370. The Psychology of Stress: Healing Trauma & Turning Off Triggers w/ Dr. David Rabin

Dr. David Rabin

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, health-tech entrepreneur, and inventor who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than a decade. He is the co-founder and chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, which has developed the first scientifically validated, wearable technology that actively improves energy, focus, and relaxation, using a novel touch therapy that signals safety to the brain. Dr. Rabin is the Medical Director of the Apollo Clinic, and 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 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 as 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. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and specialized in psychiatry with a distinction in research at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. David Rabin is a conscious innovator dedicated to elevating human consciousness through our inherent ability and right (last time I checked) to heal the monkey mind we’re collectively drowning in.

Right now, we’re jacked up on a pyramid of addictions, from physical substances and devices to other, less tangible habits, such as moral echo chambers and negative bias. In this enlightening physiological voyage with Dr. Rabin, we consider the potential to create space between triggers and actions in our shared mission to make peace with peace. 

One way I have been tuning in to the body and confronting my “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous response is with Apollo: a novel touch therapy device that emits gentle waves of vibration, scientifically proven to improve your resilience to stress. Kudos for pushing the envelope of psychological possibilities forward in the offset of the pandemic, and maintaining a tight-knit team throughout this fiasco.

The scientific research on Apollo is fascinating – so intriguing, we nearly didn’t have time to touch on a few fan fave topics, such as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and the neurobiology of belief. Prepare for some jaw-dropping facts in this one. 

After diving into the science, you’re probably going to want to check the Apollo out for yourself, so head to https://apolloneuro.com/lukestorey for a sweet 15% discount. 

05:15 — Launching Apollo Into the World

  • Selling out the first batch of devices just before the world shut down
  • Protecting company culture during the pandemic, and scaling a team remotely 
  • Dr. Rabin’s private practice and building trust with clients
  • Ketamine-assisted therapy training 

19:00 — Therapy as a Vehicle for Change

  • Talk therapy and feedback
  • Why you need to feel safe in order to create opportunities to change 
  • Putting your thoughts into question 

44:32 — The Principle of Self Enquiry 

  • Facing emotional fears, and growing from awareness
  • Why cancel-culture is not helping anyone, and the real way to cultivate inner or collective peace
  • Humor and sublimation: the way out of projection 
  • How technology can help us become more human 
  • The amygdala, detecting threats, and our stress response

1:18:48 — How Apollo Works 

  • Delivering sense of safety in a stressful environment 
  • The scientific correlation between music, the mind, and your mood
  • Why we need touch to feel in community 
  • How Apollo helped Dr. Rubin conquer performance anxiety 
  • The fascinating takeaways from years researching Apollo Breath 
  • Try Apollo for yourself at apollonuero.com and use code “LUKE15” for 15%

1:57:30 —The Peaks and Pitfalls of Psychedelics 

  • Current legislation on psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine 
  • Taking responsibility to use psychedelics effectively 
  • IV DMT clinical trials, and the potential for it to be patented
  • Navigating psychedelics with a healthy dose of excitement and caution 
  • Why dosage really matters
  • Why you need to read: PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story
  • Examining the 2C family 

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00] Luke Storey: I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Man, here we go again.

[00:00:27] David Rabin: It's great to see you.

[00:00:28] Luke Storey: Back in the saddle. Great to see you in person, live in the flesh. Welcome to Town.

[00:00:33] David Rabin: Thank you.

[00:00:34] Luke Storey: You get the benefit today of having our co-host, Cookie, here holding space for us, which is always nice. Don't be alarmed if she jumps on your lap at some point, she's known to do that when she gets bored and friendly. So, man, so much has changed since you and I last chatted. I think after our podcast together, which I'll put in the show notes, which, by the way, people can find the show notes for this episode at lukestorey.com/rabin, R-A-B-I-N, lukestorey.com/rabin. All the show notes, everything we talk about will be there.

[00:01:06] But then, after our podcast, which will be numbered and linked in the show notes, we were going to do some ketamine-assisted therapy. There were some things that I wanted to work through, and you were up in Northern California, I was in LA, and I did the intake, and I was all ready to go, and then I went and did Bufo. And I thought, okay, that was enough to last for a while. And then, we postponed that and still haven't done it, although I would like to at some point, but there was such a huge punctuation mark in my consciousness after that experience that a lot got sorted out just from a one-hour thing.

[00:01:41] David Rabin: Yeah.

[00:01:42] Luke Storey: Anywho, what's new and exciting in your life? What's going on right now, caree-wise, with Apollo? What's happening with you?

[00:01:50] David Rabin: So many things. I don't know. It's hard to even keep track. But yeah, I mean, things with Apollo are going really well. I think last year, we, of course, had no idea that COVID was coming like everybody else, or like most other people. And we went to CES, got very sick, possibly with COVID. This is like CES, January of 2020, where we launched Apollo. And then, within a month of that, it started to come out that there was something going on. And like many young startups, where we literally had been working for five years with research combined with the business development to start a company to get this product finally out, and we launched the product in January 31st of 2020.

[00:02:34] Ben Greenfield puts his podcast out, we sell out within 14 days, and then we can't get more product, because all of the ship, all of the—we had one part of the Apollo comes from overseas, because unfortunately, there are certain parts of technology that just aren't made in America anymore. So, things that almost all cars use, for instance, like certain resistors, and transistors, and little parts, you just can't get them in the States, they're not made here anymore, which is a huge problem.

[00:03:06] Now, I think we're starting to realize that we need diversification of supply chain, right?

[00:03:09] Luke Storey: Yeah, no shit.

[00:03:10] David Rabin: And everything just got stalled. Like many companies, we sat down, Kathryn, and I, and our team. And our core team were thinking, what are we going to do? Like we have to figure out how to make sure we can get stuff in stock, so we can keep selling units or we're going to have to like potentially furlough a big part of our team, which was extremely stressful last spring. And I guess it was two springs ago now, and then gradually, we just pushed, and pushed, and continued to do our best to try to keep things moving forward, and then supply chain gradually started to get back connected.

[00:03:46] And we've got a few units here and a few units there. And then, we just kept selling stuff and we managed to not fire anyone, which is so great, because when you just start going and moving things along, and then to let people go, it's like, oh. And these are friends, it's like a family. We have like a really—I'm very proud to say we have a really lovely and tight company culture that is sticking around as we grow.

[00:04:13] And company culture is so important to the way that you develop a product, which I think is often overlooked, because everybody's looking at the bottom line with money. But it's just so important, because similar to doing your own self-work and seeing how that radiates out into your community and your family, having a company culture that is very positive and focused on healing, for instance, it has to reflect that inward, because then that also gets reflected outward to the community.

[00:04:42] And then, people actually have better interactions with your company, because there's a certain vibe there that we really care, which we do, and that actually comes across rather than seeming not genuine. And so, thinking about the challenges that we face during pandemic times, growing a company, like we scaled from something like eight or nine employees before COVID to 35 employees now.

[00:05:10] Luke Storey: What?

[00:05:10] David Rabin: And we've never met half these people in person, right? We have not even met in person. It's like it's so much more challenging to grow a young company when you don't have the ability to get together and build those in-person relationships, that people really know who you are, right?

[00:05:27] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[00:05:28] David Rabin: And so, it's just been a host of new challenges after new challenges that have really helped us grow a lot and learn about what our strengths are of community building, and that we're able to do it without being in person, but then we also look forward to getting together, and now, that things are kind of opening up more, it's been nice to finally bring the team back together. We were just in Pittsburgh for a little bit and had a bunch of nice team gatherings. And the family vibe is still there and it's really nice to see that that is still all intact, despite all of the tumultuousness that's been going on.

[00:06:03] But overall, things have been moving. We have like over 40,000 units out in the wild in just a little over a year. People are continuing to give us positive feedback about the experience. And the feedback is—all the feedback we got is so helpful, because the more we get, the more we can continue to make a better product and make sure we're meeting the needs of our consumers and clients who want to feel better and want to be a little more in control of their lives and their health. So, it's been really rewarding.

[00:06:32] Luke Storey: Wow. Congratulations on thriving through that. I know many, many startups have not, probably many more than we realize, because of course, what company wants to publicly announce their demise? You know what I mean? It's like everyone's going to hang on to that last thread until they just can't.

[00:06:50] David Rabin: Right. And as many people have said, especially recently, the struggle was real. It was a real challenge for all of us. And it was, again, I like to think that I kind of have a unique perspective, because I went through pre-med, and medical training, and residency training, and like all of the things that we do as doctors to train and what we do, which is extremely stressful, right?

[00:07:14] And like it pushes you to your limit of your abilities in general, working 60 to 80 hours a week, and still have to keep a smile on your face, and be really like empathetic, and kind to people, and courteous. And you can't let your lack of sleep get to you in almost any way. And I would say that that three-month period was about as challenging as the most challenging times that I had in my medical training.

[00:07:39] It was rough, because it's so much uncertainty. At least with medical school and residency training, you know that if you keep up the middle of the road, right? If you check off all the boxes and you do what you're told, you will finish, right? You will get to the end at some point, whereas at startups, it's a little bit different. You don't have that security of knowing that you're going to get to the end.

[00:08:04] You may get to the end in a week, and you may get to the end in years, and you don't know what's going to happen. The uncertainty itself is like it racks your brain, and that creates a lot of stress that then we have to figure out new ways to navigate, basically. But Apollo's been a lifesaver through that process, I can tell you. I don't think we could have done it without it.

[00:08:22] Luke Storey: Oh, for sure. And then, what about in your personal career, your practice. So, you're a neuroscientist, you're a psychiatrist, throughout all of this, have you been still taking patients and managing that side of your life as well?

[00:08:37] David Rabin: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people ask me, how is it possible that I still see patients, and why? And I think it's a really interesting question, because working with people in that capacity as a psychiatrist, as a therapist, and I'm a bit of an unusual psychiatrist, because the great majority of my patients are psychotherapy patients, and I'm trained in 10 different kinds of psychotherapy.

[00:09:04] And so, I also prescribe drugs, Western drugs when needed, and I'll prescribe ketamine when indicated, but I also mostly base all of that on a foundation of psychotherapy and talk therapy, where we really focus on getting to the root of what is making somebody not feel good or what might be at the root of someone's suffering. And that requires a really strong foundation of trust between me and my clients that they feel comfortable being truly vulnerable, and being able to express to me their potentially deepest, darkest secrets that they wouldn't tell anyone else, knowing that I'm not going to judge them and that I'm going to accept them for who they are, regardless of what they say, right?

[00:09:48] And you can imagine that when you start to interact with people in that way, and you start to get good at building that kind of trust with other human beings, that it's not only rewarding, but it's also an incredible educational opportunity. I can tell you that, and most therapists I know who do a lot of psychotherapy will tell you the same thing, which is that we learn more from our clients than from almost anyone else in any interaction, because people have so much in common.

[00:10:19] Every time I see a client, I see something, I learn something about myself, right? I learn something about how I could be doing something better in my own life, how they're struggling with the problem that I've been struggling with for years in a slightly different context, but still the same kind of issues. And it's just an incredible learning opportunity.

[00:10:35] And so, I've had—I've felt that it is extremely important to keep up, because that is a learning opportunity that is a privilege, to be able to have these kinds of interactions with people where they're really rare. And it's really a privilege to be able to do that with others, and to help people restore that trust in themselves, and to see the impact of that on their communities.

[00:11:00] And working with veterans in this way was actually what led me to develop the idea behind Apollo in the first place. And I wouldn't have come up with it without seeing what my patients were going through and figuring out how to help them better. What can I give you to take out of the office? In the office, I can help you feel safe. Out of the office, I can't do anything anymore, right? My powers are limited.

[00:11:21] So, if I can give you something, and that was the origin story of Apollo, is that if I could give you something, and you have PTSD, and you'd never feel safe in your day-to-day life, then can I give you something that you can take away after you leave hanging out with me, where you can continue to have that feeling of safety in your day to day? And so, the practice has been growing, which is cool, and we started, through the nonprofit that I co-founded with Board of Medicine, which is a group of world-renowned experts that support the, basically, developing clinical guidelines for complementary and alternative medicine, which haven't really existed in Western medicine around harm reduction and safety.

[00:12:00] So, being able to say, how do you help explain to doctors how to use cannabis products safely, right? Not that we know exactly what effect all of them are going to have, but we do have enough evidence for safe use for, say, avoiding opioid addiction, if possible, for alternative pain management or wearable technologies that can augment management of depression, and anxiety disorders, and PTSD.

[00:12:23] And so, we started through that one of the first clinical training programs for ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, where we've been training physicians and therapists, in training and who are already certified, to learn how to do remote—literally, tell a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy like what you and I were talking about a year ago, where it was just me. Now, we have others doing it, too. And gradually now, we have a big waitlist of people wanting to be trained, and those people are going to continue to train others, which is really great.

[00:12:54] Luke Storey: Wow. That's incredible.

[00:12:56] David Rabin: It's been an exciting time, and I only hope that other people start doing these kinds of trainings, too, because we desperately need more people who know how to do this work.

[00:13:04] Luke Storey: Oh, man. I mean, in my subjective experience and with some close friends, I mean, the leaps and bounds that have been made through therapist-assisted psychoactive experiences, I guess, primarily due to the legality of it have been ketamine. And because we didn't do our session that way, I've not done it that way, but I have self-administered and it's one of the only things that I think I would use without a guide, although I did have one kind of heroin experience with it that I've talked about, where I did not have a guide, and there was no one around that was aware that I had done it, and I took a little more than I thought I was going to, and went a little deeper than I planned.

[00:13:51] And it was a bit sketch, but other than that, it was a great learning experience. But yeah, with ketamine specifically, I can only imagine the power of it when you're in that dissociative place and you're able to then have trust with another person, as you described, and have that level of intimacy, but have your guard so obliterated, right? I mean, the first couple of times I did like a microdose of ketamine, I was with a partner I was dating at the time, and it was like a freaking truth serum. 

[00:14:26] You know what I mean? Just like stuff started falling out of my mouth, I'm like, did you just say that? That's the stuff you think that you don't say. So, I can see the power in that. And I have a good friend in LA who was an addict, an alcoholic and such, and was sober a few years, and was really stuck in some other areas of life, although he was still physically sober, and he went to field trip out, I think, in Santa Monica and signed up for a pretty extensive program. I believe it was around six sessions. It was a few thousand dollars and he's kind of asking my advice.

[00:14:58] I've heard good things about them through Ben Greenfield, and I said, yeah, man, it sounds good to me. I mean, if you're going to do something like that, you want to do it with a professional, and not just sit home, and watch a movie, and think your problems are going to go away or whatever, listen to Pink Floyd, or whatever. Pink Floyd would be a good choice for that, actually. But anyway, my friend, David, went and did it, and I'm going to just give this disclaimer, I am not recommending that someone can be cured of their addictions, because that's not been my experience, well, actually, I don't know, I don't try to do coke or alcohol.

[00:15:33] David Rabin: Still a new territory.

[00:15:34] Luke Storey: Yeah, but my friend, self-described alcoholic and addict, went and did these ketamine sessions, and had enormous breakthroughs regarding trauma and shame, and learned how to develop self-love. And out of that came all of these self-love practices, affirmations in the mirror and all these writing, I mean, he just really got into. Wow, I've been hating myself for so long, which he discovered in the ketamine therapy.

[00:16:03] And then, part of his integration was really, well, what's the opposite of that, right? And started doing this. And this is the part that the disclaimer is for. It's been quite a few months, and he drinks socially here and there and does not ever overdo it. He uses cannabis recreationally and can put it down whenever he feels like it. If he has to work, he doesn't do it. I mean, he's like a normal person in that regard. And he has indicated that it was clearly a result of that therapy.

[00:16:38] Now, I'm not going to try that myself, like I have no desire to smoke weed, or drink alcohol, or anything. I plan on never, ever doing that. But yeah, for him, it's like I kind of check in with him. He's still doing okay. He's like, I'm great. I go like, you don't want to smoke weed like all day every day? He's like, no, maybe on a Friday night, I'm going to hang out, and just relax, and we'll do a little cannabis, it's not a big deal.

[00:17:00] I'm like, what? Mind-blowing. I've literally never met anyone who had crossed the line of addiction, and was able to go back and kind of reset like that. As you well know, I'm sure for most of us, once there's a certain line crossed, there's no going back to being a regular person in that regard again. So, I'm a huge fan. But anyway, we're going to talk more about that in moments. So, we got the update on Apollo business.

[00:17:25] Congratulations on pulling through, and not just pulling through, but thriving and keeping your team intact. The company culture piece is super important, as I've had employees over the years, that's been the case that you indicated, where the culture is then sort of radiated out to your community of clients and customers, et cetera. So, that's a huge insight. And then, I'm glad that you're still practicing. And what I want to say about that was acknowledging what a gift it is to have the level of intimacy that you're able to have with people.

[00:17:57] David Rabin: It really is.

[00:17:58] Luke Storey: It's pretty, pretty rare in most people's lives that they really have the ability to bond with someone so transparently in a safe environment like that. So, thank you for that contribution.

[00:18:11] David Rabin: It's my pleasure. And I will add that we all could benefit from that. I've had my own therapist in my life that's been incredibly helpful. I learned a ton about how to listen empathetically just from sitting in therapy with a therapist, who at first, I was like, oh, I don't need this, but when you actually go in, and do it, and you sit there, and you have somebody model for you what it's like to be an undivided, non-judgmental listener, then you realize that while that seems on the surface like something you need to go to school for, it's actually something that's truly intuitive and innate to being human, right?

[00:18:48] It's just that we're not really taught to, and we don't often practice undivided listening very well, and we don't practice reserving judgment, we practice waiting to speak when somebody else is talking, and judging rapidly, and coming to conclusions, and making assumptions a lot, which doesn't necessarily serve us, but we are taught that by other people who model that for us, or by watching people on TV, or whatever it might be.

[00:19:18] And I think that it's really—one of the things I've learned from being a therapist that's so interesting is just how accessible and how powerful it is that the most important skill and service that we provide to our clients is just non-judgmental empathic listening, of which there is like an evolved part of our emotional brains that's dedicated just to that, and it's always there in all of us, and we just don't use it. So, what happens when you don't use it, you forget it's there, right? So, there's a really interesting-

[00:19:52] Luke Storey: Yeah. If you don't use it, you lose it.

[00:19:54] David Rabin: Right?

[00:19:54] Luke Storey: Right. Yeah.

[00:19:54] David Rabin: And that's a real thing. And I think that there's, thinking about that in this way, it's really interesting, because especially at a time like this, where people are a little bit more on edge, and we're coming back into being social again, and getting used to that, and we haven't been doing that in a while, and we've been extra far apart from each other in a lot of places, and just to think about the power that we all have that we share with someone else when we look someone in the eye, like we're doing right now, and say, hey, I see you, I acknowledge you, it's good to see you, right?

[00:20:28] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[00:20:28] David Rabin: And just smile and express a loving emotion towards them, even if you don't know them.

[00:20:34] Luke Storey: With the microexpressions of your mouth included. That's been one of the biggest things I've noticed about this whole fiasco is the removal of that nonverbal communication. I mean, I don't wear masks, I only have a few times, and I really avoid it whenever possible unless I'm under legal threat or something, but I noticed the few times I did have to do it, I would go up to a cash register, and I'd like make myself smile with my eyes really big, so I could just try to emote some sense of positivity and connection with people.

[00:21:11] And I mean, it's difficult, because a lot of people, generally, just when you're out in public, have a really hard time with that sort of heart-centered presence, because perhaps they're not used to it, it's not something they've accessed, but man, when you have a freaking diaper on your face, it's real tough. But it helped me, actually, I think, a bit more—habituate myself a bit more to really being present to that and being conscious of that, even when I'm not forced to wear a mask, which here in Texas, you very rarely are, and haven't really been the whole time I've been here, but there's something to be said for that listening and presence.

[00:21:49] And I think for folks like us that are in the habit of doing that professionally and personally, perhaps, sometimes, we take it for granted. And I think I noticed that when I try to connect with someone and I just can't reach them. I'm like, hey, especially people that are like in their job, I notice. I always have fun trying to break them out of their role and just be like, hey, dude, we're just people, right? I love doing that with police. I get pulled over, I'm like, hey, what's up, dude? And they're used to the defense or offense.

[00:22:16] David Rabin: I'm in work mode right now, can't talk to me that way.

[00:22:18] Luke Storey: Yeah. And I'm just like, what's going on, man? Oh, really? That happened? Oh, cool. Cool. Okay. So, what are we going to do? It's just, sometimes, you could break people out and it's so refreshing. And I think it's a gift to be able to try and facilitate that for people. When it comes to talk therapy, I don't know, it's sort of like, as a patient, that I've had quite a few therapists over my life, when I hit a rocky time, I'll definitely seek out help.

[00:22:46] How much of it is a person's need to just be expressive and emotive, and just have someone who's holding that space, versus them actually getting the feedback? When I worked with you a couple of times over the phone, I think I just needed to talk about my problem or my perceived problem, and that was valuable, but there was a lot of value in you reflecting, hey, have you looked at it this way? What if you did this? What if you do that? I think it was around some things with Alyson.

[00:23:17] No major conflict, but just kind of some concerns. Yeah, usual stuff, concerns I was having, and you said, well, hey, have you ever sat with her, and just listened or experienced her work in a deeper way, and ask her questions about the way she deals with whatever? That kind of thing. And it was really great insight and it worked. I think I spoke to you after that. I was like, I did the thing.

[00:23:39] So, I guess it's kind of a three-parter, it's like, how much is it is us just going to confession, or just going, these are my deep, dark secrets I've never told anyone, please hold that, and getting that shame or confusion out? How much is it getting wisdom and feedback? And then, what about the application of the feedback that's given? Right? So, it worked for me, because I was like, okay, what did Dave say?

[00:24:04] Yeah. He said, do this. And then, I think from all my years in addiction recovery, I'm pretty good at reading a book, and it says, this is a principle. Go use it, because just having the head knowledge is not really wisdom, it's more information that's been accrued rather than applied knowledge in the form of wisdom. So, I guess it's kind of, how do you see those three playing out for a successful treatment?

[00:24:26] David Rabin: That's a really interesting question, and I'm really glad you asked that. I think that it's a little bit tricky to put like an exact percentage of effect on any given part, but I can kind of walk you through the way that I think about it, which is that—and part of the way we're taught to think about it as therapists, which is that, so all of that that you just mentioned has to be grounded to actually get the positive change that you're looking for, that you or whoever it is that seeks to be helped or healed in any way is looking for, that there has to be a foundation of safety, right?

[00:25:04] If anybody feels judged in the experience and not heard, then you're not going to feel safe. And if you don't feel safe, then you're not going to be willing to make change in your life. Because when making change, when things are already overwhelming, it's stressful and change itself becomes scary. And so, safety is an absolute prerequisite for change to occur. So, in that, if we think about it from that context, I think that the undivided listening and the non-judgmental listening that is probably like 51% of the experience, because it's the foundation that everything else is built on.

[00:25:49] That's the part that anyone can do, all of us can do for each other. That's the part we all already know how to do, and it just requires a little bit of practice. But it's really just zipping that shut when people are talking, and actually, if you don't give them any feedback afterwards about what it is that they said, even just saying, I hear you, I hear what you're saying, not necessarily like, oh, I know exactly what you're feeling right now. That's not necessarily what people want to hear, and that can even demean what they're trying to tell you, but really saying, they don't necessarily expect you to even understand what they're going through, they expect you to just hear what they're going through.

[00:26:27] And then, let them know in whatever way you can, whether it's through nodding as they nod, or matching their facial expressions in certain ways, or just making eye contact, and smiling when they smile, frowning when they frown, and then letting them know that, hey, I heard what you said, right? I hear that this has been like a really tough time for you or this has been really challenging for you lately. That is enough, to do that 51%, because that is the undivided listening and reserving judgment for some other time.

[00:27:00] And then, the reflection part, the other part you mentioned, which is the giving, the sharing of wisdom is, I would say, the icing on top, which is after we've already established the I hear you part, and you know that I'm listening, you know that I'm hearing you, you feel not judged, then I try to reflect back to you what you're saying to me in a way that you can start to explore your own self-judgments, right?

[00:27:33] The way that you judge yourself, or thinking and doing the things that you are talking about, and what you think of that, even if they're subtle. Not necessarily even, I'm a bad person, but maybe that thing I did, I have regrets about and I don't know why. And then, we start to reflect on that, and what that means to you, and maybe where those feelings come from. And I would say that's probably maybe like 10, 15% of the experience.

[00:27:59] It is very helpful, but it doesn't have to be perfect every time, whereas the safety part has to be pretty on point for everything else to build on that. And then, I'd say the rest of it is the action, right? The rest of it is what we call motivating you by finding what motivates you or helping you find what motivates you to actually make the change in your life.

[00:28:24] And in a lot of cases, it's just role modeling, which goes back to the first part, right? So, I listen to you, and ask you questions about how you think and feel in an undivided way that was non-judgmental, and then my advice to you was do the same for Alyson, right? And then, you did it, and part of that was you hearing yourself talk about, so you get feedback that all the stuff going on in here, you hear as you're talking about it, and you're not judging yourself as much, because I'm not judging you.

[00:28:52] And so, it's a reflection of that that helps to set the framework of trust. And then, you hear me reflect it back, so you've got another impression of it, and you get another opportunity to think about, oh, what does this mean that I've been thinking about? And how can I think about it from the perspective of somebody else riding on my life train, right?

[00:29:14] And then, there's the last part, which is, how do I take all of this stuff, even just a little bit of the stuff, and then bring it into my life, and make it happen? And that part, that actually applied action part, which in psychedelic therapy, we call integration, that combined with the safety part of facilitating the foundation of the conversation, those are by far the most important of the pieces of the puzzle.

[00:29:40] And if you can get—and only one of those things is really your responsibility, which is the action, right? So, it's my responsibility to help you feel safe, because that's the nature of our relationship in terms of just not judging you. And even if I feel like I'm not judging you, but you feel that I'm judging you, then it's still my responsibility to make you feel not judged, right?

[00:30:04] It's still up to me, and that's why it's 51%. And then, everything else is just trying to figure out, what are the things that intrinsically motivate you to act and to make change in your life? Right? That's the exciting part. That's where we start to get into the nitty-gritty of like, where does change actually come from? And how do we make it desirable? How do we make challenge actually seem exciting rather than scary? Right?

[00:30:30] Luke Storey: Wow, that's cool. Yeah, I was thinking about the correlation between the word I used, application, right? So, you apply something that you've learned. And relating that to integration, it seems that whether or not insights come from someone reflecting that to you verbally or modeling it, you watch someone that you admire performing in a way you want to perform, or from insights that come from some plant medicine or psychedelic experience, the integration piece is really the same, is it not?

[00:31:04] David Rabin: Absolutely.

[00:31:04] Luke Storey: I was thinking about the word integration the other day as it pertains to integrity. So, you have this disillusion of self through that level of intimacy and talk therapy, or you have insights that come from divinity or the cosmos, wherever they come from, consciousness itself, perhaps, in a more profound type of psychedelic experience. But unless one actually logs those insights, and then applies them, it's like they just kind of dissipate. And then, it's almost as if the wisdom was never delivered to you, because you didn't do it. It's like getting mail that you don't open, right?

[00:31:42] David Rabin: Kind of, yeah.

[00:31:43] Luke Storey: It's kind of like, oh, a letter from God, you're like, no, or maybe you read it, and then throw it in a drawer, you don't reread it, and think, okay, what are the instructions here, right? Like what's actually the indication for what I'm supposed to do to get out of this thing that I'm in and into something new? Yeah, it's very interesting.

[00:32:01] David Rabin: And this is like the crux of all healing work, no matter what you're doing to heal what you're trying to heal in yourself or in someone else, but focusing on the self for a moment, the whole idea is to create opportunity for change, or to recognize that you have opportunity to change, and that that opportunity is really sacred and special. It is an opportunity to recognize what is not serving us or has not been serving us that we've been potentially taught to do for many, many years, or decades, and then call that into question, which we have these parts of our brain that are critical for what we call like self-inquiry parts, the parts that look inside ourselves, which are right next to the parts, believe it or not, that are responsible for empathy, and acting on those parts, and using those neurons to go inside ourselves, and think, and just ask the simple questions, right? 

[00:32:58] Doesn't have to be the hard questions, like why am I here, or what is the meaning of life? Yeah, that's all interesting. But the simpler questions are, what are my goals? What do I want out of life? And what am I doing that is maybe not aligned with those goals, right? What am I doing that's unintentional that I was taught to do that's maybe not serving me anymore? Like spending a lot of time, think about what other people think about me, right? Other people's insights are great, but if we spend all of our time thinking about what other people might be thinking about us, then that's something we don't have control over in the slightest, right?

[00:33:35] The only thing that we can do to improve the way that other people see us is to do our own work, and focus on what we can do to be more secure, more whole people. And if we're spending all our time focusing on what other people think, rather than actually on what we can do to change, then we actually feel more out of control more of the time, because we don't have control over what other people think.

[00:33:58] We only have control of what we do, and what we think about ourselves, and what we allow into our consciousness. And so, that gets back to this fundamental core of anxiety, which I think is super interesting that I don't even think they really taught well in medical school or even in my post-medical school psychiatry training, which is this idea that you only have so much time every day to think about stuff, right?

[00:34:22] We only have so much conscious attention free. Our subconscious tends to lots of things that's beneath awareness, right? Our conscious attention within our awareness only has so much time to pay attention to any number of things. If we spend that precious time paying attention to things we don't have control over, then we feel out of control more of the time, and then that causes anxiety.

[00:34:43] Luke Storey: Wow. Tweetable. Yeah, that's good. That's really good.

[00:34:47] David Rabin: So, the contrary to that is use your—that's why that, is it true, is a useful test is so powerful, because it forces you to put all of your thoughts into question, and say, is this true and useful to me right now in this moment? If it's not, it's not worthy of our attention in this moment. It doesn't mean you ignore it completely, it just means, you say, hey, I see you, come back to you later, right?

[00:35:10] And then, if it comes back later, you put it through the same test. If it's not true and useful in this moment to think about, then you say thanks, no thanks, I'll come back to you later. And then, eventually, you retrain your mental filter to only allow things that are true and useful to you into your conscious awareness. And that's what makes you feel more in control. So, it starts just by focusing on things you can control, like breathing, right?

[00:35:34] Expressing gratitude, acts of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, self-love, all of what we put into our bodies for food and sustenance, exercise and movement, right? Like these are like the ancient techniques that have been passed down for thousands and thousands of years through all of these Eastern traditions that, sure, maybe they don't all have double-blind, randomized clinical trials around them yet, but they have thousands of years of lineage that they still, and we have to ask, why do these things still exist?

[00:36:05] There must be a reason that these strategies have been passed down for so long, right? And it's that control thing that we all desire more than anything else, is that's why we act out, that's why kids act out, right? It's because they don't feel in control of their lives. So, by helping people figure out how we're in control of our attention, and that is what freewill really means, that we choose what is allowed into our consciousness and what's not, then all of a sudden, your whole outlook on your life can change relatively quickly. But when you're stuck in the rut of feeling completely disempowered to be able to control anything in your life, for example, with people with PTSD or addiction, it can seem completely out of reach.

[00:36:46] And that's where psychedelic medicines and some of these more interesting techniques that really create like a brief period of like a fresh snowfall in your brain that allows you to choose your own path, and press pause on the narrative of, this is the way I've been thinking about myself, but maybe that's not actually the way I am. Press pause on that tape that's playing in the background, and then all of a sudden, you can have a fresh look at yourself for a little while, and see, maybe do some reevaluation, some self-inquiry, and ideally in a safe place, figure out the path you actually want to take that's actually aligned with your goals.

[00:37:25] Luke Storey: I think something you said in the beginning there is so important, and that is the principle of self-inquiry. I love the work of Byron Katie, her four questions, the first one being, is it true, of having the ability. Say, you text someone, and they don't text you back, and you're used to them texting you back in a period of time-

[00:37:48] David Rabin: I was just talking about this.

[00:37:49] Luke Storey: Oh, yeah?

[00:37:49] David Rabin: Yeah.

[00:37:50] Luke Storey: And then, the mind will be like, was it that thing I said on Tuesday? I didn't mean anything by that, or, oh, they think they're better than me, oh, really, you don't text me back now, I was there for you, when, all these stories start running. And their-

[00:38:03] David Rabin: Pause.

[00:38:03] Luke Storey: Yeah, the pause, or maybe even running a magnet over the tape and deleting it, it's just one simple question, is that true? And your emotions will tell you, yeah, because I'm feeling this way, therefore that thought is true, it's valid. Byron Katie would say, is it really true? Can you really know that that's true? And I forget the third one, but one of them is, who would you be without that thought?

[00:38:25] If you didn't believe that true, who would you be? How would you feel? Well, Jesus, I'd feel free, and clear, and serene, and well then, maybe let's re-examine that thought. And I think in some of the—in a therapeutic model, Sansinny kind of medicine assistance, that's a great service of a therapist or even just a friend, is to go, okay, I do hear you, like you said, not like, well, yeah, I felt like that, so therefore it's no big deal, but I hear you, can you really know that that's true?

[00:38:56] Which is what a therapist, or a wise friend, or adviser would do, and it's also what medicine does in medicine space, it's like, oh, let me chew on this thing. Well, okay. It's like, I'm always sort of invited to look in a certain cavern of my awareness, right? And sometimes, there are beautiful caverns, and it's like, well, let's explore love. And sometimes, it's like, hey, you're still kind of stuck in this way, do you want to look at it? Sure. Let's look at it.

[00:39:20] Put the IMS back on, take a deep breath [making sounds] , go into the portal, and most of the time, it's about discovering that so many things that I thought were true weren't true. And then, the disillusion of those thought forms, memories, feelings, traumas, et cetera, is sort of automatic the moment I just realized that it was a fallacy, that I was actually buying into a falsehood that is not universally valid and true. And it's so freeing. But if you don't ask the question, then you don't get to that end goal of letting go of something that's not actually valid.

[00:39:59] David Rabin: That's absolutely right. And we kind of forgot how to ask questions, which is a real tragedy, because inquiry is our source of knowledge, right? And if we think that we know everything because we can Google it, which is really useful and a wonderful resource, don't get me wrong, we still, without questioning everything we're taught, then we're basing our—our fundamental searches on Google are based on assumptions that we've already made prior to making the search, right? 

[00:40:30] Prior to asking the question to Google, we forget that we actually have already made a lot of assumptions about what the answer is. And it's even, I think what we forget is that very quickly, because certainty is so valuable to us and makes us feel so safe that we actually don't—we're only certain of like less than 1% of our experiences, right? We know so little to be certain about, which is also freeing if we are able to acknowledge in a safe environment that it's okay to not know, right?

[00:41:11] It's okay to embrace the unknown, because the unknown is a source of growth. It can be scary, but scary things can also be a source of growth, right? Overcoming things that we're afraid of, like in one of the common examples of doing extreme sports, or skydiving, or something like that, like people will do that and do these extreme things to show themselves they can overcome their own fear, right? What about emotional stuff? What about more like sensitive, emotional-based fear? Right? What about fear of insecurity, fear of not being worthy, or not being lovable, right?

[00:41:51] Like these are fears that many of us grew up with, and yet we deny that they are things that we can dive into, and actually get closer to, and overcome, and grow from, because they are too painful in some ways to allow in, and yet the truest healing comes when we actually feel safe enough with someone to allow those feelings in, and actually face them head on, and say, wait a minute, where is this coming from? Right? Where is this whole set of feelings, and emotions, and the way I think about myself coming from? And then, when you get a chance to actually reflect on that, which may not actually take that much time when you get to the core, then their real change starts to unfold. That's the foundation of trust starts to grow.

[00:42:46] Luke Storey: Right. I guess this is called by some shadow work, it's a term that's pretty popular now, I think, with the—it's like the converse of spiritual bypassing, where we don't want to actually do the skydiving within our own awareness and preconceived notions, et cetera, so we just kind of put on a happy face and pretend like we're spiritual, because we say namaste to everyone, that kind of thing.

[00:43:14] I mean, I'm using a gross exaggeration, but that's sort of the antidote for that then, is having the courage and the wherewithal to find a safe way in which to explore what your truth really is. I wanted to ask you something that came up while you're talking was from a psychological point of view projection as a means by which to avoid what we just described of that brave self-inquiry. 

[00:43:43] And I'm asking because I see that it's something that's so prevalent, at least according to my interpretation of it on social media as it pertains to cancel culture, and all of this calling out and dog piling on people. I see it a lot in spiritual circles even on social media. A lot of it's around ideas like cultural appropriation or calling out a false teacher or teaching.

[00:44:11] And I see people that are in a position to uplift humanity, and that's what they and their working brand are about, even sometimes, being extremely vindictive and cruel under the guise of, I'm helping humanity by identifying the bad players and the phonies, right? And to me, it's like having been someone who used to live with a tremendous amount of hatred and resentment, I mean, I'm not like-

[00:44:40] David Rabin: I mean, all of us have been there most of the time at some point in our lives, right?

[00:44:44] Luke Storey: A lot of my life, my thoughts were consumed with revenge and fantasies of harming people. I mean, I was a very, very sick person, emotionally and mentally, so I get it. But now, when I'm sort of tempted into something like a Twitter beef or whatever, I'm defending myself, or defending someone else, or going on the offense, or something like that, I think a lot of the time, if I take a moment and pause, I find that, ah, there's a wound in me that's still triggered, and oftentimes, it's the thing that I'm still working on that is one of those wounds or a manifestation of a wound that I get so much perceived pleasure out of calling out in someone else.

[00:45:28] And it seems to me that that's very common in the world of social media, where everyone has a voice and people value that significant so much, right? There's also the significance juice that one gets out of being right, and having a voice, and taking a stand. So, I don't know if there's a question in this, maybe you could just riff on this whole phenomenon that we're seeing so prevalently now socially.

[00:45:49] And I think the tricky thing about it for me is that I also believe in just cause and I believe in people helping other people, especially those who have been disenfranchised, as so many humans have over the years. So, it's like from one perspective, you just stop doing all social justice work, because everyone should just work on themselves, then, well, who's going to get the job done for the other people, right? But there's just such a sneaky little hiding place within that self-righteousness and self-indignation that I see coming across as what I would call projection.

[00:46:24] David Rabin: Yeah, it's a good point. And you put it in a very thoughtful way. I think that—so they're not mutually exclusive, right? I think the way that I'll start to tackle this topic is that we can't fight for peace, right?

[00:46:48] Luke Storey: Right. Yeah.

[00:46:48] David Rabin: You just can't fight for peace. You have to make peace for peace. And making peace outside of ourselves, and with other human beings, and our communities in the Earth, starts with making peace within ourselves. And this is not knowledge that I made up. This is ancient knowledge. It's been around for thousands of years, maybe more. And it is as true today as it was when it was first conceived of by the ancient tribes, people of all over the world.

[00:47:15] And I think it's certainly a testament that all of these different tribes people from all over the world who didn't have the internet and didn't have Facebook all came to the same conclusion, that you have to make peace within yourself before you can actually be an arbiter of peace outside of yourself. And if you have unrest within yourself, then you will perpetuate unrest outside of yourself.

[00:47:43] And so, projection is the way that Sigmund Freud coined what he called an immature coping strategy, and I'm not a huge fan of all of Freud's theories and all of his lingo, but there were certain things that he—ideas that he came up with and described very well like projection, which he called immature, because it's the idea that you're trying to fight for peace, right? You don't feel at peace in yourself, there's insecurity within you, and then you see that insecurity within others, and then you're extra sensitive to it, because it reminds you of the insecurity within you, and you then demean them, or judge them publicly, or privately, because you are actually sensitive to that, because it's something that you feel as well.

[00:48:37] But it doesn't actually make it better, right? It doesn't actually fix the problem. And so, based on—and that projection is a very real thing that can cause a lot of harm, and I think just so that everybody understands what we're talking about, we're talking about the idea of projection is when you feel a certain way within yourself, that could be insecurity, generally, about any number of things, and then you literally project that insecurity onto someone else as if it's coming from them, but it's coming from you.

[00:49:13] It's always coming from you. And sometimes, there's something that another person will do that will bring it up in you and make it stronger, which makes it really seem like it's coming from them, but it's coming from you. That's why Freud called it immature coping strategy. So, it's one thing to call it immature, I think it's more interesting to think about, well, what's the higher level of coping strategies that you could replace that with, right?

[00:49:37] So, Freud, my favorite, too that Freud came up with were—or coined in terms of characterizing these human behaviors are humor, which is my absolute favorite. Because if you can take something and make it funny, then you can generally figure out a way to get through it, right? And humor is definitely an equalizer amongst people, where you've heard the saying, if you didn't laugh, you'd cry. Well, you can avoid a lot of crying by laughing, right? And that is a very powerful way to make peace.

[00:50:11] Luke Storey: It's also an escape hatch from ego and the seriousness of [making sounds] .

[00:50:15] David Rabin: Exactly. And yeah, being able to self-deprecate, being able to laugh at yourself, it's absolutely critical. It's not an option. It is absolutely critical to mental well-being. I honestly think humor is, and it's funny, I've heard other people say this, too, humor is like one of the sole reasons why the Jewish people is a community of survivors so long, despite all of the chaos and persecution that's happened over thousands of years.

[00:50:37] And then, the other side of it that's really, really interesting is something we touched on earlier, which Freud called sublimation, right? So, sublimation means taking, recognizing that you have that insecurity within you, or that something happens around you that makes you uncomfortable, or reminds you of being uncomfortable in certain ways, and then you take that discomfort, and you channel it into an act of positivity. So, for example, feeling really sad or angry about something that might have happened to you, and then taking that anger and the sadness, expressing gratitude for it.

[00:51:26] Not necessarily for what happened to you, but gratitude for the feeling that you have so that you can understand that energy and where it's coming from, and then put it into something that actually makes your life better and makes the lives of others better around you, because anger, as one great example, is one of the most powerful energies we ever feel. And if we channel that into creative expression, art, music, connecting with other human beings in a positive way or curating environments in a positive way, our co-host is back, then sharing love with other human beings, then that anger starts to take a new form, because it actually becomes useful, not alienating. Does that make sense?

[00:52:10] Luke Storey: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think the lower states of consciousness inherently give one access to less power, and anger's maybe a quarter of the scale, I'm thinking of the map of consciousness that David Hawkins created, and that love being the most infinitely powerful potential energy to work with, whereas like down in apathy and shame, those are kind of at the bottom. I mean, total apathy is maybe the lowest, where you don't even care enough to get pissed off. If you can work your way up to anger, at least anger is motivating, but ultimately, it's not the most powerful way to deal with something.

[00:52:49] So, when it comes to this phenomenon of cancel culture, and projection, and all of this, maybe anger is a starting point, because you see something, you say that's wrong, or what are we going to do about it now? Right? It's like Mother Teresa would refuse famously to participate in anti-war rallies, but she would only participate in pro-peace rallies. It's a subtle nuance, but you can see the power in that, right? Because now, you're for something rather than being against something. So, there's an inherent, I guess, effectiveness in that perspective.

[00:53:22] David Rabin: And it sets a positive example, right? It's like, so the idea that you could feel angry, it's so easy to project that anger out onto someone else, because who wants to admit that they're actually angry at themselves, right? That's a very uncomfortable thing to admit, and yet we all feel it all the time. So, once you actually recognize it and you start to admit it, then you can take a step back, and have some of that pause that we were talking about earlier, and just say, okay, let's just pause on this feeling for a second, right?

[00:53:51] What is this feeling? Let's not judge it. Let's not call it good or bad. Let's not assume that just because I'm angry that something really bad happened. Let's just feel the anger, right? As hard as that is, which is challenging at first, let's just feel it, and let's just feel where it's coming from, feel what it's trying to tell me, maybe I made a mistakem it's okay, mistakes are how we learn, it's how we grow and get better.

[00:54:16] And what can I do with this energy now that I have, rather than taking it down maybe one of these, what Freud called the immature coping strategies, like intellectualization, where you justify that you're smart, because I'm so smart, I'm allowed to be angry at other people, and it's their fault, or rationalizing it in certain ways that you can make it okay for you to project onto others, it's more taking a step back from all of that and just recognizing that I'm feeling what I'm feeling, let's figure out what the most constructive way to use this energy is.

[00:54:53] And when you don't judge it and you allow an opportunity, talking opportunities for healing, when you reserve judgment, we allow an opportunity for gratitude to come in. And when gratitude comes in, then gratitude creates opportunities for using that energy in all of these other different ways that we may not have ever realized possible before. Some of the most incredible things in the world have been created with angry energy, not just things that we might think of as bad, but even things we might think of as good, like art, and music, and sad energy, right?

[00:55:29] Sad energy makes incredible emotional art pieces, and these things that really make us feel in ways that we may not have felt before. And there are so many other manifestations of this when it gets channeled or sublimated into something constructive. But we have to make sure that we know that we deserve the time to do that, right? We deserve the time to actually feel what we're feeling and not judge ourselves for it.

[00:55:58] It's really the judgment that gets us all caught up and confused about what we're supposed to be feeling, and that is something we're taught. Going back to Pink Floyd, The Wall, question everything you're taught. Just because you were taught that you're feeling a certain way is bad doesn't mean it's bad. It means that it's a feeling. It's up to you to figure out what that means. It's just a signal.

[00:56:18] Luke Storey: Like the kid with the oppressive parent that always shuts them down when they want to express their emotions or something like that, right? They end up as a repressed person. I think, yeah, there's so much value in what you're saying, I was brought to think of in a situation wherein you stub your toe, right? It's like it hurts so much worse and for much more duration when you stifle the feeling, whereas if you actually just focus on your toe and just go into the pain, within seconds, it dissipates. It's the resistance to it, right?

[00:56:56] It's the avoidance of it. And I think with emotional pain, at least in my experience, it's the same way. And perhaps, that's where a lot of this projection comes from, right? Because someone is unwilling or unable to really go within and experience what they might perceive to be a negative feeling that it just kind of gets stuffed away and stuffed away until there's a trigger point of something that instigates them to behave inappropriately or harmfully, because they didn't take the time to actually investigate that and really feel into it. It's just incredible how fast things pass when we allow ourselves to feel them.

[00:57:32] David Rabin: Exactly. That's exactly right. And it's just being present with what you're feeling in the moment, right? Being present with something is means reserving judgment. If we allow judgment in, then we're not fully present with what it is we're experiencing. That's why Apollo is so interesting, right? Because when you think about safety and the power of safety, safety in a lot of ways means that you're safe from judgment, right?

[00:58:02] So, by our minds, our like contrast generation machines, they're constantly judging, there's an amygdala in the center of all of them going back hundreds of millions of years to ancient reptiles, it's called the reptilian brain, that is constantly seeking contrast and trying to distinguish A from B, and B from C, and et cetera, and white from black, like on Cookie, which makes Cookie extra cute.

[00:58:26] And it contributes to lots of beauty in our lives that we can detect this contrast. At the same time, when we're overwhelmed, contrast can be really scary, and newness itself can be really scary. And so, when we've been taught to think about things and interpret the world in a certain way, like for example, being taught that it's not okay to express anger, which is one of the most common things that many of us are taught growing up, because it scares other people, or because blah, blah, blah, that you're not supposed to—it's an unacceptable emotion or sadness, for instance, then what happens is you don't feel safe expressing it, you don't feel safe talking about it with anyone, and where does that emotion go?

[00:59:05] Well, it certainly doesn't go away. It ends up getting turned inward on yourself, right? It actually gets stored up in your body, which is what The Body Keeps The Score is about. It's those emotions when not let out and not acknowledged as the signals that they are get then turned inward on us, and then we end up taking that anger and that sadness out on ourselves, which becomes guilt and shame, and then disrupts our sense of safety, and self-efficacy, and empowerment even more. So, that's why the eye-to-eye contact thing is so interesting, right?

[00:59:38] The idea that just by listening to someone, and making eye-to-eye contact with them, and really being present with someone, and not judging them, you model for them what they can do for themselves. By holding their hand, by giving them a hug, by wearing an Apollo, you send safety signals to your brain that reminds you that as scary as these emotions might be that you're feeling, that if you can pay attention and dedicate mental resources to the feeling of somebody holding your hand, or gazing you in the eye, or the vibration of Apollo, then you can't possibly be running from a lion in this moment, right?

[01:00:16] And so, it just allows your everything to kind of just settle down, and the sympathetic tone just kind of settles down, because the body doesn't know the difference between running from a lion, and your too many emails, or somebody looking at you funny across the room, or traffic. Your body reacts the same way to all of that stuff. It's up to us to recognize that we have the ability to re-establish a sense of safety and a sense of presentness, and reserve judgment of those experiences so that we can have as much access to our mental faculties as possible.

[01:00:46] Judgment is like literally sapping away our mental resources from this infinitely present moment, where anything is possible. And it starts to trap us in a box of, basically, a fear box that prevents us from really seeing what we're capable of. So, all of these different technologies, Apollo being just one of many, is just the beginning of how technology can help us to be more human, right? Rather than being more in our phones and more outside of ourselves, more in our heads, we can actually want to be more in our bodies. Being in our bodies is where being human really is, because the body is always present, the mind can be anywhere.

[01:01:27] Luke Storey: Yeah. Consciousness can be anywhere, too, the out-of-body experiences, the near-death experience. Plant medicine, I mean, in those situations, I've only had the latter, but there's no you there anymore. So, where are you? Well, the only you that is present outside of consciousness is the body, right? It's such a great anchor. You were talking about the amygdala and that that's where contrast, where safe, not safe comes from.

[01:01:53] Is this where the negativity bias comes from as well, where we're kind of always scanning our environment for what could go wrong? And then, that signal then indicates to some of us some of the time that it really is going to go wrong, not just, well, I should watch out for this, but then the rumination of anxiety and all of that begins. Is that rooted in the same part of the brain?

[01:02:17] David Rabin: It's connected. So, the amygdala has its own synaptic connections that are involved in what we call a conditioned fear response, which is like the core of fear memory, but it's not necessarily a decision maker in and of itself, it's connected directly to the insula, which is right next to it on the inside of the emotional cortex that is responsible for empathy, introception, feeling our bodies, the feeling of our heart, our lungs, our internal organs, and then introspection, looking inside ourselves, is where a lot of that self-criticism and self-judgment comes in, right?

[01:02:56] But also, self-compassion, and self-love, and self-gratitude. And so, these parts are connected in the insula, which you can actually see has evolved in a very specific way throughout ancient animals through humans, where it's evolved to favor communality, evolved to favor social connection, and community building, is also the place where we store a lot of our emotional memories, right.

[01:03:30] And so, the amygdala might—and again, there's still a lot more work to be done in this area, but when you're exposed, say, you're already overwhelmed, and you're stressed out, and you're exposed to something new or you're trying to change an old habit, and you're under stress, and the amygdala starts to detect that newness, and it just fires off, and it's just firing newness, newness, newness.

[01:03:53] And then, your emotional brain detects that, and says, oh, well, I'm already overstimulated, so newness gets associated with threat. And then, that sends a signal back to what's called the anterior cingulate cortex, which one way to think about it is the motor action of emotionality, right? So, the idea that when you feel something, then there's an action that might follow and that action starts with increasing your heart rate, increasing your blood pressure by tightening your vessels, diverting as much blood flow as possible to your skeletal muscles, your heart, your lungs, your motor cortex of your brain, because that part of the brain does not know that you are not running from a predator in that moment, it just knows you're perceiving threat, which is really, really interesting, because actual threat and perceived threat are basically equivalent, right?

[01:04:44] So, it's really, really critical for us to make sure that we actually train ourselves and train our children in safety techniques from the beginning, from a very young age, so that when you're exposed to something that might trick you into thinking that it's threatening or might seem threatening, because it's too fast, or too loud, or too different, or whatever, that we actually can reappraise, right?

[01:05:10] And then, you can have that pause, going back to the same word again, right? You can have a pause that you're in control of and you could do it from something as simple as taking a deep breath in that moment, or putting your hands on your chest, or rubbing the inside of your palm, or holding a pet, or getting a hug from someone that just reminds you that you're safe and that this contrast could be interesting, but it's not a survival threat, right?

[01:05:36] And then, you start to rewire that connection to the amygdala, and the emotional cortex, and the cingulate that says, okay, I don't need to kick up my heart rate in this moment. I don't need to get into a total sympathetic fight or flight response in this moment, because I'm actually safe at this moment. And then, as you start to do that more and more, you start to realize that you can initiate that sense of safety on your own and you don't necessarily need someone else there.

[01:06:04] And a lot of this came from Skinner's work back in the day, the Pavlov's dog conditioning, Eric Kandel, who won the Nobel Prize in 2002, and this idea of fear causes changes to neural networks, and then you can extinguish that fear through safety. And then, that also causes the reversal of those changes to the neural network. So, it's literally a practice makes perfect thing.

[01:06:28] Luke Storey: Wow. So, there's neuroplasticity awareness now around that.

[01:06:33] David Rabin: Oh, yeah.

[01:06:34] Luke Storey: It's interesting. A couple of years ago, I was in a car accident post-ayahuasca ceremony in Costa Rica. Yeah, it was the day after the four ceremonies, and the car flipped over, and I mean, no one was terribly hurt, but-

[01:06:46] David Rabin: Scary.

[01:06:47] Luke Storey: I think because I was in such an elevated space, it didn't seem to be traumatic. I was just, I don't know, I guess, present to the experience and kind of, oh, we're upside down, this is interesting. But what was trippy about it is I've noticed over the course of the past couple of years, I'm rarely the passenger, because I like to drive, but when I am, if I'm in the front seat like I was, and we go around a left-hand turn, like a curve in a winding road, I start to brace myself, and I started to notice that, I was like, why am I doing it? I'm like, oh, it's because that's the last thing I saw, was the driver not turning the wheel when the road turned, and then, ah, we flipped over.

[01:07:26] Interestingly enough, I've not worked on it specifically, but I think because of the other reprogramming that I've done, I very rarely have that experience now, because now I'm kind of looking out for it. I'll notice when Alyson's driving, all these winding roads in Texas are a great test lab for this, but I'll notice, like I'll start to want to brace, and I go, oh, no, actually, I don't do that anymore. It's weird. It's somehow it's kind of worked itself out. But can you imagine how many of us, well, you don't have to imagine, I'm sure you're aware of how many of us are running around with all of these micro or macrotrauma triggers that are controlling our every move, because we're bracing ourselves-

[01:08:08] David Rabin: We're influencing at least, right?

[01:08:08] Luke Storey: Yeah, we're bracing for something that reminds us, yeah, brace for impact, of something that is totally subconscious, and we don't even know that we're going tense at that moment. I think it's really, really interesting. God, there are so many directions I wanted to go. Oh, I know. When you're talking about real threat versus perceived threat, it brought to mind the phenomenon of sitting in a movie theater, watching a horror movie, right?

[01:08:36] And when it starts to get too intense, and too real, and we're too enthralled in the story, many of us, including myself, I mean, I try to avoid horror movies, but even if a movie gets really incredibly violent and gory, I'll tend to just close my eyes, or even just turn around and look at people, or look up the lights, or the exit sign, or something to remember like, oh, yeah, this is not actually happening.

[01:09:00] But I think it's a great sort of metaphor for that kind of experience, where we get so enraptured by our stress response that it's very difficult for us to close our eyes and go, wait, this is not real, right? But it is possible, because we know that, sitting in a movie, like you just take a pause, look at your phone, do something, and then all of a sudden, the movie is not real anymore. 

[01:09:24] But many of us are really living in that movie all of the time, some more than others, or at least periodically dipping into that horror movie of phantasmagoria of mentation. Tell me how the Apollo works. I think last time we did the interview, like today, we got into so many cool topics that I don't think I ever got a solid understanding. I know we've mentioned it, and I have mine on, as I said, people would probably often wonder why I'm always wearing this thing.

[01:09:54] Those in that camera can see it. I'm always wearing a clock with no face on it. So, when it comes to delivering the sense of safety to the body, how do the different—because it vibrates. For those listening, it's got a very subtle adjustable vibration. How does that vibrating give us a sense of safety, or help me sleep, or focus, or like I have mine on the, I think, two-hour social and open, which is absolutely, for sure, works.

[01:10:23] David Rabin: It's my favorite for interviews, public speaking kind of thing.

[01:10:26] Luke Storey: Yeah, it really is. I don't want to go so far as to say it's like half a glass of wine, but it's similar, in that you're less inhibited and kind of more just looser. It's just looser. And I guess that's that sense of safety. So, maybe break down how it works. I think it's just fascinating. It seems so simple. Yeah, this thing you put on, it vibrates, and then you feel a certain way. But like I know there's got to be a lot more science to it. It took you five years of R&D, so it's not just like some random vibration. How do the frequencies work, et cetera?

[01:10:56] David Rabin: So, I'll start with the most simple explanation, then we can dive deeper.

[01:11:01] Luke Storey: Alright. Cool.

[01:11:02] David Rabin: So, the best way to think about Apollo is that it's music, that we all know that music makes us feel different at different situations, right? We listen to certain kinds of music when we're winding up to work out or go out with our friends, we listen to other kinds of music when we're chilling out, or meditating, or relaxing. And you wouldn't necessarily mix those musics, right? You wouldn't listen to music that you'd listen to when you're working out when you're trying to fall asleep, wouldn't go well.

[01:11:27] Luke Storey: Yeah, don't put on Metallica as you lay your head down for a good night's rest.

[01:11:31] David Rabin: Right. And the reason for that is because music in its elegance and complexity actually has this very simple element to it, which is called rhythm. And rhythm has an energy, right? And there are certain rhythms that are fast-paced, which give us energy and make our—literally interact with our nervous system, and make our heart rate go up and our respiratory rate go up. And they make us feel energized, and want to do stuff, and want to move.

[01:12:01] And then, there are other kinds of music that do the complete opposite. And there are other kinds of music that make us go inward, and activate that introspective part of our minds, where it makes you want to look inside yourself or meditate, right? And so, I've always been a music fan, huge music fan. I grew up playing music. I was never as good as playing instruments as I wanted to be, but I always had a great respect for instrumentalists, and musicians, and some of my best friends are musicians, and all of our original research team actually at the University of Pittsburgh were either musicians that—we were all musicians at one time of different varying levels of success.

[01:12:38] Obviously, not professional, because we went to neuroscience and psychiatry, but this really left an impact on us that always left us asking the question, why does music do what it does, right? What is it about music that makes us feel differently, that makes us want to focus, or makes us want to fall asleep, or get energized, or whatever? And so, basically, during that time, from 2014 through 2018, it started out by trying to figure out how to tap into the emotional nervous system without a brain implant, without something invasive that you put into your body or drug, by going through the skin with electricity, or sound, or vibration, and then figuring out basically, on the understanding of how that nervous system works, the touch receptor system, the sensory system in the skin, can we compose music for your skin that your skin is receptive to that the ears are not?

[01:13:36] Because when we have headphones on all the time, you can't really give a talk, right? You can't easily do surgery, or run a business meeting, or do any number of other things that require your ears to participate, because our society is so auditorily centered. And visually and auditory are probably the two most primary senses that our society requires—not requires, but really asks people to have available online at most times.

[01:14:05] And so, we thought, is there a way, if music can do this, and we know that touch, for instance, is the oldest sensation that is the most powerful way to convey safely to each other, and has been for millions and millions of years, and even going back to ancient animals, would snuggle each other to convey safety to one another when they're falling asleep, or at any number of situations, nursing young and that kind of thing, that there could be and should be, based on all of the work that have been done up until that point of 2014, that there absolutely should be, if all the work that's been up until this point is true, a way for us to tap into the touch response system in our skin to be able to give people that same feeling of safety that they get from somebody holding your hand, or for holding Cookie, or-

[01:14:59] Luke Storey: As you're talking, I'm like, oh, my God, this feels good. I feel so-

[01:15:02] David Rabin: It feels so good, right?

[01:15:03] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[01:15:03] David Rabin: And unfortunately, we live in a somewhat repressed society, especially in the Western world, where touch is almost demeaned, and people are taught that it's only sexual or there's a sexual connotation to it, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Like what about like intimate, non-sexual touch, like people engage in all of the European countries and in Latin America, where they kiss each other when they meet and they express outward affection when they meet? What better way to convey a sense of community and a sense of closeness that helps people let their guard down?

[01:15:39] Luke Storey: I remember when guys didn't even hug. I was so shocked the first time I went to the UK, I used to play music, too, and we would go tour the UK, and I was like a hippie from California, so especially like someone, because-

[01:15:52] David Rabin: We all hug growing up in California, right?

[01:15:53] Luke Storey: Yeah. And at the end of a show, people would come up, and like, oh, great gig, and they want you to sign a CD and stuff, even though we were not famous, we were in these little villages where we play. But I'd got to give these guys a hug, and it was like, they thought I was trying to make out with them or something. I was like, oh, it's different. It's just not a cultural norm in some places. It's really interesting. Also, I noticed in India, contrary to the UK, was that a lot of men hold hands, like you'll see like really old-

[01:16:24] David Rabin: In Italy, too.

[01:16:25] Luke Storey: Oh, really? Older kids like holding their dad's hand, not a three-year-old, five-year-old, but 16-year-old walking around with their dad or even just-

[01:16:32] David Rabin: And with their friends.

[01:16:33] Luke Storey: Yeah, or even just a couple of guys. And I thought, that was—at first, I thought, wow, I didn't know like homosexuality was so open here. Southern India is very conservative. I mean, that was really my initial thought. I was like, wow, cool, good for you guys, progressive. It was like, awesome. But then, I realized, no, no, no, it's not that, they're buddies. And I thought, man, even I would feel strange, like, hey, homie, and we walk into a restaurant holding hands, it just wouldn't occur to me, but I've always been a big hugger. I think you're right in your assessment that in some cultures, for whatever puritanical or fear-based reasons, we've kind of eliminated such a critical part of our wellbeing.

[01:17:18] David Rabin: And there's a lot of different reasons why that might have happened, I think, that we can get into another time, but I think that when people are further apart from each other with touch, and touch being not a part of our lives, that we feel more isolated, and then we need to buy more stuff to satisfy our urges. You know what I mean? Because especially with drugs, right?

[01:17:47] Like when you actually look at the neurobiology of what we're talking about here, and just getting back to Apollo in one sec, when you look at the neurobiology of touch, which is how we developed Apollo, the same neurotransmitters that are activated by somebody holding your hand or giving you a hug are the same neurotransmitters that people seek to activate when they use most illicit substances, or alcohol, or anything, which are the norepinephrine system, the endorphin system, the endogenous opioid system, the endocannabinoid system, the dopamine system, the serotonin system, oxytocin, all of those neurotransmitters and hormones, which are wonderful, and really make us feel safe, and comfortable, and connected, and accepted by our community, and just whole and fulfilled are sustainably achievable with soothing touch, with connection to our loved ones, with empathy. And yet, when we're deprived of those things, we seek it from other sources.

[01:18:40] Luke Storey: Wow.

[01:18:43] David Rabin: Why wouldn't you expect people to seek it from other sources? Right? So, I don't want to get into the agenda behind that, because I don't think we know enough to say, but it does help to explain a lot of why people end up going down a path of substance abuse, because they don't feel safe and they're not getting that natural stimulation from sustainable things in their lives, or it's purposefully withheld from them, not necessarily intentionally, but because their family or their friends were taught how to convey safety in that way.

[01:19:21] And I notice this in my patients, working with a lot of veterans at the University of Pittsburgh, and we saw this happening, it was even more common in them, because like coming back from war, you go from a place of having tons of responsibility and having lots of people rely on you to not having any responsibility necessarily or feeling totally disempowered and disconnected from community when you're back on the civilian side. And there aren't necessarily a lot of support groups.

[01:19:48] And so, what do you do? You rely on whatever you can to satisfy that discomfort, and it often, unfortunately, was illicit substances, or alcohol, or even abusing prescription medicine. And when we talk to these people, it was very clear, you look at their bodies, you look at what their bodies are doing, you talk to them, their bodies are showing they're not safe, their heart rate variability is in the pits, their resting heart rate's really high, they say they feel like shit all the time, and they talk about how they never feel safe, right?

[01:20:18] Luke Storey: Wow. God, I can imagine to in the case of vets, as you're saying that, I mean, you're surrounded by, I mean, in combat, I'm sure, horrific levels of trauma, and fear, and nonstop sympathetic fight or flight. That's what's necessary, I would think, to be effective in that. And I can't imagine after a big shootout and a tense moment, one soldier grabbing another one man, I need to hug it out, crying, being held, this kind of fundamental human needs, I'm sure, are even much less accessible in that kind of situation when it is actually needed the most, right?

[01:20:57] David Rabin: Right.

[01:20:59] Luke Storey: I don't know how effective combat would be if everyone was hugging and crying in the face of imminent danger, but in terms of the aftershock of that, it must make those traumas even more impactful because of the lack of processing and healing that needs to take place after you've been exposed.

[01:21:15] David Rabin: Right. And that could be applied to literally any stressor. So, I'll bring it back full circle to something that's like probably a much more commonly experienced thing by most people, which is social anxiety or public speaking anxiety, right? So, most people would never guess that I had social and performance anxiety.

[01:21:36] Luke Storey: Me, too.

[01:21:37] David Rabin: Yeah, which would not be the thing that most people would guess.

[01:21:39] Luke Storey: So, why don't we put ourselves like in the public eye? I think about that sometimes. Like I used to be so terrified playing music on stage. I mean, it was horrible.

[01:21:48] David Rabin: Yeah. And I used to do that, too. That's actually one of the reasons I stopped playing. I used to play piano and I stopped, I stopped performing out in events, or whatever, because like I couldn't stop myself from like sweating on the keys. And it was like, this isn't comfortable, I'm not enjoying this, I want to play for myself.

[01:22:07] Luke Storey: Yeah, same here.

[01:22:09] David Rabin: So, what's interesting is that is a perceived threat response, right? A perceived threat response that even though we may not be thinking about it in that way, it's based on, going back to what we were talking about earlier, spending too much time thinking about what other people are thinking about us while we're doing it, right? So, if we acknowledge that that's what's happening, and then we go back into that performance environment with something like Apollo 1, which is actually how I retrain my brain to not go into alarm mode when I was giving a talk, I realized with Apollo that I had enough pause to recognize that I was thinking about what other people were thinking about me, and then the pause allowed me to have an immediate follow-up thought, which is that if these people are constantly thinking about criticizing me in everything I say and giving me a hard time in my talks, then like why would they be here listening to me? Why would they take the time out? If they didn't care about what I had to say, if they didn't have any interest in what I had to say, why would they be here at all? And I was like, okay, I can get down with that.

[01:23:18] They're here, because they want to hear me talk, right? So, how am I going to make them think more highly of me and enjoy my talk more? Well, I'm going to devote as many of my cognitive resources to just giving my talk and knowing that I practiced, I prepped for this, and that I'm comfortable giving this talk, because I know this material. That's why they're here to see me, right? Just like you know your music, that's why they're here to see you.

[01:23:43] And so, when I started to realize that, and then I started to practice giving more talks with the Apollo 1, and this is back a few years ago when I had the early prototypes, it was like an extinction, like a fear extinction practice, where the Apollo made me feel safe or allowed me to feel safe, present in my body rather than in my head, which was left to its own devices in other people's heads, thinking about what they were thinking about me, and it brought me back to my body, back to the present, and was like, you just need to talk, right?\

[01:24:18] Just do what you're here to do, and people will see that you're present, and that you're doing what you're here to do, and you will come off looking more professional, and looking like you know what you're here to do, right? It's just kind of like that cycle of thought. And at first, I was like, I'm a skeptical guy, I was like kind of skeptical of these own thoughts that were popping in my head, but I'm like, you know what, I just want to slow down my heart rate and stop sweating during my talk.

[01:24:45] So, I'm going to just go with it and see what happens like an experiment, and little by little, one talk here, another talk there, I started to feel more calm in my talks than I'd ever felt in my life, and I was like, this is crazy how quickly this is working. And now, I still wear it, because I like it, but I don't need it. And if I don't have it, I'm fine, which I never had before. So, I literally proved to myself that I could retrain my own brain from a fear response that a lot of us struggle with, that for a while, was only getting worse, and I did not know what to do. And it was a powerful learning experience for me.

[01:25:26] Luke Storey: Wow, very cool. There's another piece in that obsessive thinking about what other people think of you, right? So, the public speaking is a great example, because it's so terrifying to many people, and I still get nervous before I do a talk in front of a crowd. Not so much in podcast, but if there's a bunch of people watching, but it subsides if I just connect to my heart and just get impassioned.

[01:25:49] Oftentimes, I start my talks with some sort of audience participation practice to bring us all present into our breath and even specifically into our hearts. Like that's kind of, they might not know, but it's really my medicine, to also just form a coherence with the collective consciousness of the room and all that. But back to the point of, say, you're up in front of a room, and say, 50% of the people in there just hate you and want to tear you apart, and that's the thing we're afraid of, I've had the realization at times that if somebody is that judgmental and narrowminded, not like you have to be open minded to agree with me, but I know that if I was sitting in the audience going, fuck this guy, like self-talking and judging like, I wouldn't want to be friends with that guy anyway, right?

[01:26:37] It's like people that don't vibe with us aren't people that you want to hang out with, or that you necessarily want respect or approval from. And that's a really empowering way to view it as well. It's not only that feeling safe, but just going, if somebody hates me and what I'm about, then I wouldn't be friends with them anyway. What would we have to talk about? You know what I mean? So, just let them keep that and I just go about being the best me that I can be. It's really, really powerful.

[01:27:05] David Rabin: That's, what else do you have control over? Right? Like reminding ourselves like with the techniques you do, I also do those techniques of kind of like centering the audience around a breathwork for a minute or around standing up and stretch for a minute, because that not only centers everybody on the moment, but it does do the same thing that Apollo does, right? It brings us back into our bodies. And not everyone has learned how to do that the way that you and I now do, but that's the same exact mechanism.

[01:27:39] It's, I'm in my head, let's center the mind back in the body, let's bring it back to—let's ground ourselves. And then, knowing that if I am more present, if I am more grounded in myself when I'm giving a talk, then I'm way less likely to slip up, because my attention is fully on what I'm doing right now, remembering that we only have so many cognitive conscious resources available to us at any time. There's lots of subconscious resources. Those are doing other things.

[01:28:14] Luke Storey: Those drive your car, and brush your teeth, and do the things that you don't have to think about, right?

[01:28:18] David Rabin: Well, yeah, and deal with the feeling of the clothes on your skin, or the feeling of the floor under your feet, or the chair under your body that you don't necessarily want in your awareness, but you do want to know that you're safe in your environment. So, the subconscious stuff is really critical for that sort of baseline of safety that our consciousness is always questioning, particularly when we're insecure or have been taught to be uncomfortable in certain kinds of situations, like public speaking or in a social situation.

[01:28:48] I can't tell you how much better my social interactions got when I started to be grounded in myself and just recognize like, by using Apollo, that if I am not thinking about what other people are doing or thinking about me, I literally free up cognitive resources to just be me. And if I'm just me, people like me a hell of a lot more, because I don't come off as insecure, and then they don't project their insecurities onto me, right?

[01:29:15] So, you could see how that leads into the back to the projection thing, right? It's like what we radiate comes back to us, and if we radiate insecurity, we actually attract more insecure people and more insecurity comes towards us. And if we radiate confidence, and graciousness, and presentness, and nonjudgment, and acceptance, then that's what comes back to us.

[01:29:37] And so, it's critically important for us to recognize that even if we are hearing this for the first time today that we have the opportunity to choose that to focus on at any time, then that's what takes over most of our consciousness, which helps us to be more graceful and more at peace in all of our interactions. And the best part is that we attract more people that are like the people we actually want to be spending our time with to us, rather than people who we might not want to spend as much time with.

[01:30:11] Luke Storey: Right. Yeah. There's a, what's the word I'm looking for? Resonance there, right?

[01:30:18] David Rabin: It's a resonance.

[01:30:18] Luke Storey: Yeah. It's like two notes of music that are harmonious versus [making sounds] .

[01:30:25] David Rabin: Yeah, versus dissonant.

[01:30:26] Luke Storey: Yeah, dissonant. Yes, that's the word.

[01:30:28] David Rabin: I love those words.

[01:30:29] Luke Storey: So, with the Apollo and these vibrations that induce this sense of safety, how did you figure out what vibrations or frequencies do what? So, like I wouldn't put on the social and open setting if I want to sit down and do task work, or write a book, or something, right? I would put on focus or something else. How did you determine what they are? Was it just tons of R&D experimenting or are there actual sets of frequencies that are known to have this effect?

[01:31:00] David Rabin: So, a couple of different ways, right? So, we first drew from our knowledge of music, knowing that certain rhythms and certain tempos increase energy and certain ones decrease energy. And that was kind of the initial framework that we started with. Then, we started to look at more complex rhythms and really trying to understand what rhythms the body gets into, speaking of resonance? Right? When you are doing a biofeedback exercise, or in a float tank, or meditating, or doing yoga, or in a sound bath, what happens to your heart and lungs?

[01:31:35] And it turns out that something fairly reliable happens to your heart and lungs subconsciously when you're doing any of those things, particularly well-studied from the field of biofeedback, which is where we really started to gain an understanding of what heart rate variability really means as a balance between the parasympathetic rest and digest recovery nervous system and the sympathetic fight or flight system, is that when you throw somebody, a healthy person, into a biofeedback system, which is an EKG cardiac rhythm assessment with the stickers in the old school, original way, started in the '60s, and you throw them into that, and they have a respiratory monitor on, and then they're looking on the screen, and seeing their heart rhythm, and seeing their respiratory rhythm, when you ask those people to match their rhythms and don't tell them how, it's something like 95% of people, healthy people match the rhythm within 90 seconds.

[01:32:31] And when they match their rhythms just by looking at them on the screen, hence the biofeedback, their rhythms start to match somewhere between five and seven breaths per minute. And it's right around five to seven breaths per minute that heart rate variability goes up, which is a sign that you're boosting activity to the recovery, parasympathetic recovery, rest and digest nervous system that is activated by safety, right?

[01:32:58] So, if we think of the sympathetic fight or flight system that's being triggered by perceived or actual threat, the parasympathetic recovery system is triggered by perceived or actual safety. And so, when you breathe in that way for 90 seconds at that five to seven breaths per minute, it was noticed that these people, that most people activate this certain state of higher heart rate variability, which also correlated with people who are ill, and having symptoms of pain, or PTSD, or depression.

[01:33:30] In some cases, anxiety start to report around that time that they felt more calm, they felt their symptoms start to be in less pain. They felt their symptoms start to subside a little bit. And that was a really powerful and fascinating observation, because that was, of course, not made by us, made by very wonderful scientists, amongst which are—oh, I'm forgetting their first names, but it's Lehr and Gevirtz, who are two of the leaders in this space, and Veshilo as well, who show that there are different rhythms that come from then, they took this another step further, that rhythms that the body engages in, like seeing things shift at five to seven times per minute can change your breath and your heart rate.

[01:34:22] And just seeing how I'm crossing my legs here, by uncrossing my legs at that rhythm, and then crossing my legs again will actually do the same thing to shift my heart rate and my breathing into this higher heart rate variability state, just like intentional breath biofeedback. And so, I started to see that, and I was like, okay, this is starting to get pretty cool, because if this is the case, and we know that music can create resonance patterns within the heart and lungs, and we know that this other stuff, behaviors and sensory stimuli at certain frequencies can create these respiratory resonant, what we call like cardiorespiratory resonance or coherence patterns between the heart and lungs, where they're functioning optimally to favor recovery, then can we do it through touch?

[01:35:09] And there were a couple early studies that showed that it was possible, very small studies. And then, we started to basically—my partner and I in the lab at the University of Pittsburgh started to play around with these vibration patterns and layer them in a very specific way to create rhythms that reminded the body of the rhythm that ideal five to seven breaths per minute rhythm that induces these recovery states in biofeedback.

[01:35:37] And we didn't know that it was going to work. We just based it on the theory that, again, if everything else, we did our homework, if everyone else has shown what they've shown and we get our theory right, then there's a really good chance it's going to work. And we played around with tons of vibration frequencies and a bunch of them made us feel like shit, and then finally, we got one, which is now the clear and focused frequency in the app that we put on our bodies.

[01:35:59] And it was the first one that made us take a deep breath. And it was like that aha moment, like you felt it, and we were on our chests, and we were like, ha, that's nice. And I feel clearer and calmer at the same time, but also focused, not sleepy. And we were like, wow, this is really interesting. So then, we took that, and then made a few variations on it, and played around, and just test it on all of our friends and colleagues.

[01:36:26] Most people experienced the same thing. Without telling them what it was supposed to do, they experienced the same thing. And then, my wife, Kathryn, ended up, because we needed some help on the business front, getting some money from the university to do studies, and then we had very limited resources at the time to do this work, and I asked Kathryn to come in and help us raise some money from the University Innovation Institute.

[01:36:47] And she came in, and she said, oh, I can help you with a pitch deck, because I don't even know what a pitch deck was back then. And this is 2016. And we raised some money, we ran a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study with 38 healthy people, where we found that without a doubt, people who experienced these very specific frequency patterns layered in the way that we found in the lab could not only reliably get their heart rate variability increased under stress, statistically significantly increase under stress, which for those who don't know, HRV, heart rate variability never goes up under stress.

[01:37:22] It just doesn't. That's the opposite of what we normally see. So, to see that reliably was really interesting. But then, we also saw that it went up proportionate to cognitive performance increases. So, the more that your HRV went up with the Apollo vibrations, the better you did on the stress task in just three minutes in a controlled laboratory setting and up to 25% better in cognitive performance for that matter, which is like the effect you get from an amphetamine, but without an amphetamine.

[01:37:51] And we were like, okay, this is pretty darn cool. Rarely get results like this in research. And that's why we did a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study, because we really wanted to understand, is this effect real or is it placebo? Compared to placebo and compared to no vibration, it was very clear to us that this was a real effect.

[01:38:13] And then, when that study was done, it wrapped in about in 2018 and we were able to then understand that there were certain patterns that were better for certain things, but we only had the opportunity to intensively, rigorously test two patterns, and that was the meditation and mindfulness, and the clear and focused. So then, the question was, well, what else can we do? Right? What else could these frequencies do to help people?

[01:38:42] So, we took 16 of the patterns and we put them into an app that was a prototype app that I believe we showed you in the early days with the very rudimentary prototype that looked like a pod on a string kind of thing. And we gave that out to about 2,000 people over the course of 18 months, and we found over that time that people were using this for things that we never anticipated them using it for. The two main ones that really shocked us were sleep, because we knew that one of the patterns made people tired, but we didn't know what actually put them to bed and decrease the amount of time it took them to fall asleep or impact their sleep scores anyway, which we've now found that it does.

[01:39:24] And the social one, the one for social and open, which also people started using for creative work. And multiple people were coming back, saying, this is changing the game for me with group exercises at work, having to do creative brainstorming and group work, and also socializing, and being able to present publicly, and just feel present and calm in these social situations that would normally make me feel like shit. And we were like, oh, wow, this is cool.

[01:39:54] Not only are we seeing similar results to what we're seeing in the lab, which almost never happens, but we're seeing additional learnings from the community that are teaching us about what people will use this for. And I can't emphasize the importance enough of real, diligent experimentation, because without that, we would have never known that Apollo could be used for all of these different things. And what's so interesting is we thought it was going to be used for cognitive performance, right? And it is. But more of our customers use it for sleep than for anything else, and we didn't even know that it could do that, right? So, experiment, guys.

[01:40:31] Luke Storey: That's so wild, man.

[01:40:33] David Rabin: It's amazing.

[01:40:34] Luke Storey: Wow. How cool. I love innovations like this. I mean, I'm just a geek and I just love life hacks. You know what I mean? It's like, especially when you've had kind of a crappy life for a long period of time, like many people have, and you just start feeling better and better, and discovering more things, it sort of just keeps, at least for me, feeding my curiosity. Well, if that's possible, what's next? So, it's a very, very cool innovation. I also want to remind people, actually, I haven't told them, so it's not a reminder. I want to let people know, right now, if you guys want to check out the Apollo that we're talking about, you can go to, what's the website?

[01:41:11] David Rabin: Apollonneuro.com.

[01:41:13] Luke Storey: Apolloneuro.com. And Dave and his team have been cool enough to give us a discount of 15% if you use the code LukeStorey15, apolloneuro.com, LukeStorey15. Thank you for that, by the way.

[01:41:25] David Rabin: Our pleasure. And apolloneuroscience.com will also work for anyone who-

[01:41:28] Luke Storey: Okay. Cool. It's always good to get every URL, I learned that early on, like get anything remotely close to what you do. Great tip for budding entrepreneurs out there.

[01:41:37] David Rabin: And I just want to add, if you don't mind, to what I said earlier, just so people really understand what this is, that Apollo is music. It is music.

[01:41:46] Luke Storey: See, I'm glad you said that, because I forgot that you told me that before, and I just thought, Apollo is some vibrating frequencies.

[01:41:54] David Rabin: Well, the problem is that our association with vibration our society is notifications, right? It's notifications through your phone, it's notifications from your Apple Watch or your Fitbit. Notifications are actually kind of stimulating and have the capacity to be quite annoying.

[01:42:10] Luke Storey: That's why I don't have any on ever.

[01:42:12] David Rabin: Right. And lots of people I know are the same, and I try to keep all my notifications off, too, because it actually is alerting, which increases heart rate, right? And so, when we did this, part of the reason why we chose vibration was because we could create it with sound. And if you make that sound into certain rhythms that are soothing, then it amplifies the impact for the individual, because it's not a punchy notification that's trying to get your attention. We don't want your attention. Apollo does not want your attention. Apollo is meant to run passively in the background to allow us to be more present on whatever it is that the task is at hand, right? It's supposed to free up cognitive resources, not attract them to the device, right?

[01:43:06] Luke Storey: Right. Which is why-

[01:43:07] David Rabin: It's like having a background track when you're walking on stage or whatever.

[01:43:10] Luke Storey: Yeah, I think you have in—at one point, I was looking at the FAQ or the instructions for it, and when I get anything, I'm just like, if there's a dial between zero percent and 100, I'm just like a hundred, you know what I mean? Just kind of how I do things. I don't recommend it. But then, I actually read the instructions, and I think it was recommended that you sort of titrate and that there were even preferred settings in terms of the level of intensity. And it's, I don't know, maybe 30% or something.

[01:43:37] David Rabin: Or, it's really personal, right? So, that's the most personal part of Apollo particularly right now, and we're working constantly in terms of the new innovations to continually increase the personalization of the experience. But right now, the intensity level is based on your environment and your personal sensitivity. And where we always recommend is if the goal is to free up cognitive resources, then we don't want you distracted by the Apollo, the Apollo should just kind of fade into the background. And you should be able to pay attention to it and notice it's there when you choose to pay attention to it intentionally, but if you're paying attention to something else, if you're working, if you're driving, if you're talking to friends, it shouldn't be noticeable-

[01:44:17] Luke Storey: Or, trying to sleep.

[01:44:18] David Rabin: Or, trying to sleep, especially, right?

[01:44:19] Luke Storey: I've had that happen when I cranked the sleep setting up, and then I sleep like with my hand under the pillow, and I'm like, who's moving? What is that like? Oh, goddammit, I got to turn this down. But yeah, I usually am around 30% power. That's kind of where, yeah, like you said, if I had to think about it, is it like—I think mine is off now. So, if I had to think about it, because it's been two hours, if I have to think about it, then that means I'm probably on a good setting, where I can notice if it's on or off, but it's not distracting anyway.

[01:44:52] I'm not driving, and going like, wow, my right hand is really buzzing. Yeah, I think that's a great aspect of it, because some people are going to be more tuned in than others. And like you said, also depending on what's going on in the environment, ambience, right? Like if I'm at a loud event or something, I might have it cranked up a little more, because there's so much stimuli that I wouldn't notice it if it was buzzing.

[01:45:14] David Rabin: Or, if you're on a plane, there's lots of noise around you.

[01:45:17] Luke Storey: I like it on the plane. What's the relaxed one? I don't know if-

[01:45:20] David Rabin: Relax and unwind.

[01:45:20] Luke Storey: Yeah, I love that one on flights. I do anything I can on the plane to just be as calm as possible, and just meditate, and just zone out, otherwise, especially now, it's like all the mask, freaking people yelling at you constantly.

[01:45:34] David Rabin: As if flying wasn't stressful enough.

[01:45:36] Luke Storey: Yeah. It's like what they've done now is that the TSA people that yell at you, it's almost like they've turned many of their flight attendants into additional TSA dominant freaks. Yeah, it's crazy. Although I did take a trip to Indiana recently on Delta, who are one of the most COVIDey airlines, according to media, and they were actually very relaxed.

[01:45:57] David Rabin: Yeah, I thought Delta was nice. That's how I flew here.

[01:45:58] Luke Storey: Yeah, they kind of didn't really say much if you were loose with your mask use and stuff. So, kudos to Delta, way to relax a little bit.

[01:46:09] David Rabin: I feel a little bad for the staff person, like it's so hard right now. I can't even imagine. Like we don't like wearing masks even for like the duration of the flight, they have to wear it all day.

[01:46:20] Luke Storey: Honestly, I mean, it would be really tragic to be in a career that you enjoy, that you want to stay in and have that be present. And anywhere I go, I mean, any time people come to my house to do work or something, and they have the courtesy of wearing a mask, the first thing I say is like, hey, do what makes you feel comfortable, but like there is no need for that.

[01:46:41] And most of the time, I'm like, oh, thank God, it's the air conditioning guy, or whatever. We're renovating a house right now, so there's a lot of people coming and going. And I think in Texas, people generally follow the protocol less, and the cases would indicate that that's a successful protocol, but yeah, I'm always like, God, I feel so bad, dude, especially when it's hot.

[01:47:01] David Rabin: I know, right?

[01:47:02] Luke Storey: And just the need to breathe air, man. That's the part of it for me, aside from all the sort of conditioning and shaming elements of covering your face. But just like, geez, the breath.

[01:47:14] David Rabin: Well, let's hope that we can get back to a full face-exposed society soon, right?

[01:47:21] Luke Storey: Yeah. So, I never say I'm anti-mask, I say I'm pro-face, taking after Mother Teresa. So, God, I feel like I had a million questions, we're like an hour and 48 minutes in.

[01:47:34] David Rabin: No way.

[01:47:35] Luke Storey: Yeah. So, that's always a good sign, though. When it's been almost two hours, and I'm like, I'm still ready to go another two, that's a good conversation. So, for those still listening to us at this point, thank you for being die hard. And I hope this episode has been supportive, because I want to talk about psychedelics and all this other stuff. I think I even put that on my Instagram Live announcement, because I just figured we'd talk about that. But in terms of, I don't know, maybe we have really sort of covered, I was going to go into this through a linear process of, let's talk about stress and anxiety, because so many people are under stress right now, Dave, but I think we've kind of really covered that. So, maybe we could just in the last-

[01:48:15] David Rabin: Got through a lot.

[01:48:16] Luke Storey: Yeah, we have. I hope so in that amount of time. Maybe we could—we don't have time to delve into the therapeutic use of plant medicines, and psychedelics, and things like that, although we did a bit more on the past episode, what's happening right now in terms of legislation and developments? I was listening to The Third Wave podcast the other day and someone was on there, who's in Vancouver, who's I think begun, if not, about to begin IV DMT therapy. I was like, now, that's something I would like to sign up for.

[01:48:50] David Rabin: I think that's within a study.

[01:48:52] Luke Storey: Oh, okay. Study phase. Okay. So, where do you see things going in terms of legislation, criminality? Is ketamine the only thing that therapists can use right now? How close are we to MDMA, or psilocybin, or LSD, or any of these other compounds in terms of, in the United States, being able to go see a professional and get treated in that way?

[01:49:11] David Rabin: Those are all great questions.

[01:49:13] Luke Storey: Fifty of them, sorry.

[01:49:14] David Rabin: No, it's okay. I think I can get through them. So, ketamine is the only legal psychedelic currently available in the US. It is slightly more restricted in Canada, unfortunately, because of misuse, but there's a lot that we can learn about ketamine or from ketamine, and the way that it has been used and misused, I think, that is really important to talk about. I'm glad you brought it up.

[01:49:39] At this point, ketamine is very useful, especially for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. When combined with psychotherapy, it can actually seemingly induce pretty long-lasting effects. When used by itself in high doses, more frequent doses without psychotherapy, the effects tend to not be long-lasting, and people are at higher risk of side effects, like bladder toxicity, as one of the more common side effects, which isn't common, but when people are getting repeated high doses multiple times a week for months on end or longer, that these side effects do tend to surface and we have been seeing more of it.

[01:50:19] Tim Ferriss was just talking about this a month ago, I think, on his show and it shouldn't be ignored. And I think that it is exciting to think about the future, where as of 2023, with the studies going on, there are lots of great studies going on right now of other psychedelic medicines, most notably psilocybin for depression and MDMA for treatment resistant—or for PTSD by MAPS are going on currently. And it looks like those medicines will be available for prescription in office use as of 2023, which is very exciting.

[01:50:55] Luke Storey: Wow, that's so cool.

[01:50:56] David Rabin: Very exciting. That being said, even though things, in general, seem to be moving in a direction that is increasing accessibility of these medicines to patients and clients who are looking for healing, there is an important lesson to learn right now from ketamine, which is that 80 to 90% of people who administer ketamine are administering it without psychotherapy. There's no psychotherapy required. It's not part of the treatment protocol. In a lot of most cases, it's not even recommended. And again, this increases the amount of sessions that people require.

[01:51:36] It requires them to come back more often. So, there's a financial incentive, sometimes, for the providers to do that kind of work. And unfortunately, and many of them aren't psychiatrists or therapists anyway, so they're not even necessarily familiar with or concerned at all with the therapy side, even though it is extremely effective. And the problem with that is that more side effects are becoming a parent. And what happens when more side effects become apparent? Well, it attracts the eyes of the DEA, the FDA. And the DEA, unfortunately, now has been evaluating IV and intramuscular ketamine to reschedule as Schedule 2.

[01:52:16] Luke Storey: Oh, no.

[01:52:16] David Rabin: Which is horrible, because we were really on a positive—ketamine was Schedule 3 before, which, for those who don't know, means that it can be prescribed much more easily, and be much more accessible, and doesn't have to be rigorously tracked in the same way that, for example, opiate and methamphetamine prescriptions are, like Adderall. But now, because so many people are, for one, there aren't standardized guidelines for ketamine like there are for MDMA that MAPS has put forward through the FDA. There desperately need to be. I'm working with some folks on putting physicians in this specific area to put out guidelines about what best practices are basically for ketamine therapy.

[01:53:02] But to this day, there hasn't been a consensus on those best practices, and there haven't been any major medical boards that have come forward, and say, this is what is recommended for how to use this medicine, and anything else could potentially be considered negligible or a negligent care. And so, people use it however they want. And people get sent home with prescriptions that are abused, and then they wind up with toxicity.

[01:53:30] And again, the government turns an eye, and is like, hey, well, if this is how it's being used and this is the problems that we're seeing arise, maybe we need to change the legislation. And the fact that that is what's on their minds rather than descheduling cannabis is really problematic, right? Like we really need these people who at the DEA to be thinking as much as possible about the strategy for descheduling cannabis so that cannabis can go from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3, and can become more accessible, and prescribed freely by doctors, and be used in research studies. And instead, we're distracting these people on misusing ketamine.

[01:54:06] Luke Storey: Oh, man.

[01:54:06] David Rabin: Right? And so, this sends a really important message to the community, which is we can still fuck this up, guys. Like the government is not sold yet on this. Even though these medicines are extremely powerful and do have great potential benefit, they also, every powerful thing, every powerful tool, what did Stan Lee say? With great power comes great responsibility, and we must accept that responsibility and not misuse the tools that we're given. These tools and the ability to use them is a great privilege, and we need to always remember that.

[01:54:39] Luke Storey: Wow. I can't imagine how someone would do ketamine recreationally. I've always tripped out on that. Like that one time I kind of pushed the threshold and from people that are more familiar with that substance than I, they're like, oh, dude, you were in a keyhole. I'm like, how could you be at a rave? I mean, oh, my God, there was no moving, getting up, like talking, dancing, not on the agenda at all. It's very strange to me, but I guess to each their own. And I was someone who did just every drug imaginable in copious amounts. And I don't know, it's like either I've changed or I just don't like that drug, in that context. 

[01:55:23] David Rabin: Well, I think you've gone through your own healing process that is really important to acknowledge, right? There's a very different way of sort of the role of intention in medicine use, right? The same medicine can be abused and used for the intention of escape, which then leads us right back to where we were at the beginning, because there is no escape. And we're here and we might as well embrace it, right?

[01:55:50] Luke Storey: And the shadow will find you. You can run, but it's going to it's going to follow you wherever you go.

[01:55:55] David Rabin: Right. And so, you've now transitioned your approach to medicine from a very focused intention of engagement, right? And engagement is the opposite of escape. Engagement is like, alright, life, I'm here, right? I know anything that comes up, it's just me, and I'm using this medicine as a way to grow, and I'm using it intentionally with growth in mind, not with numbing myself and escaping from my problems.

[01:56:23] Luke Storey: Yeah, for sure. For sure, yeah. Huge distinction. And I guess that's the sort of paradox of being a recovering addict and alcoholic. I mean, as we were talking about before, when I was on Aubrey Marcus's show last time, there were a number of people that commented on Instagram like, this dude calls himself sober, he's a fraud, or whatever it was. I'm like, there's a difference. For me, I've had to redefine, and it is based on not only intention, but also results, right?

[01:56:52] Like by their fruits, you shall know them. So, I look at my life, and say, wow, I've really done a lot of journey over the past three years, am I okay? Back to that inquiry. And every metric of inner and external success is improving, which I know based on my past with drug abuse, if I'm like off the wagon, nothing is improving, it is degrading rapidly to the point of absolute despair and abject failure in every department of life. I'm not even exaggerating.

[01:57:26] David Rabin: That's what can happen.

[01:57:27] Luke Storey: It's so interesting. So, I guess it's hard for me to kind of go back in time to a place where life is so uncomfortable and painful that I'm just grabbing for anything to check out. Maybe at 25 years old, ketamine would have been great for me to numb myself and forget about my problems. I think on the intentional side of it with all these medicines, and I'm sure you could speak to this at depth, I don't know, once you're at a certain place in life to use any sort of psychedelics or plant medicines, to try to escape your problems is a horrible idea, because all that's probably going to show up is said problems.

[01:58:05] David Rabin: Yeah, because when you come back from that brief ride, and you come back to your normal sober consciousness, and the medicines have worn off, you're like, oh, shit, those problems are still here, they haven't gotten away.

[01:58:18] Luke Storey: And my point, really, is like during the experience, the things that you likely are trying to evade are going to come up and be right in front of your face in technicolor, high definition. And that can be a really uncomfortable experience. I know the classical bad trip, right? I mean, that used to happen to me, I think, more often than I realized at the time, having taken 22 years to bookmark any sort of psychedelic experience when I came back to it.

[01:58:47] I was like, this is amazing. This isn't what it was like when I used to drop acid, and go see the Grateful Dead, and then be stuck in the parking lot, or ride left, and we're all drunk, and on acid, and no one has any money, and we're trading weed for a burrito, like just things would go terribly awry, because the intention was to have fun and escape this reality, because it was so painful. So, it looks like there are some good things on the horizon in terms of legitimate therapeutic use for some of these substances.

[01:59:18] And also, a double-edged sword there, and that too loosey-goosey, then it starts to get the authorities fired up, and that could ruin the whole thing for us. Other than MDMA and psilocybin, are there any other things brewing in the community, such as I mentioned this one person doing some research with IV DMT? I mean, there are so many different molecules that are mescaline. I mean, all kinds of things that could be potentially useful other than the others that are kind of percolating around.

[01:59:49] David Rabin: There's so many, right? I think there's iboga, ibogaine, which has been used for opiate addiction, probably more so used for opioid addiction than anything else and shown great success. There is the IV DMT situation, which was started originally by Rick Strassman, but it was-

[02:00:11] Luke Storey: Oh, really?

[02:00:11] David Rabin: You remember Rick Strassman?

[02:00:12] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[02:00:13] David Rabin: The spirit molecule.

[02:00:14] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[02:00:15] David Rabin: That Joe Rogan produced. So, really-

[02:00:18] Luke Storey: I think I was supposed to interview him at some point.

[02:00:20] David Rabin: Oh, maybe.

[02:00:21] Luke Storey: Yeah, wow. Thanks for the reminder.

[02:00:22] David Rabin: Rick's great. You should definitely. Yeah, he seems like a—I've never actually—I've only interact with him via social, but he's at social media, but he's a really nice guy and he's a great scientist. And what was so interesting and groundbreaking about his work was that he was the first person to ever administer IV DMT to any human being in a clinical trial. And he did it at the University of New Mexico with one caveat, which was that these people had already experienced—they were experienced psychedelic users. And when you watch the movie and you see these people interviewed, it's very clear that the're experienced psychedelic users.

[02:00:55] Luke Storey: There are some cosmonauts. Yeah.

[02:00:58] David Rabin: Yeah, exactly. And it's not a bad thing. It's just that people have different reactions to an experience that intense when they're experienced and they're familiar with the territory than when they're not experienced and unfamiliar with territory, right? Just go back to what we're talking about before when you're unfamiliar with that kind of situation, your amygdala goes off just that much more, right? So, this more recent study that Paul Austin was talking about, I think, which is going on at UBC, I think University of British Columbia.

[02:01:28] Luke Storey: Sounds right, yeah.

[02:01:29] David Rabin: I believe so. Forgive me if I messed that up, but that is going on, the IV DMT experiment is the first time that DMT has been administered in this way on an extended IV drip basis to people who are naive and inexperienced in psychedelics.

[02:01:46] Luke Storey: Oh, really? Wow.

[02:01:47] David Rabin: So, that's a particularly interesting study. And I don't know what's going to come from it. I mean, I'm sure it will be fascinating as long as they're recording the right outcome measures. But it's a really interesting experiment to do.

[02:01:59] Luke Storey: I think that one intrigued me just because I love tryptamines. I mean, that's just my zone. But 5-MeO-DMT is super intense. It's like any time I do it, as I start to kind of reemerge as—I don't want to get too esoteric there, but there's a moment where you're not there as who you think you are to be in your personality, ego, intellect, et cetera, just all that emerges with consciousness.

[02:02:28] But as I start to emerge, almost every time, it's been six times now that I've done that, the first thought is like, everyone needs to do this, you know what I mean? And then, my prudence kind of arrives back in my awareness again, I go, well, maybe not everyone, but I start thinking of all my loved ones and like how freeing it could be for them. And it's like the cure for atheism, or even someone who believes in God, but doesn't really trust in God.

[02:02:56] That's what the thing that I come out of it every time with, yet in a more sober analysis, I mean, it could be potentially harmful to someone to go to that length if they don't have any context and support, right? I know a lot of people are serving these very powerful medicines without any real intake or after integration and things like that, which could be terrifying. But to the point of the IV DMT, what intrigued me about that was the ability to throttle the medicine.

[02:03:27] That's the thing with so many of these more powerful psychedelics. I mean, you go drink a couple of cups of ayahuasca, there's no eject button, you know what I mean? You can't just be like [making sounds] abort mission. I actually tried that once on 5-MeO, and it didn't work. I tried, actually, I said that in the middle, I was like, abort mission. Yeah, I tried to come out of it, and it was like, oh, my God, no, I'm in like four dreams within other dreams.

[02:03:49] It was just insane, but there's no stopping it, or like, whoa, this is too much, if there's resistance and things like that. So, I think that's what's really interesting about therapeutically induced states like that, where you have a space holder and someone just medically titrating the dose. I mean, because there's, I would think, a pretty sweet spot in the DMT experience for most people if they had the right support and the right intention. But sometimes, the big blastoff can be extremely jarring, and not in the case of 5-MeO-DMT, or what's the other one? NM-DMT?

[02:04:28] David Rabin: NN-DMT.

[02:04:29] Luke Storey: NN-DMT. Shorter duration, super intense experience. But man, if you're thinking about ayahuasca or LSD, I mean, you're talking about, or even psilocybin—

[02:04:37] David Rabin: It's a real commitment.

[02:04:38] Luke Storey: You're talking about many hours of what could potentially be deep work.

[02:04:42] David Rabin: Yeah, 6 to 12 hours, not a short amount. And it seems like eternity just to a lot of people, because you're in an altered state of consciousness, where time, your perception of time itself is shifted, right?

[02:04:56] Luke Storey: Yeah, good point. So, that one, I found to be really intriguing, for that reason, that one could throttle the administration, and find a place in which they can do some work and feel safe, back to your point of feeling safe, right? Like if you did get to the point like, oh, I'm at my edge, I'm at my edge, make it stop, within a few minutes, you're back to your everyday self.

[02:05:23] David Rabin: And I'll take it one step further in terms of why that study is interesting, is because the Western pharmaceutical model, in terms of the way that Big Pharma develops drugs and the way that—forgetting actually about Big Pharma entirely for a second, the way that the FDA and most of the FDA-like organizations in most first-world countries approve of drugs getting through, is that their single molecule interventions, right?

[02:05:51] And so, the whole idea of whole plant medicine getting through the FDA is a little bit strange to them, not to us, but to them, because they are worried about all the different entourage effects and combination effects, and they want to know what each part of the medicine is going to do. Cannabis has like 200 components, plus, right? So, they are concerned that you could induce toxicity by having a little too much of component A versus component C, and blah, blah, blah.

[02:06:20] And theoretically, it's possible, but with medicines like cannabis, it's thankfully known to be very unlikely to induce any kind of toxicity if you get the dosing relatively right. We have some basic guidelines on that from studies, high-CBD, low-THC, it tends to be fairly safe, as one example, but with DMT, DMT is a single molecule intervention, right? IV DMT is an intervention that you could theoretically, because it's a single molecule, if proven to be safe in non-experienced users, non-psychedelic experienced users, it could be like ketamine, because DMT can't be patented, right?

[02:07:07] It's a natural occurring molecule in all of our brains and most living things, that it could become quickly one of the next treatments for things like suicidality, or depression, or certain anxiety disorders, because it is of a form delivered in the IV way that the FDA and other bodies may be more amenable to allowing it through more easily. Whereas, something like whole psilocybin mushrooms, like we start to get into the whole mushroom complex, it gets a lot crazier, because then you have like, well, is it a Hawaiian mushroom or is it a golden teacher mushroom?

[02:07:47] Like what strain and breed is it? And then, what else is in there? And how much of an effect are those other things having? And the FDA and most governments are just not comfortable in any way with whole plant medicine, at least the federal level governments are? Whereas, certain individual states and cities might allow growth of these plant medicines and decriminalize them, which I think is a big step in the right direction. 

[02:08:11] People still need the education around these things, not just abstinence, only education, because people are going to use drugs, just like sex, like people are going to fuck, if we tell them not to, they're more likely to do it. If we don't tell them how to do it, they're more likely to do it unsafely. So, the best thing we could do is take a lesson from the Amsterdam book, for instance, and say, alright, let's give people at least the bare minimum education on how to use a certain kind of mushroom safely, people are going to do it anyway, right?

[02:08:46] How to use these things safely can actually avoid a lot of harm and damage, and potentially allow people to do some of that self-work on their own, that right now, they're depending on the medical system for, and it's very clear that the medical system can't support them, because they don't have enough resources. I think there's a lot of as much change and interesting stuff that's happening on both sides of the equation right now, there is a lot to be excited for.

[02:09:15] And that excitement should come with a healthy level of caution. And make sure that when we think about how to use a medicine, it's really about respecting ourselves that we put in the work, whether you're a doctor or not, that you put in the work to figure out how that medicine works and how to use it safely. Can't emphasize that enough. If you disrespect yourself and disrespect the medicine by not putting in that intentional time to prepare, you will dramatically increase your risk of having ill effect.

[02:09:49] And that ill effect could last a day. It could last years. And we see this. These are my patients, right? Like I see this happen. So, I can't caution people enough that this is very exciting, but do your own homework and do your own self-work to prepare yourself before you venture into these situations. And please, please, please try to find someone who is more knowledgeable than you who can at least help guide you at about how to use these things safely.

[02:10:19] Luke Storey: Yeah, get a pilot, don't try to fly the plane yourself. That's interesting around the regulatory agencies and their reluctance to work with things in their whole form. And I mean, it makes sense, right? Because that authoritative nature of these agencies is control, right? And you can't control a peyote button and its numerous alkaloids, but you could synthesize mescaline. And then, now, I don't know if mescaline is a single molecule, but-

[02:10:51] David Rabin: It is.

[02:10:51] Luke Storey: Okay. So, you could have that, you could synthesize 5-MeO-DMT, NN-DMT, et cetera, so these are single molecules and give them more controllability.

[02:11:03] David Rabin: Predictability.

[02:11:03] Luke Storey: Yeah, predictability.

[02:11:04] David Rabin: Right?

[02:11:05] Luke Storey: Yeah, that's interesting. You mentioned Amsterdam, and it seems like every time I turn around, there is another clinic outside of the US who's offering all of the different medicines in different countries, depending on the legality of them, is that not another kind of double-edged sword, where it's great if you go, okay, I'm going to fly to Costa Rica, or Mexico, or Amsterdam, or wherever, and sit in a shamanic ceremony or see a clinician to administer this medicine?

[02:11:38] I mean, what an amazing opportunity, right? You just got to get out of the US borders and you can kind of be home-free, so to speak. What do you perceive in terms of kind of the benefit detriment analysis of that? Is it a Wild West situation, where you're going to have just a bunch of the inappropriate uses of these medicines in Costa Rica, or Mexico, or something like that?

[02:12:02] David Rabin: Probably, it will be a mix, right? You will probably—I think you could only expect that while some people will be doing best practices that other people will not, and they'll be taking shortcuts, right? But I think when I was referring to Amsterdam as a partial example, it was about how they actually educate their people on drugs rather than saying, just don't do it. And I think that's really what it comes down to, is empowering each other and ourselves with knowledge.

[02:12:34] This stuff is known, right? It's not, not known, like it's known. Like anybody can go on Amazon or go to your local bookstore and order PiHKAL or TiHKAL, which are Sasha and Ann Shulgin's books that have been around for 20, 30 years, even more that talk about in extraordinary, lovely detail this incredible couples experiences synthesizing and testing with themselves and their friends like hundreds of different psychedelic substances, right?

[02:13:12] And there's a narrative part of those stories, and then there's also the individual like experiments part of those stories, and that is such an amazing source of knowledge that is so helpful just to like get your feet wet and understand how powerful these tools really are, and that dosage matters, right? Like dosage is more important than anything else. That's why if somebody passes you some white powder, make sure you know exactly what that is, right? Like white powder could be anything, especially in this day and age. 

[02:13:46] It could have been prepared on a table that previously had fentanyl on it. And even just a few micrograms of fentanyl, if you are not opioid tolerant, can literally stop you from breathing. And I know people who this has happened to. I mean, this is so important to—this level of education, it's like if we tell people, just don't do it, we already know that people will do what you tell them not to do, right?

[02:14:15] If you empower them with the knowledge and explain to them why they shouldn't do certain things, but maybe how to safely do other things, and how to decipher between what is safe and what is not safe, then you give people the autonomy to make better decisions on their own, and that is a sustainable outcome, right? That allows people to then pass that knowledge on to other people. It's empowering. If you hide or prevent people from accessing the knowledge, then they perpetuate ignorance.

[02:14:50] Not stupidity, but ignorance, meaning their ignoring of the facts, their ignoring of the information that's available to help guide them, right? So, if we encourage a society of mentorship, of apprenticeship, of knowledge dissemination, this is why we created The Psychedelic Clubhouse, right? This is why we created The Psychedelic News Hour was because we saw that Clubhouse had this incredible community and people were talking about psychedelics, and no one knew what they were talking about.

[02:15:17] And we were like, there are no doctors talking about this stuff. There's no one who actually practices with psychedelic medicine on social media, who uses these medicines in a clinical setting, who has the authority of like a physician or an expert psychotherapist, who could come on here and actually talk about how they work, what the latest evidence is, and empower people with knowledge that they can empower others with.

[02:15:40] And so, that was really that part of empowerment and educating our communities, is something that has been forgotten about in a lot of medicine, unfortunately. It's been forgotten about in a lot of other fields, too. And that was a huge part, motivated us to basically create that resource for people so that they, too, could understand it the way we understand it. Maybe not completely as well, but I think we could get people pretty close. And if we can do that, then that knowledge will spread, and it has. And we see it because people are starting to educate other people now in a similar way. It's really great.

[02:16:21] Luke Storey: Well, in the absence of indigenous shamanic lineage, that's all we've got, right?

[02:16:28] David Rabin: And in the absence of elders, right? We don't really have elders anymore in our society.

[02:16:32] Luke Storey: And our elders that would have been taking acid at Woodstock probably had a much different experience than what we're going for in terms of a therapeutic effect. But yeah, shoutout to your Clubhouse show, The Psychedelic News Hour. How often does that come out?

[02:16:46] David Rabin: Every Friday.

[02:16:46] Luke Storey: Every Friday at what time?

[02:16:48] David Rabin: Every Friday at 11:30, Pacific to 1:00 PM, Pacific? We just interviewed Paul Stamets last week, which was amazing.

[02:16:52] Luke Storey: Oh, nice. Nice.

[02:16:55] David Rabin: I have to look up who we're interviewing this week.

[02:16:57] Luke Storey: Cool. Well, this won't be out by the time that it airs anyway, but I want to send people to that. I know a lot of people use Clubhouse a lot. You know Ton Cole here in town?

[02:17:08] David Rabin: Yeah. And they're part of The Psychedelic Clubhouse as well.

[02:17:10] Luke Storey: Oh, okay, because Cole's on—she taught me how to use it, then I forgot, but she's on there all the time. She's like, Clubhouse is the best thing ever.

[02:17:17] David Rabin: She's a great educator, perfect example of somebody who empowers people with knowledge.

[02:17:21] Luke Storey: Yeah, for sure.

[02:17:22] David Rabin: Really admirable work.

[02:17:23] Luke Storey: Yeah, I agree. Well, dude, I think we covered it. Oh, no, we didn't. I wanted to ask you about one more molecule, because you mentioned that book, PiHKAL. And in that book, he, I think, states that 2CB was his favorite in that group of whatever it is.

[02:17:41] David Rabin: Phenylethylamines.

[02:17:42] Luke Storey: Yeah. And he's like, that's my shit. A couple of years back, a friend of mine who was working with the chemist doing a lot of creative things had a big bag of 2CB truffles. And at one point, he was kind of a provider and he's moving out of the provider space, so he said, I have a big bag of these if you want to buy them. It's amazing, and it's sort of like MDMA, but without the hangover, and I was like, wow, that sounds great, because I really don't like MDMA because of the speediness of it.

[02:18:11] He said, it's also more psychedelic, so I just bought a whole bag of 2CB. This was, of course, in another country when this happened, not in the United States, but anyway, they've been in my freezer for a couple of years now, and I've just, one night, I had a little like half of one, I think it's 18 milligrams and someone else I was with who will remain anonymous did maybe a quarter of one, and it took forever to come on, and it was done kind of in a bonding ceremonial way, I guess you could say, just an intimacy practice kind of thing.

[02:18:42] David Rabin: Did you do it fasting?

[02:18:45] Luke Storey: I don't know.

[02:18:46] David Rabin: That's probably why it took longer.

[02:18:47] Luke Storey: Yeah, but it took forever, and I was kind of like, I don't know, should I take more? But I know better. That's not what you do with psychedelics, usually.

[02:18:53] David Rabin: Especially 2CB.

[02:18:55] Luke Storey: Yeah, just wait. And I waited. And then, it's like, okay, something's happening, but it was kind of late, and I was kind of like, well, I don't really want this to happen now, so I didn't get a true sense of it, but people that are very knowledgeable about these things, that's like something people revere, it seems. So, do you have any experience with working with that, or do you see that as being another molecule that can be isolated and have some therapeutic value?

[02:19:20] David Rabin: I don't have experience working with 2CB, because it wasn't available in a legal setting for me to work with. I know lots of people who have used it. I know a lot of people have had great experiences with it, and I think that it is one of several molecules, if anybody who looks up PiHKAL, highly recommended, because it talks about how this is one molecule of a family of phenethylamines, which is the 2C family, and there's a bunch of them.

[02:19:54] There's 2CE, there's 2CB, I think, 2CI, and they're all slightly different in their effect. I remember that family stands out to me because 2CE was one of Sasha Shulgin's most miserable experiences, and he did it twice, and just felt like he was like, like he was like stuck in quicksand. It was really, really interesting, his account of that. But 2CB has been talked about and touted as one of the much more pleasant and therapeutic experiences for people, it's very gentle. And so, I think it's always stood out as something that we, as clinicians, would be excited to work with, but there just haven't been that many studies of it, if any. I don't think there's been any real human studies that have been of any significant size on 2CB.

[02:20:47] But one thing that I will say about 2CB, which is something very important I learned, maybe the most important part of it that I learned from Sasha Shulgin is that it is one of those molecules that has what we call a very narrow dose response window, which means that your—and it's also thought of as like the therapeutic window, which is when you start to feel the effects, the pleasant effects to when those pleasant effects turn into unpleasant effects. And it's a very narrow window, it's something between, I think it was something like—and unusually so compared to other psychedelics. It was like if you take 16 milligrams or something like that, is when you—I'm not going to get this exactly right, but it something like 14 to 16 milligrams is when you start to feel the pleasant effects of it.

[02:21:42] And then, around 20 milligrams is when you peak the pleasant effects. And he went to like 21 or 22, and felt like total garbage. And it was like—this is again going back to why dosing is so critical in understanding how these molecules interact with us, which is called the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and how what is going on in your body, like food, for instance, can impact the way the medicine comes on, and the timing, and how long it lasts. And so, 2CB is one of those ones that he warned, that Shulgin warned, you really have to be careful with the dosing, because if you take even just slightly too much, you can really ruin your day and the days of other people that you might be sharing it with.

[02:22:28] Luke Storey: Yeah, I've seen a bit of that research, just kind of feeling into whether or not I will find it a value, I just haven't had the opportunity to really have a true experience. I mean, probably because I don't know like a guide, or shaman, or someone who works with that, so it's like I have it, but I'm not trying to be a cowboy with it. But I have definitely read about that window and that people have horrific experiences when they try to like party with it. So, that's a word to the wise. Another thing about it, I think, that would be worth mentioning is, again, not anecdotally, but just based on research, is that because it's sort of in the party drug class of MDMA, that there's a lot of shady kind 2CB products on the black-

[02:23:11] David Rabin: Cutthroats.

[02:23:11] Luke Storey: Yeah, that it's actually very rare to get the real stuff, which is another reason why I just grabbed up a wholesale supply of it. But my friend that I was speaking to about it said that it's, if not, just difficult to synthesize the alchemical process of making it is somewhat dangerous, whatever you have to do just chemically. And so, that's why there's not a lot of it on the market, even the black market that is of high quality, that's extremely pure and safe. So, it's one of the sketchier ones kind of in the street drug category that one would want to be very mindful about. And that's why, apparently, it's so rare is it's a lot harder to make than MDMA or something like that.

[02:23:52] David Rabin: Yeah.

[02:23:52] Luke Storey: Yeah, or crystal meth or something that someone could just put together a little chemistry set and probably nail pretty close. But anyway, I'm glad I remember-

[02:24:00] David Rabin: Or, watch Breaking Bad, right?

[02:24:02] Luke Storey: Yeah, totally. You put a big vat of acid, and then you pour—when I was in rehab and I'll close on this, it's a funny story, I never liked crystal meth, but I still did it. You know what I mean? It was better than being me, even though the me that I became on, it was even worse. But when I was in rehab, there was this kind of biker guy in there, and he had been what he called a chef for a motorcycle gang in the Bay Area. And I was asking him, well, how do you make crystal meth? Because he was a cook, he cooked crystal meth. And he said-

[02:24:33] David Rabin: That kind of chef.

[02:24:34] Luke Storey: Yeah. He said, Luke, he said, I don't know if it was every or just almost every raw ingredient that you need to make good quality crystal meth has a skull and crossbones poison symbol on the container, like it's literally made out of poison, the whole thing. So, imagine how poisonous it is once you put them all together, right? I was like, oh, no wonder I never liked that stuff. It's the worst drug, the worst, God, it's just horrible.

[02:25:04] David Rabin: And also, just to that point, when you're using any medicine that's been synthesized in a laboratory that is like an underground lab that you don't know where it's coming from or how it's made and it hasn't been tested, there's always the possibility of contaminants in it, right? And those contaminants have an unexpected and can have an unexpected effects, like most MDMA that you buy on the street isn't contaminated with fentanyl, although sometimes, it is nowadays, unfortunately, because they're just sharing the same table space at the lab or the drug dealers, but it's usually contaminated with meth or cocaine, because it's easier to synthesize meth and it's easier to get cocaine, oftentimes, or bad cocaine than it is to get MDMA.

[02:25:51] And so, it gets contaminated. And if somebody is not doing a good extract—like there are two parts of the process, right? There's the process of actually synthesizing the active ingredient like the MDMA or the methamphetamine, which is the therapeutic ingredient that you're looking for from a biochemical organic chemistry perspective. Even in the pharmaceutical world, the same process is critical, right?

[02:26:19] It's the process of getting the core active ingredient you're looking for, and then eliminating as much of the solvent and the contaminants that you have to add to the process to get that purified compound. And in a lot of cases, there's still a little bit of residual stuff left in there that is chemical-based, or benzene-based, or not good for you, basically, that gets left in, because if the drugs are going to be sold on the street, there's no regulations that says that it has to be completely pure and not have any contaminants in it.

[02:26:55] Luke Storey: Nobody's checking. Yeah, it's not coming with a PDF report. I found a company a couple of years ago called Lift Mode, and you can get things like kanna extract and just cool like kind of psychoactive but not scheduled things, yohimbe, just Ayurvedic herbs, whatever, and they do really potent extracts. But what's really cool is when you are on their site and even when you order it, they send you the lab report, testing for metals and mold and any kind of contaminants.

[02:27:26] I mean, you have to just trust that the report's real. I figure, why would they go through all the trouble? But comes from a third-party lab? There's a date, the batch number, all of that stuff. And I was like, oh, that's really cool. I think that's kind of the way forward for things that are kind of in the gray zone of legality or things that are emerging from illegality to commonplace use as the actual third-party verification that whatever you're taking is what it's supposed to be, and that it doesn't have those contaminants. Super important.

[02:27:52] David Rabin: And there are places you can get your stuff tested, right? Like even if you just happen to have something or somebody gave you something, then it's not like the testing isn't available, you can order testing kits. I think Dan Safe has resources for testing. Dan Safe is great. And there are others. Erowid has sources for testing. So, test your stuff if you have any concerns at all, that you don't know where this something came from, and especially if it's some kind of crystally powder of any sort, get that stuff tested. Make sure that you can be—because that adds an element of a lack of safety, right?

[02:28:29] Like if you're entering into an experience that you would consider to be a sacred experience for healing, and then you're not sure that your medicine is safe, then there's part of you that's not going to feel safe in that experience. You might feel poisoned, right? And you can manifest that with your own mind, to the point that we manifest a lot of our own experiences, and to the point you made earlier when you were saying, I want to abort from my 5-MeO-DMT, I've never heard of anybody aborting successfully one of those experiences.

[02:28:58] Luke Storey: Yeah, no, didn't work.

[02:28:59] David Rabin: But I have known people, my patients in particular. I've had multiple patients who are very, usually, a little bit more on the anxious side, a little more on the ego protective side, where they literally like just as testament to the power of the mind, that they will be under the influence of ketamine, which is a very, very powerful medicine, and they will be fairly deep into an experience with a fairly high dose, whether it's usually the cases that are most profound here or the ones where they actually go into a clinic with one of my colleagues and they're doing an infusion or something like that, and then I'll do the therapy with them before and after, and we'll be talking, and they'll be like, yeah, I felt uncomfortable, and I just was like, I want this to stop, and I shut the entire experience down.

[02:29:45] And I'm like, wow. Like for you to be—like do you even know what you just did? Like you changed your brain and body's ability to interact with a chemical with your mind power? Right? Talk about mind power. Talk about efficacy and empowerment, right? Even though you might have felt like you've ruined your experience by resisting it, you showed yourself that you have quite a bit of power in your mind to be able to control your experience and the outcome. That should make you feel pretty good. And so, it's interesting how you can work with somebody to help them understand how to get to their goal, even though they may have felt like a failure for not leaning in and getting them on their own. The mind is such an incredible thing. We understand so little.

[02:30:42] Luke Storey: Yeah, that's wild, to be able to override that. That's unimaginable.

[02:30:46] David Rabin: And I've known people who've done with ayahuasca, too. I've known people who have had like two to three drinks and not experienced a thing.

[02:30:54] Luke Storey: Yeah, I read that happened twice. Yeah, that was very strange.

[02:30:59] David Rabin: It's very interesting. 

[02:31:00] Luke Storey: Yeah, it's a long night. I mean, in Spanish, they have a word for it from South America, it's a nada, right? It's like you're going to get seemingly nothing, although I have had profound insights that have come in medicine where I don't subjectively "feel anything". And then, just laying there, going on, oh, man, how much longer do we have? I didn't drink enough, and they already put it away, and I had one very profound insight in such an incidence. Actually, it was life-changing, and it wasn't a hallucination, a vision, or anything.

[02:31:32] It was just like a thought went [making sounds] you ever thought about this like this? Shit. That's what happened. Very interesting. Okay. So, I want to remind people they can go to apolloneuro.com and use the code, LukeStorey15, if they want to check out the Apollo. Thank you for sharing so much of the details around that. I'm a guy that wants to know how things work. So, thank you for going there into the depths of how it works. Very fascinating stuff. My final question for you, Dave, is, who have been three teachers are teachings that have influenced your work that you might share with us?

[02:32:07] David Rabin: That's a good question. I would say, Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements, which are, always do your best—four agreements that we make with ourselves for an intentional life and a life that's aligned with our goals. So, always do your best, always be true to your word, don't make expectations, and don't take anything personally.

[02:32:33] Luke Storey: Oh, that's what the four agreements are? I've had that book for years and I've never read it.

[02:32:37] David Rabin: Yeah, I mean-

[02:32:37] Luke Storey: I'm just like, I'll get around to it and I never do. Now, I don't have to read it.

[02:32:41] David Rabin: Yeah, read it if you feel like it. It puts it into a very practical standpoint when you read it. But those are the four agreements, and those are really powerful tools. And I think another who we talked about earlier, another person who's been really inspirational to me is Eric Kandel, who lived through the Holocaust, and escaped from Vienna to come to the US, and became one of the foremost psychiatrists and neuroscientists, who actually won the Nobel Prize in 2002 for discovering how our memory works, basically, and that it's not unique to humans.

[02:33:22] It actually goes back, the mechanism of memory and the way we form new neurons and neural connections goes back hundreds of millions of years to ancient sea snails that only have 12,000 neurons. And we have like 100 billion neurons, right? So, these ideas are not unique to us. Like we may think that consciousness is unique to us, it's not. Consciousness is universal, right? It's much older than we could ever imagine, which is really cool and such elegant work.

[02:33:52] And then, the other person who has been very inspirational to me lately, who we might have talked about at one time is Rachel Yehuda, who is the Director of Trauma, the Department of Trauma and Psychedelic Psychotherapy at Mount Sinai Hospital currently. And she discovered, against great adversity when she was at Yale years ago, she discovered that cortisol genes were decreased in—and cortisol itself was decreased in activity in people who had PTSD. And up until that point, everyone thought the opposite.

[02:34:29] Luke Storey: I would think the opposite.

[02:34:31] David Rabin: Right. Everybody was like, because in other disorders and other stress disorders, cortisol is increased. But in people who have PTSD, it turns out that these people actually have decreased levels of cortisol, and everybody thought she was wrong, and nobody knew why what she was finding, she was finding. And she stuck with it and pushed against the adversity and continued to get the same result over and over again through studying Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and found that, fascinatingly enough, as you push the envelope, that she found out the reason.

[02:35:04] The reason is because when people experience chronic stress over time and trauma compounded over time, time being a critical factor, that it causes changes to the methylation patterns or the epigenetic regulation of the cortisol genes, so that the environmental experience of that trauma over time causes changes to the expression patterns, and the way that our body's not just in our brains, but in our whole bodies regulate the expression of cortisol receptor genes, and lots of other genes that we don't necessarily understand yet.

[02:35:45] And now, her findings have been replicated in mice and rats in causal ways to show that if you traumatize these animals in different manners and train their fear response, they have epigenetic changes to these genes, and that not only are those changes happening in the animals that have been traumatized, but they get passed on over generations. So, if you don't resolve or what we call extinguish the fear response that was associated with that traumatic event, then it will be passed on for multiple generations.

[02:36:20] Luke Storey: Holy shit.

[02:36:21] David Rabin: And if you extinguish that response using behavioral techniques as one example, you can remediate that epigenetic gene expression change. I mean, that is groundbreaking work.

[02:36:34] Luke Storey: So, that scientifically validates ancestral trauma. It's something you hear a lot in shamanic work, is that you're processing something from your grandfather, and this, and that or in the case of Holocaust survivors, one would assume that in your lineage, even though it was your grandmother that was in that situation, that there's got to be some effect on you down the line, but how do you prove it? I guess she did, huh?

[02:36:59] David Rabin: Yeah.

[02:37:00] Luke Storey: That's wild. Wow. That really speaks to the collective trauma of large swaths of people. I mean, think of all the indigenous people that have been harmed and subjugated in so many ways.

[02:37:15] David Rabin: And not had the opportunity for healing.

[02:37:17] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[02:37:18] David Rabin: And then, that trauma gets passed on and amplified over time for potentially who knows how many generations that it continues on, because they haven't had those healing opportunities that they deserve, that should be available to them. It's not enough to just say, like, we're sorry. It's like there needs to be like a real opportunity for healing that is intentionally curated that honors those people, and honors them for their struggle and what they've been through, and that hasn't really happened, right? It's kind of been like a half-assed thing, but it hasn't really happened in that way. And I'm hopeful that we will get there in this generation. I really am. I think that it's close, but we're not there yet, and we have a lot to do.

[02:38:07] Luke Storey: I'm hopeful, too. I mean, I was thinking about that. I'm writing a book, and so I'm looking at some of my family history and things like that, seeing what's been passed on, and there's a lot of trauma and just craziness in my family, as there are for many of us. And I was thinking about myself and my younger brother, who's kind of followed the path of recovery, and really working on himself, and I realize that it's like the buck stops here. When and if I have kids and he has kids, they're going to have a completely different experience as a result of the work that we've done on healing trauma through all the different ways that it can be done.

[02:38:45] I mean, I'm not going to traumatize my kid. I'm sure I'll make mistakes, and be a dumbass, and be imperfect, but I won't do the things that happened to me. No way, not going to happen, not only because of the kind of moral compass that I've been able to develop, but those wounds within me have been healed, I think, and hope to the point where I wouldn't be passing on those same patterns of behavior, because just the impulse to act that way is not there anymore. The impulse to act with love, and empathy, and compassion is more exercised, right?

[02:39:21] David Rabin: And we all have a little bit of trauma in us, right? We've all had, somewhere down the line, whether it's in our memory or whether it's beneath our memory and our subconscious, almost all of us have had some degree of traumatic or self-invalidating experience. It's very rare for anyone to not have had something go on that shifted your sense of self, or your sense of self-worth, or what have you. And to your point, it's quite empowering to know that we have the choice to stop the cycle, right?

[02:39:52] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[02:39:53] David Rabin: It's literally a choice that we have at any moment in every moment. In every moment of our lives, we have the choice to stop that cycle. And if we choose to deny the fact that we've been traumatized or deny the fact that we've had bad things happen to us that might still need to be processed or worked on, or shame or guilt ourselves for having had that stuff happen, and so it gets repressed or suppressed and not dealt with, then we do know that it will come out into other people.

[02:40:25] It will come out into other people in our communities. And it will be inflicted unintentionally on other people in our families as well and our children, right? And so, there really is an incentive to use this knowledge that we now have from all of these wonderful people, like Eric, and Rachel, to accept that what we know is useful information that we have the ability to stop that cycle right now.

[02:40:54] Luke Storey: So cool.

[02:40:55] David Rabin: It's pretty cool.

[02:40:56] Luke Storey: Wow. So empowering, especially if you come from a lineage of traumatized, victimized people, and you can face and heal that, then not only, yeah, because it's not only that you're not then going to perpetuate that behavior and model that behavior, it's that the epigenetics of that, I guess, programming of those neural pathways is actually going to be healed and not present anymore when you procreate.

[02:41:18] David Rabin: At least that's what it seems like.

[02:41:19] Luke Storey: Yeah, I'm going to go with that.

[02:41:21] David Rabin: I mean, that's what the—we don't know for sure 100%, but the evidence is supporting that. And that's really cool, right? Like what could be more empowering than to know that if you come from a really, really tough background or that you had trauma in your own life, that by doing the work, you can actually be the arbiter of your own destiny? You can be the agent of your own future, right? Like, that's pretty freaking wild.

[02:41:53] Luke Storey: Yeah. And it goes back to that point of projection earlier, too, this tendency for human beings to look outside of themselves and perceive that things should be different and that things are unjust, which they often are, but that the outward expression of our desire to help can often be ineffective, and sometimes, destructive, when what's really needed often is a mirror to go, what is it within me? Right? It's the same kind of phenomenon. That's incredible.

[02:42:23] David Rabin: It's almost always what's needed, is that breakthrough.

[02:42:25] Luke Storey: Yeah. So, it's kind of like working on your own consciousness expansion and healing is really the best way to help, at least in the beginning. And perhaps, your decisions about what actions to take might be informed from a more healed perspective and be absent of a lot of that projection and well-meaning actions that actually do harm or are just ineffective. Goddamn. I love talking to you, dude.

[02:42:53] David Rabin: Likewise. Thanks so much for having me.

[02:42:55] Luke Storey: We're almost three hours in, dude. For anyone listening at this point, I want to say, God bless you, man. Thank you so much for hanging with us. And it speaks to a lot that someone would spend this much time listening to a conversation around these topics. So, I always like to thank the diehards at the end of long interviews, because that's how I am. I mean, if somebody gets on a good roll and I'm passionate about it, I don't care how long it is, if it takes me three sittings. Man, I burn through audio books that are hours and hours long, because I'm just so passionate about the content. So, thank you for you, your work, your heart, your mind, everything you brought here today, man. It's so great.

[02:43:28] David Rabin: My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me. It's great to do this in person.

[02:43:31] Luke Storey: Yeah, it is. Other than apolloneuro.com, do you want to direct anyone to your Clubhouse, your personal website? Where can people find more about you?

[02:43:39] David Rabin: Sure. You can find my personal work at drdave.io, which is my clinical practice website, and has lots of details, and information, and more podcasts, and things like that on there for people who are interested. And then, on Clubhouse, I'm @Dr.Dave, and on-

[02:43:59] Luke Storey: Damn. You must have been an early adopter if you got that handle.

[02:44:04] David Rabin: We were lucky to be some of the earlier folks, I think we're in the first like 5,000 people in there or something like that, which is great, because it allowed us to educate that much more with the club, which is really cool. And really grateful to Paul, and Stephanie, and Rohan, who have made Clubhouse such a success, and such a free place to speak your mind and also feel like you're part of a community, which is so cool, particularly when we're more isolated now than we've been in a while and hopefully coming back to community. And then, also, please reach out to me on Twitter @DaveRabin, or on Instagram @DrDavidRabin. And I always love to hear from everybody, and it's nice to stay in touch.

[02:44:43] Luke Storey: Yeah, awesome, man. Thank you.


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