Have you ever felt comforted by the feeling of someone else’s touch or by the subtle vibration while riding in a car? I know I have, and that’s because we are programmed to respond to touch and vibration within our nervous system. A company that has been paving the way for healing with vibration is Apollo Neuro. They provide science-backed research and products that people can purchase in order to invite healing vibrations both day and night.
Apollo Neuro is a company I am very familiar with as I have been using their product for the past couple of years. They invented a vibrating wearable that you can wear either on your wrist or ankle. Their wearable improves your body’s resilience to stress, so you can relax, sleep, focus, recover, and feel better. Rather than tracking your health, the Apollo wearable is proven to actively improve it.
According to the Apollo Neuro website, the technology originated from Dr. David Rabin MD, PhD’s research at the University of Pittsburgh program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience (PICAN) laboratory. As a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Dr. Rabin has dedicated his career to understanding the effects of chronic stress on our well-being. He observed a core challenge, healthy behavior changes will benefit us in the long term, but making those changes when we’re under chronic stress is really, really hard.
The reason? Chronic stress itself. Our nervous system is there to keep us safe. When you face stress, your brain tells your body the equivalent of “hey, there’s a lion over there.” That’s why you have trouble sleeping, low energy, and a hard time focusing, it’s like the nervous system is saying “run” when you’re just trying to get through your day. So Apollo Neuro developed this wearable to restore balance to the nervous system, calming the body to clear the mind, and leaving you feeling safe and in control.
I decided to try it myself a couple of years ago when it first came out on the market. I started using it at night while I slept. I put the wearable around my ankle and chose the vibration setting for deep sleep. Parts of me wanted to turn up the intensity so that I could really feel the vibration consciously on my skin, but the program recommended that feeling the vibration intensely is not necessarily needed and that sometimes the subtle vibrations that we’re not even aware of can be the most beneficial.
Because I also wear the Oura ring that tracks my sleep statistics, I was able to see how wearing the Apollo Neuro impacted my sleep, and what I found was surprising. When I wore the device while sleeping, I did have an increase in my deep sleep numbers. And so I began wearing the device on my ankle and wrist during the day, experimenting with the various daytime settings for things such as concentration and focus. What I found within myself was that by having something touching my body through vibration, it was activating my nervous system in a way that helped me feel safe, connected, and grounded.
We can invite these similar types of feelings with humming, breathing, and shaking. Because your vagus nerve runs through both the larynx and pharynx in your throat, humming creates a vibration that stimulates your vagus nerve, which is the main nerve of your parasympathetic nervous system — rest and digest. You can also say the word “Vooooo” on the exhale to stimulate this response.
Breathing with slow longer exhales is also calming to the nervous system, for example breathing in for a count of 4 and then breathing out for a count of 6. Shaking the body helps invite the release of any adrenaline or pent-up stress held in our bodies. Stand up or sit in a chair, and allow your body to shake, from your head to your toes. Feel the release and see if it also helps crack a smile, which is also regulating your nervous system.