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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                                                               June 15th 2015

  • Better Flexibility Important for a Pain Free Body
  • The Skinny on Fats and Oils
  • Volunteers Needed for the LivMD Investigational Study
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Better Flexibility Important for a Pain Free Body
By Woody McMahon

Better Flexibility Reduces Pain
Inactivity or activity without proper stretching increases your risk of getting neck, shoulder, hip, back or knee pain. This is especially true as your body gets a little older. Tight muscles can increase the "wear and tear" on joint cartilages leading to premature knee and hip replacements.

Many people with increased back, hip and knee pain attribute it to their age or excess weight. But in reality, age or weight are rarely the
reasons. Rather, most joint pain can be traced to three main causes:

1. Tight and weak muscles as the result of a sedentary lifestyle (AKA too much sitting) 
2. A lack of joint lubrication (called synovial fluid) due to inadequate water intake
3. Poor flexibility caused by tight and shortened muscles

How Does Stretching Work?
Stretching helps to lengthen your muscles allowing them to relax and do their jobs better. Inactivity and constant sitting shorten and imbalance muscles placing abnormal stresses on your joints. Stretching is also the best way to prevent premature deterioration of the cartilage in your  joints. For the cartilage to stay healthy, your joints demand movement. Flexible muscles
allow your joints to move freely preventing narrowed joint spaces and premature cartilage wear. The increased motion that stretching provides allows your joints to work better by keeping them well lubricated and healthy.

The Best Time to Stretch
I agree with most experts and suggest that you only stretch after a
thorough warm-up. For the best results, this means stretching at the end, rather than the beginning, of your exercise session. The rationale for this approach is that your muscles are cold prior to a workout. Stretching a cold muscle is similar to trying to stretch a cold piece of chewing gum. After the exercise session, your tissues are more pliable making them receptive to stretching and long-term improvements in flexibility.

An Effective Upper Body Stretch
The shoulder is a complex joint that is easily injured by a lack of stretching or activities that are too aggressive for your conditioning. The shoulder is a common problem area for older adults. Tight and painful shoulder joints restrict daily movement and can easily become "frozen" generally requiring physical therapy. Here is an excellent shoulder stretch that is easy to learn and works very well.

Towel Stretch: Grab the end of a hand or work-out towel with your right hand. While holding the towel with your right hand, drape it over your right shoulder onto your back. Take your left hand behind your back and grab the other end of the towel. You will need to turn your arm so that your palm faces away from your back.

Once you have both hands on the towel, try bringing your hands closer to each other on the towel. When you can't go any further, gently pull up with the right hand to stretch the left shoulder. Repeat with the left hand. Breathe as you do this and be gentle with each stretch.

A Beneficial Stretch for the Lower Back

Tight abdominal, hip and leg muscles are responsible for the majority of back pain. The first and best way to help your back feel better is through stretching. Here is an excellent back and hip stretch that is easy to learn and perform.

Good Morning Stretch: The good morning stretch is an effective way to stretch your abdominal muscles. We use it regularly in our Posture Perfect!TM classes. Flexible abdominal muscles prevent your back from overworking.
To begin, proceed safely to the floor, first by lying on your stomach and then rolling onto your back. Keep both legs straight, feet hip width apart and pointed directly towards the ceiling. Support your head with a small towel only if your chin feels as if it is lifting excessively towards
the ceiling.

Now take your arms, with elbows straight, and bring them directly to your sides with your palms facing your hips. As you breathe in, point both feet and toes towards your nose starting a calf stretch. At the same time slowly bring both arms directly over your shoulders. Keep the shoulders comfortable.

On the breath out, try to stretch your arms back towards the wall behind you as you also try to slide both heels towards the opposite wall. Hold the stretch for 6 seconds as you continue to breathe. Feel the strong stretch on your abdominals, chest and upper back.    

Try these stretches on a regular basis and see how much better your back and shoulders will feel.

Would you like to reduce or alleviate pain and learn to feel better but are not sure how?
Contact me for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to for a personalized review of your situation. You can also try one of our Posture Perfect!TM  classes that alleviate pain, improve your bone health, posture, balance and strength while reducing fracture risk.

The Skinny on Fats and Oils
by Woody McMahon

Your Body Needs Essential Fats
Have you ever wondered what dry eyes, aching joints and dry skin all have in common? These are all symptoms of your body being low on fats and oils. Fats and oils are both essential for good health. They are the building blocks for many hormones; make-up an important part of the outer layer that covers the cells of your body; reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and strengthen your immune system. Balancing and choosing the right kind of fats can be a little tricky. Also getting enough essential fats from your diet alone can sometimes be difficult.

Why Low Fat Diets Aren't Healthy
A low fat diet is not a sensible way to eat especially when it comes to better health. Low fat foods have been shown to actually rob you of essential fats and oils making it harder to lose weight and keep yourself healthy. In many low fat foods, sugar is substituted instead of fat to improve texture and taste. Being on a low fat diet will tend to make you overeat. Fat is important in triggering your body's "full sensors" helping you stop eating more food than you really need. Long term low fat diets have been shown to create health problems of their own like constant hunger and dryness of your hair, nails and skin.

The History of Low Fat
In the early 1980's obesity and heart disease were on the rise (they still are). The original theory was to reduce total calories by cutting out all fats because fats have the highest calorie density (calories per amount) at 9 calories per gram as compared to 4 calories per gram for proteins and carbohydrates. Most nutritional authorities were substituting carbohydrates for fats, having you eat as much as 80% carbohydrates. This was the time when everybody in the country had a rice cake in their hands. All fats became the "bad guys" because they were incorrectly seen as the precursor to high cholesterol and heart disease.

A Better Way
One of the foremost authorities on fats and oils is Udo Erasmus, PhD. His information is cutting edge and his book, Fats That Heal Fats That Kill, is  one of the best at explaining how to develop and maintain a healthy fat balance for optimum health. He clearly explains why not all fat is bad and why there is a need for essential fats to curb hunger, promote healthy skin, hair and nails and maintain proper hormone function. His book can help you better understand the health benefits of fats and oils in a balanced diet. Here are some of Udo Erasmus's "quick facts" taken from his book on the use of fats and oils:

1. You need a 2:1 ratio in your diet of essential fatty acids (EFAs) EFA's come from fats and oils and are major nutrients. One is (LNA) alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3) and the other is (LA) linoleic acid (Omega 6). Both are easily destroyed by light, air, and heat. This is why they become toxic when heated and should not be used for frying.

2. Good sources of Omega 3's are flaxseeds and green leafy vegetables. The Omega 3's are also found in high fat, cold water fish such as albacore tuna, sardines, Atlantic halibut, Coho, pink and king salmon, Pacific and Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, and lake trout as well as oysters and other shellfish.

3. Good sources of Omega 6's are found in sesame and sunflower seeds and other seeds and nuts. Land animal meats and fish are sources of the Omega 6's. The fish listed in #2 are the preferred sources of omega 3's and omega 6's because they are both the richest sources and contain balanced amounts of both of the omegas.

4. Almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are highly nutritious snacks associated with longevity. To ensure an adequate intake of Omega 3's, good plant sources should be included in the daily diet including green leafy vegetables, seeds, whole grains, beans and nuts.

5. Extra virgin olive oil is a good addition to your total oil intake. Extra virgin olive oil should not be used for frying because it is extensively damaged by heat. Adding the oil to foods after they come off the heat is the best choice.

Are you eating in a way that supports rather than opposes your body?
To find out more about eating better, call me for a no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to and we'll discuss personalized suggestions that can give you more energy, help you lose some excess pounds and allow your body to feel better.

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 $25. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give to someone you love.

LivMD Updates

More Volunteers Need for Our LivMD
Investigational Study

We are conducting an investigation study of the Marodyne LivMD Low Intensity Vibration device. We are looking for a wide range of study participants with a broad set of health conditions. The study will collect a variety of information from the volunteers to assess the effectiveness of the LivMD for:

  • Improving Circulation
  • Restoring motion to joints
  • Redeveloping muscles
  • Assisting as an adjunct treatment for obesity
  • Relieving aches and pains throughout the body

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer study participant, please contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to

Here is a testimonial about the LivMD from a psychotherapist in Rhode Island. She read about the LivMD in my newsletter and then decided to buy one and give it a try. Here is her 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"

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. Come take your first Posture Perfect!TM class for FREE. It's on us... 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.

Read more about S.A.F.E. and effective Posture Perfect!TM classes.

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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    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.

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    300 West Washington Street
    Middleburg, VA 20118