An interview with Sarah Turner, CEO & Co-Founder CeraThrive on September 6, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Sarah Turner has a postgraduate degree in Clinical Neuroscience from Roehampton University in London. She also holds BSc degrees in Psychological Sciences and Nutritional Medicine from Westminster University and Thames Valley University, respectively. Currently, she is pursuing a diploma in Photobiomodulation at the University of Montpellier in France. During the initial decade of her career, Sarah worked as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. Her role involved planning and conducting experiments to examine the impact of electrostatics on physiology.
Please tell me a little about your background.
Sarah actively participates in the Biohacker movement and has had the opportunity to interview prominent thought leaders, visionaries, and experts in the field of Biohacking. Through these interactions, she has gained a deep understanding of the crucial role of physics in relation to biology. This has ignited her interest in the areas of quantum biology in health, photomedicine, and consciousness studies. Sarah’s primary focus lies in photobiomodulation, which involves utilizing specific light wavelengths and pulsed frequencies to enhance optimal functioning, with a specific emphasis on brain-related issues. As the Co-Founder and CEO of CeraThrive, she spearheads the production of a red light therapy system that specifically targets the gut-brain connection.
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
I advocate for the use of red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, to promote brain wellness. My interest in this field began when I participated in a clinical study on transcranial photobiomodulation for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Through this experience, I witnessed firsthand how photobiomodulation helped reduce symptoms. Currently, I cannot market my own red light therapy system specifically for PD due to the lack of clinical data meeting the necessary criteria for this health claim. However, my goal is to target the gut-brain connection to assist individuals in improving their overall health journey, ultimately leading to better gut and brain function. I’m actively involved in gathering the clinical data required, and I’m hopeful that in the near future, a valid health claim for PD will be possible. My ultimate aim is to contribute to this progress.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
My passion lies in health optimization, with a particular focus on brain health. I’m deeply motivated to explore how we can enhance and preserve our cognitive well-being. I strongly believe that there are numerous lifestyle practices and innovative neurotechnologies, such as light therapy, that can play a pivotal role in preventing brain diseases. My mission is to educate individuals about these strategies, empowering them to take proactive steps in preventing neurodegeneration and mitigating its symptoms.
Furthermore, I’m committed to supporting research efforts aimed at finding a cure for diseases like Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I believe that with continued research and advancements in the field, we have the potential to develop treatments that can lead to a cure for such conditions. My involvement in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure stems from this passion for improving brain health and the conviction that we can make significant strides towards better outcomes for individuals affected by these diseases.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when seeing your advocacy?
Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) who seek my advocacy typically have specific goals related to their condition and the use of red light therapy. These goals often revolve around:
Symptom Reduction: The primary goal for many individuals with PD is to reduce the severity of their symptoms. They hope that by incorporating red light therapy into their treatment regimen, they can experience relief from common PD symptoms like tremors, stiffness, and bradykinesia.
Improved Quality of Life: People with PD aspire to regain a higher quality of life. They aim to reclaim some of the activities and hobbies they enjoyed before the onset of the disease. Red light therapy may offer a potential path to achieving this by alleviating symptoms that may have limited their participation in these activities.
Greater Independence: Independence is a crucial goal for individuals with PD. Many wish to reduce their reliance on caregivers or assistive devices, such as walkers or wheelchairs. Red light therapy could potentially aid in improving mobility and motor function, contributing to increased independence in daily life.
In summary, the goals of individuals with Parkinson’s who turn to my advocacy often center around symptom reduction, regaining a higher quality of life through resumed activities, and achieving greater independence by addressing the challenges posed by the disease. Red light therapy is viewed as a promising avenue to help them work towards these objectives.
What type of training and how long are the programs?
The training and program for the CERA System and red light therapy are relatively straightforward:
Duration of Therapy: The therapy involves using the CERA System for 10 minutes per day, three to five times per week. This minimal time commitment makes it feasible for individuals to incorporate into their daily routines.
Initial Consultation: When starting this therapy, it is recommended that individuals consult with a brain coach. Additionally, involving their healthcare professional in the process is advisable to monitor progress and ensure that the therapy aligns with their specific health needs and goals.
Progress Timeline: Effects from the therapy may become noticeable within weeks or months, although individual responses may vary. It’s crucial to understand that the therapy’s effectiveness depends on consistency.
Consistency is Key: The most critical aspect of this therapy is regular and consistent use. To achieve meaningful results, individuals are encouraged to use the CERA System consistently for at least 3-6 months. Discontinuing the therapy may lead to a return of symptoms, so continued use is often considered the most effective approach.
In summary, the training and program for the CERA System involve a minimal time commitment of 10 minutes per day, three to five times per week. An initial consultation with a brain coach and involvement of a healthcare professional are recommended. The timeline for experiencing effects varies among individuals, and the therapy’s success relies on consistent and ongoing use..
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
My advocacy, focused on the use of red light therapy for brain wellness, can potentially have a positive impact on individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), although I cannot make specific claims regarding PD due to regulatory restrictions. However, based on documented research, individuals using red and near-infrared light therapy on a regular basis, applied to both the head and body, may experience the following potential benefits:
Memory Improvement: Red light therapy has shown promise in improving memory function. Individuals with PD may find that their cognitive abilities, including memory, could benefit from this therapy.
Better Sleep: Red light therapy has been associated with improvements in sleep quality. PD patients who struggle with sleep disturbances might experience enhanced sleep patterns.
Enhanced Motor Control: While I can’t claim PD-specific benefits, some studies suggest that red light therapy may help improve motor control and movement. This could be particularly relevant for individuals dealing with Parkinson’s-related motor symptoms.
Stress Reduction: Red light therapy may contribute to reducing stress levels. PD patients often face stress due to their condition, and this therapy may help in managing stress-related symptoms.
Anxiety Reduction: Similarly, some individuals with PD experience anxiety, and red light therapy might offer a complementary approach to reducing anxiety symptoms.
Cognition Enhancement: Research has indicated that red light therapy can enhance cognitive function. This could potentially benefit individuals with PD who want to maintain or improve their cognitive abilities.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
As an advocate for photobiomodulation (PBM) and its potential benefits for brain health and conditions like Parkinson’s Disease (PD), my future goals for this advocacy include:
Standard of Care: I aim to see photobiomodulation recognized and integrated as a standard component of care for individuals diagnosed with PD. This would involve healthcare professionals considering PBM as a complementary therapy to help manage and alleviate PD symptoms, alongside existing treatments.
Preventative Use: I hope to promote the proactive use of PBM as a preventative therapy. This means encouraging individuals to incorporate PBM into their health and wellness routines to potentially delay or even halt the onset of PD symptoms. Preventative approaches could potentially make a significant impact on reducing the overall burden of neurodegenerative diseases.
Increased Awareness: I aspire to raise greater awareness about the potential benefits of PBM, not only for PD but also for various other brain-related conditions. Increasing awareness among healthcare providers, researchers, and the general public can lead to more widespread adoption and research into its efficacy.
Research and Clinical Validation: Continued research and clinical studies are essential to establish the effectiveness of PBM in specific neurological conditions. I hope to see increased investment in research to provide a robust evidence base for the use of PBM in neurological disorders.
Accessibility: Making PBM devices and therapies more accessible and affordable to a broader range of individuals is another critical goal. This includes addressing cost barriers and ensuring that individuals from diverse backgrounds can benefit from this therapy.
Collaboration: Collaboration among researchers, healthcare professionals, and advocates in the field of PBM is essential. I aim to foster partnerships and cooperation to accelerate advancements in understanding and implementing PBM for brain health.
Ultimately, my advocacy seeks to empower individuals with knowledge about PBM’s potential, advocate for its recognition in healthcare protocols, and contribute to a future where PBM plays a pivotal role in promoting brain wellness and improving the lives of those affected by neurological conditions like PD.
What events do you participate in?
I actively participate in a wide range of events and conferences to promote awareness and knowledge about photobiomodulation (PBM) and its applications. Some of the events I engage in include:
Biohacking Conferences: I attend various biohacking conferences, where I not only participate but also often speak on the topic of PBM and its potential for improving health and wellness.
A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine): I am involved in events like A4M, which cater to anti-aging professionals. Here, I likely share insights on how PBM can contribute to the anti-aging field and overall well-being.
CES (Consumer Electronics Show): I participate in CES, one of the largest consumer electronics shows globally. This platform allows me to showcase the latest advancements in PBM technology and its applications.
WALT (World Association for Light Therapy): I am planning to attend WALT, an event focused on light therapy. This provides an opportunity to network with experts and researchers in the field of light therapy and share my insights.
Teaching and Education: I have completed the first university diploma in photobiomodulation and am actively involved in teaching on courses related to neurology. This demonstrates my commitment to educating others about the potential of PBM.
International Outreach: I take my advocacy for PBM to various countries and diverse groups, aiming to reach a broad and global audience to spread awareness about its benefits.
How does your advocacy also assist caregivers?
My advocacy for photobiomodulation (PBM) not only focuses on individuals with health conditions like Parkinson’s Disease but also extends its benefits to caregivers. Caregivers often experience significant stress and anxiety due to the challenges of caring for someone with a chronic condition. Here’s how my advocacy can assist caregivers:
Stress Reduction: PBM has the potential to reduce stress and anxiety, which can benefit caregivers who may experience high levels of emotional strain in their role.
Improved Well-Being: By promoting brain wellness and overall health, PBM can help caregivers maintain their physical and mental well-being, which is crucial for their ability to provide effective care.
Time-Efficiency: The CERA System’s simplicity and short treatment time (10 minutes) make it feasible for caregivers to incorporate into their busy schedules. They can use it while attending to their caregiving responsibilities.
Family Involvement: PBM can be used by all family members, including caregivers, creating a shared approach to health and wellness within the household. This can foster a supportive and cohesive caregiving environment.
Enhanced Resilience: Caregivers who prioritize their own well-being are better equipped to provide consistent care and support to their loved ones. PBM can contribute to their resilience and ability to cope with the challenges of caregiving.
In summary, my advocacy encourages caregivers to consider using PBM as a means to manage stress, support their own health and wellness, and maintain their capacity to provide effective care. The CERA System’s convenience and short treatment time make it accessible for caregivers to incorporate into their daily routines, promoting better overall well-being for both caregivers and the individuals they care for.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
Becoming an advocate for awareness about red light therapy and its therapeutic benefits is an important way to contribute to its recognition and adoption. Here are steps others can take to become advocates:
Educate Yourself: Start by learning as much as you can about red light therapy, its mechanisms, benefits, and potential applications. Research credible sources, including websites, scientific studies, and books.
Share Information: Share your knowledge with friends, family, and social circles. Encourage them to explore the topic and conduct their own research.
Website and Online Resources: Create or support informative websites or online resources dedicated to red light therapy. These platforms can serve as hubs for information and experiences related to the therapy.
Engage with Healthcare Professionals: Discuss red light therapy with your healthcare providers and specialists. Present them with relevant research and inquire about its potential applicability to your health needs.
Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about red light therapy and its potential benefits. Engage in conversations with healthcare providers and experts to seek their insights.
Personal Experiences: If you use red light therapy and notice positive effects, share your personal experiences with others. Testimonials and firsthand accounts can be compelling.
Advocate Online: Use social media, forums, and online communities to advocate for red light therapy. Share articles, studies, and success stories to raise awareness.
Support Research: Support and participate in research initiatives related to red light therapy. This can help establish a stronger evidence base for its efficacy.
Participate in Events: Attend conferences, seminars, and events related to light therapy and brain health. Engaging with experts and professionals in person can expand your knowledge and network.
Collaborate: Collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations to amplify your advocacy efforts. Collective voices can have a more significant impact.
Remember that advocating for awareness is an ongoing process. The more people are informed about the potential benefits of red light therapy, the greater the chances of its acceptance and integration into healthcare practices. By sharing knowledge, engaging in discussions, and actively participating in the promotion of red light therapy, you can contribute to raising awareness about this promising therapeutic approach.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
In the journey towards better brain health and well-being, remember that there is a simple, non-pharmaceutical option backed by research data – a 10-minute daily investment. As evidence grows, this could become the standard of care for brain-related conditions. Take the step, try it for yourself, and discover the potential benefits. With little to lose and much to gain, your path to improved brain health begins with this accessible opportunity.