New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s close relationship with a proponent of alternative medical treatments is under the spotlight again, with news that coach Bill Belichick is limiting Alex Guerrero’s role with the team.
Here’s some background on Guerrero:
Alex Guerrero, 52, is a close friend, business partner, and “body coach” of Brady, who is considered one of the best NFL quarterbacks ever. With a degree in traditional Chinese medicine from the now-defunct Samra University of Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles, Guerrero espouses alternative medical treatments. Brady believes in him. Still going strong at age 40, Brady says Guerrero “has been a huge part of what I do” and Guerrero has been a “huge, huge reason why I’m still playing.”
Guerrero collaborated with Brady on a best-selling book released this year, an exercise and nutrition self-help book called “The TB12 Method.” Guerrero has also worked with Brady on “The TB12 Nutrition Manual;” a line of TB12 snacks, protein bars, and “performance meals;” and a line of workout gear and apparel. The two are also partners in the bustling TB12 Sports Therapy Center, which is in Patriot Place just outside the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.
Brady says in the “TB12 Method” that the core of the program he developed with Guerrero is a focus on developing and maintaining “muscle pliability,” which is achieved through “targeted, deep-force muscle work.” He says it’s like a “deep, rigorous massage but much more focused.” Guerrero also has emphasized the importance of the acidity or alkalinity of the body, publishing a book in 2005 titled, “In Balance for Life: Understanding & Maximizing Your Body’s pH Factor.”
With the backing of the superstar quarterback, Guerrero has had a warm relationship with Patriots until now. Nearly every player in the Patriots locker room visited the TB12 Center at Patriot Place for massage work and stretching exercises with Guerrero, the Globe reported this summer. The TB12 Center bills the Patriots for his services. Guerrero was allowed to have his own office near the Patriots’ locker room at the stadium, to fly on the team charter to road games, and to have access to the sidelines at every game.
In 2015, the Globe reported that Patriots medical and training staff had lodged complaints about Guerrero’s expanding role with the team. They said his methods clashed with theirs and raised questions about his background. “Everyone thinks I’m a kook and a charlatan,” Guerrero told the New York Times Magazine that year.
Before he partnered with Brady, Guerrero faced sanctions by federal regulators after falsely presenting himself as a medical doctor and deceptively promoting nutritional supplements, according to government records. In one case, Guerrero offered a “drink that protects your brain from the consequences of sports-related traumatic brain injury” that was endorsed by Brady. Guerrero later stopped selling it.
State regulators also stepped in when Guerrero treated Patriots players and other people at the TB12 Center, looking into allegations that he was practicing physical therapy without a license. He was cleared of wrongdoing in a 2014 letter instructing him to abide by state regulations while supervising licensed therapists at the TB12 Center.
The Globe also reported that Guerrero had a long history of financial troubles, bankruptcies, and legal entanglements.
For reasons that he has yet to disclose, Belichick this fall restricted some of Guerrero’s special access to the team. He was banned from boarding Patriots jets, his sideline access was revoked, and the only person he is allowed to treat now in his Gillette Stadium office is Brady. Brady has also refused to discuss the potentially distracting topic.
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