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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          March 1, 2008 
  • Acupuncture for a Healthy Heart
  • Prioritizing Health, Family and Self
  • Beginner Small Group Personal Training
  • Help Your Heart and Raise Some Money
    for The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon


Acupuncture for a Healthy Heart


More Ways to Help Your Heart

Going to the gym, eating healthier meals and relaxing more are all essential to maintaining a healthy heart. What else can you do to strengthen the heart and reduce the physical damage that comes from high stress living? The Chinese Medical Classics, written over two centuries ago, discuss the effects of emotional trauma and stress on the heart. They suggest ways to strengthen your heart through acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine combined with traditional physical activities. Even though ancient, the concepts in these writings remain surprisingly relevant to our 21st century lifestyle.

The Essence of Qi and Spirit

There are two basic concepts of Chinese Medicine called qi and spirit. Roughly translated as "energy," qi is the animating force that constantly circulates within your body, giving you the capacity to move, feel, and think. Spirit refers to your core soul, what makes you, YOU. Although  difficult to define, it is a quality recognizable in others when you see a healthy light in their eyes and actions and hear a purpose to their words. Similarly, you can sense dullness in those who are 'dispirited' or whose 'spirit is broken.' Trauma and daily stresses can impact both your qi and spirit.


Trauma and the Heart

The Chinese Classics warn that 'shock impacts the heart.' Shock in contemporary Western terms refers to a traumatic event. The traumatic event may be physical: a car accident, a mugging, a surgery or emotional: job loss, divorce or death of a loved one. It is an event that may literally make your 'heart stop' or 'break your heart.' When you hear yourself say,
"Things haven't been the same since ...," you know the event has delivered a shock to your heart creating both physical and emotional imbalances. In this case your qi energy is disturbed through such physical or emotional trauma; it is said to 'stagnate.' When heart qi stagnates, it creates physical imbalances that may manifest as palpitations, insomnia, night
sweats, dizziness, a dry mouth and other related symptoms.


Stress and the Heart

Multitasking has become the norm... you talk on the phone while driving, eat while watching television, and work out while listening to music. Your senses are constantly being bombarded with information overload, noise and visual input. Over time, such constant excess creates over-stimulation of the senses and a level of stress which can overexcite your heart. This type of stress, according to the Chinese classics, causes your 'qi and spirit toscatter'. When the qi and spirit become ungrounded and dispersed, the result is a weak or irregular heartbeat, difficulty in focusing, and sudden mood swings.


How Acupuncture Strengthens Your Heart

Acupuncture treatments support your heart by effectively balancing and counteracting the negative effects of shock and stress. An acupuncture needle or a warming herb, called moxa, releases energy that has become stagnant or it stimulates and rebuilds energy that has become scattered. Specific acupuncture points help negate the accumulated effects
of shock and stress upon the qi and spirit can be found throughout the entire body. While certain acupuncture points and protocols may be used to address specific symptoms associated with heart disorders, acupuncture is most successful when it is based upon your unique characteristics. Find and treat the 'root' (cause) of a problem and the 'branches'  (symptoms)symptoms will take care of themselves.

In 2008, make Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle your number one goal. For more information on the benefits of living a healthier lifstyle go to http://www.sequoiahealth.comWe will be glad to offer you a no cost consultation and talk to you more about the benefits of Fresh Start. For a free
Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to 



Prioritizing Health, Family and Self 

The Juggle Struggle
Sally is a 42 year old married mother of two. She goes through her day, prioritizing, managing and racing the clock to complete all of the important 'to do's' on her list. If an unexpected, urgent 'to do' pops into her schedule, things get even more hectic. Sally is constantly bombarded by messages on how important exercise, eating healthier and reducing stress are in sustaining good health. Ultimately, she ends up choosing between her needs and those of her family. The stress and guilt that results from "not doing the right thing" is sometimes overwhelming. Sally is in a downward spiral and doesn't see any obvious way out.

There Must Be a Better Way
"As a parent too often I choose to sacrifice for myself and do what I feel is best for my family," says Sally. "Before I thought it was my only alternative; now I realize that making that choice actually means nobody benefits. My kids are constantly watching me and doing what I do and not what I say. When I choose to make unhealthy choices, my kids see right through me. My behavior leads them ever closer to living a sedentary and stressed out lifestyle. I need to make better choices and lead my family by example. If I don't present an active role model for them; they will grow up to be just like me. I am frustrated and need a solution that works for all of us.  But how do I do it? " 

Integrate Don't Separate
In business, the best company managers learn to delegate and integrate. Healthy individuals and families must do the same. Studies show that when you as parents spend more quality time with your children, they have a greater sense of belonging, wellbeing and connection. Your children are less likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drugs and alcohol to cope. They are better and more open communicators avoiding catastrophic events that may negatively change their lives for life. "The family that plays together stays together" is a great pearl of wisdom. Here are three great ways to integrate helping you and your children live healthier and happier lives. Practicing these steps will help make it much easier to prioritize health, family and self.

Three Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Get Active Together
Set aside some family activity time each week. This might involve going to the health club for a good workout or to the local park to throw a football, kick a soccer ball or toss a Frisbee. Time spent as a family in healthy activity is important time spent together. Activity helps the whole family build stronger muscles and bones, stabilize weight and blood sugar, reduce stress and keep depression at bay. More importantly, when your kids see you enjoying regular activity and taking care of yourself, it sets a good example for them. This is a great opportunity to simultaneously build stronger bodies and family bonds.

Simplify to Reduce Stress
Finding yourself constantly on the go and "trying to keep up with the Jones" is a losing proposition. Instead of the go, go, go lifestyle, you want to teach your children how to balance their lives avoiding stress induced diseases that reduce life satisfaction and quality. Preserve some weekends for the whole family to do something together. It may be a simple as watching a funny movie, sharing a good book or lazing around the house in your PJ's with just nothing to do.  

Eat Healthier Meals as a Family
Sitting down to dinner as a family has been shown to be one of the most beneficial activities you can do for your children. Children learn healthier eating habits (or not) by watching you at meal time. Dinner is a good opportunity to catch-up on your children's daily activities. It's a time to take the pulse of the family unit and listen to each other. Together mealtime can also present an opportunity to discuss current events of the world and get some of your children's thoughts. Studies show that children find great comfort sitting and eating with their families.

Do you always feel like everybody comes before you? Would you like to learn how to take better care of yourself in 2008? Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    


Beginner Small Group Personal Training
Have you been thinking about beginning a weight training program but the local health club seems a little scary? Maybe you are concerned about how you look and would rather have some place a little more private? Do you have a medical condition that needs someone with special knowledge to help you get active again? We have just the program for you.  


The Better Alternative. This year we are offering a more sensible solution that will keep you coming all year long. Our once a week, small group fitness program (4 people maximum) will only cost you $20 a session or $55 a month. For your money you get your own personal trainer, Suzanne Riley, with convenient times offered on evenings and weekends. These are beginner, lower intensity classes designed to help you get moving again. 

You'll also get:

  • Goal Setting to help you stay on track all year long
  • Fun Activity with an instructor who knows how to Educate and Motivate
  • Exercise Guidance so you get the most benefits from exercising properly

To find out more please call Suzanne at 703-464-5171 or email Twice a week training packages are available as well.


A Great Cardio Activity and Fundraiser for the Jeanie Schmidt
Free Clinic in Herndon

February Whack-it League and Tournament 

Join us in February for some FUN cardio, social time and fundraising for a good cause.
We are partnering with Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon sponsoring our first ever Whack-it league and tournament. Play times will be held on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. First, second and third place team prizes will be awarded. Come play for a good cause. Proceeds are being donated to the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon.  

The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon
was founded in 2002 by Jeanie Schmidt
who identified a critical need for health screenings for children seeking entrance to Fairfax County Schools.  In 2005, an adult clinic was added to serve the needs of patients with chronic health concerns.  In March of 2007, they moved to a dedicated facility at 500 Grove Street in Herndon.  


For more information on The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon, go to http://www.jsfreeclinic.orgy 

For more information on how to sign-up, volunteer or donate to the tournament, please contact Suzanne Riley at 703-464-5171 or email to   


Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

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) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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