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As far as feedback on the Posture Perfect!TM class goes, it has not only met my expectations, but exceeded them! There are several reasons I enjoy the class... 

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The Sequoia Advisor

       IN THIS ISSUE                                                               February 15th 2015

  • Health-Based Exercises Help You Feel Good
  • A Healthy Body Starts With Good Digestion
  • Fantastic LivMD Testimonial
  • New Better Health and Fitness 101 Workshop Series...
    Register Now!
  • Spring's Magical Transformation Retreat with
    Bonnie Elliott, Gentle Yoga Instructor

Feel Better... Live Better

Health-Based Exercises Help You Feel Good
By Woody McMahon 

The Right Kind of Exercises Help You Feel Good
The right kind of exercise program can make a significant difference
in how you feel. A regular exercise program can reduce stress, improve
sleep quality, promote better digestion, increase muscle and bone strength,
make breathing easier and alleviate pain. The key is to make sure your
exercise program is right for you. It is also important that the exercises are
both safe and effective. Let's first look at a
new concept in fitness called
health-based exercises.

Understanding Health-Based Exercises
Health-based exercises, like you we use in our Posture Perfect!TM classes,
are specifically designed to improve some aspect of your health. It could be
better posture and balance or a stronger spine and hip bones, muscles, back
or heart. These exercise are more targeted than general exercises and are
able to enhance blood flow, improve muscular strength and flexibility, reduce
pain, enhance breathing and reduce stress. Unlike exercise programs you
might find at a health club, these exercises focus on direct health benefits.
The Importance of Exercise Safety
We are just beginning to understand the importance of exercise safety.
There are many injuries attributed to
exercise programs that contain
exercises. Scientific studies have determined that certain exercises
place an enormous strain on the back and other joints.
Exercises such
as crunches and curls, forward and side bending, seated exercises of all
kinds and exercise involving rotation are not recommended for most people.  
Armed with this knowledge, it is much easier to create a safe exercise
sequence that minimizes seated exercise, reduce strain on the spine,
strengthens the back muscles and improves posture and flexibility.

Focus on Muscular Balance
Most fitness programs spend more time on the muscles you can see and less
on those you can't. The ones you can't see, called the extensor or postural
are vitally important to good posture, a healthy spine, shoulders,
knees and hips. These muscles: the erector spinae, middle and lower trapezius,
gluteus medius and maximus are the primary support muscles of the spine,
hips and pelvis.

Exercises That Heal
Many back, neck, hip and shoulder pain syndromes, headaches, slipped discs
and poor posture patterns can be attributed to weakness, tightness or
imbalances in the postural muscles. So just because you can't see them
doesn't mean they are not important. We concentrate heavily on the back
and hip muscles in our Posture Perfect!TM classes. Free to ask me about
some of the good exercises for these muscles so that you can add them to
your current workout right away.

How to Get Maximum Health Benefits
A safe and effective exercise program has four main parts. It will include
1. A Dynamic Warm-Up, 2. Health-Based Strengthening Exercises,
3. Balance and Coordination Activities 4. Appropriate Stretches
at the end. 
Some other important points to consider are whether the use
of the treadmill and other seated exercise machines fit into your safe,
effective and functional exercise strategy.

Treadmills and Seated Exercise Machines
In a word, they do not. The treadmill is a poor substitute for
walking and
seated machines reduce your ability to challenge your balance or effectively
stabilize your body. Body control and balance are both important qualities
that allow you to more easily perform normal, daily activities. (ADL's)

Osteoporosis Specific Exercise Programs
For maximum safety, exercises involving flexion, twisting and trunk
curling (crunches)
should be avoided if you have osteoporosis. Stronger
extensor muscles help reduce fracture risk by improving posture,
stabilizing the spine and taking the weight off the vertebral bodies. Be very
careful with "one size fits all" exercise programs because they do not
address your specific health and fitness needs or offer the same benefits as an
individualized one. Take the time to seek professional help when creating or
modifying your exercise program. It will be well worth your time and money.

Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?
Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? I provide an easy to
follow program without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while
helping you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no
cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to

A Healthy Body Starts With Good Digestion
by Woody McMahon 

Bones and Digestion
The connection between poor or improper digestion and osteoporosis is
becoming stronger and stronger. Eating healthy foods to help strengthen
your bones is only half the story. Being able to properly digest the foods
you eat and get the nutrients to the tissues in your body is the other half
of the healthy bone equation. 

Bacteria's Beneficial Effects
Even though you hear many "bad" things about bacteria, the truth is that you
cannot live without the existence of certain bacteria in and on your body.
The trick is in keeping the "good" and "bad" bacteria in a healthful balance,
especially in your digestive system. Although sometimes necessary, antibiotics
wreak havoc on the natural, helpful bacteria by decreasing their numbers in
the digestive system and on your skin. Antibiotic therapy can also cause an
increase in secondary infections of the urinary tract, skin and digestive system.

Bacteria and Your Bones
Your body has billions of naturally existing, beneficial bacteria that are
mostly found in your large intestines and on your skin. These naturally
occurring bacteria assist with digestion, strengthen your immune system and
prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also produce vitamins such as
biotin and vitamin K which are important for healthy bone formation. The
foods you eat have a strong influence on the types and numbers of bacteria
that reside in your intestinal tract.

"You are what you eat" is an old saying that was popularized in the 20's
and 30's by Victor Lindlahr but holds as true today as it did then. The
types of foods you eat will either increase or decrease the numbers of
healthful bacteria in your intestines. It is the non-digestible food
ingredients, such as fiber, that stimulate the types and amounts of
healthful bacteria. These non-digestible substances are called Prebiotics
and they are the actual foods that fortify your healthy bacteria.

Probiotics... "Friendly" Bacteria
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Nobel laureate Eli
Metchnikoff was the first to describe certain bacteria as having a positive
benefit on humans. He hypothesized that it would be possible to modify the
bacteria in the human digestive tract to improve health and reduce the
effects of disease and aging. To some extent his hypothesis was correct.
The modern term Probiotics comes from his work.

Probiotics are a group of "friendly" bacteria, mostly Lactobacillus or
Bifidobacterium, that are similar to the ones found normally and
beneficially in your digestive tract. What can you do to keep these
friendly bacteria in place? Eat lots of fruits and vegetables which supply
essential Prebiotics and eat foods that contain Probiotics such as yogurt,
fermented and unfermented milk, miso and some juices and soy drinks.
Dannon's Activia yogurt, for instance, is an example of a probiotic food.

Working Together For Your Health. Prebiotics and Probiotics
Together Prebiotics and Probiotics work together to keep a healthy
population of bacteria in and on your body. Probiotics have been helpful in
naturally treating gas, cramping and diarrhea as well as easing the
symptoms of lactose intolerance. Research is being conducted on Probiotics
to treat conditions such as infectious diarrhea; irritable bowel syndrome;
inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Other areas of study are infections with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a
bacterium that causes most ulcers and many types of chronic stomach
inflammation, vaginal infections, skin infections and numerous others.

The Smart Choice
Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, fiber and foods that
naturally contain probiotics is a smart choice for healthy living. Reducing
sugar and chemicals when you can will help the "good" bacteria thrive.
Supplementing with a probiotic along with your other vitamins may also be
a good idea as well.

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Better digestion means
a healthier and stronger body so that you can go out and have more fun.

If you need additional suggestions and advice or don't quite know where to
start on living a healthier lifestyle, contact
me for a no cost consultation,
at 703-628-2880 or email to

Give the Gift of Health!
Posture Perfect!TM Classes...

Looking for the perfect healthy birthday gift for someone?
Consider purchasing a gift certificate for one or several
Posture Perfect!TM classes. Gift certificate amounts start
at $20. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give
to someone you love.

LivMD Updates

I just received an amazing testimonial about the LivMD from a psychotherapist
in New Jersey.
He read about the LivMD in my newsletter and then decided to buy
one and give it a try. Here is his testimonial in its entirety:

"Hi Woody,

I love it!  No back pain any longer and my last osteo scan stunned my doctor
showing the first improvement in #s ever.  She said it was a statistically
significant change.  I was using it twice a day 7 days a week.  My balance
has been much, much improved, energy higher, focus better, sleeping longer.
 I sent Marodyne a quick note letting them know the results even though
I hadn't been using it very long.  There were no other changes I had made
other than the platform.

My life became very sedentary a few months due to other health events.
Tests couldn't find anything and I became curious about lymph problems
that could be causing the extreme lower leg edema.  I looked at recent
research on the LivMD and saw that it can also help with that - hooray!
So, I'm back on the machine as of Tuesday - not as vigorous because my
feet hurt - hopefully that will improve.

No one I know personally owns one, but a few clients have reported their
gyms employ vibrating devices.  Their descriptions make me think they
are higher in vibration. They haven't reported any exercises that were
added to their routines by the gyms.   I put mine outside on nice days
(covered porch) and let people know they can come by on days when
I'm working and use it.  (I'm a psychotherapist with a home office.)

Thanks for the check-in - as ever I wish you were in Rhode Island
and value your newsletter.  If you ever make videos for purchase
of your programs, please let me know.  Are you thinking of exercises
people can do while ON the LivMD or in conjunction with its use?

Kyle Hopkins"

We are still looking for volunteers for our LivMD investigational study.
Please give Woody McMahon a call at 703.628.2880 or email to

New for 2015
Health and Fitness 101 Workshops

With the best of intentions and thinking that you are doing the right
thing, you set out to improve your heath and fitness. But, after a
month or two, you find yourself either
confused, stuck or giving-up
on your goals of becoming a fitter or healthier person.

Does this pattern sound familiar? All too often you, like many other
people, find yourself working with
information that is inaccurate
or has little value, out-dated techniques and a support team that is
inadequate to assist in the changes necessary to help you look and
feel your best.

Enter to the rescue, the Health and Fitness 101 series of workshops.
Why do I call them 101? If you might recall, in college, all the first year
courses were numbered 101. And this is exactly what we will do; skip
the fashionable trends, Dr. Oz "isms," fads, myths and gimmicks and
return to the basics. Just like the coach says to the team when they
are failing miserably, "boys, it's time to get back to fundamentals."

The workshops will help you
simplify the entire process, get you back
on track, dramatically increase your success rate and strengthen your
support system by surrounding yourself with like minded people.

These workshops cover a variety of topics and are hands-on, personalized
and limited to six participants (4 minimum). The workshops will continue as
an ongoing class for those who are interested. All the workshops will begin
in January. Dates and times to be announced.  Please contact me at
703.628.2880 or email me for more
information or to register.

Here is a Sampling of Topics:

Weight Training 101
Weight training has been shown to be one of the best ways to enhance
both physical and mental health. Weights are also an excellent companion
to your Posture Perfect!TM exercises. In this workshop you will learn weight
lifting safety, functional weight training techniques and body weight training
for maximum health and fitness benefits. Weight training has been shown

clinically to improve osteoporosis, back pain, multiple sclerosis,
Parkinson's disease, mental impairment and diabetes.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

De-Stress 101
Managing stress is the most overlooked way to improve your physical
and mental health. Stress unnecessarily contributes to many different health
In this workshop you will learn how to implement a variety of
stress reduction techniques such as focused breathing, mindful stretching,
meditation and visualization. If you are less stressed you will s
leep better,
have fewer headaches, experience less aches and pains and have better
memory and thinking skills.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Healthy Weight 101
Losing weight is not as complicated as most people make it. But when you
make it complicated, it is very difficult to succeed. Excess weight gain is
closely tied to
stress eating and cannot be fixed by counting calories and
exercise alone. In this workshop you will learn how to effectively stop
stress eating, learn correct portion control and a body fat burn exercise

Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Healthy Bones 101
Strengthening your bones is important to reducing your fracture risk and
maintaining a high quality of life.
Most people make the mistake of trying to
improve their bone health by diet and exercise alone. They overlook the four
important steps that are necessary for healthy bones. In this workshop,
you will learn about and how to implement the four important steps to
healthy bones. Stronger bones help reduce your fracture risk and allow
you to enjoy life more.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Flexibility 101
Practicing regular flexibility activities is the best way to improve circulation
while reducing stiffness, muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Improving circulation
also helps speed healing and reduce premature aging. In this workshop, you
will learn a simple 30 minute stretching program using the green stretching
strap. These straps were invented and are used by physical therapists all
over the world. Increasing your flexibility helps you feel healthier.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30 

In-Home Health-Based Exercise Instruction

For those of you who cannot get to my office or would prefer to work in the
privacy of your own home, I am offering all of my classes and instruction
at your home or office.
Please contact me at 703.628.2880 or email me
woody@sequoiahealth.comfor more information or to schedule a
no-cost telephone consultation.

Beginner Posture Perfect!TM Classes in Herndon,
Reston and Arlington

We have beginner Posture Perfect!TM classes in Herndon, Reston and
Arlington. Take your first class for FREE and see how much taller, more
balanced and relaxed you feel afterwards. To register please contact
Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to
Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a towel, a bottle of water
and an exercise mat if you have one.

Posture Perfect!TM for Spinomed Program
I have created a new companion back strengthening exercise program to
help anyone wearing the Spinomed orthosis. The classes include helpful tips
on getting the most from your Spinomed as well as exercises that help
strengthen your back, improve your posture and increase your balance.

Click Here to learn more about this exciting program.

Posture Perfect!TM First Class FREE

If you have never tried Posture Perfect!TM you owe it to yourself to
come to one of our convenient classes and see how good it makes you
feel. We want you to give us a try so come take your first Posture Perfect!TM
class for FREE. It's on us... so what do you have to lose?

Please call Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to for more information or to make
your reservation.

The FREE Posture Perfect!TM class helps introduce you to the many
benefits of our safe and effective posture, balance and strength program
co-developed by Sara Meeks, PT and Woody McMahon, personal trainer.

Come and experience how each class can help strengthen your bones,
improve your balance, alleviate back aches and neck pains, improve
osteoporosis and teach you how to sit and stand-up straighter. 

The History of Posture Perfect!TM
When I developed the Posture Perfect!TM classes over 2 years ago, there
were no safe and effective exercise programs available for "over age 50" adults.
Everywhere I looked there were older adults in classes that used seated

exercises (bad for your back); machine style exercises (bad for your balance)
treadmills (a poor hip and leg strengthener); and performed movements
that involved crunching, bending and twisting. (increases the risk of spinal
compression fractures)

Posture Perfect!TM solved all of these problems by offering a safe and effective
approach helping older adults become more active. Each class improves your
posture, strengthens your bones, enhances your balance, alleviates back
aches and neck pains, reduces fracture risk and teaches you how to sit
and stand-up straighter. 

We have several people in our current classes who are coming to strengthen
their bones
and over half of the others are interested in exercises and posture
changes to help make their backs and necks feel better.

Please call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information, class times and reservations.

Posture Perfect!TM Testimonials...
Posture Perfect's! momentum continues to grow. Here is a glowing testimonial
from one of our class members.

"Posture Perfect!TM class has not only met my expectations, but exceeded
them! There are several reasons I enjoy the class. The small class size
gives each of us extraordinary personalized training; your knowledge,
expertise, patience, and sense of humor makes me look forward to
coming to a class I thought would be only for 6 weeks; and I have
learned so much more than I expected."

"For example, I now think about my posture every time I sit, and just when
I thought I'd begin to have a hard time rising from sitting on the floor, you
taught me how to make it easier. I try to practice some of the balance
exercises a couple of times a week (I know, I should do it more often!).
I thank you for all I have learned from you so far, and hope to continue
this class for the foreseeable future!"
Paula S.

Click Here to read more about S.A.F.E. and effective Posture Perfect!TM

Welcome Spring’s Magical Transformation

With a Retreat

to Awaken Body, Mind & Heart!

Sunday, March 15th - 2P to 5:30P

Your retreat will encompass 3 practices that will restore your body, release your mind and rekindle your spirit:

Discover the meditative art form Zentangle®

By using simple repetitive strokes to create individually unique designs, we will learn how Zentangle can be used to enhance meditation practice, relieve stress and increase focus. You need NO special talents, just an open mind and the willingness to explore a new dimension of yourself. Your guide thru the adventure will be Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) Roberta Hughes. We’ll enjoy light refreshments and the connection of sangha (community).

Immerse yourself in the freedom

of gentle yoga

Release unnecessary tension in body, mind and heart through a yoga practice of gentle movement led by Bonnie Elliott that will leave you feeling relaxed and delightfully prepared to embark on the final hour of retreat - a journey into Yoga Nidra. No yoga experience needed. Yoga mats, chairs and other supportive props are provided.

Nestle into the tranquility of Yoga Nidra

Allow yourself to be swept into serenity and ease of “being” through the meditative practice of Yoga Nidra led by Bonnie Elliott. For thousands of years, practitioners of Yoga Nidra have experienced the multitude of benefits including: deep full-body relaxation, decreased anxiety & stress and enhanced sleep & digestion. No meditation experience needed.

Where: Qi Elements Studio - 464 Herndon Parkway, Suite 215, Herndon, VA

When: Sunday, March 15 - 2P to 5:30P

Cost: $109.00

We need 8 students registered by March 11th to hold the retreat.

To register: Call or email Bonnie Elliott, MSW, RYT: 

703-407-2065 or

We have space for a maximum of just 16 retreat attendees so register soon!

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon
The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Drive
Herndon, VA

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed
as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed
health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the
understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine
or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care
practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not
advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to
matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that
readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No
action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The
material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound
at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the
authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to
replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult
with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The
publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Copyright (c) 2006-2015 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.


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Healthy Weight 101
(See description below)
March 11th
2 to 3:30 pm
Cost: $30

Call Woody at
to reserve your
spot today!


    A mindful and holistic approach to Fall Prevention, Balance, Full Body Functional Strengthening and Posture Exercises for All Ages! Our Science-Based Exercises are Safe and Appropriate for Your Ability. Our Exercises Help Improve Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Fear of Falling, Balance and Strength Problems. Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Middleburg, Arlington Sterling and Northern Virginia.

    483A Carlisle Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170

    300 West Washington Street
    Middleburg, VA 20118