The Origins of BIPRI | Exclusive Interview With Mickey Mitchell (Part One)
Mickey Mitchell is the founder of BIPRI Wellness. In this two-part exclusive interview he shares:
- His own troubled past with brain health
- The solutions he discovered
- The vision he received for BIPRI
- How BIPRI was formed
- What the company’s name means
- ...and much more!
Bob Hutchins: So, Mickey, BIPRI as you and I well know is a brain wellness company, and what you've laid is the foundation for some really amazing things that are going to help a lot of people. And as I've gotten to know you a little bit over the past few months, you are not a man that comes from a background in science – or you're not a doctor. You started a supplement and natural wellness company, and now we've got a clinic that's opening up... where did all this come from?
Mickey Mitchell: Bob, this is as much of a surprise to me as it is to you. But honestly, you're right, my background is in heavy construction, in heavy equipment and development. But going back to my childhood, I was raised on a farm, and we had horses, and it was a tough life, and so I had a lot of bumps and bruises.
Mickey Mitchell: At the age of 14, I had a car accident, where my head went through the windshield. And then I played football at a college level. And so who knows why I developed problems. But in 2009, I started developing problems with my brain.
Bob Hutchins: Can you be specific? Give me an example of what a daily problem would look like.
Mickey Mitchell: Sure. I don't remember previous to waking up one morning, with both my ears, that it felt like alarm clocks were in both my ears.
Bob Hutchins: Just a normal ringing? Or more than that?
Mickey Mitchell: Oh no. No, this... I have the normal ringing now that is called tinnitus. I woke up and asked my wife to turn the alarm clocks off. And she said, "There's no alarm clock on." And so I got up and walked into the kitchen, and my ears were ringing so loud that it was... it felt like it was driving me nuts.
Mickey Mitchell: And so I Googled, and what it told me is most likely I had a brain tumor. And so that that morning-
Bob Hutchins: Sorry, it's not funny, but knowing you sitting here now, without a brain tumor, I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh."
Mickey Mitchell: Right. Oh yeah. Yeah, it was miserable. And certainly you don't want to tell your to your wife or your children anything that would scare them until you knew something. And so it's just a long story. But that began a journey for me: learning about my ears, learning about my brain, and learning how to live with complications associated with brain trauma.
Mickey Mitchell: And those complications are headaches, at times you have dizziness, and you learn to live with a dizziness. Soon after that, I developed vertigo. And so for about four to six months, I struggled with vertigo, and I ended up going to a specialist that did a maneuver that was able to cure the vertigo. But it left me with a dizziness. And so I had the dizziness before the vertigo. I still have the dizziness. I live with it today.
Mickey Mitchell: At times it's much worse than it is, but I was just telling my friend Ted, today at lunch, that what happens is, is that whenever you first develop these problems: the headaches, the dizziness, the ringing in the ears... and at times it gets really, really intense... whenever you don't know there's something out there to help you, then you lose hope. You then begin losing sleep at night, and then whenever you start losing sleep at night, it adds to the anxiety.
Mickey Mitchell: And so then you have depression, and then the doctors would prescribe you with drugs, and I knew that drugs led to other drugs, that led to addiction, so I stayed away from that.
Bob Hutchins: Now was this affecting your work life, your relationships, everything else?
Mickey Mitchell: It affected every part of your life. It consumes you. Your thoughts were centered around... And then too, this was the worst economy that we've ever had. I believe that the stress of the economy breakdown is what brought this on. And then as you know, I ended up in a divorce. And so in 2008, when the crash happened, by 2009 there was more pressure and stress than I had ever experienced before in my life. I was in a very tough marriage. And so that was probably as stressful as anything.
Mickey Mitchell: And so by 2009, it was near unbearable. And then to add insult to injury, I wake up with alarm clocks in my ears. Actually what happened was on June 1st of 2009, I got a call from my brother-in-law saying that my mother had a problem. I was raised by a very, very tough dad. And so my mother was my rock throughout my whole life. And then my dad was sick with cancer, and so my mother was his caretaker.
Mickey Mitchell: And so she was healthy. And so for her to have a problem, I knew that God was not going to take her. And so on June 1st of 2009, I'm on the way to Mississippi to take care of my mother, and which I've always taken care of her. And I found out that she didn't make it. And so I had never hurt worse in my life over anything than I did, and right under the 96 bridge, on I-65, I pulled over, and I had never hurt that bad in my life.
Mickey Mitchell: So after about 30, 45 minutes, I cranked up and I went on to Mississippi because I wanted to get there before they started work on her, to prepare for the funeral. So I got there and I got to see her, and it happened so fast that it was a blessing. That she was watering her flowers, and she fell over in her flower pot and had a little scar on her nose.
Mickey Mitchell: So anyway, that was the toughest time. So I buried my mother, and after about two weeks of trying to get things together down there, and take care of my dad and get caretakers for him, he was crippled, that I traveled back to Nashville.
Mickey Mitchell: And that was whenever, two weeks after I buried her, I woke up with alarms in my ears. And so I think-
Bob Hutchins: So you had they a lot of stress going on.
Mickey Mitchell: Oh my gosh.
Mickey Mitchell: I'll just tell you, it was extremely stressful. And so I woke up with that, and because of the difficulty in my life, I chose not to say anything. So I'd just go to the doctor, and I start handling it on my own. And cool story, eventually I ended up hiring a temporary lady, named Viva, that came in to help me in my business operations. And so Viva was a nutritionist. She was one of the sharpest young ladies as far as nutrition. And so she would research what was going on with my brain. And so we tried everything under the sun, and whatever worked, we stuck with. And whatever didn't, we'd kick it to the curb.
Mickey Mitchell: And so for several years, I began using inversion tables. Everything that we have on the BIPRI program today is what worked. And so from 2009 to 2015, there were all kinds of things that I did from going to doctors, to nutritionists, to exercise programs, to everything under the sun. That brought me to a point that I began managing my life in a way that was not even a problem.
Mickey Mitchell: And so in 2015 I sold a piece of property that I truly wanted to keep the rest of my life. And because of the economy and all, it wasn't in the plans, so I had sold it. I got to manage that site for another year, and I was on that site one day and praying. And I got this thought that I was supposed to do something with CTE. I got this thought in my head, the thought was to invent a reverse to CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy].
Mickey Mitchell: I wrote it in my notes and I don't know if I'd ever shown you this before, but that's my oldest note. On 3/17 of 2015. The truth of the matter is, I'm sitting on the side of a hill, where I would take these boys in the camp for 12 years to pray. And so it was a favorite place for me and my little boy to go up there and watch the sunset. So I was up there by myself, in my pickup truck, overlooking this valley, and with the Bible in my lap, and I got this thought. And it's so crazy, that it's like a thought of starting a new business, or the thought of whatever you have. “I think I'm going to go to China.” You know? It's one of those thoughts.
Bob Hutchins: Just kind of random?
Mickey Mitchell: Yeah, random thought. So I've completely disregarded it, and so I close the Bible, crank the truck up, and was driving through the pasture, and it came back in a way that I stopped the truck, and wrote it down in my notes, on 3/17/2015. So I wrote it down in my notes, and when I wrote it down in the notes, I forgot it. I disregarded it. At the end of the day, I thought that's the craziest thing I've ever heard.
Mickey Mitchell: So the next morning I woke up, and when I woke up, the first thing that was on my mind was that note. And so that's whenever I said, "Well, if I'm supposed to do that, I need somebody to tell me I'm supposed to do that, confirm it." Well, the next week I get a call from Phil. And he calls me up and he goes, "What are you doing?" He's been my friend for a long time. And I said, "Man, I've got a crazy thing going on."
Mickey Mitchell: And whenever I told him about this crazy thought, "He goes, Mick, last week I got a crazy thought that I'm supposed to come to Nashville to do something with you."
Bob Hutchins: And Dr. Phil is a formulator of the supplement line, as well as he is a doctor of -
Mickey Mitchell: That's right. He is a doctor of pharmacy.
Mickey Mitchell: And he had been a pharmacist for many years, whenever he began doing holistic care. And so his life, the last 20 years has been about holistic care and formulations, and all that.
Mickey Mitchell: So anyway, he calls me, and at this time it hadn't occurred to me that I had been working on this for years. And because it was just for myself, so I could do construction and heavy equipment and development. And so anyway, I told him to come on up. So he came up and we go to Las Vegas to a supplement show, largest supplement show in the world.
Mickey Mitchell: So we go up there, through that, and we find out that there's more supplements out there for the brain than you can imagine. And so we came back there scratching our head and not knowing what to do. Phil begins a clinic down in Mississippi. So he goes down there to do a clinic, and I began figuring out what I'm supposed to do with this thought.
Mickey Mitchell: And so that's where BIPRI began, is with the thought.
Bob Hutchins: And so you came up with BIPRI. What does BIPRI stand for?
Mickey Mitchell: And Phil and I were together, right in the beginning, whenever we named it BIPRI. And so whenever you're wrestling with things, who knows who came up with what.
Bob Hutchins: Right.
Mickey Mitchell: So I don't know if it's Phil, but at the end of the day we named it BIPRI. That would stand for Brain Injury Preventative Recovery Institute. And the reason that I wanted institute is because I knew that over, I guess six years of studying the brain, and studying my brain, and that over and over again I would read, "No one really knows about the brain."
Bob Hutchins: Right, right.
Mickey Mitchell: Somewhere in every expert’s documents that they've written, they agree that nobody really knows about this complicated organ in our body called the brain. And that lends to being an institute where we're always learning about the brain. We're always coming up with different formulas, different apparatuses, different things to make our brain well.