Asmr may not simply be there to make us relax more, or more relaxed. I agree that the scientific community busying itself with this sensation is in its infancy. This usually just means that there is still little known about a phenomenon, so that it is impossible to see how it relates to other phenomena.
For example, it may turn out that asmr has connections with psychical research, or the obstinate attempt to think clearly about the functionality of ESP, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis, and the search for adequate methodology for it. There could be so little known about asmr that no variations, categories or ranges within asmr can yet be established, so as to distinguish qualitatively and quantitatively, between, for example, a soft and relaxing, tingling brain sensation to being in complete euphoric trance for hours.
When asmr set foot consciously in my life I was about ten years old and looking at someone making a tremendous effort to write a few words on paper. In my case, it seems to require unintentional tapping into a different person’s concentrated energy towards a highly particular, trivial activity to experience asmr, which makes it a social phenomenon close to telepathy.
When it occurred I have preferred to remain within asmr as long as possible. At the same time I never took steps to prolong its effect. Daily matters usually took over and pulled out of asmr, although I have let it interrupt library reading for an hour once. It involves lower, alpha frequency brain waves, while reading and being alert requires beta waves. I have found it hard to concentrate on the feeling so as to make it last longer.
The purpose of asmr may well lie in sensitizing our brain to other-worldly phenomena. In my experience, to develop a sensitivity for asmr and other sensation, it takes a child with a typical perception of the world. A child who is often tired from being overwhelmed with life’s impressions, that frequently allows for daydreaming interludes, that has a vast curiosity for answers to both big and weird questions, and that has been stimulated in an contributive, triggering manner by television and video-based media. I’m inclined to say by non-thought inducing or non-strategy games, and rather by racing and being-in-the-flow games. Asmr therefore does not seem to happen to the alert, rational and pre-scientific mind, and does not contribute to children becoming part of the scientific community 2014, which still largely extends the Enlightenment era of soft positivism.
Since asmr may have purposes that far exceed the current goals and directions of the scientific institutions, we may not want to have too much focus for what science in the traditional sense has in store for asmr. It is fine to make use of this apparatus to make the phenomenon known to the manifold. But research, in my view, may benefit from an unorthodox, perhaps phenomenological, qualitative approach to asmr, rather than, for example, a neurophysiological, qualitative one. It has become clear from psychical research that tracing the nature of ESP requires the personal, idiosyncratic (non-nomothetic) approach, involving the very personal, emotional situatedness within particular life circumstances, such as a forgotten short-lived but intense love affair. If we can find ways in which asmr-experiences can be seen as guides or entrance ways to more rewarding ESP insights, the purpose of asmr may reach far beyond simple relaxation.