I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Dave Rabin from Apollo Neuroscience to talk about resiliency, recovery and his next-gen technology that could completely reshape how we stay ready for every moment of our lives.
Apollo Neuroscience was co-founded by Dr. Dave Rabin MD, PhD and his wife, Kathryn Fantauzzi. Dr. Rabin is a board-certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist who specializes in the treatment of chronic stress. Kathryn, Apollo’s CEO, specializes in bringing discoveries out of the lab and into the real world.
Dr. Dave Rabin began his research on what would become Apollo in 2014 at the University of Pittsburgh. In his clinical work, he noticed a common theme: all of his patients’ symptoms got worse when they were experiencing stress.
Stress sends a signal to our bodies that we’re under threat. It kicks off our fight-or-flight response and makes it difficult for us to focus, relax and maintain the sleep we need in order to recharge and recover.
Dr. Rabin found that deep breathing, biofeedback and meditation are all effective techniques to help manage stress. But unfortunately, these techniques are difficult to do when we’re already stressed out.
Through extensive research, Dr. Rabin noticed that touch was often overlooked in stress management, despite its incredible ability to signal safety to the body and reduce stress.
Dr. Rabin discovered that certain waves of vibration can rapidly restore balance to our bodies and minds, while actively improving heart rate variability, a critical measure of the effects of mental and physical stress on the body.
After trials in both the lab and in the real world repeatedly demonstrated that Apollo measurably reduces stress, improves focus and helps people sleep, Dr. Rabin and Kathryn joined forces to bring Apollo out of the lab and into the lives of anyone looking for a non-habit forming and safe way to take control of their health.
Have you ever felt like you had so much to do that you can’t focus on anything? Have you laid awake at night unable to sleep because your mind is racing? Have you had such a stressful day that your body feels run down and sore?
Chronic stress strains the whole body by over-activating our sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response), releasing stress hormones like cortisol, making our breathing shallow and fast, and sending our heart rates up and our HRV (Heart Rate Variability) down[1,2].
When the fight-or-flight response is active frequently it makes it physiologically harder to focus, meditate, relax, sleep, or even exercise because our body and mind are both signaling each other that we are under threat and need to be escaping danger, not sleeping or focusing on our work[1,2].
Sleep, meditation, relaxation practices and regular exercise help us to recover from stress by engaging the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, but they are all physically and mentally harder to do when we’re overwhelmed by chronic stress[1,2].
When left unchecked, chronic stress increases your risk of developing insomnia, anxiety-disorders, depression, and chronic pain[2-6]. Chronic stress exhausts us, makes us unhappy, disrupts our mood, causes tension and pain, and impairs our sleep.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measures the rate of change of the heart beat over time. Having high HRV is a good thing. It means that your body can quickly adapt and recover from stress.
When we encounter stress in our environment, our heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure should go up so we can quickly respond to a threat[1,2]. When we’re calm, our heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure should be at comfortable resting rate. This is our body’s way of maintaining balance between thriving and surviving over time.
Having consistently low HRV indicates that your body isn’t adapting to or recovering well from stress.
This could mean a number of things:
- You aren’t sleeping well
- You’ve exhausted your body
- You’re getting sick.
Those of us with consistently low HRV have a higher likelihood of developing:
- Chronic pain
- Cardiovascular illness
- Anxiety-related disorders
[2, 7-8, 10-13, 15-18, 20, 23]
High HRV indicates that your body is resilient, recovering well, and able to bounce back from stress quickly.
The following contribute to high HRV:
- Restorative sleep
- Mindfulness practice
- Balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- Healthy relationships
Those of us with consistently high HRV are more likely to have better:
- Performance (athletic and cognitive)
- Pain tolerance
- Blood pressure
[2, 9, 14, 15, 19, 21, 26-29]
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRONIC STRESS, HRV and how this little device can make a difference for you across all areas of your life, read more here: https://apolloneuro.com/science