I had the pleasure to interview Lee Gerdes. Lee is the founder and CEO of Cereset, a wellness company helping its clients manage stress, restore hope and achieve restful sleep through its patented BrainEcho™ technology. Gerdes, who is an experienced computer software engineer with a background in math, physics, clinical psychology and theology, created Cereset to ease his own stress and restless nights following a violent physical attack that left him traumatized. His proprietary algorithms have been used to help 130,000 clients worldwide and has been the subject of several successful clinical trials conducted by Wake Forest University and the U.S. Military.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
In a single night back in 1992 everything in my life changed for the worst. I was attacked and assaulted by 4 young men, including one who struck me in the head with a baseball bat. From that point on, and for the next 8 years, I experienced extreme anxiety, sleepless nights and fits of anger. Nothing I tried to provide relief helped. In fact, everything the doctors tried actually made my symptoms worse rather than better. I felt like I was on the road to Hell. The long-lasting effects of brain trauma are very similar to what soldiers with PTSD experience. Finally, desperate to the point of considering self-harm to end the pain, I determined to find a way to help myself. That journey set me on my current career path. It was really less a choice, than a last ditch effort to recover a sense of normalcy. Discovering how to relax my brain and enable it to reset itself truly saved my life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Since being assaulted, I’ve dedicated my life to helping others similarly challenged. My greatest joy today is seeing the transformation in people’s lives we’ve been able to help. There are many, many stories which come to mind, but one recent story in particular made a powerful impression on me. Through the use of our Cereset technology, I witnessed the miraculous transformation of a woman who had been experiencing severe abuse for decades. Miraculously, I observed a dramatic change in her countenance in just one week of sessions — setting in motion a new life of possibilities for her. The change I witnessed in this woman reinvigorated my mission to restore hope to millions of sufferers, inspiring me to develop a franchise business model that will enable us to help exponentially more sufferers.
Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
The brain is an amazingly complex and capable part of your body but sometimes it needs a little help. Life today is more stressful then ever and that can lead to a stress imbalance in the brain causing trouble sleeping, feelings of restlessness an inability to focus or a lack of joy. Cereset’s patented BrainEcho technology uses reflection and resonance of the brain’s own rhythms to help the brain relax, reset and rebalance itself. When the brain is relaxed and balanced it is better able to handle stress.
A freshman college football player had two concussions in a week’s time. He had no ability to sleep and his life was out of control. His parents recorded some of the incredible issues to show their doctor — relaxing the brain in a few days of Cereset sessions enabled the brain to find its own way home. The brain orchestrates healing of a cut and can orchestrate its own self-healing when relaxed.
The Cereset process is non-invasive, natural and safe. No medications or outside stimuli of any kind are used. At Cereset we’re always looking to enhance the products and services we provide our clients. This past two years Cereset emerged from a legacy technology which required 20 to 30 hours of client time and as much as a year of training to use the technology properly. Now, the Cereset technology requires only 6 hours of client time and only about two weeks of training for a technician to be highly skilled because the computer software makes all of the relaxation decisions in real time without human intervention.
How do you think this might change the world?
With the improvements we have made, Cereset will be able to help more people in less time than ever before. It is exciting to know that children to very elderly can now have a means to self-improve and self-heal with Cereset as their brains are relaxed to provide them restful and restorative sleep.
Keeping the “Black Mirror” TV show in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
Cereset will enable individuals to heal themselves of many symptoms and behaviors very readily. The drawback to this may be how medical and behavioral health professionals will try to insist on a medication, therapy, or modality which is actually adversarial to the self-healing paradigm.
For example, many therapies, medications, and modalities actually cause the brain to move toward a parasympathetic dominance (or numbing) for the individual. And, although the individual patient may not “feel” as bad because they are numbed, their life and health may be compromised because of the numbing. Additionally, even when someone is numbed, that does not correct the actual issue that caused the difficult in the first place.
There is work to do to integrate this new technology into a wider scope of traditional healing modalities. The client will be “caught” in the middle for some time with two centers of influence trying to get them to “take this med/therapy/modality” or “titrate off of all meds possible by working with your doctor and try to relax your brain with Cereset for self-healing”. It is a tension, but a natural tension appropriate for any major shift in understanding.
The beauty of it is that ultimately Cereset cannot itself do harm since it is fully non-invasive. The danger is that coming out of a numb state after using a med or modality which numbs may feel a bit worse before it feels better.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
The tipping point was realizing that we can help a lot of people very efficiently. That does not mean that everyone is going to be supportive of Cereset doing that but — oh well. OUR MISSION is to help people, and if we are going to have integrity — practice what we contend is our purpose — then we need to move forward with Cereset as fast and as powerfully as we are able. Untold millions of people can benefit.
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
Cereset offices need to be readily available. Though we will soon have 25 offices open, there ultimately needs to be thousands of times that many. As the news of the evidence of Cereset BrainEcho technology spreads, many things will change.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
We partnered with marketing and public relations firms we hired to build a solid communications platform that gives us a breadth of options to reach prospective clients and communicate effectively with franchisees. As part of that effort a new franchise company was formed with a new name and corporate identity. Relatedly, a new website has been developed as well as an advertising kit for our franchisees use in their local marketing efforts. The kit includes radio spots, direct mailers, promotional advertising, signage, etc.
We are also increasingly being invited to speak at national conferences, such as the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine (ACIM), and we are getting good traction with our PR efforts. We’re using social media and webinars to begin an ongoing dialogue with our customers and franchisees.
I’m also the Principal Investigator for a $2.8M Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) for mild-Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and associated symptoms. This is a randomized controlled trial at two different locations (USUHS/Walter Reed Hospital and Fort Bragg, NC) to provide further evidence of Cereset’s power to unleash self-healing by simply relaxing the brain.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Dr. Charles Tegeler, neurologist and researcher at Wake Forest School of Medicine contacted me in 2010, inquiring about our technology. I explained how and why the technology worked to support the brain’s ability to change itself. Doctor Tegeler visited us in Arizona to experience the technology first-hand for himself and his daughter. Their success as clients in mitigating his daughter’s migraines and his own heart arrhythmia was the beginning of a lasting relationship. Doctor Tegeler worked with us to conduct clinical trials with over 500 patients suffering from migraines, insomnia, PTSD, post-concussion, hot flashes for post-menopausal women, and postural orthostatic tachycardia. Working together with Dr. Tegeler, as a careful scientist and someone also recognizing the power of the human brain to heal itself, has been a remarkable privilege.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Just this past year Cereset technology has been employed to assist missionaries working in third world countries, refugee children in Iraq and over many veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Many of these clients were served at a much reduced fee.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Not everyone will be happy with a new wellness technology regardless of how effective it
is. I made an assumption that health and wellness professionals would embrace a new way to assist other’s wellbeing. I completely over looked the reality that Cereset might be disruptive and threaten some people. I wasn’t prepared for the professional isolation and pushback we have encountered. We’re still learning how to make our story more attractive to other health and wellness professionals.
2. When you have a product like Cereset that is able to help so many people, your heart can get tangled up in your business. We’ve spent a lot of time and resources assisting those showing up at our door in need, even when they didn’t have the resources to pay us. Though I certainly don’t regret any of that, it has nonetheless impacted a more rapid expansion of our business
3. I’ve learned it is far better to contract highly capable consultants than to hire employees with a similar skill set. Hiring the best full-time employees in their field is simply not affordable for a resource constrained small business trying to get off the ground. Conversely, when building a business, we need the top people in order to produce the best and lasting results. For us, contracting with the best when we need them has been the way to go. I’ve found this to be particularly true for all of our branding and communications needs.
4. Sometimes “making” something happen is worse than letting something not happen. Building a business is immensely hard work. Though I justified working hard and spending long hours for the greater good and for what I believed — it made me ill and nearly killed me. Fortunately for me I had Cereset to help bring me to my senses and recover from lung and lymph cancer. Today I’m viewing things from a different perspective and focusing on ways to take better care of myself.
5. “Build it and they will come” is really NOT true. Not only does it require genius in branding/marketing to take a new technology to the world, it can best be done via collegial data gathering with first adopters. We use Basecamp for Cereset to share information among 25 different offices in order to build the Cereset franchise system as tight and as efficient as is possible.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would love to see Cereset used universally to help children’s cognitive performance, compassion, and creativity, all of which are enhanced with a brain that is balanced. What could possibly be better than providing a means of enhancing those capabilities at such a young age and allowing those children to perform up to their maximum potential.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
That would probably be, “Sometimes fertilizer isn’t that great to smell but it can grow some incredibly beautiful flowers.” I was assaulted and for 8 years dealt with the aftermath of that incident in a highly compromised manner. Yet from that incident, a technology which has helped over 130,000 people so far, and millions in the future, was spawned. Sometimes the very big problems we encounter in life can be the greatest of all gifts to the problem recipient and for many others in the world.
Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Cereset is unlike the universal convenience and connectivity created by the cell phone — it is actually much more profound since it is capable of increasing humankind’s potential as well as love and compassion on the planet.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@WeAreCerest at FaceBook, Twitter and Instgram
Lee Gerdes on Linked In.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.