In this episode, I am speaking with David Rabin, MD, PhD, renowned neuroscientist and inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than a decade.
We’re talking about his groundbreaking Apollo device (which I personally wear everyday) and the breakthrough science behind it that can actively improve energy, focus, relaxation and sleep.
If you’d like to be an early adopter of the Apollo (which I strongly recommend), you can save 15% for the next few days!
No coupon code needed. Just go here to get THE most amazing wearable health device on the market: https://apolloneuro.com/energyblueprint
In this podcast, Dr. Rabin and I discuss:
- How vibration can be used to hack your nervous system to eliminate stress from your body
- How Apollo improves sleep, brain performance, focus, and calm within 3 minutes
- How Apollo trains your body to de-stress on its own (without meditation, etc.)
- Why Apollo reduces insomnia, chronic pain, ADHD, and PTSD with zero negative side effects
- How Apollo takes no extra time and can be used even while you go about your normal, daily routine
- Why it has improved my life tremendously. (My stress is down, and my focus and energy are up during work!)
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Ari: Let me first introduce you to Dr. David Rabin who is an MD and a PhD and a psychiatrist. He’s the chief innovation officer, co-inventor, and co-founder of Apollo Neuroscience. He is the inventor of this device here which is absolutely amazing technology. I am very, very excited to get into this with you and share this information with you. Before I even connected with Dr. Rabin, I actually purchased this on my own and about four months ago now, and I’ve been experimenting with it. I have to say, I don’t wear technology in general, I don’t like to wear stuff.
I think a lot of the tech stuff that’s out there, the wearables, I think there’s a lot of gimmicks, there’s a lot of BS. There’s a lot of stuff that just tracks this or that. There’s a lot of stuff that isn’t even accurate in the way that it tracks this or that. There’s even fewer things that fall into the category of tech that actually doesn’t just measure what’s going on in your body, but it’s actually doing something to your body. Even fewer things within that category that actually do something real and that are supported by good scientific evidence.
I was extremely skeptical of this at the beginning, and this is really one of maybe even actually the only thing that has passed my test of skepticism and that I’ve actually been impressed by. After I used it for a few months, I actually reached out to Dr. Rabin and said, “Hey, I would love to actually do a webinar. How do you present the science behind this to my audience because I know that there are a ton of people that could use this and that are dealing with stress and anxiety and a nervous system that’s in just chronic stress mode and would benefit enormously from this?”
Dr. David Rabin: I’m going to talk to you about the origins of the Apollo technology, which came out of my research at the University of Pittsburgh. This technology, irrespective of this slide is not just for people with mental illness, although as a psychiatrist, I was working with veterans predominantly in people who had treatment-resistant, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders that were the people that really were struggling the most and really had poor symptom remission rates.
The Apollo idea in 2016 came out of — sorry, actually, it started in 2014 came out of an idea of how do we treat these people better by empowering them to feel more in control of their symptoms, more in control of how they feel without a therapist being there without taking a pill. Medicines are great. They tend to have a great role in medicine, but in mental health, it’s almost always better if we can use non-medicine interventions first. That’s where the Apollo technology came out of.
I just want to let you know that I want to disclose, I do have patents on this technology I developed at the university. Ari already introduced me in terms of my role at Apollo. I’m also the executive director of the board of medicine, which is a nonprofit medical board that trains and certifies clinicians in the safe use of minimally and non-invasive complementary and alternative approaches and that’s everything from plant medicine to psychedelics, to wearables and really focused on vulnerable populations that STEM from my original clinical training and research.
The structure of the nervous system
Just to give you some background and I’m really going to focus on the background here of where this technology came from to start, is that most of the psychopathology or the source of mental illness is linked to dysfunction and dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, which is the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. There’s two major components of our nervous system. One is the parasympathetic rest and digest recovery nervous system. This is activated by safety in our environment or safety that we induce in ourselves. I’ll talk about that in a minute.
The sympathetic nervous system is what most of us are familiar with, which is the fight, flight or freeze response nervous system which is activated by fear or threat. Most mental illness, whether it’s PTSD, anxiety, major depressive disorder, or substance use disorders, it’s characterized by increased stress and ineffective coping strategies over time, and the symptoms affect mood, anxiety, sleep activity. We see autonomic dysregulation, which can be measured by things like heart rate variability, which is now one of the most common, exciting biomarkers. It’s measured by the Whoop the Apple Watch, the Oura ring, almost all consumer wearables look at it. Oh, sorry. Then respirations, breathing, galvanic skin response is a fancy way of talking about lab-grade sweat measurements. Then pupillometry, how much are pupils change with the environment.
This is, I think, what most of us look like on a stressed-out day where our computer might not be working. We’re getting pinged too many times or too many overwhelming responsibilities. When it really comes down to it is our body is trained to run from threat, real survival threat, and that could be an animal like a bear trying to kill us or kill someone in our family or our tribe, or it could be a lack of food, water, air, or shelter. Those are not stressors or threats that most of us have to deal with on a day to day basis, right now, thankfully. Some of us do, but most of us don’t.
What happens is our body’s fight or flight sympathetic nervous system ends up redirecting its attention to other things in our environment that are called perceived threats. This could be technology breaking around us. It could be too many pings, too many slack messages, too many emails to respond to public speaking, dealing with our kids, in our families at home when we’re still amped up from work, and anything that could be along those lines.
The problem with that is that we’re not designed for this kind of day to day chronic stress, we’re designed to have stress in the moment that we deal with. Then from that moment, we deal with it, and then we escape to safety or we fight to safety, we get to safety, and then that safety triggers our rest and digest recovery nervous system to turn the healing and recovery back on.
However, with chronic stress, that turning back on of that recovery system never happens. What results is poor sleep, poor focus, low mood, low heart rate variability. These are all common symptoms, and everything from ADHD to PTSD and all mental illnesses, but because of global pandemics, and the upcoming election, and all the other craziness going on in the world right now, this is something that really impacts all of us. Chronic stress actually trains our nervous system to be in a fight or flight mode all the time. This suppresses our parasympathetic rest and digest system.
The most common symptoms that we see from this are loss of motion control, poor sleep, poor focus, low HRV, and an increased heart rate and blood pressure. What reverses that is really interesting because these are techniques, many of which have existed for a very long time. The breathing is the oldest, of course, but then meditation, yoga, soothing touch, sound meditations, or music. Then the newer stuff biofeedback, float tanks, vagal nerve stimulators, cognitive behavioral therapy, all of these techniques are very powerful and effective at boosting activity in our bodies in this parasympathetic system, which improve by sending a safety signal to our brains.
The problem with these techniques as great as they are is that they require a pretty decent amount of effort, even deep breathing, which probably requires the least amount of effort is something that requires effort and is very, very difficult, notoriously difficult to do in times where we’re really stressed out. What happens in the body is that HRV, which is the rate of change of our heartbeat over time, or another way to think about it is how quickly our heart rate adapts to the environment around us.
When stress comes, we want our heart rate to jump up real fast and get ready to deal with the threat, which diverts all of our blood flow to our skeletal muscles and our motor cortex in our brain to either fight, flight or freeze. Then when the threat is gone and we’re in a safe environment, we want our heart rate to come back down quickly to a low resting state, showing that we’re quickly adapting to our recovery system or our recovery state and that we’re safe.
Low HRV if you have low HRV, which many of you probably use wearables like the Apple Watch, Oara Ring group. If you have a low HRV, the evidence is very strong to show that this predisposes us to physical and mental illness and poor recovery. Low HRV would be like less than 40 milliseconds on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been really stressed out. I’m running in like the 30 to 40-millisecond range myself, so don’t feel bad.
The goal is that we want to trend this up towards something that’s in the 80 to a 120-millisecond range or higher. There’s no peaks to HRV, so high HRV predisposes to enhance cognitive physical resilience and performance. It actually results in from the most exciting studies that are lower and converts that I cited down below that are actually showing that we are more likely to resist illness if we have a high HRV, which means less likely to catch infections, and more likely to recover from infections without downstream consequences.
Think about COVID, here, this is a really important biomarker. GSR, which is a sign of sweat. It’s a sign of sympathetic or fight or flight, nervous system activity. We sweat when we’re stressed, most of us have experienced this. Then breathing, we know that shallow, rapid, fast respirations correlate with increased sympathetic fight or flight nervous system and slow deep respirations correlate with increased parasympathetic, rest and digest nervous system.
If we change our breathe pattern, we can actually, reliably shift the activity in these nervous systems. Interestingly, we wanted to figure out when we saw this evidence was well published in the literature. All of our patients who had PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, they all have low HRV. It’s one of the most common biomarkers in these people. Why is that interesting? Well, because these people are thought to have a dysfunction in their autonomic nervous system activity and their nervous system balance so we said, okay, well, what can address this possibly?
Well, we looked at the literature and we found that slower oscillations trend towards increased parasympathetic tone. This could be electricity, touch, sound waves, different things had been studied in different ways, faster oscillations of a touch, or electricity trend towards increased sympathetic tone, increased stress response, or decreased parasympathetic tone. Many of you know, vagal tone, vagal tone, and parasympathetic tone are used synonymously, they’re one and the same.
We thought that maybe combining these could be useful and effective in helping people recover from work and cope with stress more effectively. We started to look at vibration, and why vibration might help. Because vibration is something you can deliver to the body without the person having to do anything, you can literally wear something like Apollo on your body and you could be giving a talk, you can be performing surgery, you can be receiving surgery, you could be driving a car or doing any number of things that don’t require you to change your routine to have a gentle vibration on your body.
We started to look at the literature in this regard. We saw that slow whole-body vibration was associated with increased ratings of pleasantness and increased vagal, parasympathetic tone, massage, and other forms of touch increased vagal, tone, heightened vagal tone correlates with improved attentiveness and emotion regulation and then tactile stimulation influences the way our hypothalamus, which regulates all of these features in our body that I’ve been talking about, regulates this nervous system function, including emotions. This was the background that led us to look for the actual Nervous System pathways that we could tap into.
Ari: Dr. Rabin, I have a quick question for you.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, go ahead.
How Apollo Neuro Works
Ari: Is there something in nature that is analogous to this meaning is like human physical touch, massage, somewhat, stimulating some of these same pathways, is sound therapy, like let’s say, the ancestral compare or analogous event would be sitting in a drum circle with people chanting, playing drums, playing musical instruments and the sound waves from those things, both that are internally generated from singing or externally generated from musical instruments and other people singing? Are those sound waves creating reverberations that are in any way similar to what this technology is doing?
Dr. Rabin: Yes, so you absolutely nailed it. I should say, for those who don’t know what Apollo does, Apollo delivers gentle vibrations to the body, through the skin, that work anywhere on the body that provide stimulus that the skin sends to the brain through this pathway called Lamina 1 spinal Folemo cortical track on letter C on the far right here, that is a common pathway, that soothing touch activates. Interestingly, it’s not just soothing touch, it’s also soothing music, and it’s also taste and smell.
Ari: Really? Wow.
Dr. Rabin: Yes. Actually, you nailed the question right on the slide I was getting through, which is what other things activate this pathway. My research at the University from 2014 to 2016, when this was still — Apollo wasn’t even a thing. It was an idea in our heads that could we even make something that helps people stop having negative intrusive thinking or helps people take control of their thoughts, take control of the way they feel, and really shift the way that they think about their experiences.
What we looked at were these neural pathways. What’s really interesting is the pathway A is the traditional pathway of pain. What’s interesting about this pathway is pain goes from the skin all the way up. I’ll spare you the details, but it goes all the way up through the thalamus and to this part in the green on the far left called the somatosensory cortex, which is where all feelings are interpreted, in the somatosensory cortex. However, there is a caveat here, which is that feelings that are more strongly emotional, which is actually, believe it or not, more emotional than pain, which are taste, smell, and soothing touch and soothing music, do something different.
They follow these pathways in B and C, which is they go up through the skin or through the ear into the brain. They go to the thalamus. Then instead of going to this area of the somatosensory cortex first, which they go to later, they go to this area called the insular cortex. The insular cortex is the inner part of the brain that literally stores our memories about emotions and our fear. Emotions are actually more powerful at regulating how we think about something and how we approach an activity or think about a trauma of the past, or an anxiety than what that stimulus, what that thing tastes like, or smells like.
There are still little — I don’t have an arrow, but there are still little pathways that go up to the same cortex in A, where we actually understand what does this smell like, what does this taste like, what does this touch feel like, or what does that music sound like. What’s more important to our brains is what does it feel like. That part of the brain is highlighted in B and C. The part that goes from that B and C, that little green stripe connects to is the amygdala, which many of you have heard of, which is the fear center of the brain.
What happens is when you overwhelm this little green stripe that’s highlighted in the brain in B and C, whether it’s with any soothing taste, smells, touch, or music, what that actually does is it overwhelms the amygdala, that fear center of the brain, and puts the brakes on it and says, “Hey, buddy, maybe you don’t need to be blasting off right now, maybe you’re not actually under threat.” If I have the time — and this is exactly the same pathway as deep breathing, actually.
Which is that I have the time, in this very moment, to pay attention to the pleasant sound of this music, the pleasant touch of a loved one, or the vibrations of Apollo, or the feeling of air coming into my lungs, then I can’t possibly be running from a lion in this moment. Does that make sense?
Dr. Rabin: That is still mapping out this pathway, was critical to figuring out how Apollo could do what we thought it could do, which was most closely linked to the neural pathway of somebody holding your hand or giving you a hug on a bad day.
Ari: Now, I have one quick comment, you said something in passing there, actually, something I’ve heard before. It might have been an interview that I was listening to with you that I heard it in. The consciously paying attention to the feeling of air coming into your lungs, the act of being mindful of that, yes, I’m pretty sure it was actually you saying that. You said something like, if you’re paying attention to your breath coming in, then you almost certainly — if you have time to do that, and you have awareness to spare to be focused on something like that, you must be in a calm, safe place.
I thought that was a really interesting way of phrasing it. It makes me think, I wonder if, as far as tactile sensations on the skin and vibrations, does it matter if we have attention directed to those sensations or more or less attention directed to those sensations? Does that have an influence on the actual effect that those vibrations are having?
Dr. Rabin: Yes and no. At first, yes. If you think about it, under stress, under a situation where we perceive stress, and our minds are racing about anything from why can’t I sleep to why can’t I focus to why can’t I have the energy to do X, Y, or Z? If you have something vibrating on your body and then, all of a sudden, your attention is drawn to that thing, then it’s the same effect as somebody holding your hand, or the same effect as taking a deep breath, which you just described, which is mostly a subconscious effect. The actual pathway is that you’re seeing here is beneath our awareness. It’s not to say that we’re even necessarily aware that this is what our brains are doing in terms of the interpretation process, but this is what our brains are doing in the interpretation process, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Ari: Got it.
Dr. Rabin: Does that make sense?
Ari: Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, there needs to be at least a brief moment where there is some amount of intentionality. I think you must be familiar with that word based on some of your recent experiences that you had. I think this idea of focusing our human energy onto a single thing that we’re going to pay attention to right now, even if it’s just for one moment of one breath.
Ari: Well, what you’re getting at here is the idea of in psychedelic journeying of set and setting, and the idea of intentionality in that. For people listening Dr. Rabin is involved in doing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Anyway, there’s probably digression to go down that. It is commonly thought in those circles of people who do that work that a person’s intention going into it, is extremely important to the kind of experience that they have. Is that accurate to say, do you want to add anything to that?
Dr. Rabin: Yes, that’s absolutely true. I think that what I would add — Just so everybody knows I’m a trained ketamine-assisted psychotherapist, and I do practice ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in my practice. I’m also a MAPS trained MDMA-assisted psychotherapist. Although that could only be practiced in the context of the clinical trials right now because it’s still unfortunately illegal, but it’s on the way to legality. It’s looking like end of 2022, beginning of 2023.
Basically, the whole premise for all of these psychedelic psychotherapies and how they work is that psychedelic, the word means mind-manifesting, which is also something we don’t think about very often. It doesn’t mean crazy ’70s dance party. It means mind-manifesting. This is a very powerful thing to understand because the way that we manifest what’s underneath our awareness or in our subconscious, when we’re in an altered state of consciousness, whether that’s access through meditation or yoga or deep breathing, which can be psychedelic states, or whether it’s accessed using an assistance like Apollo or a float tank, or whether it’s accessed using a psychedelic chemical.
It’s all inducing a similar state in the mind-body, which is a profound when using the proper context, which really has to do more than anything else with safety. Safety inhibits this amygdala activity that we were talking about just a second ago, that allows this parasympathetic recovery nervous system to turn on which dramatically increases the chances of literally manifesting that with which is in our subconscious that we want to bring forth in our lives.
Ari: Beautifully explained, yes.
Dr. Rabin: That’s really the focus. That’s complete safety, not just physical, physical, mental, emotional, legal, financial, radical safety is what we as therapists are trained to do in these psychedelic ceremonies or sessions so that we can facilitate access to these deep subconscious states where the power of our true healing intelligence lies. That’s what the shamans are doing and that’s what we’re doing in our psychedelic sessions. There’s lots of different ways to access it, but that’s really the foundation of what this is about.
All of us will come together with psychedelics in the end, because psychedelics really are powerful ways. MDMA is one example to facilitate these radical healing experiences that are incredibly meaningful. They can be meaningful, and they have opportunities to be meaningful because we feel safe in them. When we don’t feel safe in them, we actually have just as much potential to retraumatize ourselves as we do in any other situation. The safety, I cannot emphasize more, is critical, and that’s the exact pathway that we were looking at here that’s activated by soothing touch, soothing music, and tastes and smells, et cetera.
Ari: I love the way you connected those dots. Excellent.
Dr. Rabin: I should say that my own training as a therapist in these as a regular psychiatrist and psychotherapist, as well as a psychedelic psychotherapist, directly inspired the development of Apollo because that helped me to understand how these pathways worked in the brain and really get to the bottom of it. I should also say that our entire founding research team were all musicians at some point in our lives, so music had a very significant impact on us as well.
Getting to the hypotheses of our study, we basically thought that the vibrations that Apollo delivers, which we originally called transcutaneous through the skin, fiber acoustic sound vibrations simulation would decrease subjective signs of stress, increase cognitive performance under stress, increase parasympathetic tone as measured by these HRV, heart rate, respiratory rate, and galvanic skin response, decrease sympathetic fight or flight activity as measured by the same things, and then increase effort, or sorry, the efficiency of effort under stress.
We did this task and I won’t spend a ton of time on this. Basically, we exposed 38 people that were healthy subjects at the University of Pittsburgh from the general community in our lab at the university in a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled crossover study, which is the most rigorous form of clinical trial you can do, where every subject is blinded, and every subject experiences all the conditions including placebo.
The placebo that we used was active control vibrations, which are the best kind of placebo. These were vibrations that we experienced in our normal day to day lives, that could have an impact on the results, but we just didn’t know. We use one was a cell phone buzz that’s known to induce alertness, and known to increase attention. Then the other was a tapping, which is known to increase calm. We thought that these could be good comparisons, and they were because they definitely induced alertness and definitely induced calm, but they didn’t induce the same kinds of performance enhancement effects that Apollo did.
This is a summary of the outcomes of the study, which were that Apollo increased heart rate variability significantly within three minutes under stress. It’s actually the first technology that’s ever been shown to have this kind of effect. With an increase in heart rate variability, we saw improved focus and an improved sense of calm, calm was the only one that was not statistically significant, but it was an improvement in the subjects.
Performance increased up to 25% on this extremely stressful cognitive task that NASA gives to astronauts before they go into space to make sure that they can do very simple tasks when they’re under extreme stress. It’s basically you have to add single-digit numbers over and over and over and over again, every two seconds. You hear another number for three minutes. You have to add the last number you heard to the last number you heard before that and then click on the sum on the screen.
Our brains naturally want to add the last number we heard to the last sum because that was last number in our minds. It’s a very simple task. People who are bad at math can do it. After about 30 to 60 seconds, everybody just wants to give up because it’s really freaking awful. The only things that boost activity or performance on this task are amphetamines. We wanted to see can we induce an amphetamine-like effect with just a vibration on your body that could potentially put you into a flow state. That’s effectively what we saw.
Ari: Now, what you said there is interesting and also to contrast, probably the cell phone vibration effect, as well as the amphetamines, which might boost alertness and performance. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that you’d find a big increase in HRV and heart rate variability associated with amphetamines, I would imagine.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, that’s exactly right. Amphetamines boost performance, and they boost the pupil dilation, cognitive resources side, but they don’t boost HRV and they certainly don’t boost calm.
Ari: This is having both a relaxation effect and distressing effect, as well as a cognitive performance-enhancing effect simultaneously?
Dr. Rabin: Right, and the weight and the reason why we thought that might happen is because it’s known in the literature that if you increase parasympathetic vagal tone, then what happens is you increase attention control particularly under stress. If somebody is under stress, and they think, or our bodies think that it’s actually a threat, then what happens is we go into tunnel vision fight or flight mode, and we lose attention control because all of our body’s functions are geared towards literally fight, flight, or freeze, which are not helpful for cognitive tasks or most of our decision making.
What we thought was, okay, if we send these specific, gentle layered frequencies that we figured out in the lab to the body, and we boost heart rate variability, would that then improve performance and improve the efficiency of our effort, and it did.
Ari: Fascinating. Explain the last part, to me the cognitive resources and pupil dilation. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen something like that.
Dr. Rabin: I will show you in a sec. I’ll walk you through. Basically, this is a principal component analysis, which is a way that splits the groups of people into two different groups. The group that’s most interesting here — I mean, both groups are interesting, but the group that’s most interesting is the group on the left, which is the group that represents about 80% of our subjects. 80% of the people in this 38-person group had significantly increased performance on the stressful task. They had decreased stress on to the task with Apollo. They had decreased galvanic skin response, decreased sweat, which is a sign that their fight or flight nervous system is toning down, even though they’re taking the stressful task, and then an increase in HRV. That’s represented by this group here.
This other group was the 20% fit with the two frequencies that we use didn’t really respond. These people in the calibration the beginning of the test, where we just got them oriented, they were nervous coming in. Their calibration valence, how they said when they even came into the lab and got wired up was they already felt uncomfortable. Their arousal, which is their level of general anxious energy was very high. They were already sweating from the beginning.
When they experienced the task with or without Apollo, their performance declined, and their fight or flight Nervous System turned on. That showed that with the two frequencies that we use, there were some people, even with the Apollo frequencies, who did not necessarily respond well to Apollo or to the task with or without Apollo, but 80% did.
This group on the right in column two called stimulus distress, this group had decreased performance on this graph, decreased calm, HRV was roughly around zero, there was no significant improvement or increase or decrease. Then cognitive resources were actually very high. Cognitive resources is measured by how much our pupils dilate over time. When we’re stressed out and we’re working really hard, we have more pupil dilation. You can measure that with a pupilometer, which is a camera that’s very high focused at the eye.
I forgot to mention when we did this task, we actually had everybody wired up quite significantly, so people have a brainwave monitor on measuring their EEG brainwaves. They’re wearing a lab-grade EKG machine, measuring their heart rate, and their heart rate variability and respirations. They had a separate respiratory band independently measuring respirations, they had two different sweat monitors on to measure galvanic skin response. Then we had a pupilometer on their eyeballs. The whole time and we also had a physical motion camera to get rid of any physical artifacts in the moving around too much in the task, which creates issues for data analysis.
All of those things are measured in tandem. That’s why we’re able to get this data. What we’re showing here is that the experimental vibrations are different in terms of the way that these groups respond. The group that responded really well, this regulatory control group really liked frequency 2. Frequency 2 had the best results on the task overall, and this was Apollo frequency 2. Whereas, the inactive control the no vibration and the placebo vibrations were all clustered in this bottom corner under inactive control.
This was just to show how different frequencies have a different effect on the body on heart rate variability on the y-axis and sweat galvanic skin response on the x-axis. With this in this task, we did a calibration where we gave people like 20 different frequencies, each for 30 seconds. We just looked at their bodies and said, they don’t know what they’re getting, everybody’s blinded, nobody knows what frequencies are which or what they’re supposed to do.
We just said, “Tell us how you feel subjectively and we’ll measure your biometrics.” We saw that different frequencies did different things. This frequency up here on the top called the freshness wrist, because we provided this stimulation to the chest and the wrist, this freshness frequency was the one that improved performance the best and induced a state of — the highest level of what we call flow, which is good sympathetic tone, not decreased sympathetic tone, but pretty balanced and high parasympathetic tone as measured by heart rate variability.
Ari: Now, quick question on that. Did you literally just, I don’t know, guess or randomly come up with lots of different frequencies and then just see what effects they had, or was there a process of using frequencies that are known to have certain physiological effects like, if you go into sound healing music therapy type stuff, there’s a belief system around different specific frequencies 528 Hertz and then 400, I think it’s 437 or something like that, there’s a 600, there’s a 700. There’s seven or eight of those different frequencies that are said to do this and that. I know that there’s some research on some of those, like, for example, there’s quite a bit of research on 528 hertz as a known relaxation effect. What was the process of how you test it out certain frequencies?
Dr. Rabin: That’s a great question. It was the latter thing that you mentioned. We started with music, and what we knew from our musical backgrounds, and what musical frequencies tended to be the most soothing. Then we transpose those down several octaves into sound waves that were under 300 hertz. That was sound waves that you can feel better than you can hear.
Then basically delivered them to the body to our bodies originally through a bass shaker, which is the center of a subwoofer. That was just in the lab with equipment we bought out over Amazon or Radio Shack, and we just test it on ourselves and we modulated those frequencies with what — The Apollo waves are not steady tones, their rhythms, their rhythmic tones, just like music.
What we did is we basically said, “Okay, what frequencies from music do we find the most soothing? What does the literature have to say about that?” Then we put all that together. Then we combined that with the frequencies, the heart and lungs reach when we entered the meditative states. Then we layered all of them together in different ways. Then we basically gave them funny names and sent them to people’s bodies. These were some names that we gave them that people experience. Clearly, there were some that people hated, like super mega jolt, and rise and shine.
Then there were clearly some that people really liked, and where on the body was delivered, and the intensity, and the frequency, and the rhythm, were all the factors that we looked at in the study to really determine, okay, and the biometrics, right? To look at, okay, what is it we’re actually doing here and what was fascinating was, we started to find that there were reliable effects, that certain frequencies reliably put people into this flow zone, where they were performing better, they were more cognitively focused, they felt great. They were just in the zone.
Then there were other ones that just made people feel like shit. That reliability showed us that we were on the right path. Then we went and figured out an algorithm to generate those frequencies using math formulas, basically. Apollo takes those frequencies that we discovered in the lab and then generates them with math code so that they’re reliable and the same every time.
Ari: Very, very cool, brilliant stuff.
Dr. Rabin: Thanks. It was an incredible amount of work and very exciting, but incredible amount of work. This study was done in 2017-2018, by the way, and TBS, again, is the vibrations before they were known as Apollo. This was done, just so you know, before the company was a company. We didn’t have any like financial interest in this. This is all grant-funded university research. We looked at HRV. This graph A is looking at Apollo Frequency 1 and this is looking at HRV on the y-axis, and then graphed B is Frequency 2, Apollo Frequency 2. These are both the active Apollo frequencies that showed a significant change and stress on the y-axis.
What was really fascinating was, with both of the frequencies we chose, in 80% of people, going back to that first figure I showed you, as heart rate variability increased with the frequency, performance on the task increase. This goes back to that original bar graph summary I showed you. Similarly, as stress, subjective stress, from people self-reports, went down in graph B, performance increased on the task. There became a linear relationship between, not only how people feel and how well they perform on the task, but how the body looks physiologically from a cardiovascular perspective, what does your biomarkers look like.
Then that correlates directly with how much stress you feel and then that correlates directly with how well you do under stress. These are all assumptions that neurosciences made for years but this has never been something that anyone has really shown you could reliably influence in a task like this. Then this is the pupillometry data, which is really fascinating because this shows — this graph basically represents flow. This shows from that regulatory control group that I showed you in that slide here. Sorry, this slide, this column 1 regulatory control, this was the 80% of people that did really, really well with the Apollo vibrations under stress.
Those people, the more that sat in the task, the more effort they put in, with the pupil peak difference. Going from left to right, that’s the amount of change that your pupils are having over the three-minute course of the task. As we increase work, the amount of regulatory control which is associated with feeling better and performing better increased on a linear fashion. This is the direct opposite slope of the line to people who did not have Apollo frequencies.
Without Apollo frequencies, and in previous studies of this task that have been done many, many times before the line is reversed. Where people continue to try hard, but the harder you try, the worse you do, because you just keep getting caught up in, “Oh my God, did I get that last answer right? Did I get that last answer right?” Then it slows you down and your performance actually declines when you work harder. Seeing that we reversed that effect actually induced the same shape line that amphetamines induced in this task.
The results from this briefly were, and this is again in healthy subjects, that the vibrations increased significantly as the subjective signs of — sorry, reduced subjective signs of stress, improve performance on the stressful task, and then induce a linear relationship between cognitive effort and performance under stress.
This publication is currently under review right now. This is our original team of scientists and musicians who worked on the research of the technology. We originally called it emotion prosthetics, but then deviated away from that, thanks to my wife Catherine in the bottom left, because she has the business smarts to know that nobody wants an emotion prosthetic.
Ari: By the way, I definitely saw a couple of guys on there that look like musicians. You see that stylish long hair, but then the science geek glasses. Yes, you look like scientists musicians for sure.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, that was us. Then that became the current product that’s available. You can see the kinds of experiences people are talking about with the app that delivers seven different states. These are the combinations of frequencies that we discovered in the lab. We then, from that work, that study that was wrapped up in 2018, Catherine ended up raising the money to make 400 prototypes that looked way worse than this, and then distributed them out to over 2000 people with my help.
Then we asked — and some of those people were like Michael and Hollis, actually from Baby Bathwater who were some of our original testers. Then we asked them what they thought. They used it for a month. They took it home with a beta app, and they told us what they thought and how it worked, and with people who were suffering from illnesses, people who were healthy, people using psychedelics. We got a ton of data from the consumers or the testers.
That led to us to determine that there were seven goals that most people want to achieve in their day-to-day lives, which became the goals of the current Apollo technology. Which the first version that’s commercially available looks like this picture on the left. Those stem from energy and wake up, which is the most stimulating going down to the most calming. Energy and wake up, then clear and focus, social and open, rebuild and recover, meditation and mindfulness, relax and unwind, and the bottom one that you can’t see is sleep.
The goal is to empower the user to be in control of their attention using the technology. This is some of the numbers we have to date from people using this. Prior to launching the technology in January of 2020, we had just over 2000 beta testers which helped us build the commercial technology. Now, we have over 12,000 users of the commercial product showing the same results as we saw in the lab and from our initial beta testers. I should say better than our initial beta testers because we made a lot of improvements to the tech.
We have over 500 long-term users from the beta tester group who use the technology for over 12 months in the real world, showing that the real-world findings were consistent with lab findings and that we have no adverse events, which is really great because this is just sound waves. These vibrations that we use have been tested and used for years in therapeutic massagers and massage chairs and sexual vibrators, and cell phones and they don’t cause side effects.
We really wanted to make something that people could use that didn’t have, dependency, habit-forming, affects, addiction, and that didn’t cause major downsides for people that would cause problems. I think one of the most exciting findings that we saw was that people who have treatment-resistant illnesses like PTSD, chronic pain, insomnia that have — or reliance on medicine for their symptoms were able to — without us asking them, they were just telling us from our studies and from our case reports that they were voluntarily able to start tapering off of everything, from opioids to benzodiazepines, to amphetamines, to even alcohol and caffeine by using Apollo.
Which was the most promising thing for me, because as a psychiatrist, my whole big focus of my practice was helping people get off these drugs that they didn’t want to be on. It was really hard. It’s like still the hardest thing that I do is helping people get off these habit-forming drugs and change habits. The fact that Apollo was doing this for people just showed us that we were on the right track. These are the studies that are IRB approved that we’ve completed so far.
I’ll just briefly touch on these. The athletic recovery trial actually wrapped at the University of Pittsburgh this year. We had another trial with elite NCAA athletes at the University of Minnesota that was a pilot in 40 people. Both showed that Apollo, after intense exercise, increased heart rate variability and reduced heart rate back to resting within two minutes by 15 points, more than normal.
Effectively, what that means is that, after exercise, if you use Apollo particularly on the recovery setting, that you’re much more likely to recover back to baseline, back to your resting state faster. You can enter a recovery state faster, which means, and what we showed in these trials was that people can then reach a state of peak performance more on interval training. If you’re an ice hockey player, that if you use Apollo on your two-minute breaks when you’re on the bench, then you’re going to be able to go out and perform at a higher level when you go back out again afterwards.
Ari: That’s smart. I love that.
Dr. Rabin: This is one of the interesting meditation findings that we have. This is a little over-complicated maybe, but just to sum it up, what we did is a study with meditators where we wanted to see that, if Apollo was helping people access states of safety, then it should help people access States of meditation. We measured EEG brainwaves on 50 people, 25 were experienced meditators, 25 were people who have never been able to meditate in their lives, and never done psychedelics.
Then we looked at their brainwaves with a guided-mindfulness protocol for 12 minutes with and without Apollo. With Apollo, what we saw was that — I should say without Apollo, all of the naïve meditators, the people with no meditation experience, were not able to change their state. They all said that they did not feel any different with the mindfulness audio like a headspace recording without the Apollo. All of the experienced meditators had data that looks like the data you see here, where their gamma coherence, which is a sign that they’re in a meditative state, changed within three to five minutes.
What was so fascinating about this was that within 12 minutes with Apollo, all of the naïve meditators’ brainwave patterns looked just like the experienced meditators brainwave patterns. That study is currently being prepared now for submission. That was a really exciting finding because we had had a number of experienced meditators using this and improving their access to deeper meditative states. This has been really exciting data to be able to bring into the world.
Ari: How many minutes did you say?
Dr. Rabin: 12, so within 12 minutes, a non-meditator can have an experience of meditation with Apollo.
Dr. Rabin: This is augmented when you combine it with music, it’s augmented when you combine it with psychedelics, of course. It’s augmented when you combine it with soothing touch and with breathing. That’s data that I can’t share with you yet because it’s still too early, but we have seen reliable benefits in terms of combined benefit with these kinds of things.
Ari: I haven’t even personally used it with meditation yet. I meditate first thing in the morning, and usually, I wear the Apollo when I’m working, like during a cognitively demanding more stressed out part of my day. Now, I realize I’ve got to try it during meditation, too.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, if you think about Apollo’s benefit, the biggest benefit is for facilitating the smoothness of state change. If you’re shifting from work to play, from play to work, from sleep to workout, from workout to meditation, whatever, from busy work to socializing with your family, whatever it is, Apollo helps transition us smoothly from one state to another.
In this case, what we saw is that the indices of attention and effort paying attention and in effort to interoception. Interoception is feeling our bodies, being aware of our bodies, were all improved with the vibration. Then these are some of the studies we’re currently have ongoing. We have about three more studies in this ongoing now but these are some of the more exciting ones that we’re looking at. This is some of the preliminary data that actually mentally ill population of people, mostly veterans with severe treatment-resistant PTSD. This is the results from the first 14 subjects, but we have about a dozen more that have been run so far through with consistent results.
What they’ve shown is — and these are people who have had no responses in treatment to any other thing that they’ve tried, no consistent responses. Within just two weeks of using Apollo, they have an improved, significantly improved return from shutdown state, improved which is like feeling numb or dissociated, disconnected, significantly improved focus, improved self-reported ability to regulate emotions, which was the most common and most intensely reported result, and most interestingly improved sleep.
These are some of the quotes down below that people were reporting commonly.
The potential benefits of Apollo Neuro on children with ADHD
These are some of the results from our ongoing pediatric study for kids with treatment-resistant ADHD, and anxiety disorders. We saw that in 27 kids, 100%, this is at a pediatric clinic in Allentown, Pennsylvania, that tries to get kids off drugs. This is, sorry, 100% improvement in subjects with Apollo within one hour of use, in terms of mood and behavior. We saw an over 50% drop in anxiety scores in 14 out of 15 patients within one hour. We saw impulse control in nine out of 10 people with ADHD experience reduced hyperactivity-impulsivity within one hour.
The reason we could say one hour is because all of this was measured initially from this data in a therapy session, which was really interesting because, in therapy, some of the therapists would come back to us and they would say, “I have never seen this child, so calm, and I’ve been working with them for over two years, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to have a conversation with them.” Seeing those results was just mind-blowing. It was something that we didn’t expect, but I think moving into some of the things that I think will really excite this community is this idea of combining Apollo with all other altered state experiences like psychedelics.
One of the things that we noticed, when we gave these prototypes out into the world and the commercial devices is that people would use them in conjunction with psychedelic drugs. It’s not like we did a study on this, this was real-world people in their regular lives who do psychedelics in their regular lives, who decided to combine Apollo with their psychedelic experiences. All these people were experienced psychedelic users, many of them have had bad trips before, or uncomfortable, unpleasant experiences.
What the most common reports were that people would come back and say — actually, I should say, the most common. This was in everyone who used it said, increased feelings of calm, a restored sense of autonomy and agency when they felt anxious or out of control in their experience, a complete elimination of the calm down experience, particularly with MDMA, which is the strongest calm down afterwards. Then improved processing through negative or difficult traumatic experiences that surface, which in a lot of cases is what leads to a bad trip.
They would turn their Apollo on it when they came up against uncomfortable material. It would help them navigate through that experience more effectively. I think also, interestingly, there were 31 people who took the Apollo home after or had Apollo with them at home, that was not like an Apollo of a friend or something that was lent to them. It was something that they were able to keep with them after the experience. All 31 people said that it dramatically improved their ability to integrate what they learned from the psychedelic experience into their daily practice, and also decrease their desire to self medicate.
I think, what the overall conclusions from all of this work are, that Apollo improves the autonomic tone and physiological signs of stress, how our body functions in response to stress, Apollo vibrations improves subjective reports of stress. Apollo improves the quality of psychedelic experiences and facilitates integration post-treatment, which now we’re working on actually, starting some real trials on with ketamine. Then Apollo vibrations make experiences more safe, present and meaningful.
Why is this so interesting? Well, independently, it’s interesting anyway, but in the context of psychedelics, it’s truly fascinating. Why? Because some of the most common experiences that people report from working with psychedelic medicines are the same kinds of reports that people report when they use Apollo. One of the experiences that’s reported, that is the most interesting to me, down here at the bottom, is that these psychedelic experiences MDMA and psilocybin are consistently rated in the clinical trials as one of the most meaningful experiences that they ever had in their lives.
It changes the way that we interpret meaning from our experiences and it results in symptom reduction rather quickly in treatment-resistant mental illness. I don’t personally know as a physician and a specialist in this particular area, I don’t know anything else in our wheelhouse, that can induce this kind of effect, other than psychedelic medicine. Apollo was having people after a relatively brief amount of time reports similar things.
I’m about to wrap up, this is one of the last slides but it was basically interesting, because trauma is one or multiple negative or threatening intense, meaningful experiences over time, altered states of consciousness that result in transformative healing experiences, and that’s induced by medicine or deep breath work, or Apollo or whatever tools you have available, or like one or multiple positive or safe, intense, meaningful experiences over time.
The clinical evidence and early molecular evidence strongly suggests that meaningful experiences in it of themselves impact the training of neural networks all the way down to epigenetics. What we’re doing right now—
How neural networks and epigenetics affect your health
Ari: Dr. Rabin, just for people who are not necessarily super scientifically literate on neural networks, and epigenetics, just rephrase what that means in simple words.
Dr. Rabin: Sure. Sorry about that. Thanks for reminding me. Neural networks are basically just the pathways that our thoughts and feelings and everything that we experience follows a nerve pathway, like I showed you earlier, this is — where is it? This is a neural network. On the left is the neural network for pain that’s most common on, the B is the neural network for taste and smell is the most common. Then C is the neural network for soothing touch, that’s the most common. It’s the pathway that information travels. All our nerve fibers, every little Y you see here, like in the green boxes and the green areas, there’s a little dot and then a Y, that’s called a synapse.
Those synapses are how neurons talk to each other, and then how they talk to other parts of our bodies. When we change our behavior, or when we practice anything, if it’s good or bad, or positive or negative, or destructive or constructive, when we practice something, that practice strengthens the neural networks around that thing. For example, if you practice for better — not your fault, necessarily, but if you practice eating an ice cream every time you’re stressed out, then we strengthen the neural networks in our brains, the connections between our neurons that remind us every time we get stressed out to seek ice cream because that’s going to make us feel better. Then we suffer the consequences of ultimately becoming very overweight and unhealthy.
If, however, we say, okay, instead of seeking an ice cream, every time I get stressed out, I’m going to think about what I’m grateful for, then that strengthens neural networks around gratitude. It’s literally like building muscle in the gym, the more we practice anything, and this is the work that I cited down here with Eric Kandel, who won the Nobel Prize in 2000, for discovering this stuff, is that the more we practice anything, the better at it we get. Practice makes perfect is the model that many of us were taught as a kid, it’s actually true by the neuroscience, it’s actually true.
The more we practice something, the better we get. That could be positive or negative, good or bad. We might as well, if we’re going to do anything, spend time practicing things that serve us, and help us. That’s what these ideas are trying to bring to light. The idea of epigenetics is epigenetics is basically a way of saying on the genes. Everyone knows generally what DNA is, it’s the code in our bodies that dictates what our cells do but the thing is that every cell in our body has the same DNA in it, however, except our sperm and egg cells, however, every cell in our body has a different function.
The way that a cell in the skin knows to be skin and not brain and the way a cell in the brain knows to be brain and not skin, is because there’s little markers on that code, the DNA, called epigenetic markers that say, in the skin, “Hey, your skin don’t express brain proteins and only express skin proteins” and in the brain, it does the opposite. Does that make sense?
Ari: Yes, it does. Epigenetics used to be, for a long time, used to be thought DNA was the big boss and your genes give the instructions of everything that your body does. Then we figured out that actually environmental inputs, the environment, and your lifestyle, influence what genes get turned on or turned off, and therefore which genes get activated. For example, having the breast cancer gene, BCRA gene, doesn’t mean you’re going to have breast cancer, it might be associated with a slight increase
in the susceptibility to getting breast cancer, but you still need those environmental and lifestyle triggers to actually activate those destructive genes, in this case, those cancer-causing genes. If you have the right lifestyle and environmental inputs, it will keep those cancer-causing genes switched off. You can get this device.
She’s shown a ton of science. At this point, I hope you’re sufficiently convinced that this is an amazing technology, and that it’s absolutely worth getting. You should see a little button appear there with a picture of the Apollo Neuro device, one of these guys here. This is truly an amazing piece of technology. It’s something I’m using in my own life. I’m getting really amazing results with. Like I said at the beginning of this, this is one of literally dozens of different technologies that I’ve tried wearable technologies that I actually like and that I actually use, and that I actually am impressed with the science on.
I think this is a genuinely amazing tool in the tool belt, and especially so for anybody who struggles with anxiety, depression, being in a constant state of stress, tension. If you have chronic fatigue, it is very, very likely, it’s very common in that segment of the population, especially if you have stress-related exhaustion or stress-related burnout. If any of those things apply to you, this technology is absolutely amazing. It is a truly must-have technology to help your body better cope with that stress, and get back into a state of resilience and relaxation. Welcome back, Dr. Rabin. I was just letting people know a little bit about the technology. I will let you take it from here.
Dr. Rabin: Thanks a lot. My computer crashed. Apparently, is mercury retrograde?
Ari: Yes, I think it is. It must be mercury.
Dr. Rabin: I don’t need to go back to slides. I think the idea is that epigenetics control, our neurons store information about our experience. We know our brain stores experience, it turns out that may not be limited to our brain. It’s actually likely to be stored all the way down to the code that’s on our DNA. We’re now doing a study to look at can Apollo and psychedelics influence the way that we actually store information on our DNA? That study we’re doing right now because I want to see personally, and I think a lot of us want to see, can we replicate the benefits of psychedelic medicine without drugs? Maybe it’s not just psychedelics that induce these life-changing effects. Maybe there’s technology that can do it too.
Ari: Beautiful. Actually, I will say on a personal note, I just did my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session two or three days ago, absolutely amazing. The guy I did it with is an expert in sound, and music therapy as well. He integrates all of these layers of sound and vibrational therapies into the session. It’s hard for me to separate out what experience I would have had with or without one or the other, but absolutely amazing, profound experience. Dr. Rabin, do you want to wrap up? Is there anything else that you wanted to say here or should that–
Dr. Rabin: That’s a great question. I think that’s, at this point, the area that is most customizable for the individual. In the lab, what we found is, and somebody asked, everybody knows what the stimulation feels like, it feels like a gentle vibration. That is like an ocean wave washing over your body or a cat purring on your body. It feels like a very gentle vibration that is noticeable, but not distracting. That’s really what we tested in the lab that induce the best effects because if it’s distracting, then it tends to take us out of the present moment. The goal is presentness and we really want to facilitate presentness because safety and presentness facilitate that parasympathetic healing response in the body. The best results that people tend to have from Apollo- and some people do like it more intense, kids with autism love turned all the way up. A lot of veterans with PTSD, when they’re feeling really stressed out, they love to turn it all the way up. For most people, myself included, I use it at usually somewhere between 10% and 40%. I don’t usually turn it higher, except for the sleep setting, which I’ll turn off to 70 or 80%. The best functioning is when it works at a level where it’s just barely noticeable and you can feel it vibrating when you pay attention to it, but when you pay attention to something else, it fades into the background.
That’s the best guidance there, but you can customize it. There’s a little intensity volume knob or a slider on there that’s just like a stereo. If you think about it, this is music. It’s music and it’s the rhythm that is designed based on the neuroscience of how our bodies respond to rhythm through our skin instead of our ears. It’s music composed with the skin instead of the ears. Most people would not start their stereo up with it on full blast, you would usually start it low and then gradually ramp it up. We recommend the same thing with Apollo to get the best results. Then if you’d like it higher, you can use it higher, but most people like it on the lower end.
Ari: Nice. Okay. Sara says, “I’m a nurse practitioner. I’m wondering if you have used this with any codes to be able to build it for patients.”
Dr. Rabin: The device is built for FDA design controls. It’s built to HIPAA compliance because when we saw these results with patients, we actually have planned the whole time to take it to the FDA, to make it available for reimbursement and to get approved for the FDA by the FDA for clients to get it at a subsidized rate. That’s absolutely in the cards. However, the FDA is slow, and they’re very focused on COVID right now, but we are on the FDA path, and we’re moving in that direction. The hope is that by probably 2022, we’ll have FDA approval, and you’ll start to be able to get it reimbursed. That’s the goal.
Ari: Cool. Kathy says, “Can you describe the device itself, is it an electrode stimulus, physical pulse?
Dr. Rabin: The device is literally a motor that makes low-frequency sound waves. It’s not electricity and it is not a pulse of any kind other than– It’s like bass music. It’s a gentle sound wave that goes up and down, and up and down and fades in and out over time like a cat purring, I would say the most similar thing that we experience on a day to day basis or in our lives that we’ve experienced, that’s the most similar sound to what Apollo feels like. It’s truly sound, it’s not electricity at all. It does meet all certification criteria. I’ve noticed a lot of people are concerned with EMF, it does meet all certification criteria to be below the threshold of EMF safety.
However, for those who are very sensitive, and a lot of the people that we work with are very sensitive to EMF, we purposefully built-in airplane mode for those people, so you can literally turn off all connections to the device, and all signaling to and from the device. We did that for the military partners we work with too because they can’t have connectivity like that in certain places. We also put buttons on the device, so you don’t need the app to use it.
My favorite way to use it is I set the device to one setting, and then you tap the buttons to turn it on. Then it runs for half an hour or an hour for the full cycle. Then when you want to turn it back on again. You tap the buttons, it’ll turn back on and reactivate it and you don’t need to go back to your phone because going through our phone is a big source of stress in the first place. The less we can get keep you on that screen and the more that we can give you the ability to activate the technology without going to your phone, the better for everyone.
Ari: Yes, I’m with you, I actually get annoyed with devices that you have to go to your phone to trigger them. I’d much rather just use the little buttons on the device themselves, so I’m really glad that you put in that feature. As someone who’s also concerned with wearable devices that have Bluetooth connectivity signals going out, I also really like the airplane mode feature.
Along those same lines, this is a question from Carl, it’s actually a series of questions. You addressed some of those in passing there, but Carl says, what makes this technology different than other “energetic healing devices” such as p-EMF, pulsed electromagnetic fields, microcurrent neurofeedback, frequency-specific microcurrent, et cetera, and are they not concerned– Well, I’ll let you address that part first, but he also wants to ask about the EMF aspect of things which you just addressed. Maybe we’ll just address the first part.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, you do need a smartphone for this, actually. I will answer that question that I saw popping up on the list because that’s an important one to note. It works for both Android and iOS. With respect to the other frequencies that are out there– These are all different. Everything around us is frequency. Music, sound waves are frequencies that are higher than our frequencies. We do low-frequency sound waves, which are in the range of bass, which are the range of what our touch receptors are most able to feel.
p-EMF is much higher frequency. Some people feel p-EMF, other people don’t really feel that much, but it’s a much higher frequency waveform pattern. To deliver p-EMF, you require typically a much higher voltage and a much bigger apparatus to power the delivery of p-EMF properly. There are a lot of people who think that they can do it with a wearable, but it’s very difficult to do it properly. There’s almost no studies showing that you can effectively deliver p-EMF in a wearable.
Microcurrents or electricity, again, the same thing, but electricity is not soothing, per se. It does induce an effect on the body. It can be used to stimulate the vagus nerve, but it can’t ramp you up and ramp you down in a soothing way. It’s also very difficult to use when you’re doing other things. I think the main goal of Apollo is it was designed with implementation science in mind. I’m a doctor, I work in the ER, I’m really stressed out. What would I want to use when I’m seeing a patient? I’ve seen 30 patients already who were suicidal this night before this patient, and then I walk into a room and suddenly he starts yelling at me, I can’t have a microcurrent generator on my body. I can’t have headphones in.
For me, music was the most calming. So what we thought was how can we use music in a way that we can deliver sound waves to the body that can be delivered so non-invasively and so in the background, but still to induce the effect of calming or performance enhancement or attention that we’re really looking for in those stressful situations? Then that translates to everyone else who music- because if we’re finding utility of it as doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, fighter pilots, whoever it is in these high-intensity situations, then people like the rest of us in our general communities can find benefit from it as well and their everyday stuff.
Ari: Got it. Also, just to add one bit to that, the pulsed electromagnetic fields are literally pulsed magnetic fields. The other one, the microcurrent is electricity being delivered to your body. This is vibrational waves or sound waves. [crosstalk]
Dr. Rabin: Yes, a much lower frequency and you actually feel it like a vibration. It’s a very gentle, palpable vibration that you can feel.
Ari: Got it. There was one– Okay. I think an important thing to talk about, which you touched on briefly but not too much, is the vagus nerve. There are various vagus nerve-stimulation devices that are out there. Some are prescription-only medical devices. There are some that have been on the market as far as direct to consumer non-medical device stuff, but I have not really been impressed with any of the vagus nerve stimulation devices that are direct to consumer non-medical device stuff. I actually personally find this to be the most effective in activating the parasympathetic nerve. Can you just contrast this with some of the other vagus nerve stimulating devices out there? Does this act on the vagus?
Dr. Rabin: Yes. The thing about Apollo that’s unique is that it doesn’t act on the vagus nerve only. A lot of the other vagus nerve-stimulating devices out there, they’re called VNS or Vagus Nerve Simulators because that’s the main thing they do. Alpha-Stim uses electricity to activate the vagus nerve to the ear. There’s a couple of other devices that do it through the ear. There’s a couple of other devices that do it to the neck, to the chest. There’s implantable surgical devices. All these devices are great if you just care about activating the vagus nerve, but that comes with side effects because if your vagus nerve is overactive all the time, then you actually are less likely to be able to ramp up and respond to stress in the moment or threat in the moment when it’s real. What we really were trying to do was boost vagal tone just enough so that we can block or interrupt negative intrusive thinking that’s caused by not actual threat, but allow you to still get energy and ramp up when you want to. As you saw from the app, there’s a whole range of seven settings. The energy and the parasympathetic dominant vagal settings are like Sleep and Renew, Relax, Unwind, and Meditation, those are the settings that really powerfully boost parasympathetic tone and reduce sympathetic activity, which are really akin to like a slow deep breathing, meditative activity. Then there’s Rebuild and Recover, which is roughly equal sympathetic and parasympathetic. Then there’s the Clear and Focused and Social and Open, which have a lot of parasympathetic, but they also boost sympathetic. You get that energy from the sympathetic state, but you also get attention control and emotion regulation from the parasympathetic state. That’s flow. Energy and Wake Up is more sympathetic and parasympathetic actually.
There’s all of these different states that we can achieve in our day-to-day lives that we can do on our own, like deep breathing. If anybody wants the most cost-effective thing here, deep-breathing is the way that you can reliably access these states at literally any moment. However, most of us have not learned how to do that. Paulo actually can help us access these states. Over time, as we use it, there’s what’s called a learning effect. The learning effect is that it helps us train ourselves to access those states more effectively over time, without the device.
Ari: Got it. Samuel says a minority of people have not found the Apollo helpful. Do you think there are reasons for this? If these reasons were addressed, everyone would have a very beneficial experience with Apollo? The second part is a question.
Dr. Rabin: That’s a great question. As I told you, in that study, when we tested two vibration patterns of these layered Apollo rhythms that are in the device now, 80% of people responded. Then we did- we made 400 prototypes, we sent them out into the world and we tested them on thousands of people. We found that we could get a 90% to 95% response rate.
Currently, with the current device, we have about a 95% response rate, which I would say is pretty darn good without any customization. There’s no customization in the Apollo app right now. Literally, every single customer gets the same experience with the exception of how we choose to set the intensity level. That’s pretty good. However, we are moving towards customization. There are 5% to 10% of people who respond differently than everyone else. People who calm down with loud music will respond differently to our frequencies. They might feel calmer with the social and open and Clear and Focused than they do with Relax and Unwind.
Ari: These are like weirdos who fall asleep listening to heavy metal music, right?
Dr. Rabin: I don’t know if those are necessarily weirdos. I have a lot of friends like that.
Ari: I’m just kidding. Everybody listening who’s part of that 5%, I’m just messing with you.
Dr. Rabin: Well, there’s just certain different states that we all start out in and we’ve had a different set of experiences that lead us to respond to things in a different way. There’s two answers that I have for you. Number one is the thing you could do right now. If you have an Apollo and it’s not giving you the effects that you were expecting, try reversing the settings for yourself. Use the social setting and the Clear and Focused setting, and the rebuild, recover setting to calm down. Use the relax, unwind, and meditation, and sleep to boost yourself up and see if that changes your experience. That’s the first thing. Number two is-
Ari: Hold on. I had a vision of somebody at a party using the social and open setting and then having a narcoleptic effect if that’s what they call it. As soon as they turn it on, they just fall asleep as they’re talking to somebody. [chuckles]
Dr. Rabin: That I have not heard yet, but you never know. The point is that when you’re in a state where you’re trying to wind down before bed, there are some people who calm down with those higher frequency settings. The other thing is, make sure to adjust the intensity the way that we recommend in the package when you get it. Start with the intensity low where you can barely feel it and then gently increase it as needed. Don’t start with a high because even in the relaxing settings, if you start with a high, they will become stimulating. That’s really, really important.
The last thing is that we’re listening to you as our customers. We really care about what you have to say. If you have an experience that you want to tell us about that is different than what you expected, please let us know because we’ll listen to you. We’ll take that and we’ll build that into the customization of the future experiences where Apollo will actually start to change its patterns to your body by listening to you and listening to how your behavior and your biomarkers change. We’re partnering with ordering on a study to do that now where we have a lot of people using, ordering, and sharing their data with us to help us learn from there about what works and what doesn’t work. Please share it with us. We’re happy to hear from you and we’re happy to help walk you through anything that we can do to help make your experience better.
Ari: Nice. Kay says, “I’m small-boned and have to use a child band on my watch. Will this fit me?” She’s got a really small wrist. I just adjusted mine, so you can see it to the smallest it will go, and it gets pretty darn small. Do you want to speak to that at all?
Dr. Rabin: We will actually– So it does get pretty small. The ankle strap typically works for 95% of people’s ankles in terms of how we size it. The bands are pretty stretchy. For people who are on the much smaller size and for kids because this works great for kids, we are releasing kids size bands. If you want a smaller band or a smaller strap, you could just email our team and I’m pretty sure that we’ll have some available to send out complementary to the first people who reach out to us. If you email us at our customer service team now, we’ll just get you on the list, send one out. Then down the road, we’ll put all these bands up on the website for sale.
Ari: Nice. You mentioned this in passing, but I guess it’s worth stating directly, you can use this device either on your wrist or on your ankle?
Dr. Rabin: Oh, yes, we forgot to mention. I personally like the ankle. I would say 75% of people wear it on the ankle.
Dr. Rabin: Yes. Mainly because it’s out of the way. I think the other part of it is that a lot of people feel like it works better on the ankle. I think part of that is the frequency range that we use is very low. The low frequencies travel better through dense bony material. Traveling through your leg, the legs are amongst the densest bones in the body. People feel a more whole-body effect when they were on the ankle more of the time than they do on the wrist.
Again, our study showed it works everywhere in the body. It’s really personal preference. If you want to use on your head, your neck, your back, or your wrist or your ankle, wherever you would like to use it, people wear on their arm, upper arm, you could try it out anywhere you want. We have seen the best results for regular day to day use on the wrist and the ankle in particular.
Ari: Got it. Yes, it’s weird. I tried it on my ankle briefly when I first got it, but I’ve only used it on my wrist since, but now that makes me want to try it on my ankle again.
Dr. Rabin: Especially for the meditation one. Try that on your ankle. That’s a great one.
Ari: Okay, and you put the vibrational plate basically directly on the bone in that case?
Dr. Rabin: The vibrational plate, you mean the curved back of the plastic?
Dr. Rabin: Yes. The best place is right above your ankle bone on the inside or the outside of your ankle, whatever is more comfortable for you. Yes, right above that, not on it, but just above it.
Ari: Got it. Let’s see.
Dr. Rabin: Addressing the EMF thing again, just so people know, Apollo meets all the safety criteria by the FCC for EMF. However, for those who are extra EMF-sensitive, you can turn on airplane mode, and it emits nothing except sound waves. There’s zero EMF emitted when it’s on airplane mode. That’s how a lot of our customers use it.
Ari: Is it safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Dr. Rabin: It is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also safe to use in kids. We’ve tested on people from 4 to 94, we’ve had no reported side effects.
Ari: Beverly said this is like doing Qigong or Heartmath for those too lazy to practice.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, or for those who have never learned energy work or breathwork. It’s not even about laziness. It’s just about learning a new skill. When we’re already stressed out, it’s well-published in the literature, it’s incredibly difficult to learn a new skill when we’re already stressed because stress gives us tunnel vision. Any change, even learning something that’s constructive and positive for us is hard. Our brains, that amygdala starts blasting off and says, “This is new, this is something to be afraid of.”
What Apollo does is it just puts the damper on that and says, “Hey, buddy, maybe you don’t actually need to be afraid of this breathing right now. Maybe you don’t need to be afraid of being in touch with your body in the present moment right now. It’s okay to take that time to do that.” Then what happens is, at first, especially with our folks with PTSD and the kids with ADHD and autism, they use Apollo every moment of every day until it dies, and they charge it and do it again.
Then over time, after using it for a few weeks to a few months, it actually teaches them how to breathe properly. We see that there’s this incredible learning effect, where it actually teaches people how to self-regulate better. Over time, that improves more and more and more to the point where people are no longer using it all day. They use it when they need it, but not all the time. It becomes a really nice learning tool. It’s like training wheels for our emotions, which we should have learned as children, but most of us haven’t, myself included. I had to learn all this stuff after medical school. Even in medical school, they don’t teach us this stuff. It’s crazy.
Ari: Lynn, “How can Apollo help someone with chronic fatigue syndrome?” I can say that it can help in a couple of different ways. One is that there are energizing settings to it. It can directly help boost energy levels pretty much instantly, within minutes. Then the other way is by inducing this relaxation response, which can combat the stress and anxiety that is very, very common in people with CFS.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, you nailed it. We actually have a study going on, we have a couple of fatigue studies. One of them is in doctors at the University of Pittsburgh. Another one is in folks with autoimmune disorders where fatigue is a major issue. We’ve seen great results and PTSD, actually, those three things. As you said, boosting wakefulness in the early part of the day or the start of our day, and then helping us wind down at night helps regulate our circadian rhythms, which literally beats chronic fatigue. That regulation of our day and night rhythms is the most important thing that we could do to help ourselves feel more energized when we want to and sleep better when we want to.
Ari: Yes, indeed. Someone asked- the comment’s off the screen, but someone asked- they were asking, will this help with falling asleep? How does it help with falling asleep? This is a hard question to answer, I’m sure. They said, “How fast will it take or how long will it take to fall asleep if I use this device?”
Dr. Rabin: That’s different for everyone. Sitting with yourself by having tons of blue light around when you go to bed and you’re not drinking coffee or caffeine at night, and you’re not eating right before bed and not exercising right before bed, you’re generally taking care of your sleep hygiene stuff in a reasonable way, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but reasonable. Most people see that their sleep latency, the time it takes to go from wide awake to actually asleep, decreases by about 50% within three days to two weeks.
What that means is, if you typically find yourself lying in bed for an hour, trying to fall asleep at night, then within a few days to two weeks of using Apollo every night, we see that that hour goes to half an hour. Then it continues to go down thereafter. Some people have different levels of sensitivity. There are some people that put this thing on, like me and my wife will put it on and we’ll be out in 10 minutes reliably like clockwork. Other people maybe take 20 minutes, maybe 25 minutes. Generally, sleep latency, in general, should trend down. That is the most reliable marker of how well it’s working, how people fall asleep. Typically, people can notice that within a couple of nights, they start to see the difference.
Ari: Do you think that it would also affect sleep efficiency and the depth and quality of one’s sleep by inducing a relaxation response before going to sleep?
Dr. Rabin: Yes, we see early– I can’t tell you again from a clinical trial, but from our early results with our Oura Ring subjects, we have about 500 people with Oura Rings that are sharing their data with us from months of Apollo use and we see sleep efficiency improve as well.
Ari: Alonna says, “Can you use this in the Fisher Wallace device and be on Lexapro?”
Dr. Rabin: Yes. Apollo doesn’t really have any contraindications, meaning that you can use it with whatever else you’re already doing. It’s just like listening to music, it doesn’t really cause any issues from what we’ve heard. If you have a pacemaker or have some really severe cardiac issues, it’s fine to consult with your doctor if you’re concerned, but we haven’t seen any issues. We have a lot of people using this who have atrial fibrillation in the real world who are using it and it’s helping them reduce their frequency of attacks. That’s good. If you’re taking Lexapro or taking any psychiatric medicine, it’s fine to use Apollo with that.
It’s fine to use Apollo with other wearables or other wearable stimulators, anything from Alpha-Stim to Fisher Wallace, but you should be aware, and this is important, you should be aware, if you combine Apollo with other vagal nerve stimulating devices or techniques, it will amplify the effect because you’re doubling up the stimulation to the vagal nerve. If you combine Apollo with breathwork, you will get an enhanced effect. If you combine Apollo with music, you will get soothing music, you will get an enhanced effect. If you combine Apollo with a Fisher Wallace device or with Alpha-Stim, you will get an enhanced effect.
That means increased calm, increased sleepiness, increased deep intense relaxation, which is good if that’s your goal and you’re prepared for it, but if you’re planning to operate heavy machinery or drive a car, don’t do that because you’re setting yourself up for being a little too Zen-ed out to do something that requires a lot of attention. Just remember to keep that in mind.
Ari: Excellent. Beth wants to know, are there any trials for people with fatigue?
Dr. Rabin: Yes, we have one trial going on at the University of Pittsburgh with doctors right now that’s looking at fatigue and people who are very, very overworked, and stressed out and on frontlines with COVID. We have another trial with people with autoimmune disorders with fatigue. We actually measure fatigue in many of our other trials as a side outcome measure. With kids, we look at fatigue. With people with PTSD and vets, we look at fatigue. In all the trials we have data from, we see that people using Apollo reduce their fatigue and improve their energy during the day.
Ari: I’ll just add that in some of the stats that you showed on enhancing cognitive performance, that very much is overlapping with energy levels. Subjective energy very much relates to that facet of cognitive performance. Also, as one of the things that I recommend to people with fatigue, the single most important metric to track is HRV. This device is very, very powerful at boosting HRV. That is absolutely going to translate over time, into better autonomic nervous system regulation, improved relaxation, which is going to help recharge your battery, so to speak.
Ultimately over time, not just as an instant effect to increase your energy, but the improved relaxation, if used during meditation or before bed, or just any downtime is going to deepen those states of relaxation and parasympathetic nervous system activity, which will help translate into charging the battery. “Do you ship these internationally?” Allison is asking.
Dr. Rabin: Yes, we do. Not to every country, but I believe we ship to [inaudible 01:32:07] Canada, the EU, and the UK. I believe we started shipping to Australia. I don’t think we ship to Russia and Asian countries yet, and we don’t ship to South America, and we don’t ship to Africa. If you really want one and you live in one of those countries, then just shoot me an email personally. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just let me know where you are located and I’m happy to arrange for a unit to be shipped to you.
Ari: Nice. Amber is asking if this helps with chronic pain.
Dr. Rabin: It does. I would say specifically, I think you mentioned sciatic nerve pain, nerve pain is the most common pain type that we’ve seen relief with. We’ve probably- again, this was not in a clinical trial, but it was in about 150 people in the real world who prototyped our initial technology. This was an original group that was interesting to us because many of these people were not responding to any other forms of treatment, and they were taking opioids and they wanted to get off of them. They started using Apollo and had incredible relief. If you have nerve pain of any kind, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Ari: Nice. Okay. Mike says, “Is it possible that it can engender a dependence such as making it more difficult to wake in the morning without it?”
Dr. Rabin: No. Again, one of my main focuses is in my practice, guys, is addiction psychiatry. We really wanted to make something that was not dependency forming. We built Apollo to not induce dependence. The goal is let’s get people off of things that induce dependence and really facilitate independence. What Apollo does, and the reason it doesn’t induce dependence is because it works in the same nerve pathway as soothing touch and breathwork, which is, again with this learning effect or training effect.
The reason why that’s different is, the more we practice deep breathing, the better we get at accessing those states quickly, and the longer the effects of that breathing last. The same with Apollo. We’ve seen this in folks now tracked over 16 months now, where folks continue to use Apollo, but they actually use it less over time, not more, which is really interesting.
Ari: Can Apollo be used while driving and temper driving anxiety, which was a byproduct of a hit and run vehicular collision, followed by PTSD? I’ve suffered from this for 25 years.
Dr. Rabin: Yes. Any situations like that, especially that’s caused by an intense, meaningful negative event of the past, whether it’s something intense, like what you experienced, or whether it’s something that is less intense but maybe more frequent over multiple periods of time, creates this conditioning of the sympathetic nervous system where we get amped up and hypervigilant when we experience things that remind us of that past trauma.
When we use something like Apollo, Apollo becomes a tool that helps to calm the body, and remind us that not all situations that we’re in right now are the same as the way they were in the past. It absolutely does help to retrain us. The best way to think about it is exposure therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy with exposure is the leading technique. That’s a psychotherapy technique that improves PTSD symptoms. It is very effective, but it requires a ton of effort from the therapist and the client.
Apollo was actually designed to provide the benefits of exposure therapy, but without requiring you to have to do all the effort of exposure, and actually going into the clinic. It was meant to be able to be something that gives you the benefits of that, by allowing you to take it home and do the exposure on your own. By engaging in the experiences that cause you fear or a threat with Apollo on, it helps remind you that you’re actually safe and that you can reconsolidate or reappraise the situation as something that doesn’t necessarily require you to be afraid in that moment. Over time, the more positive experiences you have like that, the more you actually literally rewire your brain and your neural networks around feelings.
Ari: Are there any medical conditions for which this is a contraindication for which you could not use this device?
Dr. Rabin: Yes. That’s a great question. There are no medical indications at this time that we have identified as contraindications. Again, we’ve tried this in- tested Apollo in over, let’s say, we have 15,000 in the world right now, so we have about 17,000 total case studies total. That’s a lot of people, and we have had six clinical trials– Three of which are complete and six ongoing clinical trials right now, without any side effects or contraindications.
We haven’t luckily, found anything that is a contraindication as at this time. I will say that Apollo doesn’t work that well for certain things. The main thing is acute pain. If you have a physical injury that you recently had that is a muscle injury, a bone injury, or any kind of injury that’s recent, that is an injury that is causing you pain right now, chances are it’s not going to do that much. It might help a little bit, but it’s not going to make a huge dent. If you have chronic pain, which is oftentimes more rooted in the memory of the pain, rather than the physical source of the pain itself, we see great benefit.
The rule of thumb with Apollo that we found, and this has proven to be true with our case studies and our lab studies, is this. This is all you really need to know, regardless of what medical condition you have. If stress makes your condition symptoms worse, it’s worth trying Apollo. It’s also worth trying breathwork, and it’s certainly worth trying both of them together. If stress doesn’t impact your symptoms, then Apollo is probably not going to make that much of a difference. If stress makes your symptoms worse, it’s worth giving it a shot.
Ari: Excellent. Tracy’s asking, “Can we sleep with it on all night?”
Dr. Rabin: Yes. That’s the most common reason people use it. I would say, sleep is by far, the most common reason people use Apollo. Someone else asks, “Can you use it all day every day?” Yes, people do use it all day every day. It’s not that there’s any side effects from it again, so there’s no reason why you can’t. People tend to get the best benefit from it when they use it for a specific purpose, or what we call intentional use, which aligns with the way that we do therapy and the way we heal. If you have an intention and a goal, like, “I want to sleep,” or, “I want to stay asleep,” then using Apollo before bed, and then using it in bed is really helpful, and helping you stay asleep and helping you make the other lifestyle choices surrounding staying asleep and sleeping restfully. If you say, “I want to fall asleep,” and then you drink a cup of coffee, and then use your Apollo, you’re probably not going to get a lot of benefit. It’s about aligning our actions with our goals on the whole. You can use it for sleep, before sleep, and during sleep.
Ari: I actually had a question, something I meant to ask earlier because there was a slide that you presented. I think one of the studies that said something like, people were using it at 1 to 2 munites at a time, is there an optimal length of time to use it? When one is going to use it for something, let’s say, to enhance sleep, or, let’s say, to enhance focus while working or to deepen a meditative state, is 1 to 2 minutes better than 10 munites or than 30 minutes? Is there an optimal timeframe there?
Dr. Rabin: We get some guides in the app. The app has preset times that are, every energy mode has a different time recommendation. It’s usually somewhere from 5 minutes on the Energy and Wake Up to 15 minutes on the other settings all the way up to 60 minutes to 2 hours. It really depends on the length of the activity you want to engage in and what your personal preferences. Personally, I usually use it from 30 minutes to an hour for whatever I do. Sometimes I’ll use it on the 15 minutes setting, but usually, 30 minutes to an hour is the sweet spot for me.
What the touch literature shows and what we’ve shown in our study so far is that if you use it for- and the reason why we looked at two to three minutes in our studies is because that was all we could do in the lab repeatedly. Otherwise, we would have had people in the lab all day, which would have killed them. We had to test a lot of stuff and we can only limit it to three-minute tests and we wanted to see, can we induce an effect in three minutes, and we could. However, in regular day to day life, most people use it for 15 minutes at a time. That’s the most common duration.
Then I would say 30 minutes from there, and then an hour from there, but it’s really just about finding what works best for you. What’s really interesting is that, if you use it for 15 to 30 minutes, typically, the benefits of it lasts for 30 minutes to 2 hours after that. If you use it on the Clear and Focused or the Relax and Unwind for 15 to 30 minutes, typically, for 30 minutes to 2 hours after, you’ll still feel clear and focused or relaxed, and that’s a nice benefit as well.
Ari: Laura is saying, “Can you please go a little deeper on how you use it in kids with emotional dysregulation and ADHD?”
Dr. Rabin: Two ways, one of which was in our studies, we’ve done it in therapy, and we’ve done it at home. The current study we’re running is at home. In therapy, it was really interesting and that was the data I presented earlier, where we gave it to kids who were working with a therapist, and then watched how their behavior changed in their interaction with the therapist, which was the most dramatic difference that we’ve seen.
At home, it really depends on what your kid is struggling with. I think for most kids at home right now, during the global pandemic times, the biggest struggles are paying attention to do schoolwork at home, which is a common thing, and then being able to get up in the morning and get on with the day and then fall asleep at night and calm down at night. It’s not that different than adults.
I think the one difference with kids is that kids really act out when they don’t feel in control of their lives because many, many children feel disempowered to make active choices in their lives. This is a real thing. By giving– That’s why kids act out most of the time, it’s to express a sense of control. When we can give them the tool themselves and hand it to them- and we can preset it. Usually, what we do, most of our parents, they preset it to a setting like Clear and Focused and they give it to the kids and they say, ‘Here you go.
This is a fun tool that you can use. It’s a state of the art technology that can help you reach your fullest potential or access your superpowers,” or something like that. Then they say, “Oh, wow, I can use something that can change the way I feel and use it whenever I want.” Then they put it on and they use it a lot and then it actually changes how they feel because they want to use it. When they want to use it, then they use it all the time and it creates this cumulative benefit over time.
The one thing I will say for anyone who uses this with their kids is that kids are more sensitive to vibration than adults. Start with the intensity even lower for kids than you would for yourself because most kids like it– Unless they have autism or sensory processing disorder, most kids like the vibration lower than adults do. Start with low and then give them the device to play with.
Tell them it’s going to help them unleash their superpowers or it can help them control how they want to feel, and then they use the buttons to adjust the intensity as they want. That’s when we see the most radical benefit, but it’s everything from helping them wake up in the morning to helping them focus with school, which is the main use, and then helping them calm down and go to sleep at night.
Ari: A couple of questions related to medications. I assume you legally need to refer people to consult with their doctors on this, but Alonna is asking, “Can I wean off Lexapro when using this?” Then Carrie is asking, “Can it be used with ADHD medication?”
Dr. Rabin: It can absolutely be used in conjunction with any of those medicines. We haven’t had any contraindications with medicine. If you’re taking medicine and you want to use Apollo on top of that, there’s no reason why you can’t. However, as a psychiatrist, I will caution you to work with your doctor to taper off of your medicine. It is very, very tricky to taper off of a medicine. A lot of people don’t realize how tricky it is until they start doing it and then they end up with side effects from withdrawal from the medicine. I see this all the time. Please, please, please work with your doctor to taper off of the medicine.
Just let your doctor know that you’re using this device and you want to try it out. You want to see if you can reduce the amount of medicine you’re on by using it, your doctor will be probably happy to work with you on that. Just don’t do it yourself because you can definitely cause suffering, and it’s just not worth it. Keep your doctor in the loop and work with your doctor to do these tapers. It works much much better, and your doctor will be so happy to know that you’re able to manage your symptoms without medicine with or without a wearable device.
Ari: Excellent. Sheila’s asking, “During sleep, does the device need to be turned off? Does the phone need to stay next to you all night and how close does the phone need to be next to the device?”
Dr. Rabin: Great question. The device and the phone can be completely separate. The device works without the phone and that’s what airplane mode is. If you set the device on airplane mode, it completely disconnects from your phone and it will still work on the last setting that you set it to with the phone using the buttons. The buttons on the device will allow you to turn it on and off and then increase or decrease the intensity without the phone around. You don’t need to have a phone anywhere near you to use the Apollo, which is very important to us because we work with a lot of people who can’t have their phones around or who are sensitive to EMF.
Ari: Laurie said, “Have you had any feedback on healing nerve damage such as peripheral neuropathy?”
Dr. Rabin: That’s a great question. I don’t know of anything at this point in the scientific world that heals nerve damage except our bodies. We don’t actually know necessarily of many safe and effective ways that have made it through clinical trials yet to actually heal nerve damage. The nerves repair themselves. However, there are a lot of reasons why people have nerve pain, and peripheral neuropathy or neuropathy in general, that can be not related to permanent nerve damage. What Apollo seems to do for people who have nerve pain or neuropathy is it reduces the inflammation around the nerves.
I can’t tell you this, again, from a clinical trial. This is only from case studies and hundreds of people in the real world, but we see that people reduce their pain in nerve pain disorders in particular, that are chronic, very reliably using Apollo and that it reduces the inflammation in the nerve. If that continues over time, I can’t tell you if it’s actually repairing the nerve though, we just don’t know. At some point, I hope to do these studies and we’ll let you know.
Ari: Tapping is asking, “I got it, can two people share it?”
Dr. Rabin: Yes. However, it’s better to have your own because of the way that it bonds to the phone for privacy. If you do want to share it with someone and you want them to have their own app on their phone, then what you have to do is you have to reset the Apollo and switch it to someone else’s phone and then reconnect it to their phone. It will still save all your data on your personal phone account, but you have to reset the device every time you switch to a new phone to conserve privacy. Just make sure whether you look at it from the instructions in the box, or whether you look on our website, we have instructions for how to pass Apollo to another user.
Just make sure you read that because, for data security purposes, it’s not allowed to just hand it to someone and have them connect to it because the measures that we put in place prevent someone else from controlling your device. Make sure to look on our website for the instructions about how to switch. It’s very straightforward, takes about two minutes, but it’s just something you need to know how to do before you do it.
Ari: That is it. Thank you so much, Dr. Rabin. That was amazing. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. I really appreciate it. I hope that everybody listening will go out and get one of these things. It is truly amazing. As I said at the beginning, this has passed my skepticism test. It is really the only wearable device that I actually use and endorse. Go get one of these things. They are amazing. I hope you guys enjoyed this webinar and thank you again, Dr. Rabin.
Dr. Rabin: Thank you so much for having me, Ari. It was a pleasure. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. The best places to find me are on Twitter @DaveRabin or on Instagram @drdavidrabin. Please feel free to send me any questions you have. I’m always happy to be in touch.
Ari: Beautiful. Thanks so much.
Dr. Rabin: Thank you.
The structure of the nervous system (3:55)
How Apollo Neuro Works (13:00)
The potential benefits of Apollo Neuro on children with ADHD (50:57)
How neural networks and epigenetics affect your health (55:55)