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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                                                               March 1st 2015

  • Achieve Better Bone Quality and Reduce Fracture Risk
  • The Best Time to Check Vitamin D Levels
  • A Fantastic LivMD Testimonial
  • New Better Health and Fitness 101 Workshop Series...
    Register Now!
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Achieve Better Bone Quality and Reduce Fracture Risk
By Woody McMahon 

Bone's Major Functions
Bone has three major functions. The first involves providing a structural
support for your heart, lungs, marrow and other organs and the attachment
sites for muscles so that you can move your arms, legs and head. Think of
what a blob you would be without your bones giving you structure. The
second function involves providing protection for your brain and other
internal organs. Finally, bone acts as a mineral storage bank for calcium
and phosphorus helping to maintain a proper acid/base balance in your body
called pH. When the mineral storage function is damaged you get osteoporosis.

The Importance of Bone Quality
Bone quality, which is a new term, is an important one that describes all the
components that keep bones strong and fracture free. Bone quality, however,
is very different from the term bone density. That is when your doctor only
tests the mineral content via a DEXA scan. By weight, bone is composed of
about 10% collagen matrix, 65% minerals and 25% water. It is not just the
minerals but all three components working together that are important in
keeping your bones strong and fracture free.

Bone Density Numbers
You may have completed a DEXA test and been told they found a change
in your bone density. Your bone density was either normal or you received
a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia. Take heart because all is
not lost. The DEXA scores you received only tells you about the mineral
density and content of the bone. It cannot tell you the amount or the
health of your matrix or water content. The mineral density then is
considered one of many risks. It is used, along with other risk factors,
when calculating fracture risk. It is important to remember that
no one risk factor by itself can predict fracture risk.

Bone Density... Just One Risk Factor of Many
Sometimes in the rush to osteoporosis treatment, it is lost in the shuffle
that your DEXA scores are just one risk factor of many to consider
when predicting fractures. It is also important to remember that you
want to prevent fractures, nothing more nothing less. It also bears
repeating that only one risk factor by itself, not even DEXA, can predict
fracture risk. According to Dr. Susan Ott, MD at the University of
Washington, "In an individual, the quality of the bone, the shape of the
bone, the presence of a fracture or other risk factors, weight, muscle
strength, and the tendency to fall (balance) are all important to
predicting the risk of fracture."

Fracture Risk... Using the FRAX Tool

The FRAX tool is a better predictor of fracture because it uses 12
independent risk factors, including bone density, to determine your course
of treatment. The FRAX tool was developed by the World Health
Organization to evaluate fracture risk of patients. The FRAX models have
been developed from studying population-based cohorts from Europe,
North America, Asia and Australia. The FRAX tool gives the 10-year
probability of a hip fracture and/or a major osteoporotic fracture
(clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).

Limitations of the FRAX Tool
The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that the FRAX tool has
the following limitations:

  • Does not include all known risk factors
  • Lacks detail on some risk factors
  • Depends on adequacy of epidemiological information
  • Limited country models available
  • Model relevant only for untreated patients
  • Does not replace clinical judgment
Improving Bone Quality
Now you know that keeping your bones healthy is more complex
than just trying to increase bone density. Your bones and the rest of
your body work together and are dependent upon each other. So your
general health will, to a great degree, determine your bone health.

Lifestyle factors like drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet,

exercising safely and effectively, drinking and smoking habits and how
well you manage your stress are all important in keeping your bones
healthy. Just focusing on one lifestyle change, like eating healthier
foods, is rarely enough to improve your bone health. It takes multiple
changes, in the right proportions, to really make a significant difference
in your bone and body health.


Would you like to improve your bone quality but don't know where
to start?
I provide an easy to follow program called Be Bone Strong!
that helps improve your bone health, posture and balance while reducing
fracture risk. Contact me anytime for a no cost consultation at
703-628-2880 or email to

The Best Time to Check Your Vitamin D Levels
by Woody McMahon 

Lowest Levels of the Year
In the winter months, your body uses stored vitamin D from the liver. If
your liver stores are not adequate at the end of the summer, the blood will
show low levels just before spring. Checking levels now gives a much more
accurate indication of whether you are getting enough vitamin D during the
rest of the year. If you supplement regularly with vitamin D, your values
should be much higher and may even be in the normal range.

The Growing Importance of Vitamin D
Once thought to be just a vitamin necessary for strong bones, recent
research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen
varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension,
autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis,
osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and
periodontal disease.

Cancer and Vitamin D
A recent study of women who took vitamin D and calcium showed a 60 %
decrease in breast, lung and colon cancer at the end of the trial over the
women who took a dummy pill. When the researchers dropped the cases
discovered in the first year, assuming those cancers had been present but
unnoticed when the trial began, the reduction in cancer in the vitamin D
group was an astonishing 77% lower. This study reinforces other studies
showing that it is harmful to your health to have low blood levels of
vitamin D.

Vitamin D Basics
Vitamin D was originally misnamed and is actually not a vitamin at all.
It's a naturally occurring hormone, produced when ultraviolet B rays (UVB)
from the sun strike your skin. If the skin produces more vitamin D than is
needed, your liver stores the excess. In a natural vitamin D cycle, the
skin produces enough vitamin D in the spring and summer to last you
through the winter when vitamin D production is at its lowest due to
clothing and  reduced hours of sunlight. If you live in the northern
latitudes, this is the time of year your body will have its lowest
levels of vitamin D.

What Steps Should I Take?

1. Get Your Vitamin D3 Levels Checked
Your physician can administer a simple blood test to check for 25
hydroxyvitamin D levels. Optimal levels are around 50 ng/mL (125 nM/L).
You can also order a home test kit for vitamin D from the Vitamin D council

2. Get Sunscreen Free, Sun Exposure (5 to 15 minutes)
5 to 15 minutes in the middle of the day is adequate for vitamin D
production. The average person needs about 5000 units of vitamin D
daily. You make approximately 20,000 units of vitamin D after 15 minutes
of summer sun.

Depending on the color of your skin (darker skin requires longer exposure
times) this brief sun exposure should be adequate for healthy vitamin D
production in the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter,
vitamin D supplementation is about the only way to keep blood levels
within the normal range.

3. Supplementing with Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is readily available from health food stores and is
inexpensive. It's always recommended to have your doctor check your
vitamin D3 levels before taking supplements. Excess vitamin D3 can be
harmful to your body.

Vitamin D from Food
It is almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from your food alone. For
all practical purposes, Vitamin D must come from either sun exposure or
supplementation. Here are the primary foods that are naturally high in
vitamin D listed in International Units (IU): Salmon (3 1/2 oz.) 360 IU;
Mackerel (3 1/2 oz.) 345 IU; Sardines (3 1/2 oz.) 270 IU; Fortified juice
(8 oz.) 100 IU; Milk (8 oz.) 98 IU; Egg yolk 25 IU

To learn more about vitamin D go to:

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like
to become
part of the health solution rather than a health burden. If you
need additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email
call 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.

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.

To the rescue; the Health and Fitness 101 series of workshops.
Why do I call them 101? 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.

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

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

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 18th
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