August 5, 2023
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/david-rabin-apollo2/
[00:01:10] About this Podcast
[00:03:40] Guest Intro
[00:05:02] How does the Apollo work?
[00:07:09] Development of Apollo
[00:08:55] Combining Apollo with music
[00:11:22] The science behind Apollo
[00:17:30] Apollo Vibes
[00:22:55] How was Apollo made so small?
[00:29:47] Studying neurotransmitters
[00:32:54] The Social mode in Apollo and MDMA therapy
[00:38:30] Could Apollo detect the state you’re in and respond to it accordingly?
[00:46:18] The results of the sleep study
[00:56:48] Studies on athletes with Recovery function
[00:59:12] Stacking Apollo with other stuff
[01:06:18] Closing the Podcast
[01:07:37] End of Podcast
[01:08:10] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
David: Right now, what we're delivering to you is the first AI for decreasing disruptive sleep disturbances. And, that's the first flagship because that is a public health problem that the impact of cannot be overemphasized. That is something that nine out of 10 people who complain of insomnia in the U.S., 50% of them experience poor sleep because they can't fall asleep when they wake up in the middle of the night. And, that dramatically impairs their health and their ability to function the next day and be their best selves. So, this is a neat way to actually tackle that problem without drugs. And, that gives people the opportunity to actually make a dent in something that we really struggle to treat in mental health and in the health community at large.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Alright, folks. If you are watching the video version of this podcast and you see me hold up my arm here, you can see I got something on my wrist. This is this crazy little haptic wearable that you've probably heard me talk about before. I actually usually wear it on my ankle, but I wanted to show it to you guys in this video.
And, what it does is it makes this perceptible but not distracting vibratory sensation that'll travel up the long bone in my leg or in my arm and induce a variety of different effects based on what I tell it via the app that it is connected to to do. Meaning, I can have it do focus, relaxation, or sleep, or wakefulness, or anxiety, or there's a new power nap feature, a whole bunch of different stuff. And, it's called the Apollo. As a matter of fact, if you go to the shownotes, they're at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Apollo2, Apollo then number two. And, the reason it's number two is because I've actually talked about this thing way back in the day right after it got invented by today's podcast guest, Dr. David Rabin. And, this thing is a scientifically validated wearable that is nuts in terms of its ability to induce what you'd normally use supplements or drugs; I don't know if David's allowed to say that, I am; to induce without actually taking any substances. I mean, there's a really, really cool science going on behind this thing.
And, ever since I put it on for the first time I think four years ago, I've had it on almost every single day since then besides the few times I've annoyed David and lost it on airplane flight. There's a couple lucky flight stewardesses out there who have an Apollo wearable because I think both times I've lost my Apollo. It's been on an airplane where I've taken it off and I think put it in a little tray in front of me and just walked away.
But anyways, I digress. This thing is really cool and there's a lot more science that has gone into it since it first came out. I've been going back and forth with David a long time. He always takes care of me via text messages and, of course, sends me a new Apollo when I leave one on the airplane. And, I figured it was high time actually got David on the podcast and talked about all things Apollo and beyond because you guys have to know about this thing and its ability to be able to heal, to manage stress, and to do a lot of cool things.
So, who's David? He's a neuroscientist. He's a board-certified psychiatrist. He's a health tech entrepreneur and the inventor of the Apollo, which he invented originally to help control chronic stress. And, he's also done a lot of research in trauma therapy, epigenetic regulation of trauma therapy, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, a hot topic obviously, this whole idea of using MDMA and psilocybin and things like that. David's worked with folks like the MAPS Foundation. He's also on the Board of Medicine, which is a 501(c)(3) https://bengreenfieldlife.com/fitbit nonprofit of physicians and scientists who are establishing evidence-based clinical guidelines for the safe use of currently unregulated alternative medicines including plant medicines. And, I would categorize this Apollo as something that definitely falls into the category of some of the same issues people would turn to plant medicines or entheogens or whatever else for. But honestly, the fact you can wear this thing on your wrist or on your ankle is pretty cool.
So again, all the shownotes is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Apollo2. David, welcome back to the show, man. It's been a little while.
David: Thanks so much for having me, Ben. It's a pleasure as always to be here with you and I'm so glad to hear that since we first met four years ago that you've been enjoying the Apollo as much as I have.
Ben: I have. And, as a matter of fact, I am picking up my phone right now because I was going to ask you, I'm literally opening my Apollo app real time because I want to play a function while we're podcasting. What's your preferred podcast recipe for this thing?
David: Let's get on the social vibe together.
Ben: You don't want the power nap? Okay. Alright, I'm going to put it on social and I have an intriguing question for you about the social later on. Okay. So, I'm pressing play. And then, just so you guys know for you tin foil hat-wearing EMF mitigating freaks, this Apollo, the whole night that I sleep, I actually put into airplane mode but then when you plug it back in, it'll take it out of that but you can actually press Play while it's still in airplane mode and it'll play whatever function that it played the last time that you're messing around with it. Is that right, David? Did I get that right from a technical explanation standpoint?
David: Yeah, you got that right. Basically, we designed the Apollo to work completely independently of the phone because we have altogether too much phone in our lives. And so, if we could help create technology that made us more present and activated our ability to listen rather than to being constantly have to be engaged in the phone, then it allowed people more freedom in their day-to-day lives for what they do with their time effectively in the moment or over time. And so, Apollo when you set it up it and you save a schedule, it saves all that to the device. Device turns on automatically throughout the day and regulates your circadian cycle for you and you don't need to have your phone around at all and then it has an airplane mode where you can turn off any EMF transmission at any time as well and it will still run with the buttons.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, because I've literally just turned it on and then put Bluetooth off on my phone. And so, now this Apollo just running by itself without transmitting some crazy networking signal in my body which I'm actually pretty adamant about. And, I actually have all sorts of questions to ask you, David, especially about some of the new features that are built into this thing. But, for people who may not have had a chance to listen to our original show, it's kind of intriguing the story of how you actually developed this. So, can you go into that?
David: Yeah. And, for those who have never actually tried Apollo, Apollo is a next-generation wearable that doesn't track your body. It actually can improve your well-being. It's basically wearable meditation with music that we figured out how to compose based on the neuroscience of how the body responds to music and touch. And, we figured out how to compose music for your body, not your ears. And, that was what came out of the research at the University of Pittsburgh where we started this back in 2014. And, the idea was, think about put yourself in the perspective of a person, a veteran with PTSD checking out at a grocery store and hearing something loud crash behind them when somebody drops a bottle or something like that, and the amount of stress that goes through their bodies when that reminds them of a past trauma and then they have to make a split-second decision of how they react to that.
And then, think about the stress that most of us experienced before we're about to do a big performance or give a big talk and we're really getting overwhelmed and then our favorite song comes on or we put on music that we really like and it pulls us back into our bodies and gets us in the zone and helps calm us and clear our minds. And, that experience is something that we've known about for a very long time in our culture, but we've never actually figured out exactly how it works and the impact it has on the body. And so, we put all that together at our university work between 2014 and 2018 and then turn that effect of how music calms us and brings us into the moment into Apollo, which delivers that same benefit through touch.
Ben: Just because the way you describe it as music that you can't hear but that your body can feel, have you ever thought about combining it with music, adding music tracks or anything like that to the actual app? Or, have you experimented with pairing the vibratory sensations with actual audio sensations?
David: Yeah, absolutely. And, I know for many of your listeners know that you're a big fan of combination approaches. I am too, and I think that's a really interesting way to think about it because ultimately what we're talking about when we talk about health is we're talking about creating an ecosystem of health. It's not just about one thing or another thing that we're going to do that's going to radically change our lives altogether in the short term and the long haul, it's about creating an infrastructure and a health ecosystem that supports our achievement of balance and continuation of well-being.
So, there's so many tools that help do that, and most of them help us regulate our natural rhythm or our body sleep and wake cycles and circadian rhythms or rhythms around eating and diet, our rhythms around when we focus and when we create, and when we have the most energy and the least energy, and when we recover and rest, and also the monthly rhythms especially for women. So, there's all these rhythms that our bodies are constantly on and much of what's going on around us in our day-to-day actually pulls us out of that natural rhythm or further away from nature.
And so, tools like Apollo and music when you sync the two of them together and they're in a harmonious rhythm, then it doubly increases the effect on the body. Similarly, if you pair with other experiences that you can have like massage or visual experiences, and so it's about bringing–especially for people have never ever entered a meditative state before on their own by giving people this kind of combined experiences, especially with soothing touch, which is very, very powerful effect on the body. It helps to drop us into those states more effectively and then you have a target to aim for when you're trying to get at them later.
Ben: So, you say soothing touch, you're referring to the actual vibration of the haptic? When you say touch, you're talking about the Apollo touching you?
David: Great. Yeah, because that's how it's working. It's activating the touch receptors in the same way that soothing touch does.
Ben: Yeah. So, back to the music thing and this might be a little bit more of a deeply scientific or physics-related question, but when you're programming the Apollo to do, let's say, energy or focus or social or power nap or whatever. I assume there's a certain, I don't know if you define it as a hertz frequency or a vibratory frequency, that you're working with, like an actual mathematics behind the frequency. The reason I'm wondering about this is, could you theoretically match that to a certain musical track or another input, a sound input or a haptic input and be able to kind of intelligently pair whatever frequency the Apollo is doing with the frequency of a certain soundtrack or something like that? Does that make sense?
David: Yeah, absolutely. Great minds think alike. And, that magic will be coming soon.
Ben: Oh, really? Okay. Let's say you were going to say, okay, I want to make a vibratory sensation that is going to put someone into a state of calm, how do what the haptic sensation to build into the Apollo actually is? What's that measured in in terms of units and what kind of research goes into determining the brainwave frequencies or the neurotransmitter releases or whatever else this thing would cause? I know that's kind of a rabbit holey question but we got time.
David: Yeah. No, that's a great question. So, ultimately this goes back to the early research at the University of Pittsburgh where we were trying to figure out because we know that certain music–all our original research team, we were all musicians, neuroscientists, cognitive neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists, and we're trying to figure out based on our experience music how does music have this effect on the body and is that effect translatable to haptics and touch. And so, starting with music, we know that bass frequency and when you're at a live show or experiencing loud music through real speakers, that is felt more through your body than through your ears because our ears over here, at best 100 hertz or so. Maybe most of us, we lose our hearing between 20 and 100, but the best of us can hear down to 20. So, there's still a huge range of vibration that we actually feel through our body that's 200 hertz and below that we feel better than we hear.
David: And, that was really interesting to us. And so, we started to realize that through the study of music, people had actually identified reliable rhythms that increase people's awareness, clarity, wakefulness, and energy and the stuff that makes people want to dance and party and work out. And then, there were other forms of music that were commonly used for meditation and mindfulness practices and breathing that were much, much slower and other music that was used for helping people sleep that was even slower. And, people don't really mix these kinds of music for these activities, you wouldn't listen to your meditation music when you're trying to work out or dance.
David: There's a very distinct recognition that people have that music has this differing impact on the body. So, from the study of that and the study of vibration in the body that has actually been a pretty well-regarded science and the study of biofeedback, which is breath and breath exercises that are very well regarded, we were able to understand that when the body enters a meditative state, it is usually starting between five and seven breaths per minute. And, that creates a resonance pattern between the heart and the lungs. Does that make sense?
Ben: Okay. So, this is the classic resonance-based breathing where you'll hear information such as every human being on the face of the planet has an average of something like five and a half seconds in, five and a half seconds out, to do something like activate the parasympathetic nervous system or increase heart rate variability.
David: Exactly. And, that has been studied for probably 50 or 60 years in the field of biofeedback. And so, it's very well understood. And, what's cool about that is you can measure that effect just through the skin, just by putting an EKG on somebody's body in a respiratory band. But, we went another step further and we measured brain waves through EEG and pupillometry, pupil measurements through pupil camera, high-resolution pupil camera, physical movements and sweat and a couple other things all in tandem, all people were doing stressful activities and restful activities and experiencing the different vibration patterns that we had figured out from the literature and from our research were likely to have an effect on getting people into this resonance state of five and a half breaths per minute in and out, like you said, with increased HRV and lower heart rate and improved cognitive clarity and performance, which is effectively flow. And so, that's how we commonly describe it.
And so, we put 20 patterns through people and we asked them to rate and then we gave them these really stressful exercises to do cognitively. And, we saw that two of the vibration patterns that we had identified out of the 20 reliably got people into that breathing pattern state that we were talking about a second ago, and it increased HRV by statistically significantly within only three minutes under stress. And, the amount of HRV that went up directly correlated with the amount of cognitive performance people got out up to 25% better cognitive performance.
And, this was in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study, which is the most rigorous form of clinical trial. When this data came back, we were like, “Oh, okay, if we can nudge people, 80% of people that were in the study were able to be nudged into that state with these two vibrations, then we can start to explore patterns around how these other vibrations are working when we eliminate all the ones that they found unpleasant and just focus on the pleasant ones.” And so, then we were able to develop through that study a mathematical algorithm that helped us to describe how to attune the body, slightly tune the autonomic nervous system slightly more parasympathetic or slightly more sympathetic to get people into the state that they're attempting to achieve, which is the beauty of Apollo, which is really exciting.
Ben: Okay. So, there are eight, I think you call them vibes on the app; energy, social, which you and I have on right now, focus, power nap, recover, calm, unwind, and fall asleep. In that original research that you did that caused this better resonance response and that what I'm interpreting is more of a relaxation calm effect, which of the vibes on the app is the one that you found in that original research?
David: So, in the original research, it was the social vibe, the focus vibe, and the calm vibe. And then, we did a second study in lead athletes using the recover vibe showing that that reliably and statistically significantly improved HRV in two minutes after extreme exercise with the same study design. So, that one also. And then, we applied what we learned about that to the other vibes and then tested them in 3,000 people over two years using in studies and in using wearable technology and saw that the results with the other vibes were actually consistent not just in the short term within days to weeks but people using Apollo for three months for getting consistent increases over time cumulatively in HRV and decreases in resting heart rate improvements in sleep, which are really interesting.
Ben: Yeah, that is interesting. What's the difference between the actual vibes in terms of what's going on with the vibration? Is it the same hertz but a stronger sensation gap in the pause between the sensations or how you actually causing a different effect based on the vibratory frequency?
David: I mean it's a little bit of all three. So, think about the vibes like a song for your body truly.
David: So, when you have a song, you have a melody, you have a rhythm, a bass line, and then you have some stuff in between that fills it in, and that rhythm and the melody and the stuff that fills it in all works together to create this emotional and energetic experience of the song. And so, Apollo is the same and that it's doing that for your body based on a specific state that we identified we could help nudge people into from the research. So, it's really about all of those things. And so, the intensity changes over time and the frequency changes over time just like a song and the rhythm changes over time to help get you into a certain state and then keep you there.
Ben: Yeah. When I first started playing around with the Apollo when I first got it, each of the different vibes because I think when I first got it, there were only four available and now there's eight. But, I couldn't tell that much of a difference between them. I could tell a difference in terms of the way that my body felt the responsiveness or the way that I changed in terms of my state in response to the vibratory sensations but they all kind of felt the same to me. And then, as I started to use it, I could pick up some of the subtle differences. If I accidentally leave it in energy mode and then it's in airplane mode so it's going to play whatever I had on before if I don't turn it back on by plugging it in and then change the sensation, I would be asleep and it come on and it'd feel, in my opinion, you can correct me if I'm wrong, the energy seemed like it was a slightly more powerful frequency, a shorter sensation more of a, versus the longer lower frequency for sleep. And, it made me feel a little bit more awake, of course, when I have that on while I was asleep.
So, I started to pick up some of the differences in these sensations. The social one that I have on right now, it feels it's kind of like pulsing and relaxing about every, I don't know, three or four seconds or so. So, you can start to pick up some of the subtleness between each of them, but I think when people first get it, at least this was my experience, they just feel it's vibrating on your wrists or your ankle no matter what. You know what I'm saying?
David: Yeah, the differences are subtle and it's meant to be subtle because it's supposed to help us be more present. So, we don't want it to be too distracting as you mentioned earlier. But, to your point, you will notice a difference. And, for me, I could tell when I feel it relatively quickly within a few seconds what vibe it's on and your body starts to get really attuned to it over time and it learns by using it how to get into that state more easily with and without it, which is really interesting. But, the difference between the vibes is really, as you said, speed, intensity, and frequency. And, the modulation of those three things helps to give people the tuning of their bodies a little bit more precision. It's like you're stepping into the ability to say, hey, I want to focus right now for x amount of time on whatever I have to do and I don't really want to put anything into my body like coffee or whatever because it's going to mess up my sleeve or give me the jitters or what have you. And so, now, I have an alternative and something I can help use, it gets me into that state and then helps me learn how to stay there on my own. And, it works as a training tool in that way, which is really neat.
Ben: Right. So, it's speed, intensity, and frequency. That's the short answer to the long question I asked a few minutes ago about what's changing in terms of the difference between these vibrations: speed and testing and frequency.
Now, it's a pretty small device. It's kind of maybe a little bigger than a Fitbit or the size of, I don't know, that Whoop wristband a lot of people wear. But, when you guys first started messing around with it, did you have to figure out what's the smallest size that we could actually get this down to to actually produce a sensation? Because I mean, I could imagine a whole body suit that you'd pull on and wear that kind of shakes the whole body or a calf sleeve or something like that, but how much R&D did you guys put into how small can we make this thing and still get a sensation?
David: Yeah. We put in years of R&D. I mean at the time that we made this, we launched in 2020, we started R&D in 2017. And, back then, we were using subwoofers and hockey puck base shakers that were the size of a hockey puck that were delivering these vibrations. So, we didn't have a lot of small options. And unfortunately, most of the motors that deliver haptic vibrations that are out there are not designed to deliver the kinds of experiences that we are delivering. And so, it was actually quite a challenge to find the right partner to do this kind of work together.
But ultimately, we did and after long searching and it was a couple years of searching and building our own stuff and realizing how hard that was, and eventually we were able to find a motor that delivered the vibration patterns faithfully and smoothly in the way that felt really soothing and nice to the touch. And, that's the smallest that's actually possible right now. And, you could see it's pretty low profile in my chest right now, probably most people didn't even notice it until I pointed it out, but this is an Apollo with a clip. That's how I wear it most of the time during the day now.
And so, it will come down in size over time but it takes a couple years for technology to shrink enough to be able to bring something like this down in size and still get the same benefit. So, it's going to be a few years before I think we get there.
Ben: Yeah. A lot of people have been talking lately about that Sensate device, which is kind of a purring cat on your chest. It's about the size of an old-school computer mouse and it is typically placed over the sternum, and that vibratory sensation on the sternum kind of creates a sensation that travels to the rest of the body. And, the Sensate is usually used for relaxation or a calm or meditative state. And, it's paired with different music tracks. It's an interesting device but when I first got that and started messing around with it, I thought, well, it feels a little bit similar to the Apollo and then I wrote you an email or I texted you and I said, “Have you ever tried just to figure out a way to put the Apollo on your chest or come out with some kind of an alternate attachment mechanism that would allow you to put on your chest?”
And then, you wrote back to me and told me, “Oh, that's what the clip is for.” You could actually just use the clip on a heart rate monitor, for example, and wrap it around your chest and get the same sensation, right?
David: Yeah. You can use even a chest strap. Yeah, you can use one of those if you want. I mean, if you like wearing a chest strap, you can definitely put it on a chest strap and it still will slide through the clip on the top, but I personally prefer–
Ben: Okay, yeah. Your clip on your shirt. Yeah, but if I was wearing a T-shirt–
David: Yeah, I put it on my shirt. Yeah. And, wear a T-shirt, I put on my collar up here. So, it vibrates on my collar, which is really nice for the back of my neck which is really nice right above the stellate.
Ben: Oh, really?
David: It's quite nice.
Ben: I haven't thought about that. So, how would you put the clip on the back your neck, just on your shirt collar?
David: Yeah, just back of the shirt collar. Just clip it on there.
Ben: Okay, cool. I got to do more experimentation with the clip.
David: Yeah, the clip was actually one of my favorite things that Catherine and I released recently with the team because it demonstrates a true versatility of wearable technology. All other wearable technology is tracking-based, and tracking-based wearables have to be generally speaking on the same part of the body all the time for consistent results. And, Apollo is not a tracking base wearable and so, therefore, it works by soothing touch. And, our whole bodies are receptive to touch, so it can literally be worn anywhere. And, the clip empowers people to experiment with that.
Ben: Have you ever tried wearing more than one? I've thought about this before putting one on each ankle and one on each wrist to kind of get that full-body sensation. I don't know, maybe throw a clip in there and get one in the middle of the chest or the back of the neck as well. Does that change anything?
David: Yeah. I mean, it makes the experience more immersive. So, it's similar to what you were asking earlier about music and is it additive when you add a music track that could be synced up with Apollo? And, it is additive for sure. And, I think what we've seen in our experimentation is that more than one is additive. So, you get a more immersive, more full body-encompassing experience. The chest and ankle in particular at the same time is really nice. There's a different experience interestingly enough as you might imagine when they're in sync with each other, exactly in sync versus when they're async and one's coming up and the other is going down. And so, there's a lot of experimentation that we're going to be doing and have been doing on that to release some really exciting feature sets in the near future.
Ben: Could one app control all four or five if I had four or five Apollos, like to flip them all on at once?
David: That's what we're working on.
Ben: Okay, yeah. Because I was thinking it'd be annoying to have four or five different devices, but if you can turn them all on with one device. How much does one Apollo cost on average?
David: Yeah, one Apollo is 349.
Ben: Okay. So, you'd probably have to put together some kind of a bundle package to get a discount on a higher volume order of Apollos, yeah.
David: Yeah, yeah. And, I think I want people to understand the experience is different. So, when you have multiple devices with anything like adding music, it's more immersive experience. If you're going to want to use that, if you want to go into a deeper meditative state or have a more full body calming experience but more than one, one would be enough if you're operating heavy machinery or working at your job or doing something like that where it requires a lot of attention because again, the goal is not to be distracted by the vibration.
So, we joke around there's two kind of ways to think about Apollo. And, the same is the way we think about meditation. So, there's active practice of meditation, which is where you're sitting cross-legged and doing your breathing exercises and you're doing your practice, sitting practice meditation and you're taking time out of your day to engage in that practice intentionally. And then, there's the practice of meditation, the walking waking practice that you're doing every moment of every day just trying to be a little more present and a little more grateful in the moment. And, that is what's actually the goal and that's actually more powerful than the sitting practice, but we want to do them both together. And so, having more than one Apollo can empower the intentional practice of learning these techniques and you could take it with you on the go, which is kind of cool.
Ben: Yeah. You mentioned some of the earlier research, you guys will get a brain wave, pupillometry movement and sweat, what about neurotransmitters? Have you looked at anything in terms of the dopaminergic or the serotonin response or anything like that?
David: So, neurotransmitters are notoriously hard to study. And, meaning that they're very expensive to study. It doesn't mean it's not possible, it's just extremely expensive. So, we have actually put together some really exciting studies that are ongoing now at the Denver VA that is doing a very large PTSD study of Apollo and 100 military veterans and with PTSD and evaluating how Apollo is helping them over the course of 12 weeks of using Apollo, and doing blood samples before and after for inflammatory biomarker analysis, which includes some neurotransmitters, and also epigenetic analysis, which will be really interesting.
And, I think that's something I wanted to tell you about, which I don't think I've told you yet, is that we published a paper in February showing that MDMA-assisted therapy appears to be reversing, in a statistically significant manner, some of the epigenetic trauma markers that are caused by trauma on cortisol receptor genes. And, we've known through Rachel Yehuda's work that traumatic events cause changes to our stress response all the way down to epigenetics and cortisol receptors. But, we didn't know that just three doses of MDMA in 12 weeks of psychotherapy in people with severe PTSD even though it clinically reverses their symptoms in mostly long-lasting way, which is really exciting finding for the field of psychiatry, we now know that there's an impact on the methylation of the cortisol receptor.
So, as people get more clinically better, they get better outcomes from the MDMA therapy, there's a linear relationship with how much their cortisol receptor expression changes at this one particular site. And, that shows that there is a direct relationship of the way trauma stored in the body all the way down to our DNA and that we can actually do things to repair it. And so, we're studying that exact same phenomena in the study at the Denver VA looking at all these biomarkers and epigenetics to see if Apollo, which was very heavily inspired by the understanding of how MDMA works to amplify safety cascades in our brains to help us repair and resolve trauma, then we realized that we could develop Apollo to activate the touch receptor system to activate the safety response in a similar way. And, we think MDMA is causing these epigenic remodeling and repairing through activation of that radical activation of that safety response. And, Apollo's doing it just daily a whole bunch of time during the day over time. And, maybe 12 weeks of that with PTSD veterans with PTSD will show similar epigenetic changes. So, we'll see and that would be really exciting to see if we can replicate some of the benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy with wearable tech just by tapping into the biological mechanism.
Ben: That's super interesting. And, I mean, the change in empathy to both self and others while on MDMA or in an MDMA session is pretty profound. I mean, from my understanding, it's that blend between the dopaminergic response and the serotonergic response that MDMA simultaneously causes, which is very unique when it comes to medicines and not a state you'd normally find yourself in as an individual but the serotonin would kind of increase receptivity, bonding, trust, attachment, et cetera, and then the dopamine would reward those responses.
And so, for example, my wife and I have done MDMA therapy together as a way of increasing connectivity for deep meaningful discussions with each other and to kind of be in a different space together not in a psychedelic sense but in a fully aware and awake sense but definitely a shift in neurotransmitters that causes us to go places we normally wouldn't go when it comes to being very open and receptive in terms of our conversations with one another. And so, MDMA seems very unique in that regard and also quite handy when it comes to relationship with self or relationship with others. But, I guess what I'm curious about is, for example, both you and I have the social vibe on right now with the Apollo, would you say that's something kind of synonymous to baby MDMA therapy if you had a few people hanging out together with the Apollo in social mode on all those individuals or say a couple?
David: I mean, that's what we designed it to be like. And, the reason why people think, feel it, kind of like that, I mean that is what we hear as a common feedback from the experience with the social vibes, which is really interesting, is that it helps people feel safe in social situations. And so, when you think about what does that for us, what happens when we get into a social situation, we start oftentimes thinking about what other people are thinking about us while we're engaged. And, that basically pulls our attention away from the moment and puts it onto a stress response or a threat response of what uncertainty around what somebody might be thinking of us or how they might be feeling about us rather than just being ourselves. Of course, being ourselves is the best way to make sure that people are thinking and feeling positive things about us. And so, it is noticeably distracting and sets off a sphere response. And so, Apollo activates that safety response to the touch receptors in our skin and in our bone and transmits those soothing vibrations to the emotional cortex of the brain that says just like a hug or just like a deep breath that I'm safe enough to be able to be present with these other people or with each other right now. And, I don't need to think about or worry about what else is going on, I can just be present in the moment and be connected and listening and open. And, safety is what does that.
MDMA amplifies that if you're already in a safe situation. If you're in a safe setting, MDMA molecularly amplifies that, but safety does that. It's by itself and we don't need MDMA to get there. And, Apollo reminds us of that. And, soothing touch does too. And, one of the most interesting things about that is that experience is highly conserved. It's hundreds of millions of years old is that unquestioning safety we feel from our mothers hugging us as newborns. So, it's that kind of safety that is really what we're activating.
Ben: Yeah, I would say–and, I'm not a doctor, I don't want anybody to take this as medical advice or anything like that, but having done MDMA, I would say that probably the two things in my life that come closest to simulating what is the feeling that I have on MDMA or MDMA would be using the Apollo in social mode or intranasal oxytocin, which is kind of that trust lovey bonding type of hormone. I don't know about the internet oxytocin that's a prescription medicine that may or may not be accessible to folks, but considering the accessibility of the Apollo and what, at least subjectively I think, is the impact of MDMA for at least a few days and the need for many hours devoted to that session, it makes something like this seem pretty handy when it comes to increasing social connection. And, I've even thought about even though, again, I haven't really done this before just experimenting with the week of having each of my family members wear the Apollo in social mode throughout the day and just kind of subjectively observing what happens as far as our daily interactions from a social and relationship basis.
David: Yeah, the interesting experiment to do. We've been doing it with our team meetings and with our get-togethers when we have to do creative work together and we wear it together and we're in sync, which is really cool. We just drop in right away. And, I think that's been really helpful process.
Ben: Maybe I should talk with the Ben Greenfield Life team about this. We can start running some of our sessions with everybody with the Apollo in social mode. That's a really cool idea. I love this stuff.
Okay. So, what about like–
David: You might as well get on the same vibe, right?
Ben: I know, exactly, literally the vibe.
So, you talked about how the Apollo isn't necessarily a wearable that in a traditional sense of the word does something like track steps or track heart rate or sleep cycles or something like that, but I mean theoretically, couldn't you create something that would detect the state that you're in, like I'm in a stress state, I'm in an anxious state, I'm tired and I didn't get enough sleep, et cetera, and somehow using your heart rate or other data that the wearable collects then deliver a vibratory sensation that responds to the physiological state that you're in to bring you back into an ideal state?
David: Yeah, you nailed it. I mean, that's where Apollo really came from was how do we solve this really challenging problem of stress in the moment. Whether you're somebody with PTSD trying to check out at the grocery store or whether you're just a mom with three kids in the back stuck in traffic driving to work right, how do you hit stress or hit the person in the moment with something useful and soothing so that they can adapt stress more quickly in the moment.
And so, originally when we started this research at the University of Pittsburgh, the early, early days, we were working with people in the lab with severe autism spectrum disorder and panic disorder and we were able to detect when their bodies through heart rate and respiratory rate and HRV and other things; movement, when they were about to have an episode that would result in anxiety or aggression or not being able to leave the house for a week and sometimes even a hospitalization that we could detect when they were going to have one of those episodes in advance of it becoming full-blown and respond with Apollo vibration that calmed them down. Seeing that work on some of these people who were so sick and so heavily medicated a lot of the time was really promising. Even though it was in the lab and was in the real world, we knew we could do it and we knew we had something. You know what I mean?
So, once we saw that, then we started over the last couple years. Since Apollo was launched in 2020, we've been training Apollo to detect and characterize sleep better. And, sleep is interesting because most of our users use Apollo for sleep and Apollo helps people get back to sleep in the middle of the night and we see that our users use it for that too.
Ben: Yeah. I love it for that. By the way, just to interrupt you real quick, I reached down to my ankle, press the two buttons at once which re-initiates my sleeping cycle that I started it off on whenever I went to bed. And dude, it lulls me back to sleep amazingly. And, all I got to do is just reach down and press the button. I have to pick up my phone or anything. So, I do agree it seems to work really well for that.
David: Yeah. And, you're one of those people who's really benefited from that like my wife and myself. And so, seeing that benefit, we realize that if we can track your sleep using the accelerometer on the Apollo, which we can now with very, very high degree of accuracy and basically as well as the Apple Watch or the Oura Ring, we can track your sleep, when you're sleeping, when you're not, not sleep staging but just when you're sleeping and when you're not and when your sleep is disturbed and when it's not. And so, we taught Apollo over the last two years how to detect when you're about to wake up in the middle of the night and turn on automatically to rock you back to bed so you don't even need to touch the buttons anymore. And, that's called Apollo Labs, which is stay a sleep feature, which is the first AI for health that's for consumer wearables.
Ben: Dude, I clicked on Apollo Labs a few weeks ago. It says I'm on the wait list for that. Is that rolled out yet?
David: It has just rolled out in the first testers and you're next on the list together.
Ben: I was going to say hook a brother. I didn't know it was already doing that. But theoretically, if you figured out how to make it interact with let's say the Oura and detect something like the sleep parameters that the Oura is detecting, then couldn't you theoretically since the Oura is also detecting depending on how you have it set up in real time sometimes heart rate, HRV, things like that, couldn't you also kind of extend this to daytime and have the Apollo shift its vibe sensation based on the stress state or the HRV state that your Oura or some other wearable might be detecting?
David: You are thinking ahead of the game, my friend. I mean, that's the goal of the future is that we can just strap these babies on and they will detect and learn during the day and night what we need to feel and be our best selves and just give us what we need, just give us that little boost and teach us how to access these states naturally. That's really the goal. So, it's that responsiveness. The wearable technology that's listening to you and it's hearing what's going on and it knows you had a rough night last night and it's going to serve you up a set of vibes for the day that are going to get you through that day feeling good.
Ben: Oh, my gosh, this is super cool. I didn't know you guys were actually getting that far in terms of the ability of the Apollo to kind of work on a two-way street to detect and then also change in response to detection from the, you said the Apollo's accelerometer or some other wearables. So, that's super cool. I'm actually really looking forward to that. And, I mean, I don't know, it seems to me at some point I don't know if you guys are building to sell but it seems the type of thing an Oura or an Apple or whatever could potentially acquire and build the technology into their own wearable, so you're just having to wear one device.
David: It could be. But, I think that the technology is still a little bit far behind for complete integration of everything. It's very hard to deliver the Apollo sleep vibrations with faithfulness with anything other than the Apollo because of the nature of what those frequencies are, like how low frequency they are. So, that might be hard. But, over time, we are working to enhance and expand the ecosystem of how people can experience Apollo. And, we already collect Apple Health and Oura Ring data. So, if you're listening to this and you have an Apollo and you use Apple Health, if you have an Oura Ring, please connect your Apple and Oura Ring to the Apollo app because what you will see is that over the next year, we'll be releasing more features that will be increasing the connectivity and the benefits of connectivity between those devices in that ecosystem which will dramatically enhance your experience. And, it will start to personalize and customize the experience to you so that your Apollo experience grows with you over time.
Ben: Oh, I'm looking at my data shared in the app right now. I have Apple Health connected but it doesn't look like I have my Oura Ring connected. That must be a relatively new feature. Looks like I need to go into my Oura Ring account and accept the ability to be able to share data with the Apollo.
David: Yeah, you might have to just put your password in and confirm. It starts in the Apollo app. You can just go into the Apollo app and click Connected settings. Your Oura Ring, Apple Health data is used for research to build those features. And, right now what we're delivering to you is the first AI for decreasing disruptive sleep disturbances. And, that's the first flagship because that is a public health problem that the impact of cannot be overemphasized. That is something that nine out of 10 people who complain of insomnia in the U.S., 50% of them experience poor sleep because they can't fall asleep and they wake up in the middle of the night. And, that dramatically impairs their health and their ability to function the next day and be their best selves. So, this is a neat way to actually tackle that problem without drugs and that gives people the opportunity to actually make a dent in something that we really struggled to treat in mental health and in the health community at large.
Ben: Yeah. It's super cool. What'd you guys find out in the sleep study? And, was there any type of entrainment effect? Did you have to use the Apollo for a certain period of time to start to notice whatever you found?
David: Yes. So, that's what we found out. The sleep study was a study of originally it was 582 people and then that expanded into 1,500 people that were individuals like you who have been using Apollo for years and using Oura Ring for years in the wild. And, people on average were using Oura Ring for, I think, about eight months before ever receiving an Apollo. So, we had this tremendous pre-Apollo baseline of data that was, this is how this person looks for eight months before ever touching an Apollo. And then, we have all their data after receiving an Apollo, which was at a year plus.
What's interesting is there seems to be a sweet spot. So, when you look at all of those people, the 1,500 people at large, what we've seen is that just adding Apollo to your day, to your life in any way regardless of how you use it because these are just our regular users that we were observing, if you just add Apollo to your life regardless of who you are or how you use it, you see a statistically significant improvement to your sleep just adding it. Yeah, so that's despite all variability, that's despite the Oura Ring variability, that's despite variability of what people are doing in their day-to-day lives; drinking, eating right before bed, doing drugs and crazy stuff, and it includes all the variability of how people are using an Apollo. And, despite all of that variability, just adding an Apollo to your life is statistically significantly improving your sleep. So, that is a real effect that did not happen by chance. It's very, very interesting.
Ben: Wait. And, by the way, that wasn't a placebo. Did you guys do a placebo where people had some kind of an elastic band around their wrist that didn't vibrate or anything like that?
David: Not in this study. That was the first two studies I described. This one was just an observational study, 1,500 people in the real world who bought Apollos and bought Oura Rings and then assessing their data before and after.
David: But, the sample size of 1,500 is large enough, even 600, the first round was large enough that we could see really, really interesting trends and patterns that we're achieving a level of statistical significance that is relevant for clinical practice. And, what was really interesting is when we saw people using Apollo more like using it three hours a day, five days a week would seems to be a sweet spot and they're using it for 45 to 90 days, 45 days and 90 days seem to be a sweet spot. We see that at the 90-day mark, people are increasing their sleep up to 30 minutes a night that's concentrated and deep in REM sleep. Light sleep is decreasing. Deep sleep is going up by 19%, REM sleep is going up by 14% and we see the reflective decrease in resting heart rate and increase in HRV in these people.
So, there's a parasympathetically dominant effect that we're seeing as a signature of calming the body, which is the same kind of signature we saw in the lab in two to three minutes of stress with Apollo. We now see that when people are using Apollo, all the vibes, not just sleep, not just way full but all of them, five days a week at least three hours a day and they schedule them. So, it turns on automatically. And, with that, they're getting these really clinically significant and statistically significant benefits that are comparable to doing a new exercise or meditation or breathwork routine for three months. So, they all work in the same pathway.
Ben: So, what about this new power nap function? How's that any different than the sleep function?
David: So, have you ever tried a power nap?
Ben: Yeah. I'm a power, power napper.
David: Right. So, when you do that, you probably have a routine. What's your routine?
Ben: I usually have an adaptogen after lunch like reishi or Ashwagandha. I actually typically go down in this basement area. I call it my Zen den. And, I either lay down on a PEMF mat or I crawl into a hyperbaric chamber and I put on the Apollo and then either use the Muse headband or some kind of meditation device or, what's the other one, the BrainTap, the light sound stimulation machine or just eye mask and the NuCalm device. So, I've got five different things I'll experiment with. I almost use my power nap, my siesta as a way to experiment with all these different devices out there. And then, I crash out for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes.
David: So, you are the power, power napper. You're using this as experimental time, which is cool. And, most people are probably going to do just a few of those things. And, you have to set an alarm to wake you up.
Ben: It depends. If I've got a call or a console or a podcast in the early afternoon, I'll set an alarm. And then, if I don't because I really don't like alarms, I'll just go until I wake up and it's always consistently somewhere between the 20 and 45-minute mark that I naturally will wake up.
David: Oh, yeah. So, yeah. So, you're pretty well trained in this and seasoned power napper. Most of us, we have to go lie down and find the dark spot, maybe the eye mask, and maybe some soothing music or something like that. And then, we have to drop in real quick and then set an alarm before that to wake ourselves up, and the alarm itself is kind of often jarring and disturbing. And, there's a bunch of process that has to happen to get the power nap going and drop in. And so, what we did was where Apollo drops you into sleep pretty quickly anyway and it can wake you up pretty quickly, so what if we just mash those two vibes together for people and gave them a 30-minute, 45-minute, and an hour power nap where now you can just literally click power nap and click play for how much time you want and it will drop you into sleep quickly and it will wake you up. No need to set an alarm, it just takes care of it for you.
Ben: So, it'll just shift from calm to sleep to energy or whatever and cycle through that during the power nap?
David: Well, it won't be a cycle, it'll just be a 30-minute song that meets you at pre-nap energy state and then drops you down gently from pre-nap into unwound and kind of sleepy and then tries to get you into a more deep sleep vibe even if it's just for 10 minutes or 15 minutes. And then, it gently brings you out of the deep sleep vibe with some soothing vibes that gently rouse you out of bed and then they get faster and more energizing towards the very end when you need to absolutely get out of bed. We try to make sure you don't oversleep it but we try to make it also a smooth transition in and out because we don't want it to be jarring. Things that are jarring kind of make us anxious and restless. So, keeping it smooth is really important.
Ben: That's cool. Yeah, that's what I meant by cycle was it'll just shift from one to the next. I'm going to try this today. That's super cool. I didn't know that it automatically did that. I couldn't tell the difference between that and calm or sleep or whatever I'd normally use. That's super cool, brilliant.
So, the schedule is kind of similar to that because my Apollo is currently set for 9:00 pm unwind and then 9:30 p.m. fall asleep, and then I've got it at 6:00 a.m. energy, so it'll start vibrating. Even though I'm usually up at 4:30 a.m. or so, I'll usually keep it at 6:00 a.m. just in case I decide to sleep in or snuggle with my wife or whatever. And then, at 8:00 a.m., it goes into focus. And then, what I've been doing is at 2:00 p.m. for my siesta, I put it on calm and then I'll just use the social mode and the recovery mode whenever I feel like it. But, I'll probably change that then the way I have it scheduled, choose the power nap in the afternoon rather than the calm.
David: Yeah, I would say that's a good try, good thing to try out. You have a very similar schedule to me it sounds like. So, when you power nap in the afternoon, definitely try that because I think the thing about Apollo that's interesting is all the vibes that we have so far are about taking you into a state and keeping you there. And now, a power nap is the first demonstration of we're going to take you into a state and then we're going to bring you back.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
David: Right. So, it's a little bit of a different kind of experience.
Ben: Yeah. It's like a recipe. And, I like it too because you have to think about it once you set up the schedule for whatever times you want to shift into. I could be wrong about this, but to make sure the battery doesn't drain when you're running it on 12 to 14-hour cycle like that, I think you might have told me this or I read this somewhere, it'll automatically adjust the percentage of the strength of the vibe to be able to last through the whole day or something like that.
David: It doesn't automatically do that yet, but what we recommend is that if you schedule Apollo to be turned on for three to four hours a day and then starting with your wake-up time and the time you want to be out of bed and the time you want to be asleep in bed and you schedule around those shoulders of the day and have three to four hours of vibes, then you have the intensity set not at 100 but at where you just barely notice it, which is where it works the best because again you want Apollo to be present not distracting to help you be present. And, we never want it to be distracting. So, when you're thinking about Apollo, the main thing is think about it like music. You wouldn't listen to your stereo in your car with it jacked up to 100 right when you start playing it. It would blow your eardrums out. If you start at a level that feels really nice and low and then you gradually turn it up to where you get to where you're comfortable listening to what you're feeling or feeling you're feeling but it's not distracting.
So, if you do it that way which is the way we find that people get the best results, then you can get usually two to three days of battery life out of it. For those people who use it more often, if you're using it 8 to 14 hours a day, that's going to be the max battery life, so that's going to probably require you to charge it every day. But, we're working really hard, our software team is working really hard to come up with new updates that make the battery life and the energy efficiency better. And so, stay tuned for those, they'll be coming. But, know that by using the scheduling feature and setting the intensity to where you just barely notice it but it's not distracting, then you can extend the battery life quite a bit.
Ben: Yeah, for me most of my setting are between 50 and 70%. So, it seems to work okay like that. But then, it'll stay in airplane mode the whole time when it's scheduled, right, if you have it set too?
Ben: Okay. That's what I thought. It doesn't have to be near the phone reconnected to the app to shift into the next vibe that you've chosen at whatever hour you've chosen, right?
David: Yeah. No, that's my favorite part.
Ben: And, by the way, that recovery thing, I think you mentioned about a half hour ago that you actually did do a little bit of studies on athletes with the recovery function. Is that correct?
David: Yeah, we did. We did a study that was published in July of 2022 at the University of Pittsburgh that showed in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study that it was in 22 people but in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study that's every person gets every condition. So, it's actually equivalent to the power of an 80-plus-person trial. And so, that trial showed that in these athletes that experiencing Apollo vibrations and not placebo vibrations and no vibration conditions after intense exercise periods where they're just biking or running on a treadmill or biking against resistance for a short amount of time as fast as they can with the most effort they can put out, and then they have only two minutes to recover.
David: And, during that two-minute recovery period, if you can increase their heart rate variability and then you can increase their recovery and their performance even a little bit on subsequent exercise runs. And so, we've seen that once at a pilot at another university, and then we repeated it at the University of Pittsburgh and saw that indeed Apollo in the two minutes after intense exercise increases heart rate variability statistically significantly, which is really exciting because that's consistent with the recovery findings that we're seeing in other people's work.
Ben: I didn't know that you were not only looking at post-workout recovery but also intra set recovery. So, I could theoretically use this during a weight training session and have it set to recovery and press the two buttons in between each set to put it back into recovery mode and then turn it off or whatever while I'm doing the lifting. And theoretically, that would improve my ability to recover even between sets or between high-intensity cardio intervals.
David: Exactly, yeah. And, you're building the resilience in your body. It's just like hot-cold plunge, you're safely taking yourself from one extreme to another. In this case, you're doing intense exercise and you're pushing your heart rate and your blood pressure and then you're trying to, during that recovery period, drop it back down to baseline as quickly as possible to restore homeostasis. That optimizes your recovery and then makes you that much more ready to jump back in and kick it back up.
Ben: That's pretty cool. And, what are your favorite things to stack this thing with? Do you have any supplements or breathwork protocols or other wearables or anything else that you find combined pretty well with the Apollo, the turkey and cranberry scenario?
David: Yeah. So, Apollo was built and created quite a bit in terms of its inspiration behind it was breathwork and biofeedback. And so, the rhythm of Apollo is that five to seven breaths per minute that changes over time that helps get us into that resonance state that we were talking about earlier or cardiorespiratory resonance or coherence. And, that is a state where vagal and parasympathetic tone is higher. We have more cognitive clarity and focus, more calm in our bodies. And so, pairing breathing with Apollo by just breathing as you feel the vibration come up in and breathing out as you feel the vibration leave is the best initial stack if you want to see what Apollo can do for you in terms of helping you feel calm rapidly or even accelerate meditation. That's a great way to start is just pairing your breathing with the Apollo vibrations. And, the Apollo vibrations will guide you with the exact timing so you don't need to worry that much about counting or anything other than just paying attention to your breath and the feeling.
David: So, that is a really great grounding exercise. And then, of course, there's music, music stacking, which is really great. There's tons of different kinds of musical experiences that you can use with Apollo to enhance your experience, especially music and breathwork and Apollo together are really quite amazing. And then, there's things that you can do on your daily basis that we use in our Clinic like very specific kinds of CBDs that are mood stabilizing and adaptogenic mushrooms that are great for cognition and clarity. I like to think of Apollo as a wearable adaptogen. It's improving our body's ability to recover and adapt to stress.
David: Or, an adaptogenic wearable, so something that improves our ability to adapt. So, that's what CBD and CBDA, cannabidiolic acid do, which is one of the best forms of CBD you can get. And then, there's the adaptogenic mushrooms, they're all boosting these same parts of our body. So, you stack all that together, you combine it with a decent regular exercise routine like what you talk about and some of the breathwork, a little bit of breathwork, a little bit of music. You just kind of mix all that together into your day-to-day routine. And, before you know it, you've regulated your circadian rhythms and you're feeling pretty darn good most of the time. And then, that opens up just in a tremendous window of opportunity for us.
Ben: You guys should consider adding a function or a future to the app or maybe even just an article on your website that is basically energy pairs well with XYZ supplements, wearables, breathwork routines, rinse, wash, and repeat for social, for power nap, for calm. That'd be kind of cool so people kind of play around and stack the recommendations that you have with the different vibe sensations. I know I'd read and benefit from something like that. So, you'd probably even program GPT, dude. Go into that prompt setting and tell it to spit out; what energy is good for, what proven research-based energetic supplements are out there, what energy does in terms of what's going on with your neurotransmitters or your brainwave patterns, and then what Apollo vibes pair well with that. And, you could probably spit out a skeleton of an article and then have an editor modify that and have a pretty sick little SEO-friendly article about all the different things you could pair Apollo with.
David: Yeah, yeah. We actually have a program like that called Better with Apollo. And, we have more stuff like that coming out. And, you were one of the people who inspired that because you are one of the best stackers that I know. So, we've been doing a lot. We have a lot more of that coming out soon as well.
Ben: Yeah. And obviously, when we're talking about vibration and sensations and you even described the Apollo is kind of feelable sound, probably two of my favorite things are light sound stimulation machines. I don't know if you're familiar with the BrainTap or the neuroVIZR, but both of them deliver sound and light to shift you into a certain state. And, I to wear my Apollo with both of those. It really amplifies the sensation.
David: Oh, yeah. I've heard great things about Apollo combined with those. I haven't tried those in combination actually but I've heard really good things. I've also heard good things about combination with TRIPP VR and some of the Oculus VR experiences, which is really interesting.
And, one of the things that's actually most interesting that I'm really excited to get into is eSports and video gamers because we've had a lot of people writing to us telling us that Apollo's been improving their performance on eSports and that they're winning more and they're performing better. And so, there's a really interesting opportunity there because most of those folks are just drinking a lot of caffeine, energy drinks and not taking very good care of themselves and their rhythms and they're exposed to screens literally all the time. So, giving them something that helps them that's non-stimulant drug can be really helpful in those situations. And, it means you had to get there.
Ben: Yeah, I like it during long drives as well like focus or energy when you're in a long drive during what you might feel sleep deprived or tired or groggy or need to focus a little bit more. It seems to work really well just having it right down there on your ankle by the brake pedal and the gas pedal humming along. It actually works really, really well for drivers. I would imagine a truck or a commuter could do pretty well with it.
Well, this is super fascinating. I guess the only thing probably more powerful that I found is I have one of those sound healing tables, the bioacoustic tables made by a Korean company. I think they're a Korean company, BioMat, and I've actually paired my neuroVIZR with that. So, the sound played through the neuroVIZR app is actually played through the entire body through the sound healing table and then that's paired with the light frequencies from the neuroVIZR. And, the cool thing about the sound table is you can plug headphones into it, so you're hearing the music through your ears and also feeling it through your body while at the same time having light sensations that are cued to the music.
And, as a matter of fact, somebody sent me, I think yesterday, a TikTok video of this new therapy institute in LA that's literally doing sessions on vets and people with PTSD using light and sound stimulation paired with, I think, response to their voice cues. And, the person sent to me, I'm like, “Oh, I do this every week in my basement kind of with the sound healing table and the light soundstage machine.” So, it's kind of cool some of the stuff you can stack together.
David: Oh, yeah, it's amazing. I mean, we're just getting started.
David: And, part of the reason is because the systems, we don't have to get into this now but the FDA historically has not been favorable of plant medicines or combination substances that are not single molecule drugs. And so, the combination medicines and the entourage effect and the stacking is something that has only been something that's been more recently brought in and in large part from the biohacking community that's kind of taken it on their own to experiment and to figure out what are the best combinations that work for us and share on that.
Ben: Yeah. Well, this is fascinating, man. I've been taking a lot of notes. I'm definitely going to be trying that clip on the back near the stellate and on the collarbone a little bit more, experiment a little bit more with groups in the social setting, maybe talk with my team about trying out a few meetings where everybody's got an Apollo set to social mode and a few other ways I want to experiment with this thing. And, I want to try that new power nap from function as well. So, dude, I learned all sorts of cool things when I talk to you. And, for people listening in, the shownotes along with, I think we have a link and a discount code for Apollo, I'll hunt it down and put it in there. But, if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Apollo2, Apollo the number two, you can access the shownotes. You can buy six Apollos to slap all over your body if you want to try that sensation and/or you could just get one and try it out, but I highly recommend super simple device. Please don't leave it on airplane or if you do leave it on my airplane so I can pick up a few extras or I leave it on an airplane.
And David, dude, thanks so much for coming and sharing all this with us.
David: Pleasure is mine. It's always fun to chat. And, I'm so glad to be able to have this time together.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
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What if I told you you could put on this little vibrating thing, and it could shift your focus, your mood, your sleep, and your recovery near instantaneously, without taking any drugs or supplements?
It exists, and I've been strapping it on for years.
Apollo Neuro, an ingenious wearable device that comfortably fits onto your wrist or ankle, is the result of an innovative blend of ancient haptic, vibration, and touch therapy techniques with the advancements of 21st-century science.
The brainchild of a team of leading neuroscientists and physicians, including co-founder Dr. Dave Rabin, MD, Ph.D., Apollo is much more than just another piece of wearable tech. You may remember Dave from previous podcast episodes “A Whole New Way To Deal With Stress, Trauma & PTSD In Just Seconds: The First Clinically Validated Wearable That Helps You De-Stress, Focus, Sleep, Stay Energized & Remain Calm” and “The Future Of Healthcare, Wearables, AI, Plant Medicine & More With Dr. David Rabin & Dr. Joseph Maroon.” If you do, you’ll probably recall his riveting discussion about creating a natural way to help veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD feel safe—without the need for drugs or chemical-based approaches.
Dave's research has provided the foundation for Apollo Neuroscience, a company he co-founded in 2017 alongside his CEO wife, Kathryn Fantauzzi. Apollo Neuroscience now offers the first scientifically-validated wearable technology that actively improves your health using a unique touch therapy that sends signals of safety to the brain. Users of Apollo report having more energy, improved focus, enhanced relaxation, and better sleep.
In addition to Apollo, Dave is also the co-founder and executive director of The Board of Medicine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to establishing peer-reviewed evidence-based clinical guidelines for the production and safe use of currently unregulated alternative medicines, including plant medicines. The Board of Medicine provides training and certification to healthcare providers, while setting quality control standards for complementary and alternative medicines, all to promote high-quality clinical research, best practices, and risk reduction.
Alongside his clinical psychiatry practice, Dave is actively conducting research on the epigenetic regulation of trauma responses and recovery. His focus is to shed light on the mechanism of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the neurobiology of belief. His extensive research background includes earning his MD in medicine and a PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College, and specializing in psychiatry with a distinction in research at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dave's dedication to pushing the boundaries of neuroscience and his commitment to developing effective alternative therapies make him a particularly fascinating guest to host. In this conversation, Dave and I delve into how Apollo Neuro works, and the science that underpins it, explore his research on neurotransmitters, and discuss the intriguing field of MDMA therapy. So, if you're interested in new frontiers of human health, stress management, and well-being, listen up!
During our discussion, you'll discover:
- Previous podcast episode with Dr. David Rabin about the Apollo:
- The Apollo is a next-generation wearable (use code BG15 to save 15%)
- It doesn't track the body
- It improves the body’s well-being
- Works completely independently of the phone
- Turns on automatically after you save your schedule to the device
- Regulates your circadian cycle for you
- Has an airplane mode so that you can turn off any EMF transmission while it is running
- Research started at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014
- Figured out how to compose music for the body, not for the ears
- Music calms us and clears our mind
- Apollo delivers that same benefits through touch
-Combining Apollo with music…13:33
- Pairing the vibratory sensations with actual audio sensations
- The goal is to create an ecosystem of health
- There are many tools that can help but the Apollo combined with music doubles the benefits
- Frequency of the Apollo matching the frequency of a certain soundtrack is coming soon
-The science behind Apollo…16:50
- Early research at the University of Pittsburgh
- How does music affect the body?
- Is that effect translatable to haptics and touch?
- Huge range of vibrations that you feel throughout your body
- 200 hertz and below we feel better than we hear
- Some rhythms increase people's awareness, clarity, wakefulness, and energy
- Other forms of music are commonly used for meditation and mindfulness practice
- Music has various impacts on the body
- Biofeedback – breath and breath exercises studies
- A meditative state starts between five and seven breaths per minute
- You can measure that effect through the skin with EKG
- Went another step further and measured
- Brainwaves through EEG
- Physical movements
- Put 20 patterns to 3 people and then gave them these really stressful exercises to do cognitively
- Asked them to rate the experience and measured the results
- 2 of 20 vibrations provided 25% better cognitive performance
- Increased HRV within only 3 minutes, directly correlated with the increase in cognitive performance (use code BEN40 to save 20%)
- Was able to develop a mathematical algorithm from that study
- The first vibes discovered –
- Power nap
- Fall asleep
- A second study on athletes discovered the Recover vibe
- Applied what was discovered on other vibes and tested them on 300 people for 2 years
- The difference between the vibes
- Frequency and their modulation
- The differences are meant to be subtle, not distractive
-How was Apollo made so small?…27:33
- At first, not a lot of small options
- Quite a challenge to find the right partner to do this kind of work
- Couple of years of searching
- Managed to find the small motor that delivered vibration patterns faithfully
- Sensate (use code BGL to save)
- Apollo can be used with a chest strap and clip
- Can also be worn anywhere on the body
- Wearing more than one
- It would be more immersive
- Working on an app to control more than one device
- Apollo costs $349 (use code BG15 to save 15%)
-The study of neurotransmitters and MDMA therapy…38:14
- Neurotransmitters are notoriously hard and expensive to study
- Denver VA is doing a very large PTSD study of Apollo and 100 military veterans with PTSD
- Published a paper showing that MDMA-assisted therapy appears to reverse some of the epigenetic trauma markers
- Traumatic events cause changes to our stress response, all the way down to epigenetics and cortisol receptors
- Three doses of MDMA in 12 weeks of psychotherapy in people with severe PTSD
- Reverses their symptoms
- Impacts the methylation of the cortisol receptor
- The trauma is stored in the body all the way down to our DNA and we can do things to repair it
- Studying that exact same phenomenon in the study at the Denver VA
- Apollo was heavily inspired by the understanding of how MDMA works in resolving trauma
-The Social mode in Apollo and MDMA therapy…41:21
- Ben’s experience with MDMA therapy
- Apollo was designed to work similarly (use code BG15 to save 15%)
- Social mode helps people feel safe in social situations
- Activates safety response to the touch receptors in our skin
- Transmits soothing vibrations to the emotional cortex of the brain
- MDMA is unnecessary
- Experimenting with Social mode
-Could Apollo detect the state you’re in and respond to it accordingly?…46:57
- Apollo came from the idea to help stress in the moment
- In early days – working with people in the labs, severe autism spectrum disorder and, and panic disorder
- Detected when those episodes were going to happen before becoming full-blown
- Training Apollo to detect sleep and help people get to sleep
- Apollo Labs – stay asleep feature; first AI feature for health
- Oura Ring
- The goal for the future – detect and learn during the day and night what you need to be your best self
- Wearable technology that's listening to you and providing what you need
- Connecting Apollo with Oura Ring and Apple Health
- Right now, Oura Ring and Apple Health data are used for research to build features
- Now delivering the first AI for decreasing disruptive sleep disturbances
- 50% of 9 out of 10 people complaining of insomnia in the U.S. experience poor sleep because they wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep
-The results of the sleep study…54:45
- Initial study of 582 people, eventually expanded to 1500
- People who have been using Apollo and Oura Ring for years
- On average, have been using Oura ring for eight months before receiving an Apollo
- Pre-Apollo baseline data
- Data after receiving an Apollo
- Just adding Apollo showed a statistically significant improvement in sleep
- Using Apollo 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 45-90 days is a sweet spot
- Showed 30 minutes increase in deep sleep (19%) and REM sleep (14%)
- Decrease in resting heart rate and increase in HRV
- Ben’s Apollo power nap routine
- Drops you into sleep pretty quickly and wakes you up gently
- Ben’s Apollo schedule
- 9 p.m. – Unwind
- 9:30 p.m. – Fall asleep
- 6 a.m. – Energy
- 8 a.m. – Focus
- 2 p.m. – Calm (for siesta)
- Social and Recover mode whenever he feels like it
- Battery life – on average 2-3 days
- Working hard to make battery life better
-Studies on athletes with Recovery function…1:05:14
- A study was published in July 2022 at the University of Pittsburgh
- A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled crossover study
- Apollo vibrations after intense exercise periods
- During a 2-minute recovery period – increases HRV
- Optimizes recovery and performance
-Stacking Apollo with other stuff…1:07:48
- The inspiration behind Apollo's creation was breathwork and biofeedback
- The rhythm of Apollo is that 5 to 7 breaths per minute that change over time that helps to get you into a resonance state
- The best to pair breathing with Apollo vibrations
- neuroVIZR (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
- Dr. Rabin has also heard great things about people combining Apollo with TRIPP VR and Oculus VR
- Apollo has been improving the performance of video gamers in eSports
- Works well in long drives
- Biomat bio-acoustic mat paired with the neuroVIZR (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
-And much more…
- Apollo – use code BG15 to get a 15% discount
- Walk For Water: August 8th, 2023
The team and I here at Ben Greenfield Life will be participating in a special Walk For Water event this year. Around the world, 2.2 billion people lack access to safe water. Millions of women and children walk more than three miles to collect water for their families every day. Often this water is not safe to drink, resulting in illness and even death, but we have the power to change this. I invite you to join us by walking for water yourself. Just $50 can provide clean water for one person for life. Learn more here.
- Disrupt Healthcare: September 27 – September 30, 2023
Join me for the Disrupt 2023 Event in Atlanta, Georgia between September 27th – 30th. This highly practical and immersive workshop will feature live Q&As, my top secrets for career success, and much more! Head to bengreenfieldlife.com/disrupt2023 to claim your spot today.
- Couples Collective: October 25 – 29, 2023
Join Jessa and me for an exclusive and immersive way to explore health, wellness, and mindset with your significant other in Napa, California October 25th – 29th. Head over to ownitcoaching.com/couples-collective to apply.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources from this episode:
- Apollo (use code BG15 to save 15%)
- A Whole New Way To Deal With Stress, Trauma & PTSD In Just Seconds: The First Clinically Validated Wearable That Helps You De-Stress, Focus, Sleep, Stay Energized & Remain Calm
- The Future Of Healthcare, Wearables, AI, Plant Medicine & More With Dr. David Rabin & Dr. Joseph Maroon
– Other Resources:
- How To Tap Into The Secret Psychedelic Tactics Of The Ancients Using A Free & Fast Anti-Aging, Stress-Busting, Energy-Boosting Hack.
- PEMF Mat
- Muse headband (use code BENGREENFIELD to save 20%)
- Apollo (use code BG15 to save 15%)
- HRV (use code BEN40 to save)
- Oura ring
- neuroVIZR (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
- Biomat Bio-Acoustic Mat
- Kathryn Fantauzzi
Vuori: Get yourself some of the most comfortable and versatile clothing on the planet at vuori.com/BEN. Not only will you receive 20% off your first purchase, but you’ll enjoy free shipping on any U.S. orders over $75 and free returns.
Seed: Start a new healthy habit today. If you want to add a probiotic + prebiotic to your daily routine, use code BEN at seed.com/bengreenfield to redeem 30% off your first month of Seed’s Daily Synbiotic.
Ultimate Longevity: Ready to hack your sleep and stay grounded while recovering? Head to ultimatelongevity.com/ben to get your hands on grounding mats for your mattress, pillow, blankets, and other valuable tools to help you bring down your inflammation and jumps start your healing.
Ben Greenfield Coaching – Elite Plan: It's time to transform your health and fitness journey with the new Elite Plan from Ben Greenfield Coaching. To learn more and join the elite ranks of high achievers who have successfully turned their knowledge into lasting transformation, visit our website at www.bengreenfieldcoaching.com/elite
Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for David Rabin or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!