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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                                                               September 15th 2015

  • Feel Better With More "Me" Time
  • Stress... Your #1 Obstacle to a Healthier Body
  • NEW Falls Prevention Screening
  • Coming in October... Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Classes
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Feel Better With More "Me" Time
By Woody McMahon

Don't Put "Me" Last
You hear it too often. I don't have time to take care of myself because I am (you fill in the blank). Everybody and everything else seems to come first instead of you taking some time to exercise, eat a nutritious breakfast or spend a few moments in quiet reflection. The next thing you know the old body is acting-up with back pain, headaches and aching knees in response to neglect and you ask "why me?"

Giving From a Position of Strength
If you are going to give of your time to others, make sure you are coming from a position of strength. Just like you wouldn't lend someone $50 if you have to go hungry; consider yourself first before giving to others. You say, "Oh that would make me selfish and a bad person." But in reality, people will know when you are not taking good care of yourself. They will watch what you eat, notice when you look tired and are in need of a rest and see if you give off good, positive energy. The last thing you want is to
give of your time to a good cause and have everybody thinking they should really be helping you instead.

Try 3 Ways to Help Take Better Care of You

1. Create a "You" Calendar

Place a calendar on the wall or the refrigerator for everyone to see. Mark in those times for your workouts, quiet time and other healthful pursuits. Make it known that those times are for you. You are not to be besieged with a "honey do" list. There are enough other available hours in the day that you can be ready to do your collective part.

2. Make Time to Relax
Having activities that you find relaxing are a great way to take care of you. Here are a few suggestions:

Massage is one of the best, natural ways to relieve pain, enhance circulation, lower blood pressure, improve flexibility, reduce stress levels and relax. Massage will help to restore your sanity and neutralize a hectic and fast paced lifestyle. It's good to know there is still a simple, practical and extremely effective way to improve your health in this world of high tech solutions.

A Quiet Walk where you can take in the wonders of nature or feel the warm, soothing rays of the sun is another terrific way to reduce stress and improve "me" time. Take off the pedometer and forget about how many calories you are burning and just feel the pure joy of moving your body. It doesn't have to be fast or on any particular time schedule. Focus on being aware of your surroundings as much as possible as you walk and take-in lots of deep breaths.

Reading an Uplifting Book is a powerful way to change how you feel. There are books on improving your bottom line, spirituality, relationships and travel to name a few. Make sure the book you select has a strong positive message that makes you feel good.

3. Include Health-Based Exercise

Health-based exercise programs have been shown to help you feel better faster. Participating in a regular exercise program has much to offer your health and quality of life. Health-based exercises are specially targeted to help reduce pain, increase mobility and boost self-esteem. If you are over age 50, it makes more sense to adopt a health-based exercise program. If you don't know how to start, give me a call. I can create a well balanced health-based fitness and conditioning program especially tailored to your needs.

The next time you want to give, be sure to give from a position of strength. That way you stay healthy and so do they. Try these suggestions for 30 days and you will be amazed at how good you will start to feel.

Would you like to reduce stress and improve your health but don't know where to start? I provide health, fitness and balance assessments that allow you to update your current activity program or begin one if you are not sure where to start. I can help you improve your bone health, posture, balance and strength and flexibility. To get started, contact me anytime for a no cost strategy session at 703-628-2880 or email to

Stress... Your #1 Obstacle to a Healthier Body
by Woody McMahon

Stress is a Powerful Force
Whether it is osteoporosis, osteopenia, digestive troubles, sleepless nights, an unhealthy weight or many other health difficulties; the root of the problem can probably be traced back to stress. Until recently, stress was thought of more as a mental rather than a physical problem. But the negative effects of stress appear in the guise of physical problems all the time. They play a role in almost every single disease process we know. Let's look at some more common examples of stress at play in your body.

Stress and Osteoporosis and Osteopenia (Low Bone Mass)
Osteoporosis and osteopenia (low bone mass) are  progressive conditions that affects over 54 million adults over age 50. The exact cause is unknown, but in my experience, stress plays a strong role in causing the condition. High stress levels promote an increase in cortisol levels. These stress hormones draw calcium out of the bones and degrade the boney matrix creating unhealthy bone.  

Stress and Unhealthy Weight
The easiest and fastest way to soothe your brain chemistry is with food. When surveyed, 7 out of 10 people acknowledged that they overeat to reduce stress and make themselves feel better. Using food to reduce stress is a learned habit that can be overcome with practice. Interestingly, people that are normal weight rarely participate in mood-based eating. Look around you and observe the results of trying to tackle excess weight with diet and exercise alone.   

Stress and Poor Sleep
Sleep patterns are strongly connected to stress levels. Getting a good nights sleep is crucial for a healthy body and a happy life. A lack of sleep has been tied to many different mental and physical problems. Taking the days stressors to bed leaves you unable to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep. Again, stress increases cortisol levels and inturn decreases melatonin, one of the hormones associated with a good sleep.

Stress and Low Back Pain
The most common physical reaction to stress is tight muscles. As your muscles tighten, back, hip, shoulder, knee and other joints become compressed and start to hurt. Many people try all different kinds of therapies for low back pain with varying levels of success. The pain associated the low back usually returns time and time again. Low back pain is best resolved by working on the stressors that tighten the muscles in the first place.   

What to Do About Stress
Reducing the harmful effects of stress on your body is not as difficult as it might sound. Taking a short walk, engaging in some physical exercise, listening to your favorite music, reading an uplifting book or performing some deep breathing exercises can all help reduce stress. It is important to remember that it takes the right combination of active (exercise) and quiet (breathing and meditation) activities to free yourself from the harmful effects of stress. 

Do you need some help and support finding a better way to reduce stress? Everybody wants to feel better. However, not everybody follows the same path to better health. Call me for additional suggestions and advice on starting your own stress reduction program. Feel free to email or call me for a no cost strategy session at 703-628-2880 or email to

Falls & Fractures!
We Can Help You Stay Safe!

A Simple 10 Minute Test That Can Save Your Life!

Our Falls Prevention Screening offers three simple tests that can accurately predict your risk of falls, future mobility and balance that can lead to fractures and other injuries. These tests are a part of the CDC- STEADI Falls Prevention Program. Once you know your score and risk level, we'll help you create a falls prevention and balance program to reduce your risk of falling. You can practice these simple activities at home or join one of our Falls Prevention Classes.

To lean more go to Falls Prevention Screening and watch the videos that demonstrate the tests that we will use in your screening. For more information or to schedule your screening contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to




Coming in October... An Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program! 

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
Better balance is THE KEY to preventing falls, fractures and improving your quality of life. Recently I had the privilege of taking a 2 day, 16 hour training in an innovative, evidence-based falls prevention program called Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (Tai Ji Quan is also known as Tai Chi in this country) with Dr. Li of the Oregon Research Institute. I am currently the only instructor authorized to teach this course in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.

What makes this program so unique is that it has been shown through scientific and clinical research papers to reduce th frequency of falls by over 50%. Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance modifies traditional Tai Chi movements and creates a unique, therapeutic balance system. The movements and activities integrate motor, sensory and cognitive components to improve postural control, balance, gait and enhance performance of daily functional tasks and mobility for older adults. The classes are especially helpful for those who have movement and cognitive impairments and balance challenges such as
with Parkinson's and Alzheimers's disease.

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance is a 2 hour a week, 24 week program that has the potential to prevent and manage various diseases by improving balance, circulation, coordination, confidence, well-being and quality of life in middle-aged and older adults. It is a great addition to the CDC recommended goal of participating in 150 minutes of regular exercise per week.

To introduce as many people as possible to thos wonderful program, I am offering FREE introductory classes for the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance functional therapy program. 

For more information please contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or by 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 $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.

    483A Carlisle Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170

    300 West Washington Street
    Middleburg, VA 20118