episode #348

Understanding Stress, HRV & Feeling Safe as a Woman with Dr. David Rabin


Dr. David Rabin, armed with a medical degree and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Albany Medical College, guides us through the realms of distress, bad stress, and eustress, the good stress that can benefit us – with exercise as a prime example. The conversation unravels the collective stress epidemic and delves into the physiological consequences of chronic inflammation and stress.

“We can remind ourselves through mindfulness and self-awareness practices that email and traffic are not actually threatening to our survival.” Dr. David Rabin

Dr. Rabin shares his insights on mechanisms and interventions that can enhance parasympathetic function. From breathing exercises to meditation, Dr. Estima and Dr. Rabin explore a vast array of tools for healing. Heart rate variability takes center stage, becoming a crucial predictor for longevity. The duo explores its origins, manipulability, and the intriguing variations between individuals – addressing questions about age, genetics, and nutrition and their impact on HRV.

Dr. Estima and Dr. Rabin also venture into the fascinating realm of the female stress response and feeling safe, uncovering the unique and distinct ways women navigate stress compared to their male counterparts. The exploration of this topic promises an engaging and enlightening discussion that sets this episode apart.

Episode Overview:

0:00 Intro
00:40 Understanding the Difference Between Eustress and Distress
Individual Responses to Stress Based on Personal History
07:16 The Meaning of Wearing Masks: Personal Choice or Political Statement?
Training the Mind-Body Connection for Resilience
Collective Distress and Hyper-vigilance in Society
The Connection Between Stress and Learning Difficulties
24:04 The Primitive Stress Response: Survival Threats and Fear
Biomarkers for Stress and Sympathetic Dominance
Understanding Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Its Significance
Factors Affecting HRV: Individual Differences and Upward Trends
The Importance of Feeling Safe for Sleep and Health
The Benefits of Soothing Touch and Apollo Wearable
Introducing Apollo Neuro: Frequencies for Body Wellness
The Benefits of Apollo Neuro for Sleep and Recovery


Dr. Dave Rabin, MD, PhD, is a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist and Executive Director of The Board of Medicine, who is one of only a handful of psychedelic experts duly credentialed as an MD and PhD and practicing ketamine and MDMA-assisted therapy with his patients. As a leader in the psychedelic field, he published in Journal of Affective Disorders on July 1, 2023, calling for the medical community to join together to establish best practices for psychedelic medicine ahead of the anticipated legalization in 2024 of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, and psilocybin therapy for depression disorders. In 15 years of studying the impact of chronic stress in humans, he focuses on non-invasive therapies for treatment-resistant illnesses. His primary research on MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD was published in Frontiers in Psychiatry February 6, 2023, and shows trauma can be reversed at the genetic level, offering hope of a cure. He is also the Co-founder & Chief Medical Officer at Apollo Neuroscience, the first scientifically-validated wearable technology to improve heart rate variability, focus, relaxation, and access to meditative states by delivering gentle vibrations to the body. He received his MD in medicine and PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and specialized in psychiatry with a distinction in research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He splits his time between upstate New York and the Bay Area.

Resources mentioned:

Social @drdavidrabin

We are grateful to our sponsors:


Equip Foods Prime Protein is a complete beef protein with the nutritional equivalent of a 4-ounce grass-fed beef. But it tastes like dessert, not beef. So head over to equipfoods.com/better and use code better at checkout. It is going to give you a whopping 20% off of your entire order.


A consequence of aging is declining mitochondria. Mitopure helps to improve energy so that you can continue to engage in the activities you love. Go to timelinenutrition.com/better and the code will be “BETTER” for 10% off your order.

Bon Charge

If you want glowing, younger, firmer-looking skin this year with minimal effort or time without really changing your usual day or night routine, head over to boncharge.com/better and use the discount code better at checkout and that gives you 15% off your entire cart.

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!