Allan Blackwell:            Welcome to Your 20-Minute Podcast with David Brower where we do our best to give you useful information in 20 minutes or less. Now, here’s your host, five-time Voice Arts Award nominee, David Brower.

David Brower:              Thanks Allan. This is David Brower with Your 20-Minute Podcast. Our special guest today, Dr. John DeWitt. He’s a former NFL player who studied to be a chiropractor specializing in concussions and brain health and he’s gone on to write books, create courses, develop supplements. He’s spoken at prestigious institutions including Harvard University. You’ve got this concussion thing going on. You’re like beyond passionate. Welcome to the show, Doc.

John DeWitt:                Thanks. I appreciate it. It was one of those things where when the movie Concussion came out a few years ago I wasn’t really 100% sure that I wanted to actually see it because I was concerned that I might be in trouble, but then I finally watched it and said, all right, well, what kind of research can I do to figure out exactly what is going on and then my father got diagnosed with early-onset dementia. That was the final push that was just all right, I need to study this whole brain thing and how concussions can be associated with this. People ask me all the time, well, how many concussions did you have? I say, well, technically if it was a concussion I would have known that I had it.

David Brower:              Right, right.

John DeWitt:                I probably had, you know, four or five. There are times when you get knocked out or kind of get your butt kicked as they say.

David Brower:              Yeah.

John DeWitt:                I luckily didn’t have anything too traumatic. When I was in high school there was a guy on the team. He was a smaller guy, but he just loved to just throw his face in there and really hit people and he got four or five concussions every season and finally his junior year he decided he just didn’t want to do it anymore.

David Brower:              Wow.

John DeWitt:                I think that was probably a good decision.

David Brower:              I hear you. Well, you played 12 years in various leagues including the NFL.

John DeWitt:                Right.

David Brower:              How did that? Do a little bit of backstory on that. How did you go from high school to college to the pros? What was your journey like?

John DeWitt:                It was very unique. I walked onto the football team at Vanderbilt. They told me that I was too small, to slow to play in the FCC and I said, okay. I went in and just dedicated everything I did to getting that scholarship and my parents told me if I didn’t get a scholarship they couldn’t afford to pay for me to go to school there.

David Brower:              Right.

John DeWitt:                After the first semester the post-season meetings with the head coach, was Watson Brown at the time and he said, “As far as we’re concerned you’re on full scholarship.” I had him write my parents a letter for Christmas because that was in November and I had them write a letter and I gave it to them over the Christmas tree as a Christmas present.

David Brower:              Wow.

John DeWitt:                The letter said, “Congratulations to you. John has earned a full scholarship to Vanderbilt. We think the world of him.” That pretty much stopped all of the opening of gifts for that morning.

David Brower:              I pretty much got goosebumps on that one, man. That is so cool. That is so cool.

John DeWitt:                Yeah. My dad was crying. I’d never seen him cry before. I was like, whoa. Okay. He just started and interrupting everybody’s Christmas morning activities, telling everybody. It was kind of funny.

David Brower:              That is cool.

John DeWitt:                Then after Vanderbilt I went to the 49ers. I had a tryout with them. This was back when Reggie White was the typical defensive end and I was definitely not that size. I was about 245 pounds soaking wet. That didn’t work out. I went back and coached my high school team as an assistant coach for my old high school team for a year.

David Brower:              Nice.

John DeWitt:                I went to one of these things they used to call it scout camp. I don’t know what they call it now, but you paid like $100 and they would have scouts from all different leagues there and they would record you doing drills and whatnot and they’d send it out to all the teams and see what happened. That was kind of a funny story too because that was in Plano, Texas and in the hotel the night before on the news it was talking about there’s a huge storm and hail was breaking out the windshields of cars it was so big.

David Brower:              Oh my God.

John DeWitt:                There was like a huge tornado and they literally evacuated the entire hotel into the lobby just in case this tornado hit the hotel.

David Brower:              Oh my God.

John DeWitt:                We’re all sitting there like, saying are we going to do this tomorrow or what? What’s the deal? Luckily, they decided to go ahead and do the events. It was on AstroTurf, so it didn’t matter that it was kind of wet.

David Brower:              Sure, sure.

John DeWitt:                They had scouts from a bunch of CFL teams. I don’t know of the AFL was around back then or not, but the only NFL team there was the Houston Oilers with Rich Snead who was the head of player personnel for the Houston Oilers and so when I weighed in that was always a big issue for me was making sure that I weighed enough. When I weighed in I think that they said I weighed 260 or 261 or something and I couldn’t believe it. I was like, oh my God. That’s awesome. I was running 40s and under. My 40 was like a 4-6 or something like that. He pulled me aside.

David Brower:              Dang.

John DeWitt:                My fastest 40 was a 4-5-6, which was exciting. Anyway.

David Brower:              Absolutely.

John DeWitt:                Because I was running for my life all the time.

David Brower:              Right, right.

John DeWitt:                It was funny because he pulled me aside and he said, “Okay. Did you really weigh 261?” I said, absolutely. I was just praying that he wouldn’t say, let’s get on the scale again. I was probably about 250, but whatever. It’s just a number.

David Brower:              Right.

John DeWitt:                Anyway. He had me stay after everybody else had gone through all of their drills and had me run some specific drills for them and I didn’t even have an agent at the time. He said, “We like what we see. If we decide we want to offer you something we’ll let you know. I’ll give you a call.” I was like, okay, and had no idea how it worked or anything.

David Brower:              Sure, sure.

John DeWitt:                Three days later he called me up and he said, “Well, we want to offer you the rookie minimum contract,” which was, at the time $103,000.

David Brower:              Okay.

John DeWitt:                I mean, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, oh, that’s fine. All right. And then he said, “Okay. If that’s all right with you we’ll send you over the contract and then tomorrow we have, the NFL has a representative flying out to your hometown to do a drug test on you.” I was like, okay. They sent me the contract. They Fed-Exed it to me. There was like ten copies of it. It was hilarious. Before he said goodbye he said, “By the way, you need to get an agent.”

David Brower:              Oh my God.

John DeWitt:                I was like, okay, because I don’t know how to negotiate. Did you just kind of rip me off right there?

David Brower:              Right, right. Yeah. Get an agent after you sign the contract. Thank you so much.

John DeWitt:                Exactly. But, it was funny because the next day literally the FBI guy showed up, and I’m like, why are they drug testing a guy that’s so little? Okay. He was a retired FBI guy. Didn’t even leave the airport. He showed up at the airport, followed me into the bathroom, watched me pee in a cup and then sat there and waited for his next flight. I was like, wow, this must be a fun job.

David Brower:              Wow. What a tough gig. What do you do for a living? Oh, I fly in, watch people pee and then get back on the plane.

John DeWitt:                Exactly. Pretty exciting. But, anyway, it was fun because I went to Houston and got to play with Ray Childress was there. It was Steve McNair’s first year. Super, super nice guy.

David Brower:              Nice.

John DeWitt:                Henry Ford was there. It’s all about the guys you end up playing with and you realize that football really is a really small fraternity of people.

David Brower:              Yeah.

John DeWitt:                I still know a bunch of these guys I used to play with. And then they sent me over to NFL Europe and I played in Scotland and we actually ended up winning the entire championship in Scotland, which was kind of fun.

David Brower:              Wow.

John DeWitt:                And then I ended up playing arena football in a variety of different cities and I played up on Canada in Montreal and then I played in the XFL in San Francisco and after all of the jumping around and moving 500 times I decided that eventually I was starting to get a little older than some of the coaches that I was playing for.

David Brower:              There you go.

John DeWitt:                I said, hey, I’ve got to figure out what to do after football. Each team always had their own chiropractor, and so I asked what they had to do to be a chiropractor and then I was like, well, it’s either that or orthopedic surgery and I really don’t feel like going to ten years of school.

David Brower:              Yeah.

John DeWitt:                I’ll go to like a five-year program condensed into three and a half, so I did the chiropractic and it’s been great ever since and I’ve just taught myself how to do all the online stuff and the video courses and the books and the supplements and all that stuff. It’s just been really …

David Brower:              Wow.

John DeWitt:                It’s just been a blessing. I’m just happy to be a part of it.

David Brower:              What a ride, man. What a ride.

John DeWitt:                Yeah.

David Brower:              The concussion stuff has really been, obviously, in the news the last several years before the Concussion movie, but certainly more after that I think.

John DeWitt:                Right.

David Brower:              And parents showing more concern about their young kids getting concussions at early ages.

John DeWitt:                Right.

David Brower:              NFL now having concussion protocols where they take people out of the game and all those kinds of things. It’s really kind of a high-profile deal now, and what you’re doing is even bringing more attention to that and helping people understand what’s involved, right?

John DeWitt:                Right. That’s nice. One of the benefits of being in Southern California is I get to go down to San Diego Junior Salle, the Salle Foundation. His sister started that after he passed away and Chris Nowinski, that’s big in concussions, he’s a Harvard grad, he was down there, a bunch of other NFL guys. We were all just kind of talking about it. I’m a part of the Beyond Concussion charity as well that’s down in San Diego. I get people calling me, especially guys that I used to play ball with even way back in high school that will be messaging me on social media and they’ll say, “I’ve got everybody in my neighborhood is scared to let their kids play football. I seem to be okay. I don’t understand why they’re all freaked out.” I mean, they don’t even do two-a-day practice anymore in the summer.

David Brower:              Right.

John DeWitt:                That’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out as far as the years go by to see if it kind of diminishes the quality of play in the NFL as well. I mean, at the same time, everybody will be diminishing at the same rate, so you might not even be able to tell, but maybe it was a bad thing that we ran so much.

David Brower:              That’s true.

John DeWitt:                I don’t know, but one of the things that I realized in my research is that if you have the younger kids, they play flag football or they don’t do full-contact football until they’re over the age of around 13 or 14, and the chances of them getting the CTE is dramatically less. You get all the reaction time. You get all the same stuff if you play flag football, so I just encourage people just to let their kids do that.

David Brower:              Nice.

John DeWitt:                Until they’re old enough to kind of be not so concerned about the safety issues because at the same time there’s a lot of people, a lot of families, that the only way their kids are going to go to college is if they get a scholarship because their families just can’t afford it.

David Brower:              Well, yeah.

John DeWitt:                That’s a really important, not only college, but that’s their only opportunity to get out of whatever situation they might be in. I think it’s important to keep them safe, but at the same time be realistic and know there’s going to be people that want to play regardless.

David Brower:              Well, and the other part of that I think is back in my day we’re out riding bicycles, we’re playing flag football, I’m playing full-contact football in the six grade, but we’re all outdoors. We’re all having fun. We’re all knowing everybody who knows everybody.

John DeWitt:                Yeah.

David Brower:              To have these kids to be able to have that outlet to get away from screen time with TVs and computers and all that kind of stuff, I mean, in and of itself I mean that piece of it’s really healthy, right.

John DeWitt:                Right, and that’s going to keep the whole community healthy too because that was my favorite thing. I mean, I grew up in Arkansas and my mom was always like, you’ve got to get out of the house. Get outside. I had to go like climb trees and just run around and just explore and that kind of stuff. Now, I mean, everybody’s just on their phones. I mean, they have like six-year-olds that have phones all the time. It’s like nuts. I’m like, how are they going to learn anything about how to move and be healthy and functional? It’s just going to lead to all kinds of just bad health issues if we don’t get people out there doing something.

David Brower:              No question.

John DeWitt:                I definitely think that just run around doing the flag football and things like that is important.

David Brower:              You’ve got a lot of things going on. I mean, I’m looking at the Amazon site with your books. You’ve got a free webinar that runs, I think it’s on the hour every hour, right?

John DeWitt:                Yeah. That’s the concussion class. It talks about concussions.

David Brower:              Yeah.

John DeWitt:                I have another one that talks about natural vision correction as well.

David Brower:              Fascinating stuff. It’s a free webinar and it’s loaded with information.

John DeWitt:                Yeah.

David Brower:              How do you do that? Do you just here it is. Sign up. Let’s go.

John DeWitt:                Yeah. People just put in their email address and they get notified when it starts and it has a little countdown timer on there and then it starts. Any questions they can post in there and if I don’t answer it right away I get an email about it and I’ll answer it later.

David Brower:              Nice. And that’s at, right?

John DeWitt:                Yeah. That is correct.

David Brower:              If you go to, folks, the webinar, I mean, there’s I think about a four-minute introduction that you do that talks about what the webinar is going to be like, your experience, those kinds of things. If nothing else, go to and spend four minutes and go, oh, and it’s free, okay, I’m going to sign up. We don’t know what we don’t know a lot of times and especially as parents we want to be protective of our kids, which means we’re going to overreact if we don’t know what we don’t know. Getting parents more educated is obviously a big deal too.

John DeWitt:                Right. Absolutely.

David Brower:              You’ve got the CDC-approved six-step protocol for assessing concussions. You understand what coaches and parents go through. You’ve got brain-specific nutrients that you recommend. You’ve done over 100 research studies on how this stuff can help people and reverse symptoms of concussions. I mean, this is just, this is big-time stuff. It’s very, very detailed and a lot for people to absorb.

John DeWitt:                Right, and it’s interesting too because I know back in the day when there was a possibility that you could have had a concussion. One of the main things is don’t let your kid go to sleep if you think they had a concussion.

David Brower:              I remember that.

John DeWitt:                The big fear was that they would go to sleep and then maybe slip into a coma or something.

David Brower:              Right.

John DeWitt:                That’s just the opposite. We realize now that rest is really important for the brain and I mean, you can check on them every now and then, but you don’t want to keep a kid who’s trying to go to sleep after they got hit in the head from going to sleep because that’s what they need. Their body naturally knows what they need.

David Brower:              Yeah. You’ve got to trust that. Yeah. You’ve got You’re on Facebook, My Brain Med. You’re on Twitter, Brain Med.

John DeWitt:                Yep.

David Brower:              You’re on LinkedIn. Dr. DeWitt. You’re on Instagram, Brain Med.

John DeWitt:                Yeah.

David Brower:              And then you go to the Amazon site and you’ve got a ton of books out there that you’ve written on vision and food and golf. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on.

John DeWitt:                I’ve been busy. It’s funny. My last book was about stem cell therapy and different ways that people are using that to help regenerate tissue in the knees and ankles and stuff because that was a popular thing that I went to. Mike Ditka has a Gridiron Greats Foundation that he has a hall of fame dinner every year in Vegas and I’ve been to the last couple and some of the neatest guys … I met Howie Long, Herschel Walker, some of those guys, last year, and they were talking about, Mike Golic was there the year before and he was talking about how he did stem cells on his knees and said it was just the best thing ever and he wished he had done it back when he was playing a ball, but it wasn’t an option.

David Brower:              Yeah.

John DeWitt:                It’s definitely something worth looking into.

David Brower:              Right.

John DeWitt:                I mean, we don’t do anything like that in the office, but sometimes you get these complicated cases and you just want to try whatever you can find.

David Brower:              You bet. I’m going to be blank on her name, but there was a professional skier and I want to say a year or two ago that had that done on her knees and she was able to get back into virtually full form and be competitive again. That was the first time I’d ever heard of that being done, number one, let alone being so successful.

John DeWitt:                Yeah. I can see her face right now, but I can’t remember her name either.

David Brower:              Right. Yeah.

John DeWitt:                Yeah. Knees in downhill skiing. That’s pretty intense trauma to the knees. I can imagine she had some damage.

David Brower:              People obviously can get to your website, your social media, those kinds of things.

John DeWitt:                Yeah.

David Brower:              You travel around and speak. Do you do one-on-one consultations? What’s your week, month, year like?

John DeWitt:                The easiest way to get any information about me is just to go to It’s It’s got all the different podcasts that I’ve done. It’s got links to go to the different webinars that I’ve done that are the free things and a variety of other stuff. I’m in the process of setting up an app that you can download on your phone, which you’ll get access to all that as well as one-on-one consultation as well.

David Brower:              Nice. You are out there and accessible to say the least.

John DeWitt:                Yeah. Doing the best I can.

David Brower:              Good for you.

John DeWitt:                Trying to help as many as I can.

David Brower:              Good for you. So, That’ll take you right to the home page. Again, there’s another video there about five minutes or so where John talks about his story. You talk about improving vision naturally with clearer vision challenges and nutrition and 20 foods for clear vision. You’re studying all the time and then passing all of that stuff on to people, huh?

John DeWitt:                That is correct.

David Brower:              Terrific.

John DeWitt:                That’s what I work for, I guess.

David Brower:              Right. Do you sleep at all?

John DeWitt:                I sleep a little bit every now and then. I like to quote Sam Elliott from Dirty Dancing back in the day. He was like, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

David Brower:              Oh, there you go. There you go. Yeah. Life is too short because I’m not going to sleep. That’s right.

John DeWitt:                Exactly.

David Brower:              Well, that’s cool, man. Concussion. Let me go through. Check that out for the free webinar. Learn more about the doc in another video on there. Go to Facebook, Brain Med, Twitter, Brain Med. All the social media stuff is on his website. It’s more and more and more and more important to get a handle on understanding this stuff, especially if you’re a parent and you have kids who are very active in sports and you know you’re going to be that protective parent. The more you can get educated on this stuff the more your kid is going to be appreciative. That’s for sure, right John?

John DeWitt:                Absolutely. Absolutely. You don’t want to just be scared of everything. You need to educate yourself so you can make a good decision.

David Brower:              Yeah. Yeah. Exactly right. Dr. John DeWitt, our special guest today. Man, thank you so much for what you do in bringing all this to massive attention. I’ve spent about an hour on your stuff this morning and it’s just so informative. Folks, check it out, and John, thank you so much. Continued success.

John DeWitt:                Thank you. I appreciate it.

Allan Blackwell:            Listen to Your 20-Minute Podcast with David Brower on the go. Downloads are available on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, any podcast app and on our website at Until next time, thank you for listening.