Stress is a scourge that is now widely accepted as the precursor to most chronic diseases, both physical and mental. 1Habib Yaribeygi, et al. The impact of stress on body function: A review, EXCLI J. 2017 2Mohd. Razali Salleh. Life Event, Stress and Illness, Malays J Med Sci. 2008
The Apollo Neuroscience wearable device hacks into your parasympathetic nervous system, raises your heart rate variability and forces your body to lower stress hormone production.
This simple hack can ultimately lower your stress while encouraging boosts in recovery, healing, and overall mood. 3Agnese MariottiThe effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain–body communication Future Science OA. 2015,
On the other hand, failure to manage stress ultimately leads to disease. 4Neil Schneiderman, Gail Ironson, and Scott D. Siegel, STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 20055Yun-Zi Liu, Yun-Xia Wang, and Chun-Lei JiangInflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 20176Jaimie L. GradusPrevalence and prognosis of stress disorders: a review of the epidemiologic literature Clinical Epidemiology. 2017
The following review highlights what the Apollo is, and how it helps your body become resistant to stress.
Apollo Neuroscience Wearable: The Cutting Edge Biohack
Apollo Neuro Wearable is an awesome biohacking device that helps you manage stress.
It can do anything from helping you relax after a long day to helping you focus and energizing you for the day ahead.
It promises to condition your nervous system so that your body will respond to stress more effectively after some time of use.
In essence, it stimulates your parasympathetic nerves (PNS) to help you relax and sympathetic nerves to keep you active.
- Boosts Heart Rate Variability
- Easy To Use
- Instant Stress Reduction
- Better Sleep
- Boosts Focus
Apollo Neuro and Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
The Apollo Neuro’s magic is in its ability to increase heart rate variability.
In fact, it’s been shown that using Apollo Neuro Wearables can increase HRV by an average of 2 after only 1 use.
It emits low-frequency vibrations7Lili Naghdi, Heidi Ahonen, Pasqualino Macario, and Lee BartelThe effect of low-frequency sound stimulation on patients with fibromyalgia: A clinical study Pain Research and Management. 2015 that effectively stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to put the body at rest by lessening the level of agitation and stress.8Miguel A Diego, Tiffany Field, Chris Sanders, Maria Hernandez-ReifMassage therapy of moderate and light pressure and vibrator effects on EEG and heart rate The International Journal of Neuroscience. 2004
Research shows the positive effects of what scientists called as good vibrations on the attention9Anselm B. M. Fuermaier, Lara Tucha, Janneke Koerts, Marieke J. G. van Heuvelen, Eddy A. van der Zee, Klaus W. Lange, and Oliver TuchaGood Vibrations – Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Attention in Healthy Individuals and Individuals with ADHD PLoS One. 2014 and energy of the subjects.10Kavita BeriA future perspective for regenerative medicine: understanding the concept of vibrational medicine Future Science OA. 201811M Cardinale, J. WakelingWhole body vibration exercise: are vibrations good for you? British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2005
The different frequencies of vibrations affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in different ways.12N Zhang, M Fard, M H U Bhuiyan, D Verhagen, M F Azari, S R RobinsonThe effects of physical vibration on heart rate variability as a measure of drowsiness Ergonomics. 2018
A significant increase in the HRV indicates improved health of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.13Hayley A. Young and David BentonHeart-rate variability: a biomarker to study the influence of nutrition on physiological and psychological health? Behavioural Pharmacology. 2018
What is Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats in milliseconds. While you may be familiar with how your heart rate fluctuates, HRV works a little differently.
Instead, it is an indication of the autonomic nervous system’s health and efficiency. It is also seen as a parameter to measure the proper interaction between the brain and the cardiovascular system.14Gernot ErnstHeart-Rate Variability—More than Heart Beats? Frontiers in Public Health. 2017
When the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems are not working correctly, the brain will be affected and vice versa.
A study proved that the heart rate variability associated with parasympathetic activity showing positive reaction and recovery after the subjects went through physical and mental stress.15Suh-Yeon Dong, Miran Lee, Heesu Park, Inchan YounStress Resilience Measurement With Heart-Rate Variability During Mental And Physical Stress Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. 2018
Heart rate variability tends to go down as you age.16I A O’Brien, P O’Hare, and R J CorrallHeart rate variability in healthy subjects: effect of age and the derivation of normal ranges for tests of autonomic function. British Heart Journal. 1986 For example, a person between 25-30 should have an HRV of 55-95, while an older person of 65 should have an HRV of 35-55. Also, males tend to have higher HRV than women.
A healthy HRV improves performance17Richard GevirtzThe Promise of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback: Evidence-Based Applications Biofeedback. 2013, helps reduce stress and anxiety symptoms18Richard GevirtzAutonomic Mediation of Stress-Related and Anxiety Disorders Using Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Biofeedback. 2017, and helps increase the body’s oxygen levels19Nicholas D Giardino, Leighton Chan, Soo BorsonCombined heart rate variability and pulse oximetry biofeedback for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: preliminary findings Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2004 and the overall quality of life.20Paul M. Lehrer and Richard GevirtzHeart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? Frontiers in Psychology. 2014
The Apollo Neuro App and Modes
The Apollo Neuro wearable has a companion mobile app that you have to download from Google Play or App Store to use the device.
There are seven settings that the users can choose depending on their needs.
Let’s discuss how each one works and how it can help you when you need it the most.
Energy and Wake Up
The “Energy and Wake Up” setting elevates your heart rate by sending a specific combination of frequencies21Kun Jiao, Zengyong Li, Ming Chen, Chengtao Wang, Shaohua QiEffect of different vibration frequencies on heart rate variability and driving fatigue in healthy drivers International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2004 to give a slight boost in cortisol. This delivers the morning high needed to start the day on a positive note.
Social and Open
The Social and Open mode will be helpful to those who need a boost of social juice and motivation.
Low-level vibrations (0.2 to 0.4 Hz) showed positive effects on the body22Masashi UchikuneThe Evaluation of Horizontal Whole-Body Vibration in the Low Frequency Range Journal of Low Frequency Noice, Vibration and Active Control. 2002 by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is especially helpful for someone experiencing social anxiety.23James W. JeffersonSocial Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just a Little Shyness The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2001
Clear and Focused
Clear and focus mode is great for those who need a boost in focus.24Paul M. Lehrer and Richard GevirtzHeart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? Frontiers in Psychology. 2014
The Apollo’s frequency combination shows increased concentration and task completion capabilities .25G. Ruben H. Regterschot, Marieke J. G. Van Heuvelen, Edzard B. Zeinstra, Anselm B. M. Fuermaier, Lara Tucha, Janneke Koerts, Oliver Tucha, and Eddy A. Van Der Zee Whole Body Vibration Improves Cognition in Healthy Young Adults PLoS One. 201426Anne E. den Heijer ,Yvonne Groen,Anselm B. M. Fuermaier,Marieke J. G. van Heuvelen,Eddy A. van der Zee,Lara Tucha,Oliver TuchaAcute Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Inhibition in Healthy Children PLoS One. 2015
This claim was further corroborated by a study on the effects of whole-body vibrations on both mice and humans’ cognition. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on the subjects showed more activity in the brain’s cognitive part.27Ate S. Boerema, Marelle Heesterbeek, Selma A. Boersma, Regien Schoemaker, Erik F. J. de Vries, Marieke J. G. van Heuvelen, and Eddy A. Van der ZeeBeneficial Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Brain Functions in Mice and Humans Dose Response. 2018
A case of more than 19,000 participants proved the strong correlation between heart rate variability and cognitive function when the results showed improved general cognitive functions when the autonomic nervous and the cardiovascular systems function well.28Giuseppe Forte, Francesca Favieri, and Maria CasagrandeHeart Rate Variability and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2019
Rebuild and Recover
Apollo Neuro Wearables stimulates the autonomic nervous system to help your body regain strength and energy after a heavy workout or a stressful situation.29Bo he, Zhibing Lu, Wenbo He, Bing HUang, Hong JiangAutonomic Modulation by Electrical Stimulation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System: An Emerging Intervention for Cardiovascular Diseases Cardiovascular Therapeutics. 2016
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness is an effective method for dealing with emotional pain or stress.
The Apollo sends a combination of vibrational frequencies which improves heart rate variability, and your meditation30Paul M. Lehrer and Richard GevirtzHeart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? Frontiers in Psychology. 2014 becomes more successful in relaxing the mind.31Helane Wahbeh, Elena Goodrich, Elizabeth Goy, and Barry S. OkenMechanistic Pathways of Mindfulness Meditation in Combat Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2016
Relax and Unwind
The parasympathetic nervous system is critical in relaxing the body after a stressful situation32Paul M. Lehrer and Richard GevirtzHeart rate variability biofeedback: how and why does it work? Frontiers in Psychology. 2014, and having a healthy HRV indicates a well-functioning PNS.
The Relax and Unwind mode is best used to relax the mind and body just before sleep.
It helps reduce anxiety and promote relaxation 33Jieun Lee, Jung K Kim, and Amy WachholtzThe benefit of heart rate variability biofeedback and relaxation training in reducing trait anxiety Hanguk Simni Hakhoe Chi Kongang. 201634Mutsuhiro NakaoHeart Rate Variability and Perceived Stress as Measurements of Relaxation Response Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019 which induces the body to go to sleep.35Robert ReinerIntegrating a portable biofeedback device into clinical practice for patients with anxiety disorders: results of a pilot study Applied Psychophysiology and biofeedback. 2008
Sleep and Renew
Designed to help improve sleep36Nicholas D Giardino, Leighton Chan, Soo BorsonCombined heart rate variability and pulse oximetry biofeedback for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: preliminary findings Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 200437Robert ReinerIntegrating a portable biofeedback device into clinical practice for patients with anxiety disorders: results of a pilot study Applied Psychophysiology and biofeedback. 2008, the Sleep and Renew mode activates the parasympathetic nervous system38Florian Chouchou and Martin DesseillesHeart rate variability: a tool to explore the sleeping brain? Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2014 through a series of low-frequency vibrations to induce sleep.
It also helps improve sleep quality for several cases, including chronic fatigue syndrome39A R Burton, K Rahman, Y Kadota, A Lloyd, U Vollmer-ConnaReduced heart rate variability predicts poor sleep quality in a case-control study of chronic fatigue syndrome Experimental Brain Research. 2010, insomnia40Kirsty L Dodds, Christopher B Miller, Simon D Kyle, Nathaniel S Marshall, Christopher J GordonHeart rate variability in insomnia patients: A critical review of the literature Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2017, and other sleep disorders.
Does Apollo Neuro Work?
Yes, Apollo Neuro Wearable works!
Many users claim to experience changes in their sleeping and mood patterns after using the Apollo Neuro in varying amounts of time.
The most common claim of users are energy boosts during the day and improved sleep during the night.
I personally use the Apollo Neuro daily.
I like to use the Clear and Focused mode in the morning while getting my most brain-intensive work done.
At night I kick back with the Relax and Unwind setting while listening to an audiobook just before bed.
How It Works
While the Apollo is incredibly easy to use, there is a lot of complex science happening which speaks to the sheer ingenuity of the device.
It sends low-frequency or a combination of medium to low-frequency vibrations that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous systems to positively affect your heart rate variability and overall health.
The Parasympathetic vs. the Sympathetic Nervous Systems
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) governs the body’s ability to maintain its regular function on the inside even if there are unfavorable changes on the outside.41Laurie Kelly McCorryPhysiology of the Autonomic Nervous System American Journal of Pharmaceutical Information. 2007
The sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is one of the branches of the ANS. It is most useful in “fight-or-flight” situations and during strenuous physical activities.42Laurie Kelly McCorryPhysiology of the Autonomic Nervous System American Journal of Pharmaceutical Information. 2007
In response to stressors, it increases blood flow to target areas, like the muscles, heart, eyes and lungs.43Laurie Kelly McCorryPhysiology of the Autonomic Nervous System American Journal of Pharmaceutical Information. 2007
This is useful for both emotional stress and physical stress like exercise, and physical combat.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), on the other hand, provides for resting conditions.44Laurie Kelly McCorryPhysiology of the Autonomic Nervous System American Journal of Pharmaceutical Information. 2007
This is beneficial for crucial bodily functions like metabolism, cognition, and digestion.45Laurie Kelly McCorryPhysiology of the Autonomic Nervous System American Journal of Pharmaceutical Information. 2007
Stress is the primary precursor to anxiety, depression, and burnout. 46Peter de Looff, Liza Cornet, PJCM Embregts, HLI NijmanAssociations of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity in job stress and burnout: A systematic review PLoS One. 2018
Chronic anxiety results from low parasympathetic and elevated sympathetic nervous system activity.47Anna-Karin Lennartsson, ingibjorg Jonsdottir, Anna SjorsLow heart rate variability in patients with clinical burnout International Journal of PsychoPhysiology. 201648Ei-Wen Victor Lo, Yin-Hsuan Wei, and Bing-Fang Hwang, Association between occupational burnout and heart rate variability: A pilot study in a high-tech company in Taiwan Medicine (Baltimore). 2020
This is also reflected in low HRV.49John A Chalmers, Daniel S Quintana, Maree J-Anne Abbott, Andrew H KempAnxiety Disorders are Associated with Reduced Heart Rate Variability: A Meta-Analysis Frontiers in Psychiatry. 201450Simone Gazzellini, Maria Dettori,Francesca Amadori,Barbara Paoli, Antonio Napolitano, Francesco Mancini, and Cristina OttavianiAssociation between Attention and Heart Rate Fluctuations in Pathological Worriers Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2016
The Apollo Neuro is especially useful for children, adolescents, and adults who have had childhood anxiety disorders.51Rajiv Kumar Sharma, Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, Rajesh Sagar, K. K. Deepak, and Manju MehtaHeart rate variability study of childhood anxiety disorders Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research. 2011
The parasympathetic nervous system responds to regulate the body’s response to external factors, and when it fails to do so, stress becomes palpable.52Hye-Geum Kim, Eun-Jin Cheon, Dai-Seg Bai, Young Hwan Lee, and Bon-Hoon KooStress and Heart Rate Variability: A Meta-Analysis and Review of the Literature Psychiatry Investigation. 2018
While official results are not yet conclusive, there is evidence that low-frequency vibrations can help your body recover from emotional and physical stress from strenuous exercise and related external stressors.53Ching-Feng Cheng, Yen-Ling Lu, Yi-Chen Huang, Wei-Chieh Hsu, Yu-Chi Kuo, Chia-Lun LeeEffects of Low-Frequency Vibration on Physiological Recovery from Exhaustive Exercise The Open Sports Sciencs Journal. 2017
Lack of sleep is a two-fold occurrence.
It can be a symptom of or the cause of a body under stress.
The Apollo wearable’s low-frequency vibrations help optimize sleep quality through it’s ability to lower stress.54Jean-Philippe Gouin, Kerstin Wenzel, Soufiane Boucetta, Jordan O’Byrne, Ali Salimi, Thien Thanh Dang-VuHigh-frequency heart rate variability during worry predicts stress-related increases in sleep disturbances Sleep Medicine. 2015 and sleep disorders.
In one study, the use of a very low-frequency vibration (0.5 Hz) mechanical bed was shown to induce sleep55Hitoshi Kimura, Akisue Kuramoto, Yuma Inui, and Norio InouMechanical Bed for Investigating Sleep-Inducing Vibration Journal of Healthcare Engineering. 2017 and enhance the subjects’ overall health.
It’s important to remember that there is a strong correlation between sleep quality and stress awareness.56Dong-Woo Choi, Sung-Youn Chun, Sang Ah Lee, Kyu-Tae Han, and Eun-Cheol ParkAssociation between Sleep Duration and Perceived Stress: Salaried Worker in Circumstances of High Workload International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018
On the other hand another study demonstrated the importance of sleep in optimizing stress tolerance and optimizing metabolism.57Camila Hirotsu, Sergio Tufik, and Monica Levy AndersenInteractions between sleep, stress, and metabolism: From physiological to pathological conditions Sleep Science. 2015
Optimizing your sleep with the Apollo is the ultimate holistic health hack for optimal brain function that keeps on giving!
As you probably guessed, low HRV can contribute to depression. This is even more compounded by increased stress.58Angela J. GrippoOpinion: “Heart Rate Variability, Health and Well-Being: A Systems Perspective” Research Topic Frontiers in Public Health. 2017
Boosting your HRV and improving stress markers by parasympathetic promotion can play a huge role in treating or managing depression.
Along with direct psychological benefits, improving HRV with the help of a tool like the Apollo Neuro can also improve physical markers like inflammation which can have an antidepressant effect.59Hayley A. Young and David BentonHeart-rate variability: a biomarker to study the influence of nutrition on physiological and psychological health? Behavioural Pharmacology. 2018
Overall, a high HRV means less depressive attacks and a more stable mood.
While the evidence on the efficacy of low-frequency vibration therapy on persons with ADHD is limited there is sufficient data that demonstrates whole-body vibrations’ (WBV) potential as an effective and inexpensive treatment alternative.60Anselm B. M. Fuermaier, Lara Tucha, Janneke Koerts, Marieke J. G. van Heuvelen, Eddy A. van der Zee, Klaus W. Lange, and Oliver TuchaGood Vibrations – Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Attention in Healthy Individuals and Individuals with ADHD PLoS One. 2014
One study showed that WBV did improve focus and cognition, along with beneficial effects on the physiological functions of patients.61Masashi UchikuneStudy of the Effects of Whole-Body Vibration in the Low Frequency Range Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control. 2004
It’s also important to note that whole-body vibrations improve the brain’s oxygenation, which activates the brain’s responses through neuronal activation.
Stimulation through vibration also results in high beta, theta, and alpha activity in the EEG results which are crucial in boosting focus and concentration62Miguel A Diego, Tiffany Field, Chris Sanders, Maria Hernandez-ReifMassage therapy of moderate and light pressure and vibrator effects on EEG and heart rate The International Journal of Neuroscience. 2014.
Overall these results indicate that when the brain is stimulated by vibrations it receives more oxygen, and experiences faster metabolic activity which leads to increased attention, and relaxation.63Mahtab Roohi-Azizi, Leila Azimi, Soomaayeh Heysieattalab, and Meysam AamidfarChanges of the brain’s bioelectrical activity in cognition, consciousness, and some mental disorders Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 2017
Apollo Neuro Wearables: Pros and Cons
- It effectively increases the heart rate variability after Day 1 of use, but users observe the best results after two weeks of continued use.
- Instant Energy boost, focus, and relaxation.
- Ease of use with smartphone controls.
- Design is bulky and can be obtrusive to movement, especially when worn around the ankle.
- Doesn’t measure HRV.
- Battery life could be better.
Apollo Neuro Alternatives
OmniPEMF’s NeoRhythm is an electromagnetic headband designed to provide pain relief and improve sleep patterns.
It can be worn on different parts of the head to target that specific part of the brain.
It also has six stimulation settings that include a pain-control system, meditation, energizing the body and the mind, and one for deep relaxation.
It also comes with a companion app that serves as the dashboard and control of the device.
BrainTap is a sound-therapy based program which uses sound and music to promote relaxation.
The full setup is a headset and smartphone app and the Ux is very easy.
Programs are sold separately which allows you to custom-make your experience.
The programs come in 6 bundles recommended for sleep, weight and wellness, overall health, stress, anxiety, and children. Subscribe to the Wellness Collection as one bundle at almost $30 a month.
Depending on the bundle you are using, you can set the app to give you a guided visualization setting where the user listens to a voice that guides him/her during the session. You can also listen to sounds and tones meant to stimulate your brain.
Apollo Neuro has given us an exclusive 15% discount for Holistic Nootropics readers available here. The discount will be credited when you complete the purchase of the device.