Treat Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms: San Francisco / East Bay Orinda Acupuncture

August 7th, 2023 by h2


Treat Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms: San Francisco / East Bay Orinda Acupuncture


Since you may not feel like reading a lot, first, the short version. You have chronic Lyme disease, doctors have not been helpful, and maybe even are telling you you don’t have it. You know this is not true, but can’t get help. You were not treated within 30 days of the initial bite/infection, and now can’t get rid of the Lyme disease. These practical tips may offer significant relief, and might restore a significant quality of life you have lost.

These are the basic steps that can help massively:

  1. Symptom Reduction+Strength Restoration: quality real acupuncture. If you are in the SF Bay area, particularly in the East Bay, Li Chen Wang’s Orinda Acupuncture ((925) 247-4183, 1 Northwood Drive, Unit 2, Orinda, CA 94563) can help a lot. She is familiar with Lyme disease and is a good communicator and listener. Practices real Asian style acupuncture, and has good pricing options for treatment plans. Highly recommended.
  2. Symptom Mitigation: there are some herbal tinctures that are known to help break down the outer protective surface of the Lyme bacteria, a good source for these is They ship very quickly, and have good prices. A common set of tinctures that is known to work quite well is Derek Clontz System Protocol 1. That’s an excellent value, and features 2 ounce bottle of Uncarine Max (aka Cats Claw, which you can also find locally in health food stores, but I believe the Uncarine is more potent, and a 2 ounce bottl Otoba Root extract. Take about 30 drops 2x a day to start, then after a while you can drop to 1x a day. that’s about 2/3 of a dropper, which the bottles come with. This is slow, but works over time to reduce frequency of symptom outbreaks
  3. Eat Well! Cut out as much white stuff from your diet as you can, in particular, sugars. Lyme loves sugar, so get rid of sugar from your daily diet. Whole grains are better than processed white grains, same reason. Potatoes have a lot of dense starch carbohydrates, so eat them much less often, and less of them. Changing your diet is both healthier for you anyway long term, and significantly reduces the intensity and frequency of the outbraks.

I’ll say a bit more about each of these below, but the above is all you need to really know to get on the way to feeling human again.


Note that proper traditional acupuncture works in a few ways: First, it can help reduce and improve and ideally heal the symptoms; Second, it can build up the body’s ability to heal itself, and restore the core vitality that long term illness can drain (related to the ch’i you may have heard a reference to). These two work together, as the body gets stronger, its abilty to heal itself and resist illness likewise improves. Which means, you feel better and stronger.

Finding a quality acupuncture practitioner makes a huge difference. Li Chen Wang’s Orinda Acupuncture is one such source. She does the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) version. You may find milder forms in your area, that can also help a lot, but they take longer, and at worst, don’t do all that much, but try to find someone reasonably close by because you need to go fairly often, ideally the initial treatments should be many within the first 2 weeks, in Asia, 10 in a row is common, every day, then looking at the progress after that. Li Chen has good pricing plans to support this type of care, most acupuncturists don’t, and it gets too expensive to consider as a practical option.

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Orinda Acupuncture: High Quality Acupuncture to Recover from Long Standing Joint and Ligament Issues

June 19th, 2023 by h2

Over the years, I’ve collected more than my fair share of very hard to correct ligament and joint issues while hiking and backpacking, and realized that many or even most people might not be aware that such issues can often be resolved.

My usual practice is to go to a western doctor first, to make sure it’s not something like a fully torn ligament or broken bone or whatever, which it never has been. Afer I’ve excluded that, I then get high quality acupuncture to resolve the issue.

I’ve had real success with this over the years, but realize many to most Americans just are not aware of what acupuncture can actually do when done by a qualified and ideally Asia trained acupuncturist.

When I find a good one, I tend to stick with them because they are hard to find, acupuncture is sort of halfway between science and art, I think the more rigorous their training was, the closer to science, and the less, the closer to art.

I had some severe joint inflammation issues which were hampering my ability to train and hike, or even ride a bike, and I started getting acupuncture from a local Community Acupuncture branch, which are reasonably priced and sliding scale, but generally are staffed by US trained practitioners. I believe the schools here are roughly 6 month courses, though I’m not certain. But they are definitely not the full medical school type training they do in Asia.

This was helping, but was very slow, so I lucked out and found Li Chen Wang, and she had the long standing issues resolved within 5 or 6 sessions. She just opened a new practice of her own at Orinda Acupuncture, which is pretty close to the East Bay, and is well worth the trip if you live anywhere close by.

Her new practice is located at 1 Northwood Drive, Unit 2, Orinda, CA 94563, (925) 247-4183, but you can schedule an appointment using her website. She was working with another acupuncture group previously, but it did not allow her enough time to do the care she wants to do, so she decided to setup her own practice.

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Understanding Thread Types and Thicknesses

October 19th, 2019 by h2

This convenient listing of the types of thread is at but I’m preserving it here as well in case it goes away, and because I need this information myself for sewing projects, and always forget what the various mara and tera and tex sizes actually are, and how they interact and relate to things like needle sizes.

Note that the spools sold by ripstopbytheroll and diygearsupply work fine on regular sewing machines spindles though they tend to rattle around a bit, you can get around that issue by simply making a larger spindle to go over the regular thin metal spindle on the sewing machine if you find it annoying or hard to work with.

Units of Textile Measurement
Gütermann Numbering System

1 tex = 1 gram per 1,000 meters = 10 dtex = 9 den
Nm = 1000/tex
The No./Tkt. is a development of the Nm, but does not inform about how many individual threads the ply-yarn has been produced. No. 100 may be a Nm 65/2 or a Nm 100/3 thread for example.

Mara 100 = Sew-all Thread = tex 30 = dtex 300(2) = two-ply yarn.
Recommended needle and needle size: universal needle NM 70 – 90 / #10 – #14
“Mara 100” is sold to industrial customers, “Sew-all thread” to end customers in retail shops.
The quality is the same, but the price in retail shops is often too high.

Mara 70 = tex 40 = dtex 400(3) = three-ply yarn
Recommended needle size: NM 90 – 100 / #14 – #16 [Note: I’ve used #12 for years, with no issues]
Mara 70 is sold to industrial customers only, but available here: gutermann-thread gutermann-mara-70

Mara 50 = tex 60 = dtex 600(3) = three ply yarn.
Recommended needle size: NM 90 – 110 / #14 – #18
Mara 50 is sold to industrial customers only, but available here: mara-50-thread

Tera 80 = tex 35 = dtex 350(3) = three-ply yarn.
Recommended needle size: NM 70 – 90 / #10 – #14
Tera 80 is sold to industrial customers only, but available here: gutermann-tera Gutermann-TERA-80-Polyester-Thread

Tera 60 = tex 50 = dtex 500(3) = three-ply yarn.
Recommended needle size: NM 90 – 100 / #14 – #16 [Note: I’ve used #12 for years, with no issues]
Tera 60 is sold to industrial customers only, but available here: gutermann-tera

Tera 40 = tex 75 = dtex 750(3) = three-ply yarn.
Recommended needle size: NM 90 – 110 / #14 – #18
Some household sewing machines don’t work with a #18 needle and Tera 40.
Tera 40 is sold to industrial customers only, but available here: gutermann-tera

Kite Sewing 101 Recommendations. Also helpful for us:
kites4all kite-sewing-101

A quick cheatsheet reference:

Mara; Tex; Needle
220; ; 13; ?
120; ; 25; ?
100; 30; “10-12” (sew-all)
70; 40; “14-16”
30; 100; ?

TERA; TEX; Needle
80; 35; “10-14”
60; 50; “14-16”
40; 75; “16-18”
30; 100;
20; 150;
15; 200;
10; 290;
8; 375;

Quilt seams & hems: M50/M90/1.1 rip (uncoated) – Microtex 70/10 with Gutermann “SewAll” ie Mara 100 (Tex 30)

Tarp & pack seams & hems: 1.3 sil (1.1 coated) – Microtex 80/12 with Guterman Mara 70 (Tex 40)

Tarp tie-outs; pack attach points & buckles (shoulder, sternum & hip straps) – Microtex 90/14 with Gutermann Mar 70 (Tex 40)

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State of the Electric World

February 16th, 2019 by h2

Every so often I’ll post a quick review of current green (sic) technolgies. These items are sourced from a variety of places, including some of the better youtubers, along with more standard web e-stuff sites. So here it goes, in no particular order.

  • Audi and BMW and Mercedes, paid for the dismantling of the Tesla Model 3 recently, and concluded, much to their chagrine, that Tesla is way ahead TODAY of what they had developed to compete, particularly Audi/VW, to the tune of something like 4000 dollars more expense to produce the primary powertrain system than what Tesla is spending, a powertrain that is basically also inferior in most ways to what Tesla is producing now, today. This caused some dismay, but what do these morons expect? they outsourced their early e-stuff development, thus losing the ability to generate inhouse expertise, and as with GM, often had the power train supplied by people like, oh, Tesla (Mercedes City Car), or Rimac, whatever. Who piled up said expertise, and pulled away further and faster.
  • Some of the big Germans also, grudgingly, admitted they are making a big mistake by not controlling their own battery sourcing, dugh, I mean, I said a while back, ad nauseum, the battery is the primary component, like an engine in a fossil car, if you outsource that, your company is little more than a kit car assembler, if you are honest.
  • Rumors swirled last few weeks, we recall that GM was ‘thinking about’ making a lot of EVs. Not actually making them, note, particularly remembering that the Bolt, their single EV, runs a full LG power train/battery pack, ergo, GM knows nothing about EVs, like, literally nothing. So what was this thinking about referring to? Well it came out, GM was thinking about investing in Rivian. Apparently, that thinking was too tiring, and it came out this week that Amazon is the one that ended up dropping a cool 700 million into Rivian. Smart investment. With this said, it has struck me, you recall that GM went bankrupt in the 2008 crash, and the US gov ‘saved’ them. This probably should not have been done, sad to say, for what do we see now? we see a massive resurgence in the USA vehicle industry, but none, not one, of those companies are in any way connected to the big 3 fossil USA car companies, none of whom can make anything remotely resembling a good vehicle, particularly not a car anyone outside of the Americas wants to buy (except, of course, Tesla, who cannot meet global demand, and who employs some 45,000 American workers, while GM closes plants and lays off workers).
  • Rumors were also swirling about Ford partnering with VW on the VW sled, that is, VW produces the sled part, and Ford sells the assembled cars. Note the aggressive refusal to actually make their own e vehicle? Anyway, it turned out, this won’t work, because Ford has no interest in selling lower cost EVs, though they are testing an e-F150, but given Rivian’s lead, pardon me while I stifle a yawn.
  • Ok, ok, I lied, GM is in fact producing, or at least, putting their name on what is probably a Chinese produced, vehicle, fully e powered. Very reasonable pricing, about 3-4 thousand dollars. I see you react with surprise, what? 3 or 4 k? yep. Ok, it’s a bicycle, an e-bike. Yawn. I doubt they even make the motor and battery.
  • Real solid state batteries are here, as I noted, look for the weak spots, in the unspoken parts, and I have read enough solid state battery stuff, including a few now in real production, to find the fine print, which in some cases, had to be grudgingly put into the very fine print, it’s charge cycles. So, what happened, there is a new UK solar powered drone, weather satellite sort of, except flying in atmosphere, can stay up about 90 days. Why, do you ask, is it limited to 90 days? certainly running highest kwh/kg packs, since weight is a premium, and though they did not say this specifically, it is because they are using solid state batteries, that have only a 100 charge cycle life time, 100 days, that is. Also note, that means, you replace the battery pack cells every 90 days. Obviously a no go for phone or car, and this is why you still are not seeing this tech in phones or cars, which require a 1000 minimum charge cycle life for phones, and many thousand for cars.
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Silpoly / PU Coatings

February 3rd, 2019 by h2

Here is an interesting discussion on on Silpoly durability and PU coating types: Geoff Caplan on backpackinglite. Some things tend to get lost in backpackinglight from the endless churn, so I want to preserve the main points here.

I thought I’d give a heads up to the views of Mike Cecot-Scherer. He’s a freelance designer of backpacking tents, with over 250 designs to his name for many of the major brands. He has access to their labs and repair departments, so is in an usually strong position to cast light on this issue.

He is a strong proponent of 20d poly as a fly fabric, particularly with a sil/PU coating.

Some take-home points from his site:

  • Sag when wet: silnylon can stretch as much as 4″ across the longest dimension of a small tent, leading to serious flapping and increased wind load. Silpoly retains its pitch in the wet. He sees this as a big deal.
  • Tear strength: while nylon is a few percent stronger in theory, in practice strength will vary a lot between manufacturers and batches. After a few days of UV exposure, the silpoly may well overtake the nylon because of its much superior UV resistance. And in any case, repair departments report that fabric tears aren’t a significant cause of failure.
  • Puncture & abrasion resistance: he argues that these are terrible on all lightweight tent fabrics, so there isn’t much to choose between them. Provided you reinforce the stress points, he feels that all you can do is carry a good repair tape in case of issues.
  • Waterproofing: he feels that a 1500-2000 coating is fine for both flies and floors. If you want a bit more robustness, you could take the floor up to 3000. Anything more is overkill. In his experience, users often mistake condensation or vapour transmission (lightweight fabrics breathe) for leakage. He prefers a sil/PU coating as you can seal the seams reliably. He doesn’t discuss the longevity of the PU coating, so I’ve dropped him a line and will post if he replies.

He’s recently developed his own comfort-oriented range of freestanding backpacking tents with some bleeding-edge features. He subjected them to multi-directional wind tests – possible the most comprehensive yet conducted. They were stable and quiet up to Force 8. When tested to failure, it was the DAC poles that went, not the fabric. There are videos of the tests on his site, which is well worth exploring:

A bit further down that thread George posts another comment by Mike:

… But here’s the thing: no one actually bases their tear strength requirements or even their desires on what’s NEEDED because no one knows what that too-low number is. So we’ve gotten into a sort of tear strength arms race even though it’s obvious that it’s the tensile strength that a tent primarily needs (and all fabrics available are WAY overkill).

So I’ve taken it upon myself to ask repair departments of my clients (and Kelty, of course, when I was there) what, if any repairs they saw were caused by the tear strength being too low. Tents age, UV damages fabric, surely there should be some indication of a lower limit to tear strength in use. But the answer was always no. No repairs ever because tear strength was too low. Actually is was quite striking. There were even tents sent in for repair that you could literally push your finger through which weren’t being sent back to be fixed because of that; the customer hadn’t damaged it and it was sent back for something else entirely!

As to abrasion resistance or puncture resistance, ALL the lightweight fabrics we use are just terrible – it takes the barest swoosh against a sharp rock or a gnarled tree to put a bunch of holes or a tear into a rainfly. About the only thing one can say about higher tear strength is that there’s the theoretical possibility (and hope) that a tear won’t propagate as much in a higher tear strength fabric. But prevent a tear? No way. This is when having some of the truly excellent repair tapes available can really save the day. I love modern repair tapes.

Then an important bit of information on PU coatings from Mark:

I asked him about the longevity of PU coatings on lightweight fabrics, and also to look over this thread and give his responses. As you read this, it’s worth bearing in mind that he’s one of the most experienced people in the industry.

The durability of PU coatings can be all over the map and they can’t be distinguished between without some very fancy equipment. The most common PU coatings are called polyester-based polyurethanes. These will degrade with water (!) over time through a process called hydrolysis which basically means that water causes the polymer chains to break apart. It’s what’s responsible for sticky and stinky coatings and short tent life on all kinds of fronts.
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