Stress can be an absolute killer!
And I don’t just mean that figuratively. Statistical reports have stated that a staggering 77% of adults experience stress to a degree that it affects their physical health, with a nearly-equal number (73%) experiencing mental health problems as a result of stress.
Stress can cause all kinds of nasty changes in your body, making you more vulnerable to viral infections, at higher risk of developing ulcers, and even more likely to experience (and die from) cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
Pretty clear that stress is a real danger we’ve all got to be wary of.
And, most important of all, find some way to manage and reduce in our lives.
Well, that’s exactly what the Apollo Neuro was created to do.
It claims to “improve your resilience to stress” so you can enjoy a healthier, more balanced life—a life free of not only stress, but all the health problems that accompany it.
But does it actually work?
That’s what we set out to find out!
We tested the Apollo Neuro for ourselves, and we’ll share our findings below. Read on for everything you need to know about this (potentially amazing) stress-busting device!
What is the Apollo Neuro?
Let’s start off with the basics: an explanation of what the Apollo Neuro is and how it works.
The Apollo Neuro is a device you can wear on your wrist or ankle (whichever is most comfortable for you). It uses “novel touch therapy” (say what?) to help you turn down the stress in your life. Remote-controlled via the smartphone app, it’s wearable tech designed to be a support for your mental health throughout your busy day.
Well, that sounds real good, but how does it actually work?
Time to take a deep dive into the science that led to its design and construction…
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The Science Behind It
According to Apollo Neuro’s website:
“Apollo Neuroscience was born from research at the University of Pittsburgh. Drs. David Rabin MD, PhD and Greg Siegle PhD worked together at the Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience to develop and scientifically prove out the Apollo Neuro technology.
Together, they discovered that certain combinations of low frequency inaudible sound waves (vibration that you can feel, but can’t hear) can safely and reliably change how we feel through our sense of touch, and that we can measure those physiological changes in near real time.”
Okay, that sounds interesting. Using low-frequency sound waves to affect physiological changes—that has been scientifically proven to work.
In fact, one of the things that immediately stood out to me as I was researching the Apollo Neuro in preparation for testing it was that on their “Science” page, the website lists over 50 peer-reviewed and evidence-based scientific studies published in a wide range of medical journals that back up their claims.
It’s not just “hokey” or some “snake oil” like some of the other devices that have been peddled over the years. Based on this scientific evidence and the years of study that went into creating it, it’s a device built on a solid foundation of concrete clinical evidence.
Anyways, back to the science of the device…
The Apollo Neuro combines “frequencies of vibration known to change our energy levels by increasing or decreasing parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system activity.”
Your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in when you feel relaxed, lowering your blood pressure, heart rate variability, and triggering your body to begin producing more energy.
Your sympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is what triggers your “fight-or-flight” response whenever you face stressful or threatening situations. It elevates your blood pressure, sends blood to your heart and muscles, slows digestion, and releases a rush of energy—all so you can “escape” or “fight” whatever threat is facing you.
To reduce stress, you want to reduce activity of your sympathetic nervous system, and instead let your parasympathetic nervous system take over. And that’s exactly what the Apollo Neuro is designed to do.
According to its website: “Modes designed for rest and relaxation contain more slow-moving gentle frequencies known to increase parasympathetic activity, the branch of your nervous system that is activated when you meditate, deep breathe, and sleep. Modes for energy contain vibration frequencies known in the literature to increase heart rate and blood flow for increased energy and alertness.”
How cool is that? It uses these low-frequency sound waves—which literally feel like waves moving through your body—to lower your heart rate variability, lower your blood pressure, and essentially provide a physical counteraction to your innate stress response.
In order to make sure their device works, Apollo Neuro is consistently testing it, and you can find the results of their trials (many of which are the medical “gold standard” of double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover trials) on their “Research” page.
After reading all of this wealth of scientific evidence, I was excited to dive in and give the device a try for myself!
The day the package arrived at my front door, I was thrilled to unbox it, slip it onto my wrist, and see exactly how it worked for me.
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How to Use the Apollo Neuro
Using the Apollo Neuro, I found, was incredibly simple.
Obviously, it starts with the wearable tech. The device itself is compact, sleek, and surprisingly good-looking. It’s not some big, bulky device that protrudes or bulges from your clothing, but it’s only a little thicker than your average Apple or Samsung smart watch (easy to hide under your sock, pant leg, or sleeve). It includes two bands—one for your wrist, and a larger one for your ankle—made of stretchable neoprene with polyester overlays that make it fairly durable and comfortable.
However, it doesn’t have a screen, just the downward-facing sound wave-generating device and two side-mounted buttons you can use to raise and lower the intensity of the vibrations.
Once you’ve got the device on your limb of choice, you download the companion app (currently only available for iPhone). It’s relatively simple to pair the Apollo Neuro via Bluetooth, and once paired, the program will walk you through the basics of how to use it. Finally, you pick your “mood program” and set the run-time and intensity of the vibrations. After that, you’re ready to get relaxing as the biofeedback and low-frequency vibration therapy activates your parasympathetic nervous system and reduces sympathetic nervous system activity.
There are seven “mood programs” to choose from:
- Rebuild and Recover
- Relax and Unwind
- Energy and Wake Up
- Sleep and Renew
- Social and Open
- Clear and Focused
- Meditation and Mindfulness
As you can see, some will be better for early in the morning (helping you wake up right), while others will be best at night (to encourage easier sleep) or during the day (to find your calm when work is stressful).
While it’s running, you’ll feel the slight buzzing in your wrist or ankle, but the vibrations are silent, so you won’t have to worry about anyone else being disturbed or the device interfering with your work.
The device uses biofeedback to track the way your body responds to it, and makes micro-adjustments in order to improve functionality. Let the mood program run—for 15 to 60 minutes on average—at your desired intensity until it shuts off. You can use it as many times a day as you want, as many days per week. Whatever works best to help you feel the way you want to feel!
Does the Apollo Neuro Really Work?
Now we come to the real meat of this Apollo Neuro review: the nitty-gritty details, results, and opinions I’ve formed over the last few weeks I’ve spent using this device.
Let me start off by saying that the Apollo Neuro didn’t change my life. That’s an overly dramatic claim that you wouldn’t even begin to believe.
The Apollo Neuro did NOT make my day any less stressful. It’s not designed to do that—it’s designed to adjust the way my body reacts to stress.
After a few days of using it (at the peak stress times of my day), I noticed that though things were pretty hectic and moving fast around me, I felt surprisingly calm. The pressure of work remained, but I was less triggered or stressed out by it. There was something wonderfully soothing about the vibrations (I turned them up to 60% intensity when things got really insane) and the pulsing sensation running through my wrist.
Also, in the weeks since I started using the Apollo Neuro, I’ve been sleeping noticeably better. I’ve always had trouble sleeping—I toss and turn a lot, wake up frequently throughout the night, am sensitive to light and sound, and will often be woken up by stressful thoughts. But since I’ve worn the Apollo Neuro, I’ve been waking up less and sleeping more deeply. I’ve still got a long way to go to clean up my sleep habits, but the Apollo Neuro has been surprisingly effective at improving my sleep quality.
Now, can I attribute all the improvements to the Apollo Neuro? It’s impossible to say for sure—but also possible that it’s causing some “placebo effect” that makes me believe I’m going to feel calmer and sleep better, so I do.
However, at the end of the day, given how much better I feel overall and the results I’ve noticed in my life in the weeks since I started using it, I’m going to have to render my official verdict as: YES, THE APOLLO NEURO WORKS.
(Note: I’ll add the caveat that what works for me might not work for everyone. It’s possible that you won’t experience the same results/benefits.)
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Here are some reviews from real-life people who have used (and loved) the Apollo Neuro:
“I’m prone to panic attacks and elevated anxiety occasionally and it REALLY helps with that. The relax setting is amazing at relieving anxiety/panic quickly. The wake-up setting helps me get out of bed in the mornings.”
“This helped me with reduce some of my flight ‘nervousness.’ I had a much more enjoyable flight this time around. It seems I was more at ease, at baseline and this does provide a little distraction. With flight anxiety, any little bit helps.”
“I have attention deficit disorder and I found out that this device has helped me a lot it helps me focus better it helps me to be calmer and when I’m angry or upset I use it and it works wonderfully.”
“In the month that I have had it, I have fallen asleep at least 75% faster (after awakening in the middle of the night). I used to have 1-2 hours of wakefulness every night; now it’s down to a few minutes!”
Of course, there have been a few less-than-stellar reviews posted, too:
“Conscious of the placebo effect, I thought Apollo did influence my overall nightly experience, but in the end not enough to continue the regimen required.”
“I do find the relax and unwind mode seems helpful, but as of now, I can’t say that the sleep and renew mode has really made any difference in helping me to fall asleep as I had hoped.”
“Not sure there has been a change for me yet. Wear it every day and switch modes often. Don’t see a difference.”
Now, it’s important to note that all of these reviews came from the Apollo Neuro website, so it’s possible that the reviews are curated to only show the best ones. The lack of reviews on other third-party websites makes it hard to collect more accurate user data and feedback.
But based on my personal experience, I can say that I’ve noticed a difference since using the Apollo Neuro. Overall, I’m a happy customer and will keep testing out the device to see how much more it can help me.
Who Should Use the Apollo Neuro?
- Anyone who deals with high levels of stress
- Anyone who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Anyone suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation
- Anyone who feels high levels of anxiety or worry throughout the day
- Anyone who wants to improve their health from the inside out
Really, it’s a device that can help everyone (if used correctly), but it can specifically benefit people who are struggling with high levels of stress and anxiety, as well as the physical consequences of those mental health issues.
Is the Apollo Neuro a game-changing, industry-disrupting device? Given that it has only been available for a short time, it’s still too early to tell.
My personal tests and research lead me to conclude that the science is sound and the potential for excellence is there, though the results will be mixed based on each user. For anyone who is struggling with high levels of stress, anxiety, sleep loss, or insomnia, it’s a device worth testing out. Even small improvements can grow larger over time and snowball into visible, positive change in your life! And if that’s the result of using the Apollo Neuro’s “mood programs” and low-frequency vibration treatments to calm your nervous system, then it’s worth the investment for sure.
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