When microbiologists go bad (or in praise of google alerts)

By Siouxsie Wiles 31/01/2011 26


I’ve only just recently discovered google alerts. I’m not sure how this gem has managed to evade me. I’ve set it up to search for just two terms at the moment and am loving the daily email that pops up. One of my search terms is Staphylococcus aureus, one of the microbes my research is currently focussed on. This rather fabulous organism is one of the dreaded ‘superbugs’, more commonly known as MRSA (methicillin [or sometimes multi]-resistant S. aureus).

About 1 in 5 people permanently carry S. aureus in their noses or on their skin while another 1 in 5 never do. The rest of us will end up carrying S. aureus at some point. S. aureus is another one of these of a ‘Jack of all trades’ and can cause a wide variety of infections, from minor skin infections to food poisoning to major life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. The fact that many strains of S. aureus are resistant to most antibiotics (hence MRSA) makes them very difficult to treat and is the reason why those alcohol hand wash dispensers are ubiquitous in hospitals.

One of the first things my google alert pointed me to was this website by ‘microbiologist’ Michelle Moore. It’s very interesting. Michelle and her husband Les (a chemist) have their own business, Embrace Health, Inc., and they seem to sell a number of downloadable E-books (including ‘MRSA Secrets Revealed’, ‘Preventing Healthcare Associated MRSA’ and ’10 Questions to ask your Doctor about MRSA’). I’m particularly interested in ‘MRSA Secrets Revealed’.  Michelle claims:

“This book goes way beyond home remedies. It’s the only book of it’s kind that contains ALL of the natural solutions and home remedies for Staph and MRSA infections (including which ones work best), how to best use the mainstream medical system, doctors and antibiotics, how to help your body recover from the effects of antibiotics. Also included is critical information on how you can make your body naturally resistant to MRSA and Staph infections.”

Her website goes on to say:

“Good research is more than just surfing the web. It’s critical that you get trust-worthy and reliable information when it comes to something this important. All my years as a scientist and researcher taught me a lot about studies, information and data. It definitely takes relevant education and experience to understand and present it accurately.”

She sounds like an expert doesn’t she? She certainly bandies about the fact that she is a microbiologist and scientist*. I’m almost curious enough to spend the 47 USD to download her book. But first I mooch around the internet to find out more about her. Turns out she has another website: Staph Infection Resources. On this site she talks about the importance of taking a holistic approach to treating Staph infections (while constantly advertising her books) and she has a list of natural remedies to incorporate, including manuka honey, essential oils and probiotics. But my favourite has to be:

Energetic Medicine – Energetic medicine comes in two different forms — one that can be physically or scientifically measured (like sound or vibrational therapy), and one that is not measurable using linear methods (such as prayer). Energetic medicine is often used to reduce pain, stress and suffering. Some methods can be used for positive treatment and diagnostic purposes as well.”

Alas, it seems all her years of being a scientist didn’t teach her how to spot woo. I’m not sure why I get so wound up about stuff like this, except to say that I feel like she is bringing microbiology(and scientists) into disrepute! Shame on her.

*As an aside, I can’t seem to find any publications by her in the scientific literature. She does say she spent time in industry so that would explain it.


26 Responses to “When microbiologists go bad (or in praise of google alerts)”

  • Often, the only way for a person to overcome a tenacious, debilitating and chronic illness for which mainstream medicine can provide limited help is for a person to take their health into their own hands. This means becoming an expert in their condition and crafting a treatment and healing regimen to best suit their needs, often going against accepted mainstream approaches.

    Les and I both have a strong background in pharmaceuticals and science, however, I personally found the paradigm of mainstream western medicine inadequate to cure my recurring Staph infections. What worked for me was a holistic approach using both mainstream and “alternative” medicine”. I discovered that many other people had a similar experience to mine and experienced great benefit from alternative and holistic medicine. The reason for this is simple: mainstream medicine treats symptoms; holistic medicine treats people and the root cause of disease. Both approaches are very good at what they do, but neither by itself is complete, and they are not mutually exclusive. This is why I wrote my book and why I do what I do.

    Some aspects of alternative medicine are similar to and more easily accepted by mainstream medicine, such as using essential oils therapeutically to relieve a bacterial infection. Other aspects of alternative medicine are perceived as “out in left field” or “woo woo” to those who hold science and mainstream medicine as the ultimate standard for wellness. The ideas that stress weakens the immune system, that food is medicine, that the mind can create manifestations in the body, and that love, hope and empathy create a space for true healing are often perceived as “out there” from the mechanistic, rational and scientific view of health.

    For those most comfortable with the scientific paradigm, the therapeutic and allopathic application of natural and alternative methods is most easily accepted. I have been there and it was a big stretch for me to take my first tentative steps into the paradigm of holistic medicine. For those experienced with or open to a larger paradigm of health, other methodologies such as nutritional and herbal support, homeopathy, acupuncture, energy medicine, meditation and prayer and others can have a positive effect on physical well-being and can be a valuable addition to one’s wellness program. And, some of these methodologies, like prayer, are gaining scientific evidence showing a positive benefit when applied.

    If scientific proof is required, including multi-million dollar human clinical studies and FDA approval, then much of alternative medicine must be rejected. The mainstream medical system inherently resists and disfavors such methods. When treating Staph or MRSA from this limited paradigm, the standard protocol of antibiotic drugs, hygiene improvements and the like are the only options available. The purpose of my book is to reveal that a larger paradigm of treatment (and wellness) is available and to provide the necessary resources, tools and understanding to help those who are searching. My book is certainly not for everyone and should only be used by those willing to take responsibility for their own health and who are open to possibility that mainstream medicine does not hold all the answers.

    I graduated from Colorado State University in 1993. Les graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1990. We both worked for a combined 28 years in the pharmaceutical industry. My experience includes antibiotic and drug product research and testing, method development, and microbiological clinical study site auditing. I also worked for 4 years as a QA microbiologist at Amgen. Les’ experience was primarily with scale-up process development, product development, and analytical method development. Although we have a hand full of publications/patents between us from our pharmaceutical days, this was not a focus in our work.

    Michelle Moore
    Author MRSA Secrets Revealed

    • Hi Michelle

      I discovered that many other people had a similar experience to mine and experienced great benefit from alternative and holistic medicine. The reason for this is simple: mainstream medicine treats symptoms; holistic medicine treats people and the root cause of disease.

      Actually, there are other reasons why people find alternative and holistic medicine a benefit. Confirmation bias, regression to the mean and the placebo effect immediately spring to mind. I guess I would have expected you as a scientist to be aware of such obvious pitfalls.

      Some aspects of alternative medicine are similar to and more easily accepted by mainstream medicine, such as using essential oils therapeutically to relieve a bacterial infection.

      That’ll be because essential oils have active ingredients and a plausible mechanism of action, possibly even backed by proper experimental evidence that has undergone peer review.

      Other aspects of alternative medicine are perceived as “out in left field” or “woo woo” to those who hold science and mainstream medicine as the ultimate standard for wellness.

      That’ll be because they have no plausible mechanism of action/active ingredients, etc. And when properly tested often found to be no more effective than the placebo effect. Dr Simon Singh and Prof Edzard Ernst have written an excellent book called Trick or Treatment which discusses the experimental evidence for such treatments.

      open to a larger paradigm of health, other methodologies such as nutritional and herbal support, homeopathy, acupuncture, energy medicine, meditation and prayer and others can have a positive effect on physical well-being and can be a valuable addition to one’s wellness program.

      See, this is why I posted. I just find it annoying that you put yourself forward as a scientist who is able to evaluate evidence and then you go and mention something as bogus as the H word. Can you honestly tell me you think there is something to it? Time and time again, homeopathy has been shown to be no more effective than placebo. And why would it be expected to? There is, after all, nothing in it. And I don’t doubt that you and many others have felt some benefit from your ‘holistic’ outlook. But as I said at the beginning, there are many obvious reasons for this. I know you feel you are helping others, but to me it’s just the start of a slippery slope. Next thing you know, its homeopathic vaccines.

  • From Michelle’s website I believe she is only after the money. Asking so much money for a download with some healthy lifestyle tips. I once looked after an biology student who lived on a diet of hamburgers and became depressed and used MAO inhibitors for that, No wonder a lifestyle change was needed. But why would an holistic approach be applicable to a staphylococcus?. What we want is dig holes in its membranes , stop its protein synthesis, kill it!. Ok, this is in some cases an opportunistic infection linked to a weakened immune system, so it might be worthwhile to look if that is lifestyle related. But first cure the infection. And Michelle if you really believe you have something to contribute to humanity, do some real science and go for a clinical study showing that your approach works. Why is that not an option? Get funding and go for an academic environment ! In the cardiovascular area studies have been done on the (positive) effect of French and mediterrean diets on atherosclerosis. For me, the genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, glycomics represent a new scientific way to an holistic approach. (and eat more fruit and veg, free advice)
    professor doctor Theo geneticist, chemist, molecular pharmacologist,biochemist and so on.. (Who just got himself a staph infection from the gym doing all this exercise to stay healthy, great)

  • The chapter of of Singh & Ernst’s book on homeopathy is available free on-line. (I’ve got a post linking to it somewhere on my blog.)

    Turning to Michelle’s comment, just to add to Siouxsie’s comments, I find it surprising that you (Michelle) can write:

    If scientific proof is required, including multi-million dollar human clinical studies and FDA approval, then much of alternative medicine must be rejected.

    but still advocate the things you do and at the same time offer your scientific background as being meaningful.

    To me, you are implying what you advocate has no evidence, no substantiation. As a scientist you are then obligated to tell people you have no support for advocate those practices. In the end it is not your degrees that matter but the evidence (or absence of evidence, as the case may be) supporting the claims you make.

    On that note, to claim that

    homeopathy, acupuncture, energy medicine, meditation and prayer and others can have a positive effect on physical well-being

    you need to substantiate it, or withdraw the claim.

    I am unaware of sound evidence supporting any of these things having ‘a positive effect on physical well-being’ beyond a placebo effect. Certainly homeopathy won’t. Apparently studies show acupuncture doesn’t. Prayer likewise has been studied and shown to have no effect. (My recollection is that it had the curious effect that those who were told they were being prayed for were actually worse off!) What is “energy medicine”? If it involves ‘energy fields’ or ‘vital forces’, or the like, there is no basis for these effects.

    Regards homeopathy, Randi James has renewed his challenge. I suppose you must be certain you can win it?

  • “The ideas that stress weakens the immune system, that food is medicine, that the mind can create manifestations in the body, and that love, hope and empathy create a space for true healing are often perceived as “out there” from the mechanistic, rational and scientific view of health.”

    Actually, I think you will find that there are significant numbers of medical professionals ans scientists who would agree that stress does have an effect on the body/immune system, that a healthy diet goes a long way towards good health, that empathy and positive thinking can help people through difficult times and that there is a clear mind/body connection.
    The problem is that many “woo supporters” push these ideas beyond what is scientifically supportable and what is common sense. Assuming that a healthy or unusual diet will cure all illness is not reasonable. Neither is the suggestion that life will be perfect through positive thinking alone.
    Most medical professional I know support an holistic apporach to health – but that refers to encouraging patients to eat healthy, get regular sleep and exercise and to keep a positive outlook. However, holistic health should not mean buying “magic” water or having to put up with people waving magic crystals, and engaging in flights of fancy about energy fields or quantum entanglement.
    The portrayal of medical professions as uncaring and only interested in pushing drugs is an inaccurate stereotype used by woo pushers to justify their “alternative” treatments.

  • oops apologies for the typos in the previous message, trying to multitask and doing rather badly

  • Being frustrated with re-occuring bouts of MRSA and ongoing doses of antibiotics for both MRSA and now C-Diff that I have due to the many antibiotics I have taken, I decided to check and see if there were any alternate methods of treatment out there. I have never been much of a believer in treating illnesses with herbs, essential oils, etc. and have actually made fun of a family member who swears by them. I did go ahead and order Michelle’s book even though I felt $47 was pretty pricey for a paperback book. I think there is some good information in there and some of it I might actually try. What bothers me is that Michelle doesn’t have any actual studies of people who have used her methods and the success rates she has seen. Yes she has reports or comments from some who have used the information in her book to help cure MRSA, but anyone can write a review and put a name on it and there is no way of knowing if these are actual people or not. I also have a problem with the fact that Michelle probably profits from advising us on her favorite place to purchase essential oils. I’m pretty sure she is an investor in the company. I am going to try the bath concoction she has recommended but only because the products I have been using are really irritating my skin.

    • Hi Sue

      Thanks for the feedback. As you say, it would be good if her methods were more rigorously tested rather than reliant on anecdotes.

  • What a shame, whenever something comes along that is a problem without a simple solution there are people ready to capitalize on others’ misfortunes. If this were for-real it would be subject to mainstream science which has brought us from the dark ages to what we have today.
    Michelle Moore is the typical street hustler — from telling you “secrets” that doctors and drug companies don’t what you to know, from offering vague hints of advice to get you to buy her book, she fits the pattern of snake-oil salesmen (women) from time immemorial. I say boycott.

  • I see all these posts are from believers who have total faith in western medicine. My family and I have had a nightmarish year in dealing with recurrent staph infections and MRSA and my family includes the primary victim of a 2 year old whose body has been consumed with it. We’ve been to doctors and dermatologists all over the state. My son has been in the hospital for almost an entire month total the past year. Trust me, if what they were doing in clinics and hospitals was truly working, I sure would love to know about it!!! I have found my sanity during my darkest hours of this experience in essential oils such as tea tree and oregano oil mixed in a base of extra virgin olive oil and colloidal silver to help contain this ravenous disease on my infant’s body during the late late night hours while he would be screaming and crying for relief. It did bring him relief!! And I am by no means an expert in these remedies, just a mother being desperate enough to try ANYTHING that could possibly bring relief to my suffering child. And these alternative therapies were the only thing that seemed to actually HEAL his skin! I gave the team of infectious drs, head of pediatrics, dermatologists, primary care physicians, urgent care physicians a chance to work with my son but their only solution was to put him on steroids which did help but only for it to come back raging mad with a vengence after a few days of being off of them. And I told the drs this every time! Not my idea of a cure or solution by no means. With no one even getting the bright idea to test or biopsy his skin!! Even after I asked them to in the hospital!! After my other child who is very healthy with hardly even a medical chart was finally tested and had a positive MRSA test then the drs finally stopped calling my infants disease ECZEMA after I repeatedly told them eczema is NOT CONTAGIOUS. I am THANKFUL that there are people out there like Michelle Moore who offer their insight and their experience utilizing their expertise to help us desperate souls out there who have had no success with conventional medicine, who offer different alternative remedies to problems that the alopathic world doesn’t want to open their minds to. Modern medicine in America is all about the pharmaceutical companies making money NOT about finding cures and the sooner the real world catches onto that the better!! To each author of these posts, you should THANK GOD that you have never had an experience like mine and others who consider Michelle Moore a God-send!! And I haven’t even bought the book yet since I just learned about it! The person who told me about it had an endless battle with MRSA and calls Michelle her friend. The book worked for her!! Word to the wise, you stop learning once you close your mind.

    • Dear Motherinturmoil

      Thanks for posting. As a mother myself I really feel for you.

      It is very sad that all the doctors you saw misdiagnosed your child with eczema while missing the crucial piece of the puzzle – your healthy child carrying Staphylococcus aureus and constantly reinfecting your other child. As S. aureus can live on inanimate objects like taps and coins it’s probably a really good idea to do a thorough clean of your house and car to try to get rid of any hanging around. It’s not surprising the tea tree oil helped. It has long been known to have antibacterial properties.

  • I bought Michelle Moore’s book for my Mother who has suffered with Staph infections over the past 6 years. She too followed her Dermatologists advice and has taken numerous antibiotics with no effect. Seeing her misery and suffering I bought Michelle’s book ( a bit pricey, I agree). Oregano, Tea Tree and Olive Oil, colloidal Silver worked too. Who cares whether it’s traditional, alternative or placebo? We all have choice and can determine what works best. Maybe Michelle is making lots of money, that is what she has chosen to do. She is being honest, she has not trialled her methods, it doesn’t appear she s attempting to ‘pull the wool’ over anyone’s eyes. It’s just a shame that some of the comments written here seem to be so unnecessarily unkind.

  • HI THERE :)
    – 1st – thank you for ‘researching” michelle’s MRSA book – i think it is research on your blog – i just found it is what i mean….
    also please if possible, from proven specific research specialists re: getting rid of staph (using as many integrative techniques as possible please). –

    2 comments/questions please:

    a) as someone who has been battling w/ staph for 4-4.5 year now – when i first starting reading your blog entry @ the above…to make blog (& i say this non defensively) more interesting to read = i write/research so i’ve done it…

    PLEASE NEVER NEVER NEVER REFER TO STAPH REGARDLESS OF ANY WAY INFO PRESENTED AS,
    – “This rather fabulous organism” –

    AND AGAIN NOT ACUSINGLY, JUST CURIOUS IF YOU HAVE EVER BATTLED STAPH YOURSELF – YOU, NOT A FRIEND FAMILY MEMBER BUT YOU…

    – I SOOO APPRECIATE BLOGS LIKE THESE ETC BC I HAVE HAD TO MY OWN RESEARCH TO TRY TO GET BETTER:)

    – BUT I ALMOST DIED FROM STAPH AND AM STILL BATTLING IT & STAPH, OUR HORRIBLE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM BY PRESCRIBING WRONG ANTIBIOTICS – IT’S A $$$ MAKING INDUSTRY NOW..ESP IN THE USA BUT ITS GAINING GROUND WORLD-WIDE ALSO
    – 200% + STAPH HAS NOT JUST PHYSICALLY BUT ALSO EMOTIONALLY LEVELED ME – PUMMELED ME INTO THE GROUND – AT TIMES SO MUCH SO I HAD COSIDERED SUICIDE.
    – AND I’M WELL-EDUCATED, FRIENDLY, NICE, A RESEARCHER, & PRETTY WELL BALANCED ( WE’RE ALL A BIT MAD I THINK WHICH IS GOOD IN MANY CASES;)

    – BUT SEEING YOU INCLUDE, “This rather fabulous organism”

    IN REFERENCE TO STAPH IN YOUR ARTICLE WAS HORRIBLE, A PAVLOVIAN REACTION FOR ME.
    I DON’T THINK YOU MEANT IT IN THIS WAY AT ALL, THINK YOU WANTED TO MAKE ARTICLE INTERESTING TO READ USING YOUR OWN VOICE.
    – BUT TO ANYONE & THERE ARE MILLIONS, WHO HAVE BATTLED NOT ONLY STAPH BUT MEDICAL SYSTEMS TO GAIN INFO VIA RESEARCH TO FIND OUT HOW TO GET BETTER…
    – I’M VERY STRONG (AS A PERSON ETC.) BUT WHEN I SAW THE WAY YOU DESCRIBED STAPH/IT’S COMPLEXITY AND OR FORM – IT WAS HORRIBLE TO READ AND MADE ME IMMEDIATELY WANT TO DISCREDIT ANYTHING YOU WROTE BC YOU JUST DO NOT DESCRIBE A DISEASE (ON ANY TYPE OF ACTUAL SCIENCE/RESEARCH BASED SITE, PAPER, IN PERSON – ESPECIALLY A PUBLIC FORUM SUCH A THIS – THAT KILLS PEOPLE, KEEPS THEM ILL FOR YEARS, LEVELS THEM IN EVERY WAY.
    – I AM STILL LOOKING AT THIS SITE FOR RECOMMENDED – PROVEN BOOKS (INFO) TO HELP ONE – MOSTLY INTEGRATIVELY – GET RID OF STAPH IN YOUR BODY THAT KEEPS MAKING ONE VERY VERY ILL.

    SINCERLY,
    T LARUE B.

    • Hi Tiffany

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Although the ‘shouty’ nature of your post is a little off-putting. I apologise if you were offended by my referring to S. aureus as a “rather fabulous organism”. In my defense, I am a microbiologist and by my very nature in awe of microbes like Staph. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by how they do what they do to us. But please also know, that I spend my days trying to understand how they operate so we can come up with better ways to kill them. You may find my awe a little insensitive but I guess plenty of people use the same language to describe cars which are just as deadly.

      Siouxsie

  • So, this lady, Michelle Moore, writes a book, makes money and it seems she has helped people when “science” can’t. But you have no problem with pharmaceuticals and insurance companies ripping people off by the $$BILLIONS$$? with their side effect plagued “medicines?” Somethin ain’t right. I will buy her book.

  • Barry: the topic has not ACTUALLY been about ‘bad pharma’. Before jumping to conclusions, try to hear others’ views first. You might be interested in the writings of a fellow called Ben Goldacre, also: he’s written quite a bit about both the misdemeanours of the pharmaceutical industry AND the Beitish MRSA scandal.

    Sam: perfectly valid point- everyone is entitled to make their own decisions concerning their health and treatment status. The ‘unkind’ statements are really just pointing out the unrigorous nature of Moore’s claims, and that it’s (speaking frankly) not very good science. Moore’s work in the pharmaceutical industry was probably perfectly scientific: it is merely this situation which doesn’t meet the standard.

    Siouxsie: awesome work! Great admirer of your research :)

  • Dont know if Michelle Moores ideas work- but in 90% of cases Modern Medicine is NOT for this item.
    Simple Logic Test for those who are CERTAIN it will not- but never tried it.
    – Is this Bacteria, ( or other disease conditions) something that will never be cured- & a Demon from the spirit realm.?
    NO ?
    Then it has a mechanism & CURE- by whatever method eventually.
    Something will kill it- somethings will slow & control it.
    Maybe Oregano oil will.
    Modern academia is a cesspool of intellectual incest- governed by money grants, by those who make the godly decision they know who to give the money to- that is those who agree with their theories when they did a PhD in Biology or whatever. Large organizations RARELY make outstanding discoveries.
    Individuals do.
    Glad I am out.

  • My husband had a very tenacious staph infection that was not responding to antibiotics. We purchased Michelle Moore’s book, and employed the techniques she suggested. After over a month of struggling with this agonizing infection, it finally disappeared .The Manuka honey and essential oils were key to recovery, as was something else we learned from a Chinese medical doctor which was very simple, and that was to keep the infection area dry with cornstarch. As soon as we added that to the treatment, the infection was gone in four days. After personal experience, I highly recommend Michelle’s book.

  • I was surprised not to see a reply to Pam’s comments. Pretty interesting and compelling story. We have 3 children that have battled staph infections over a number of years. Fortunately no loss of limbs or such, but some bad times and a very frustrating and tenacious organism. I have not bought Michelle’s book but am a bit tempted. I have been a fan of mixing Western and Eastern therapies for 25 years. Some of things I started back then, like taking probiotics, were looked on as crazy and I for the most part just quietly went on my way rather than try to explain to people what I was doing. Now probiotics are “mainstream” and even our pediatrician says that the gut is the number two part of our immune system (skin number one) and that it is incredibly important to protect it. Anyway, I think people should be open to “alternative” therapies, since in particular ones that employ actual physical agents (i.e. honey, herbs, etc) if they work are doing so because of some mechanism, just like western drugs. It is just hard on the web (or in person for that matter) to know whether it is a legitimate thing or some con artist trying to play on people’s fears and make a buck. I tend to think Michelle is coming from an honest place but who knows..

  • I had MRSA 4 years ago and got very sick with. I didn’t know what I was up against for a few months and of course got sicker and sicker even though I was doing everything and anything. I went off all sugar, that included even things like bread as that has sugar in it, as sugar in the body encourages bacterial growth. I was changing my sheets every day, boiling my towels every day. I took lots of vitamin C, Zinc and other vitamins. I juiced carrots and later beetroot with the carrot juice.It all helped but I couldn’t stop the reinfection. My daughter’s doctor said to her that when the infection becomes entrenched he had had patients burn their carpets etc. as the infection gets into everything in the house. So how do you deal with? I’d tried wiping things down with bleach.
    Eventually it was suggested I use a an ozone machine. This pumps out O3 air (can’t tell you how it works) and gets into everything killing bacteria and I suppose pathogens.
    I did that and that was the turning point. I have since found O3 is valuable for more than that.
    I have not had a recurrence only scars to remind me!!

  • I really enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions about this subject matter. I have a condition called “folliculitis” from a staph infection that I have been battling for 6 years. It causes my hair to fall out and comes complete with bald spots about once per year. It does eventually grow back but as soon as it comes back in, it starts to fall out again. I too have been on several different antibiotics over the course of the past 2 years and everytime I try to stop taking them, the condition is worse than ever. I too am desperate for help and relief so I did download Michelle’s book and I am trying the various types of treatments. I ordered the manuka honey and have been taking a teaspoon per day for a couple of weeks now. I ordered several essential oils but just received them so haven’t tried them yet. I have started taking probiotics about 4 days ago and plant based multivitamins and I am drinking green smoothies a few times per week. I understand it is all going to take time and that there is no “magic” formula, but everyone knows that antibiotics don’t cure it, so the best we can hope for is some relief and at this point I am willing to try anything. I will say that this condition makes my head burn and itch really bad. I bought some Organix Teatree Mint hair conditioner last week and it has been TREMENDOUS. I massage it into my scalp and it has decreased the burning and itching by about 80% and that was after the first use. I have been using it everyday and am so pleased to have a product relieve these symptoms. I am going to keep working on all the other things like the oils, smoothies, meditation, prayer, etc. and I will report back in a couple of months, but right now fingers crossed that Michelle really knows what she’s talking about. And I will assure you that all of this absolutely IS brought on by stress. I am a very high strung person and I had a horrible first marriage coupled with a horrible job 20 years ago that started all of this. It began with shingles that attacked my optic nerve, and then manifested into this staph infection years later. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to stressing out so I am trying very hard to stay more calm and not let things get me so anxious. I do the Spinning class at the gym which helps relieve a ton of stress – I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants a good workout but doesn’t want to lift weights or run on a boring treadmill. Anyhow my goal is not for an immediate overnight magical fix, but for a healthier lifestyle and to incorporate Michelle’s suggestions to see if over time this condition goes away.

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