As much as the message might have boosted the spirits of Red Sox fans, it meant even more to Tamara Jo Mariea.
"I was talking to J.D. the other day," Mariea said, recalling a conversation with new Boston outfielder J.D. Drew. "He said, 'Tamara, I cannot believe how I feel! There's no pain at all.'"
It was at that moment that David Jonathan Drew's friend realized what she had suspected the last year - Drew was well on his way to transforming his image from a sometimes broken-down player with potential heaped upon him to the portrait of health, posting the numbers so many had expected out of him.
"I feel better now than when I was 20," the 31-year-old outfielder said Friday from his Georgia home. "I'm really happy the way things are going."
Nobody knows if Drew will defy his track record and remain intact for the majority of his newly signed, five-year, $70-million contract. But he is certain he has left no stone unturned.
Thanks in part to Mariea, most of his health experiments have resulted in just what the doctor - or, in this case, biochemical detoxification specialist - ordered.
"The great thing," explained Mariea from the offices of her company, Internal Balance, based in Franklin, Tenn., "is that he has used his own money to go outside the box and keep his asset healthy for this contract."
Exploring the unknown
Drew's commitment to his own well-being is indisputable.
The gadgets he's turned to include a cosmonaut-tested healing device, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, an infrared sauna, chips implanted in his cell phones and computers to limit radiation damage, and a myriad of other health-oriented products that promise better overall health.
"I know this all sounds strange," admitted Mariea.
Perhaps, but the results since Drew jumped on board with the anything-but-ordinary approach to health is definitive. Case in point, last season the injury-prone Drew played a career-high 144 games out of a possible 162, while putting an exclamation point on his season by batting .317 in September with six home runs.
"What happened was when I started playing with Atlanta I didn't feel like I wanted to feel," said Drew of his enlightenment during the 2004 season. "I was kind of searching for something to supplement the hectic lifestyle. I just felt really sluggish and overly tired."
His lifestyle change came when Drew, a born-again Christian, learned of the Maker's Diet, a dietary approach based on health precepts found in the Bible. The diet includes a product line called Living Fuel, featuring supplement drinks and energy bars that Drew relies on before each game.
Drew struck up a friendship with Living Fuel's founder K.C. Craichy, who developed a nutrition plan for the ballplayer. Craichy then introduced Mariea to Drew, who had shown interest in the specialist's work with autism in children.
Drew and his wife, Sheigh, were about to have their first child and wanted to explore the effects of early vaccinations. They became increasingly intrigued with Mariea's theories on promoting healthier lifestyles.
Now Drew says he talks to either Craichy or Mariea virtually every day to lay out the groundwork for his unorthodox path to fitness.
"He had broken his wrist (in 2005), and the years prior he was having some problems with being able to be healthy enough to play," Mariea remembered. "But the last few years he has really taken it upon himself to find a lot of avenues to stay healthy.
"Last year, he played in Los Angeles and really had no problems. (Thursday) he said he really attributed (his improved health) to what we have done over the last year, using all the equipment he has purchased through my knowledge. He just really cared about the health of his own child, his family and what was going on with autism."
The couple's son, Jack, is in perfect health. By all accounts, his dad isn't far behind.
"Not to pick (Mariea's) brain a little bit would be kind of sad," Drew said. "I think, first and foremost, I want to protect my family. But I also want to be around for a while and have a quality of life after baseball. If I continued to go the route I was going, not only did it hurt the performance on the field but it affects you down the road when you are 50 or 60. I knew I had to start making some drastic changes."
QRS to the rescue
The most noticeable piece of Drew's wellness equipment, which come at a price tag in the thousands, is a device known as QRS or Quantron Resonance System.
The QRS is a mat, a pen-shaped rod and a control panel. It hasn't been sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States for medical usage, but can be imported from Europe, where it is widely used by the mainstream medical community.
Here is how the company's Web site describes it:
"After 20 years, European researchers have discovered a way to restore cell functioning and energy with the use of pulsating electromagnetic fields. By simple exposure of the body to QRS, pulsating low frequency magnetic fields stimulate cell metabolism, increase oxygen assimilation and accelerate the removal of toxic chemicals and waste. Pulsating electromagnetic fields can fully penetrate the body and reinforce weak functional cycles in a natural way. This allows the body to recover its self-healing capabilities."
To Red Sox fans, all that should matter is that since Drew received the QRS through Mariea's company on Feb. 14, 2006, he said his surgically repaired right shoulder has experienced few if any of the problems which had plagued him in the past.
His QRS routine has expanded from a simple, 24-minute application before going to bed to treating both his shoulder and knee after workouts.
"That machine is absolutely amazing," Drew said. "I went into spring training last year with a little bit of inflammation in my knee. I put the QRS machine on it and immediately the swelling was gone. I was like, 'Wait a minute. That's really wild.'
"I remember a couple times last year where I got hit and Grady (Little) took me out of the game. I told the trainer, 'No offense to what you guys are doing, but I've got a hyperbaric chamber at home and I've got a QRS machine. Do you want me to get out of here so I can be in the game tomorrow?' It's been great for me."
Exploring all avenues
Drew's interest in achieving optimum health has branched off far beyond his shoulder. With the guidance of Mariea, who also advises former NBA star Allan Houston and members of the NFL's Tennessee Titans, the outfielder has become engrossed with practicing wellness.
"Besides QRS, the other part of our discussion went into what causes inflammation and what strategies can be used," Mariea said. "We discussed electromagnetic radiation in use of the cell phone, and how that messes up cell-to-cell communication, dehydrates us and then inflammation ensues.
"So I had him wear a BIOlife pendant, which is an energy-support device he wears under his shirt. The QRS also increases energy production by 500 percent, but really helps by decreasing inflammation and improving circulation. Then we talked about what he should be eating and what he shouldn't be eating."
Drew continued to invest in his and his family's health by purchasing a far-infrared sauna (removes body toxins), the soft-shell hyperbaric chamber (promotes oxygen therapy as a healer) and other devices and supplements which Mariea says fight the damage and stress of everyday life.
Add in the commitment to eating organic foods and using the products supplied by Living Fuel, and Drew says he is a changed man.
"I've put a lot of my own money back into these things because I want to give the team the best I have possible," Drew said. "I feel like it will all pay off in the long run."
Here is the regimen biochemist and certified clinical nutritionist Tamara Jo Mariea has recommended for J.D. Drew.
QRS: Daily, 24 minutes on a relaxed session before bed; Apply to needed area (shoulder, knee) after workout.
Lubriflex: Supplement to enhance joint cartilage and preserve joints.
Vitatonic: Replenishes valuable nutrients.
P2R (Prepare 2 Repair): Helps mitigate shock protein response created cellularly from exercise trauma; helps cells hydrate and recover faster.
Cell phone strategy: Use of BIOpro chip and BIOpro pendant to limit radiation-induced damage to body's cells.
Hyperbaric chamber/Far-infrared sauna: Device to remove toxins from the body