Let's decode anxiety with board-certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. David Rabin. Dr. Rabin eloquently explains why anxiety is something most feel, how gratitude helps interrupt anxiety, psychedelics, and why he created the Apollo.
Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, health tech entrepreneur & inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than a decade. He is the co-founder & chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, which has developed the first scientifically-validated wearable technology that actively improves energy, focus & relaxation, using a novel touch therapy that signals safety to the brain.
Dr. Rabin has always been fascinated by consciousness and our inherent ability to heal ourselves from injury and illness. As such, he has specifically focused his research on the clinical translation of non-invasive therapies for patients with treatment-resistant illnesses like PTSD and substance use disorders.
Dr. Rabin is the co-founder and executive director of the Board of Medicine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of physicians and scientists establishing the first peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical guidelines for the production and safe use of currently unregulated alternative medicines, including plant medicines. The Board of Medicine trains and certifies healthcare providers, as well providing quality control standards for complementary and alternative medicines to support high-quality clinical research and best practices in harm-reduction.
In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice, Dr. Rabin is currently conducting research on the epigenetic regulation of trauma responses and recovery to elucidate the mechanism of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and the neurobiology of belief.
[4:46] Anxiety in our modern society
[12:05] Pattern interrupts that cause anxiety
[17:51] The Gratitude interception
[20:06] Take control of the ego
[26:10] Psychedelics and anxiety
[32:23] Self-medication addiction phenomenon
[36:22] Developing the Apollo touch therapy device
[40:43] Dr. Rabin answers the Superhuman rapid-fire questions
Food of the Gods by Terrence McKenna
In Search of Memory by Eric Kandel
Boomer Anderson: [00:00:00]Welcome to decoding superhuman. This show is a deep dive into obsessions withhealth performance, and how to elevate the human experience. I explore thelatest tools, science and technology with experts in various fields of humanoptimization.
This is your host Boomer Anderson. Enjoy the journey.
Anxiety. It's that devil in the darkness that no one wantsto talk about. And everyone freaking has it. I've struggled with it my entirelife. And today I am happy to have on dr. David Rabin to have. What will becomethe first of many conversations on a variety of topics, dr. David, Rabin,medical doctor, and PhD.
So, you know, he's a smart cookie is a board certifiedpsychiatrist and neuroscientist, and is the cofounder and chief innovationofficer for sure. At Apollo neuroscience, just an aside on the Apollo. Possiblymy favorite wearable technology. I've tried to date and it's the firstscientifically validated wearable system to improve heart rate, variability,focus, relaxation, and access to meditative States, AKA everything you probablywant by delivering gentle, layered vibrations to the skin.
In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice. Dr. Rabinis also the co founder and executive director of the board of medicine and apsychedelic clinical researcher currently evaluating the mechanism ofpsychedelic assisted psychotherapy in the treatment resistant mental illnesses.So, like I said, this is the first of many conversations and it was bit of abrief one, apologies for the sound quality on my end.
It had nothing to do with dr. Rabin side and everything todo with my side. But we got into quite a bit first off. What is the unspokenabout anxiety? What are some quick steps that you can. Really implement in youreveryday life to not only acknowledge the anxiety, but to quell it, if youwill. And then we get into the Apollo, which as I mentioned is one of myfavorite devices, tried to date the show notes for this one are decodingsuperhuman.com/drrabin that's
D R R A B I N enjoy my conversation with dr. David Rabin.
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dr. Rabin, welcome to the show.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:04:10]Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here with you.
Boomer Anderson: [00:04:13]All right. So. Opening the kimono a little bit anxiety is something that I'vepersonally dealt with for the majority of my life. And so today I wanted topick your brain because we have a ton of mutual friends, uh, about that topic.
And perhaps before I go into the first question, I got togive a shout out to Dasha for connecting us. So, you know, Dasha, thank you forthe introduction here.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:04:41]Thanks, Dasha. Yeah.
Boomer Anderson: [00:04:46]So, uh, dr. Rabin, one question that I would love to start with is when itcomes to the topic of anxiety, the way we look at it currently, What as asociety or what is the individuals, how are we handling this
Dr. David Rabin: [00:05:02]wrong? Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, I think there's two, two thingsreally to start with the first is that we look at anxiety as something that'sunique to us individually.
Um, and I think there couldn't be a more destructive way tothink about anxiety because anxiety is universal. The human experience. Anxietyis a signal to our bodies that something is a miss in our environmentexternally around us or internally something right. Is off. Um, it's notnecessarily a bad thing actually at all.
Um, we are often told that it's bad or that we shouldn'tfeel that way or that we're not supposed to feel that way or to feel ashamedabout those, the feeling of anxiety, but the single biggest mistake that wetend to make with feelings like anxiety is. That the anxiety or any way that itcomes out, the restlessness racing thoughts, um, consistent worry, guilt,shame, et cetera, et cetera.
The list goes on. Um, you know, that this is not a goodthing and ultimately it's not good or bad. It's just something that we allexperience. Literally, every single person on the face of this earthexperiences, this feeling and this feeling is a, is a signal that is supposedto be there to guide us. To figuring out why that feeling is in short, if thatmakes sense, right.
It's just a signal and that's all. And so I think when westep back and remove the, the good or bad from the picture, and just look atthis feeling for what it is, that's the single first and most important thingthat we can do as a unit and understanding it as a universal thing that we cando. To get to the root cause of it and help us not feel uncomfortable about itanymore, which in fact, for most people, it's not the anxiety itself, that'sthe problem for most people, it's the guilt or the shame that we should not, ornot allowed to feel that feeling that actually probably makes it worse.
Right. And or that, that we are out of control. Of thefeeling or how to do anything about the feeling. So that leads to the second,most important thing about anxiety, which is that anxiety comes from or what wecall an art Western culture. Anxiety comes from trying to. Control things aroundus that we cannot control.
And we only, you know, the way to break this down mostsimply is that we only have so much attention available to us at any time.Right? Many, many people throughout, throughout, especially the last a hundred,550 years, you know, since the advent of like consumer marketing, uh, havetalked about how our attention is our single most valuable asset as you.
Right where our conscious focus is on at any given time isthe single most valuable thing we have, which is what every advertiser, everymarketer wants to capture. Right. That's why they have jobs is because they'regood at pulling us in to focus on what they want us to focus on in the way theywant us to focus on.
And that can be anything from video games to advertisementscommercials, you know, music, pop music versus classical music, right? Popmusic is obviously more. Well marketed in the marketing standpoint of catchingour attention and classical music or jazz. Right? And so even though jazz istechnically in classical music, technically are much more incredible forms ofmusic than pop, right from an, from a technical perspective.
Um, they're much more stimulating to our brains in positiveways than pop music. So thinking about it from that perspective, attention isour most valuable asset as humans. We only have so much of it at any givenmoment. Yeah, to focus on one thing in front of us, we have that's that withinour awareness, what we call the conscious experience.
So if that attention starts to get monopolized by thingsthat we can't actually control, then our anxiety starts to creep up and up andup and up. Every time more of that attention or resource of our focus is spenton thinking about the things in that domain that we cannot control. Our stresslevel goes up and our anxiety level goes up literally in a, in a litter, in alinear or in some cases, exponential relationship with respect to that, thereason why that's so important.
Is because once we understand that very, very, these twovery simple, relatively simple, basic facts. It's about anxiety, whichneuroscience strongly supports, um, and psychology, strongly supports. Thenwhat we can do is we can understand how to manage it effectively. Right. Sothen the answer to these.
Problems of how to deal with anxiety more effectively isthat once we accept that we all struggle with it and it's not good or bad, itjust is what it is. And it's something that needs to be addressed. And numbertwo, that it stems from devoting our precious, valuable attention, a resourceof attention on to things that we can't control.
Then the solution becomes abundantly clear, which is that tosolve the problem of anxiety in our own life, we must learn to control ourattention and attribute it to things that we can control rather than thingsthat we can't control. Because as soon as we start to focus on things that wecan control one example, being our breath, right, paying attention to ourbreath, what happens is.
An instant response of safety and recovery that is literallyhappening almost immediately from the moment that breath enters, enters intoour, into our nose and our mouth and our lungs, what our brain says. Usually atagain, this has beneath our level of awareness. This is like a subconsciousthing that goes on in our brains.
There's a highly evolutionarily conserved loop ofinformation that says if I have the time, and again, this is below ourawareness. So our brain is saying emotionally, if I have the time. To payattention to this thing that I can control, which is the feeling of air cominginto my lungs and my nose, my mouth, and then coming out again.
I can't possibly be running from a lion right now. Right.Because if I was running from a lion, there's no way that I would be able totake the time to intentionally focus on air, coming into my lungs. And it's thesame thing with human touch, soothing touch. It's the same thing with soothingmusic and meditation and yoga and movement meditation and all of thesedifferent techniques that are most of, which are very old techniques.
Like. Tens of thousands of years, in some cases, um, thesetechniques work so well and have existed and continue to exist for so long inour culture because they work in this highly conserved, neural pathway ofsafety, which is how we balance our stress response and our recovery response,nervous systems, which is right at the core of managing that anxiety.
Does that make sense?
Boomer Anderson: [00:11:58]Makes perfect sense. Now oftentimes saying this and putting it into practiceis, is very, very difficult. And I guess first part a of this question is whydo you think it's such a big issue, especially nowadays, and maybe it has a lotto do with that, a word you mentioned, but also, uh, Like for somebody who'sjust grasping this. Okay. You mentioned breath, you mentioned meditation, butwhat are some of the pattern interrupts that we can just sort of bring us backto that moment?
Dr. David Rabin: [00:12:33]Yeah, that's another really good question. So I think that starting, the firstquestion you asked is why is it so hard? Yeah. Um, so the reason why it's sohard is because when we've already been primed to be in a stress state, right.
Where we don't have for most of us think, goodness, most ofus don't have the threat that we used to have 10,000 years ago or more of apredator coming to kill us or. You know, us or our families, or take away ourfood, water, shelter, air, et cetera. Right? Most of us don't struggle withhaving to worry about those kinds of actual survival threats on a day daily basis.
And so what happens is. That our nervous system, thesympathetic nervous system, which is involved in regulating that survivalresponse, the fight or flight or freeze response gets starts to get triggeredby things that are not actually threat, but perceived as survival threat. Sothis could be anything from our kids, screaming to traffic, to emails, toSlack, pings, to, uh, news, to any number of different things that are brains.
Our bodies start to identify as threat. And our bodies inthose States don't know the difference between those threats, which are notactually survival threats. They might be frustrating or annoying, but they'renot actually survival threats and the alternatives, which is an actual survivalthreat, like running from a lion in the moment.
Right? So our bodies don't know difference. It's up to ourminds, which is why we have a frontal cortex to train our bodies, to know whatis actually threatening and what is not. That gets down to why this is so hardbecause in humans and all animals, uh, the work of Eric Kendall really showedthis. He won the Nobel prize in 2000 from discovering the origin of learningand memory.
And what was really phenomenal about his work is it showedthat practice makes perfect. Which is something that we've heard for a longtime, but don't necessarily internalize. It's the idea that whether we practicegood coping strategies or, or negative destructive coping strategies, likerejecting anxiety and shoving it down and, and having it ultimately turn inwardon ourselves, um, as one example, that those techniques that we practice get,we get better at doing them.
Even if they're bad or good, it makes no or neutral. Itmakes some difference. The more you do it, the better you get and the strongerour neural connections get. And so as those neural conditions get stronger, we,it becomes harder to reset old patterns. It's not impossible, it just becomeshard. Um, and so as we practice doing things one way, and then we realize thatdoing it that way, isn't serving us anymore.
We have to make a conscious decision to change our behaviorand start practicing something in a new way, which then requires a bunch ofeffort. And ultimately takes us out of our comfort zone because we have toembrace this thing called change. And the problem with that, while it seemseasy from the outset is that our, our stress response nervous system, whenwe're in a fight or flight or freeze situation, and we perceive threat from ourenvironment or in worst case from ourselves, which is very common in as anillness and anxiety, is that.
We are our bodies oppose change because change in and ofitself becomes scary and it triggers that fear response. So we cling to thisidea of stability, but stability is just an idea. It doesn't actually exist thewhole world and everything is changing all around us all the time. Okay. Sochanging our mindset to embrace change as the, as the norm, some people haveheard, the only constant is change a little, a phrase.
It's very true. The sooner we embrace that phrase as truth,the sooner that we stop focusing on trying to maintain that a sense ofstability, which isn't actually achievable stability is an idea that doesn'tactually exist. So it's really achieving stability in the way that we thinkabout it. It really means embracing change as inevitable and something that weneed to learn to cope with and adapt to as best we can.
Yeah. Because if we learn nothing from evolution, what weare as humans, our adapters first, we are the best adapters the world has everseen. That's why we've risen to the place we have in society. We've literallyadapted to every stress. I have no doubt. We will adapt to this pandemic in aneffective way.
We will cope with this. If we stick together as a, as a teamworking together to do this, just like every other tragedy, going back to theblack plague and the Spanish flu, we will get through this, you know, it's justthat we have to embrace. The fact that we are adapters first, not sedentary,couch potatoes first, you know, we're not clinging to the stability of thecouch.
We're clinging to the change and the ability that we have toembrace that. So that's the kind of mindset stuff that has to happen again,being stressed out directly impairs this. So it's constantly like butting headsover and over again. So going again, back to the actionable. The best way thatwe can embrace this and facilitate these interruptions in these negativethought loops and these anxiety patterns and this fear response, it's anoveractive is to practice these ancient techniques of gratitude first.
Right? So we call this often and one of my patients actuallycame up with this term called the gratitude interrupt or the gratitudeinterception, which is when you start to have a thought. That is unpleasant orto think about something in your life that starts to give you the sense of whyme, or why is this happening or, Oh God, why?
You know, what is going on here? Why do I do about thissituation? Find ourselves, start judging the outcome. Before we even have fullyappraise the situation we teach ourselves to bring, to, to do the gratitudeinterrupt, which says. In this moment, I am grateful for the opportunity ofthis challenge. Right.
Not knowing what the outcome will be, not knowing why we'rebeing challenged necessarily and not judging the challenge of somethingnecessarily again, good or bad, and applying these ideas of what good or bad isto it before we even know where it's going. Right. Right. So the, so the ideais that we heal by bringing ourselves back to the present breath work and, andsoothing touch and meditation and mindfulness and yoga.
All of these techniques that are so old are so powerfulbecause they're present focused techniques that bring us back into the momentwhere decisions actually matter. We can't change the past. We can't change thefuture. These are out of our control. What we can do is we can use techniqueslike gratitude, practice and breath work, and these different things that aresome of the simpler practices to bring ourselves back into the present in timesof stress and anxiety.
And then remind us that we are grateful for being here now,as Ron DAS says grateful for being in the moment where our decisions matter,where we are in control of opportunity and where our free will actually exists.And in that present moment, we recognize the opportunity. That we are safeenough to make change in our lives as meaningful.
Boomer Anderson: [00:19:32]Wow. Okay. There's there's a lot to go on there and I want to just double clickon something a little bit, and this may go down kind of the neuroscience route,but it may lead to some other direction. So this idea where. You have thisinner voice, that's saying, uh, I want a stable life and this stable lifedoesn't actually exist. We are constant adopters to change. Is that thingtalking to you, your ego. And in which case, aside from the meditation and allof this stuff, which does take time to kind of control the ego, how do youshortcut that thing? Because the ego can grab a hold of you and I've personallyexperienced this. Uh, and just hijack your day in
Dr. David Rabin: [00:20:18]some cases.
Yeah. So that's it. Uh, and do I have that right first off?Yeah. I mean, that's a great way to think about it. I think that there's no oneright way. Uh, but I think there's a lot of, there are some, some, I wouldn'tcall them shortcut strategies, but they're, you know, highly tuned strategiesthat existed for a long time.
Gratitude being a really important one because the ego. Isanother way of thinking of the part of our, of our consciousness, of our, ofourselves, the part of ourselves that is clearly focused on survival. Sosurvival could mean what do other people think about me and survival and myreputation or survival could mean actual survival issues, right?
They were dealing with. But the point is that our ego andthe word ego is rooted, not in the present. It is rooted in the past and ittries to predict the future based on the past. Okay. So if we understand whatthat is, that experience of ego self, that the ego is trying to protect us.Because it learns what it believes danger to be or threat to be, and thenextrapolate that onto the future prediction of what coming up in our futuremight hurt us or might harm us in some way.
Then it helps us to understand the importance of that partof the brain. And it also helps us to understand that by we have to balancethat part of our brains with. The present part of our brains, right? We haveto, the future is old. We are only able to influence the outcomes of the futureby, in an effective way that serves us by taking everything we've learned fromthe past.
And then combining that with what we're experiencing in thepresent and th and, and reminding ourselves of the opportunity to makedecisions. Now that will are based on our past, but are not dictated by ourpast. And that these decisions that we make now have the power to change ourfuture starting now.
So the shortcut. If you want to call it, that is effectivelya, are these techniques like self gratitude, which is an ancient technique. Itstems from ancient Buddhism and Hinduism, and I are Vedic medicine and tribalmedicine. Um, that is, and even going back to it, properties, Hippocrates usethese practices in his medic practice.
The medicine is really, and many of us, unfortunately, it'sbeen forgotten in Western medicine. It's still, now is neuro is backed byneuroscience and psychology and. What it does is it allows us to remindourselves that we are safe right now. And when we're safe right now, again,using things, anything from breath to gratitude, to self touch, right?
Putting pressure on the chest or touching the inside of ourear or our neck in these in nice ways can just with your own hands can rapidlyinduce a sense of safety in the body. And it doesn't require anyone else to bethere. Are all techniques too, basically shortcut. So the brain to remind,remember.
And the body to remember that we are safe right now. Can wepredict that we're going to be safe every moment in the future? Of course not.Can we predict, or can we, can we change our past to make sure that we weresafe in every moment of our past? Of course not, but we can, can control oursafety in the moment.
So being able to remember to practice those techniques iscritical because it helps to restore balance of the autonomic nervous. It'sthis balance between the parasympathetic. Rest and recovery system, one side ofthe hardwired system, that's in every animal from us all the way back to 300million year old, see sales all the way to, uh, the stress response, which isincredible, which is the ego focused response that is required and importantfor survival.
It's not a bad thing. It's just, we don't want it to beactive all the time. Right. We want to be in control of it. So again, comingback and we were talking about before. Using these techniques like gratitudeand breath and, and things like Apollo and others, other techniques that arevery old techniques, loving kindness, compassion, forgiveness, self love.
All of these techniques are like skill sets that we canstrengthen. Just the same way we strengthen our muscles, working out in thegym. It's just that if you're not taught the importance of these things and howto practice them and integrate them into your life, like, I wasn't necessarilytaught all of these things, you know, it took time.
Right, right. Yeah. So, so once so that I think the questionbecomes. For us, all of us in the present moment, you know, thinking about itfrom the context of your listeners right now, I've never heard this, possiblynever heard this before, now that you know, and can understand and get a graspof what we're talking about and why it's so important to seize the moment,which is literally the, the present time.
And the only time that we can manifest change in our lives.Will you continue to make the same decisions you've been making over and overand over again, or will you think about, and make a decision to take adifferent path and see where that new path leads? Right. And in some wayswhat's so interesting about this is this is what psychedelic medicines offer usis they offer us an opportunity biochemically to alter the state of body toshow us that maybe there's not just one path that we've been taking all thetime.
Maybe there's. Eight feet of powder on top of the mountain.And we can ski wherever we want.
Boomer Anderson: [00:26:10]First off, I love the analogy of the powder. And, but you took this in abeautiful way because I was going to ask you about where do psychedelics fitinto this? When you're, let's say you have a web of considerations of how toaddress one's anxiety.
At what point do you look at somebody and say, or at whatpoint do you think that psychedelics are the right approach?
Or did people consider it
When you start looking at health and everything that you canbe doing? It can be overwhelming. It can cause anxiety in itself. So sometimesas a busy person working on multiple different companies, I like to alleviatethat anxiety.
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Dr. David Rabin: [00:27:35]So that's a really good question as well. And I think that's a question that alot of us are asking ourselves, um, at a time where trauma in the world is andchronic stress are like ubiquitous.
Right. Um, so, um, So, so psychedelics, yeah. Medicines arenot for everyone, but I think that, you know, what's more important thanthinking about psychedelics from the standpoint of the way we have, you know,experienced them collectively as a society is that psychedelic does not meancrazy seventies dance party.
That means mind manifesting and my manifesting. Or the wordpsychedelic applies, not just to things like LSD and psilocybin and cannabisand all these, you know, biochemical mind altering psychoactive substances thatare incredibly powerfully used in psychotherapy. And unfortunately alsorecreationally abused, but.
It also refers to the tech way of accessing our subconsciousin a meaningful way. Right. Right. And so what is mower? What is much moreimportant about psychedelics than the medicines selves, which are great forsome people, but not for all people. For instance, people who have bipolardisorder. Any kind of psychotic disorder and children under the age of 18 areprobably, and some elderly folks who have other medical illnesses are probablynot the best candidates for psychedelic medicine that said like the psychedelicexperience in and of itself where we work together, either in an initialpersonal way or through using breath work or meditation or things, techniqueslike Apollo or something that effectively alters your or slightly alters yournormal ego sense of self.
is, uh, is a process that we can do without drugs. Withoutmedicine, it does not require medicine. And it's a process that people canexperience on their own with breath, work and meditation. And with mypracticing, you know, well known techniques, it's allowed us to access theseStates, which effectively helps us to see beneath the ego.
Into our subconscious space, the, the space that, you know,subconscious may not be the best word, but the other way to describe this, ournormal level of awareness, which is often what people refer to as like a dreamstate. And you start to be able to look beneath that normal level of awarenessand say, Hey, I forgot about all that stuff that was going on down here thatI'm not normally thinking about in my.
Default mode. Ego-driven productivity focused day, all theseresponsibilities, but that stuff is still there. And that stuff is actuallyimpacting the way that I see myself and the way that I see my family and theworld. So now that I know that stuff is there, how can I understand it better?Approach it better from a standpoint of self acceptance and love andnon-judgment and start to pull out.
Some of those things that I used to think were deficits orweaknesses, but are really just vulnerabilities and opportunities for furthergrowth and self exploration. And how do I use gratitude? Going right back towhere we were before to gently pull out that content from beneath my level ofawareness and then literally manifest it in my regular conscious awareness,waking life in a meaningful way that allows me to access a more whole versionof myself, not a version of myself that is only the version of myself that Ibelieve people outside want to see.
Or the version of myself that people tell me, they accept.Or that I believe I'm taught to believe that they want, but the version ofmyself, that's just that much closer to who I really am and bringing those twoversions of ourselves together because ultimately there can only be one selfand every, every fracture of self, into different versions of ourselves topresent to different groups or different people or different whateversituations is another break that has to be resolved.
It's another trauma of this, of the self.
Boomer Anderson: [00:31:55]Wow. Okay. So
Dr. David Rabin: [00:31:56]that talks about this quite a bit, which is really interesting. Anybody looksup Gabor, Montay. Um, he's a fascinating, uh, person, a physician who also isvery experienced with plant medicine. Iowasca um, and this is the, thephilosophy of tribal medicine that's been around for over 10,000 years, thatIowasca shamans have worked with people to heal them in this way.
Boomer Anderson: [00:32:17]the fracture itself is going to be when you and I get together and recordaround the, to, uh, connect the dots for me here between psychedelics andApollo, because, or, or even the States that we've talked about before, becauseI'm wearing it right now. And I found it to be very, very effective in the pastcouple of weeks.
I've had the chance to use it, but connect those dots forme.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:32:43]Sure. So. When we're in an ego-driven survival state. And when we're talkingabout our bodies and our minds are trained and practiced to perceive that thereis a real threat in our midst, sometimes all the time that that threat couldcome from something outside of ourselves.
Or it could come from that sense of fractured self that I amnot comfortable with, who I really am because I've been told that who I reallyam is not okay. Right. W the most common example is when you're a sensitivechild and you're loving and caring and sharing, et cetera. And then you getbullied for it, or you get picked on because people take advantage of you forbeing kind.
Right. And that's one of the most common experiences thatmany of us have growing up, um, that never, that, that takes a long time toresolve. And that, that is, uh, an example of an experience that creates afractured sense of self that where we, and we bury our childhood selves, webecome afraid of our childhood cells.
And we build a fear response to that childhood self thatsays, this is not okay to be this part of myself. And to let this part ofmyself out into the world. Right. So what happens is, as one example of that isone example of that sort of cultivated fear response. We start to perceive partof ourselves that is literally one of the most fundamental, deep down parts ofwho we really are as a threat.
And that sets off that sympathetic fight or flight responsein our bodies all the time time, which for lack of a better term ordescription, it makes us feel unsafe in our own skin. Yeah. And this is thebiggest reason for self-medication addiction, single biggest source ofaddiction and self medication.
Is this exact phenomenon I just described to you and it's,uh, it's, it's like one of the deepest and most fundamental traumas that we allface and some of us overcome it without. Falling victim to substance abuse andother, because we find other things to distract ourselves, like work or videogames or whatever.
Yeah. You and the others fall victim to substance abuse andgambling and things of that nature, which are much more destructive. Um,Terrence McKenna talks about this in his book called food of the gods, whichhas written like 30 years ago or 40 years ago. And is if you read this book,it's like talking about what's happening today.
It's incredible. And, and so where Apollo fits in is thatApollo is a wearable technology that delivers this gentle vibration to the skinthat we figured out. And in our lab at the university of Pittsburgh couldeffectively remind the body of what it feels like to have someone soothinglytouch you or what it feels like to take a deep breath and a moment of stress orfear, which immediately sends a signal to our brains.
As we were talking about earlier, that says, Even beneathour level of conscious awareness. It says it to our emotional brains and ouramygdala, that fear center in the emotional brain. That's in every animal goingall the way back to her, you know, early reptiles, which is why we call it thereptilian brain.
It sends it an immediate signal as if I have the time to payattention to this feeling of somebody holding my hand or the feeling of aircoming into my lungs or the feeling of something gently vibrating on my leg ormy arm that I can't possibly be running from a lion. Right. And so the bodyrapidly comes down yeah.
And enters or facilitates entry into that recovery. Moreparasympathetic dominant state, which is suppressed by the stress responsesystem. And so psychedelics come in, is it psychedelic medicines, like a pump?Our tools of change change is hard when we're stressed out. It's notoriouslyknown to be difficult when we're stressed out, because when we're stressed outand we're in this.
State of practice fear or practicing practice, perceivedfear from our environment. We literally interpret change itself as threat. Sohow do you solve that? Well, in psychotherapy, the traditional practices, youhelp the client feel safe in the office. In our presence. You build a trustingrelationship with said client, and then that client learns to trust you to feelsafe around you, to be able to talk about their deepest, darkest secrets inyour presence in confidence.
And then allows us to help them work through those deepest,darkest secrets and traumas, and then help them figure out constructive ways tomove forward. But again, that still requires them to practice and make changein their own lives on a regular basis without us there. So Apollo came out ofthis idea of how do we give these people something when they leave the office,that can be a constant reminder that you feel safe enough.
If you feel safe enough to feel this vibration, you feelsafe enough to make change in your life. You feel safe enough to be present inyour moment in this moment with your body and recognize that in that moment ofsafety, you're also offered a moment of pause, which creates awareness, selfawareness, but also awareness of the opportunity to make a different decision.
And that's exactly how psychedelics were psychedelicsthrough the curation of a safe experience. Again, safety being the key wordhere. That safety triggers, that recovery response, nervous system to turn on,which then biochemically through the catalytic process of what the psychedelicsare doing chemically to our brains.
Our bodies reminds us to be aware of the opportunities rightin front of us in the present moment to make a different decision for ourhealth and wellbeing. That's aligned with our goals. Not necessarily justfollowing the same pattern that we've been following for. Days, weeks, months,years, decades, our entire life.
It hasn't been serving us, but to actually recognize thatthere is a different path that we actually can take. And it starts right now.May
Boomer Anderson: [00:38:30]I say a technical question about the device itself, the Rish and the ankleversus other aspects of the body. And I was just kind of. You know, trying tofigure out why, um, I know you have a lab that you've probably proven thatthey're most effective there, but how, how did you come and arrive to those twoparticular points?
Dr. David Rabin: [00:38:55]So we originally, it's actually not that exciting and answer. We originallycame with up at those locations of the body because they were the easiestlocations people to wear. I mean, originally we tried the wrist and the chestand the lab. And what was interesting was we noticed there wasn't that much ofa difference.
Between the chest and the wrist, in terms of the way thebody interpreted the experience, it was almost identical. Um, we ended upchoosing the ankle because we had a patient with Parkinson's disease. Who triedit on his ankle and had a dramatic result and then result that forced us tomake a strap for him.
And then I started using it on my wrist in therapy when Iwas as a therapist, working with patients. And I realized that if I was calmerin the sessions, no matter what, what was going on in my day, that my clients,it felt better and we had better outcomes. So I sit with my legs crossed and Iwas resting my, I risked on my ankle and yeah, I felt it through my ankle morethan I felt through my wrist.
And I was like, wait a minute. This is way better when Ifeel this through my ankle than my wrist. So what if we started using it on theankle instead, and then through the client with partners. And since we startedto make ankle straps and we actually tried it and it turns out I think 60 to70% of people actually prefer the ankle.
Boomer Anderson: [00:40:06]because I have it on my ankle right now. And because, you know, you havedifferent wearables usually on the wrist. And so it's a nice thing to have analternative on the ankle, but you've noticed that it's more effective generallyfor people on the ankle versus the wrist
Dr. David Rabin: [00:40:20]subjectively more effective.
Well, I think, yeah, I think people. Tend to enjoy theexperience more on the ankle. Um, but yeah, it's, we don't have the clinicaldata looks relatively the same so far. We haven't seen any significant clinicaldifferences that show the ankles better than the wrist. The only time that wehave seen anything that's really meaningful is with sleep.
Because I think people don't like to have anything neartheir head, that's making any kind of sound or anything like that when they'resleeping. And if you have a thing on your wrist, that's vibrating when you'retrying to sleep and you put it near your head or underneath your head then, oryour, or your partner's head, then they could feel that.
And that might be disturbing. So I think the fact that, thatit works the best for sleep, uh, on the ankle. And sleep is one of our biggestuse cases that people use Apollo for, um, has been a big driver of ankleusership,
Boomer Anderson: [00:41:13]measuring, measuring, uh, dr. Rabin. I know, and I'm cognizant of time here andI know I'm going to, we have a round two with you, hopefully in the future.
So I want to transition into a final four rapid firequestions if it's okay with you.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:41:27]Sure.
Boomer Anderson: [00:41:28]So what's the book, which is most significantly impacted your life.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:41:34]That's an easy one. Um, it's Eric handles autobiography, uh, Eric handle, as Imentioned earlier, when the Nobel prize for discovering the origins of learningand memory in 2000, um, he, he escaped the Holocaust, um, and experienced verysignificant trauma in his own life.
Uh, and then. Effectively figured out how to cope with thatand became an incredible force in the field of science. And I think what's soimpressive. And his and his, his autobiography is called, um, In search ofmemory and it's a fantastic book. And I think what's really incredible is it'stold from his story, um, which is like a firsthand storytelling perspective.
He's a great storyteller, but I think what's really amazingabout Eric Kendall's writing is that he doesn't, he doesn't say he's very openand honest. He doesn't say this was me. I did all this and look how great I am.He literally names every, or almost every person along the way who made. Hisdiscoveries possible.
And I think that is something that is so important for us toalways remember is that we aren't, we don't exist in a vacuum. We exist in acommunity with many, many, many other people working towards ideally commongoals in some cases. And. You know, dissonant goals and other cases, butultimately it's up to us to break down those silos between these differentdisciplines in our society, between science and business and medicine and, um,and marketing and, and really pull out the best of the best of all of thesedifferent groups and pioneers there is, and skillsets and try to come up with abetter system that works better for everyone.
Um, and Eric and Dell's work was really inspirational. Um,on that level for me. Amazing. What's your,
Boomer Anderson: [00:43:23]what's your, the thing that excites you most about the health world at thismoment?
Dr. David Rabin: [00:43:29]So I, so I think the thing that excites me the most is, you know, getting backto something that we didn't really talk about that much yet, but thisconvergence of disciplines.
Right? So breaking the, what we're seeing now is likebreaking down the silos of. Um, Eastern and Western medicine being what used tobe thought of as opposing opposing disciplines in medicine, two complimentarydisciplines in medicine and seeing the convergence between not only Eastern inWestern medicine, but also tribal plant medicine.
With wearable technology and the insights that can provideand psychedelic medicine and then AI. Right. And really trying to understand,again, not how, just one of these things works independent of all the others,but how. The best features of all of these things come together to create abetter system for all of us that really supports on the whole, the needs ofhumanity, not the needs of Americans or the needs of, of, of, um, Mexicans orthe needs of like siloed groups of people or the needs of minorities, but theneeds of humanity.
Right? We are literally on the verge. Of a digital andpsychedelic revolution with wearables and psychedelic medicines and psychedelicpractices in general, that is hybridizing Eastern and Western medicine to justcreate a more complete view of what healing is. And that is so exciting and theopportunity to be able to be a part of that research, to be able to be a partof that clinical practice in the way we, we, as a community ushered thesetreatments, these groundbreaking treatments into our culture, too.
You know, create as an example with MDMA, um, potentiallythe first ever cure for a mental illness, what could be more exciting thanthat?
Boomer Anderson: [00:45:22]Committed? And it's great. You're in the park. You're right in the center ofit. You're setting yourself up for many future recordings of episodes, dr.Rabin, uh,
what's your top trick for enhancing focus.
You may be a little bit biased here.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:45:38]Yeah. So I think I am, so I am biased towards Apollo because as a kid who was,who would have been diagnosed with ADHD, who was not treated with any medicine,because my parents didn't believe in it. Um, I always struggled with attentionand focus for extended periods of time.
And I, and I will extend that to the caveat of, I have noproblem focusing on things. Yeah. I enjoy focusing on for extended period oftime. But if the thing is that I don't necessarily find immediately interestingthat create the biggest challenge and that's really the case for most peoplewho have.
Attention issues in general. Um, and so for me, having apolicy was when we first developed the prototypes that were wearable that I canuse in my day to day life. That was such a game changer because instantly I hadsomething that I could literally just. Press a button and I'm in the zone forlike two to three hours.
Um, that was really, really helpful. Um, I can't tell youhow helpful that was, uh, for me and, and I, and having that in the end of mytraining was really. Just such had a dramatic impact on my ability to performwell. Um, and also be at my best, in very difficult trying situations likeworking in the psychiatric emergency room for 14 hour shifts, right?
Like these kinds of things are very, very difficult, um, forus emotionally, mentally, physically. Um, so having that was incredible help.Um, I think that the. Other thing that really helped, which is maybe more meta,uh, but still very important. And probably the most important of all isrecognizing that attention, focus and concentration are these incredibly validthings that we have and that we have the ability to, to train them.
And that was something I learned. And I think in large partfrom the work of Eric Kandel again, you know, and understanding that. Likeworking out in the gym and training our muscles and our endurance and ourcardiovascular system. We can work out. Our minds and we can work out ourattention and our concentration by teaching ourselves how to focus.
And there are certain ways of doing this that are betterthan others. There are certain ways of learning that are better than others.You know, look at, look at Jim Kwik is one example, right? Like there arepeople who have come up with very successful methods for learning andmemorizing things and not just learning and memory internally, understanding.
Phenomenon and integrating them into a greater understandingof the world and ourselves. Right. Not just memorizing it for the time beingright. So we can do well on a test. And so I think for me learning how tolearn. And learning that, you know, learning is not something you write bornwith it concentrations.
That's something that you're born with. It's something thatyou actually, it's up to us to train it's up to us to understand that we cantrain these skills and that by training these skills and practicing how totrain these skills, we get better at them. And then. We actually improve ourmemories and we improve our focus over time and we improve our capacity to takeon much more complex and difficult projects, um, or endeavors of any kind,whether that's raising a family to starting a business.
Um, all of these things, like all of the, that whole ideaof, of really deeply internalizing, accepting that we have the ability to trainourselves in this way was. Game changing for me, you know? And I think for allof us, when we recognize that we have this ability, it opens up all these doorsto say, well, if I have this ability, how do I make the most right.
So that was a huge step for me, which cognitively reallyshifted the way that I saw myself and my own abilities, you know, uh, frombeing a kid who's just always attracted to being a kid who actually does havesome agency and ability to control the way he feels or thinks in the givenmoment.
Boomer Anderson: [00:49:37]Amazing.
Where can people find out more about you?
Dr. David Rabin: [00:49:41]So probably the best place. This is my personal website, um, which also linksto my clinical practice. Uh, I'm a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist, uh, bypractice. And I see patients currently, so you can find out more about me andmy practice and my different work that I do on dr.
dave.io. Um, and then you can reach out to me there viaemail, or you can reach out to me on Twitter at Dave Rabin or on Instagram atdr. David Rabin. Uh, and if you want to learn more about Apollo, you can findus on, uh, at Apollo neuro.com or at Apollo neuro on Instagram and at Apollounderscore neuro on Twitter,
Boomer Anderson: [00:50:19]dr.
Rabin, this is the first of many conversations. Thank you somuch for taking the time.
Dr. David Rabin: [00:50:25]Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity. So
Boomer Anderson: [00:50:29]all the superhumans listening out there, check this one out on YouTube orwherever you're listening to. . Thank you. That episode felt a bit rushed, butwas incredible in itself.
We're going to go a little bit deeper with dr. Rabin,because I would love to pick his brain specifically about the convergence ofEastern and Western philosophies and modalities for treatment. And he isextremely knowledgeable in that if you enjoyed this episode and if you want around two, three, four, five, please share it on your social medias.
Tag it decoding superhuman on Instagram, LinkedIn, thoseareprobably where I'm most active, but you can also find it on various otherchannels. And if you avoid the podcast, please head on over to Apple podcastand leave a five star review.
Each review helps immensely in terms of getting the wordout.
And I really, really appreciate all of you who do such athing. Thank you so much. Have an absolutely Epic day and remember. Choosehealth.
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