Apollo Neuro is Like a Microdose on Your Wrist
New wearable tech vibrates for calm, focus, and balance.
I don’t know about you, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I found myself feeling kind of anxious. Over the years, I’ve developed a lot of strategies to cultivate calm, including microdosing psychedelics, which boosts awareness of touch, sound, smell, and vibrations, and helps bring me back to my body and facilitate a state of presence or flow. I also use the time-tested practices of meditation, mindfulness, and exercise to stay balanced.
But I’m always open to new modalities, which is why I was pretty excited when I recently found a new, cutting-edge tool. Dr. David Rabin, whom I interviewed twice for the Third Wave podcast, told me about his new high-tech bracelet—the Apollo Neuro. Dr. Rabin sent me a free first edition to wear around and test out. Honestly, with all the stress since mid-March, the Apollo Neuro has been an absolute god-send.
How it works
Dr. Rabin is a board-certified psychiatrist with a PhD in neuroscience who also studies psychedelics, in conjunction with MAPS. Dr. Rabin recognized through his clinical practice that stress lives in his patients’ bodies, not just their mind. To relieve suffering, Dr. Rabin found, the value of touch is hard to overstate.
But touch is often overlooked in stress management strategies, which tend to focus on changing your thoughts or feelings. So Dr. Rabin and his team built the Apollo Neuro. It gently vibrates at specific frequencies to activate your touch receptors, just like when somebody holds your hand or strokes your wrist. Science has found vibrations of certain wavelengths and tempos, based on breathing patterns, meditation, soothing touch, and calming music, quickly equilibrate the body and mind.
You choose one of seven modes on the Apollo Neuro app. Select Energy and Wake Up, and the device pulses you into aliveness. Click Relax and Unwind, and gentle, slow-moving frequencies shift your nervous system from “fight, fight, or freeze” to “rest and digest.” The Apollo Neuro has been proven in multiple clinical trials to improve heart rate variability—a key indicator of how well you are responding to stress.
How I use it
Where Apollo Neuro most dramatically changed my mood and my life was in the evening. The Relax and Unwind setting is extremely effective at calming my nervous system and preparing me for sleep. And when I use the Sleep and Renew mode, I get much better, much deeper sleep, a fact I confirmed with my Oura, a sleep-tracking ring.
I also found it helpful in creating social connections. When recording podcasts, for instance, I switch the Apollo Neuro to Social and Open. I connect with my guests, get out of my head, and am more present. And as COVID restrictions lifted and I socialized more, Social and Open gave me the loose, gregarious feeling I get after a hit off a joint or a glass of wine.
Comparison to psychedelics
When I work, I combine Apollo’s Clear and Focus setting with Brain FM or a microdose. And when I don’t microdose, which is most of the time, I find the Apollo Neuro can be like a microdose on your wrist, a wearable psychedelic. You do not go on a journey or see visions, of course, but you drop into your body and the present moment. The vibrations remind me to be here, now.
The Apollo can be an adjunct to higher doses, too. I would take a gram or two of mushrooms and set the Apollo Neuro on Mindfulness and Meditation. There was one point when I was on mushrooms and I started to feel, “This is getting very intense,” and then I realized, “Oh, I have my Apollo on.” When I turned the Apollo off, the intensity slightened. So if you have the skillset of an experienced psychedelic user, combining the Apollo with mid to moderate doses could help you go deeper.
I’m not alone
All kinds of people benefit from touch at specific frequencies, not just occasionally anxious entrepreneurs. Apollo’s scientific studies show the Neuro sped up physical recovery of college athletes, increased cognitive performance, and reduced frustration in healthy volunteers, improved mood, behavior, and engagement in kids with anxiety, autism, or ADHD, and reduced stress among a nursing staff. And thousands of real-world beta-testers approve. I was especially touched by one of Apollo’s hundreds of reviewers, who said, “I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I would not be able to eat in the employee cafeteria unless I took medication. I don’t want to depend on medication everyday. Apollo has helped me and I can’t live without it.”
Possible areas of improvement
As a first-gen device, the Apollo is temperamental. At one point my Apollo randomly stopped working. And when I jumped in the ocean, the dip wrecked my Apollo. I forgot the Apollo is water resistant, but it is not waterproof—aka don’t wear it in the shower. But in both cases Apollo sent me a new one, and the customer service is fantastic.
Also, when I wore it on my ankle, some people thought I was on house arrest. So maybe the second generation could be revamped by a Bauhaus designer for a sleeker, more elegant look.
All around, the Apollo Neuro has been one of the most interesting and innovative tools I have come across. There is nothing else like it on the market. And the work and the innovation invested into this is incredible, so I would highly recommend looking into it. Like psychedelics, the Apollo Neuro can be an addition to other methods of stress-reduction and centering, to bring us back to a feeling of wholeness, belonging, and safety.
Third Wave discount
If you want to try it, we are providing a link here for a discount code for 15 percent off. Or buy it through Apollo Neuro and use the promo code THIRDWAVE at checkout.