
  • Insight  Interviews with ASMR researchers.
  • Browse:  ASMR research and publications.

Learn more about ASMR:

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This post brought to you by ASMR University.  A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

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