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IN THIS ISSUE                                                                            January 16, 2007
  • Massage Your Way to Better Health
  • New Years Resolution #1, Concentrate
  • More On Health and Less On Weight
  • Team Sequoia MS Walk for 2007

Massage Your Way to Better Health
Massage is the best way to help restore your sanity and neutralize a hectic and fast paced lifestyle. Massage is one of the best, most effective ways to relax and improve your health. 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. Massage is one of the oldest healing arts known to mankind. Even though massage has proven itself effective for thousands of years; surprisingly few people take advantage of the many health benefits a good massage provides.

A higher reliance on medication for pain relief, personal issues involving touch and feeling like massage is an extravagant luxury rather than a real medical treatment are some of the common obstacles that stand in the way of trying massage. Don't let these blocks prevent you from getting a good massage and experiencing one of the best, natural ways to relieve pain, enhance circulation, lower blood pressure, improve flexibility and reduce stress levels.

The History of Massage
Massage is one of the oldest healing arts known to mankind. A Chinese text from 2,700 B.C. called The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, recommends massaging the skin and flesh and exercises of the hands and feet to treat complete paralysis, chills, and fever. In the Egyptian tombs, there are paintings depicting examples of people being massaged.

The Greek and Roman physicians used massage as one of their principal methods of relieving pain. Julius Caesar was said to have been given a daily massage to treat neuralgia. In the 5th century B.C. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, wrote "The physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly in rubbing...for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid."

What Type of Massage Do You Need
Massage techniques range from soft and relaxing to deep and painful; both being effective depending on the type of client and the desired end result. Today there are as many different types and styles of massage as there are practitioners. All the different style are just tools; none really being better or worse. To get the most from your massage, choose the style that feels best and makes you the most comfortable.

Being a good massage therapist is a God given talent. The intuitive touch required to place one's hands on the body resulting in a true health giving experience is very hard to teach. It's important to talk to your massage therapist before getting a massage; especially the first time. Find out what massage style they use and see if you feel comfortable with their work and their healing philosophy.

How You Know When You Got a Good Massage
A good massage will literally leave you drooling and little disoriented. After your massage, lie quietly on the table and feel the change in your body and mind. After a few minutes or maybe even longer, sit up slowly and let your head clear. It's natural to feel a little groggy after a god massage due to the release of endorphins and the increased circulation in your body. A good massage will always leave you feeling a little off center, so be careful when you stand-up. Your body is better balanced right now but your brain still remembers the old you that walked in an hour earlier. Your brain will take a few minutes to recalibrate your new, more balanced walking pattern.

What to Do After Your Massage
Immediately after your massage, and for several hours after, drink extra water to help your body handle the increased blood circulation. It's best to get a massage when you can go home and relax or rest afterwards. If possible, have someone drive you to and take you home after your massage. Getting stuck in traffic or going to work takes away from rather than enhancing the positive effects of massage.

For more info rmation on the benefits and types of massage, or to schedule a consultation for your firrst massage, go to and click on Claudia Osmon, our resident massage expert. She'll be glad to talk to you more about the importance of regular massage.

New Years Resolution #1, Concentrate More On Health
and Less On Weight

This is the time of year when everybody is buzzing about how much weight they are going to lose. In fact, losing weight has become our number one New Year's resolution; almost an American past time one might say. Holiday parties, family gatherings and New Years celebrations clearly take their toll and have stuffed little stomachs to the brink of bursting. "Tis the season for excess" say the experts. Realistically, this season only comes once a year and it's OK to relax and let go a bit. Now what???

Intensely focusing on weight loss is not a good health strategy and an even poorer New Year's resolution. Sure, it seems like everybody is doing it and certainly it's magnified by the barrage of ads from the diet gurus telling you it's time to "slim-down and get your shape back." Take the latest ads from Nutri-system's for men as an example. They are even bold enough to suggest that losing some weight will improve your sex life. Maybe if your belly doesn't get in the way that might be a benefit. No question that these are the types of ad's that drive desperate people to believe that all it takes is a little weight loss and their lives will be different.

But, even after reading this article some of you will still take the advertiser's bait; hopefully most of you will not. So if losing weight is the only thing you need to focus on, why do the latest government statistics show rates of obesity on the rise and general health levels are on the decline? These disappointing statistics are not because people aren't trying to do the right thing. It's because most of us are just using the wrong tools to try and feel and look better while improving our health. We've taken the bait and expect way too much good to come from shedding a few pounds and a week or so of healthy eating.

Don't get me wrong, weight loss is important but it's not the only ingredient needed for cooking-up a healthier you. For some people who are extremely over weight, weight loss might be a matter of life and death and they need to focus more intently on the problem. But for most other people, you'll get better results if you focus on improving your health first and let the weight take care of itself. So, where are the ads that talk about improving your health by placing more fun activities in your life? How about ads that promote reducing your stress levels as an answer to a better sex life? The fact is our current, one dimensional approach to improving health just doesn't work. The proof is in the government statistics!!!

Here is my challenge to all of you. For 2007, consider a different, more successful approach that by year's end will leave your friends scratching their heads wondering why you feel and look so good. This year, take a bold departure and really concentrate on your health and forget about your weight. Concentrating on better health will bring you many more rewards including a normal, healthy weight. Be forewarned, if you decide to adopt this more successful strategy, you'll have lots of people lining up to suck you back into the old diet/weight loss mess. Break from the "herd mentality' and give it a try and your rewards will be endless. Here are three steps to follow to get your new, health-focused ball rolling for 2007.

Step 1
Make a Plan You Can Follow
First decide how many hours (yes hours) a week you can commit to your health this year. To start, three (3) hours is a good, reasonable number. Next, your better health plan should include three, clearly stated health goals that you can realistically accomplish or improve on over the next 12 months. Yes, I said 12 months. This is a long-term commitment to yourself. Don't be stingy. Maybe you have high blood pressure and take medication. Your goal for 2007 will be to lower your blood pressure and with your doctor's help, try and reduce or eliminate your medication. You will commit to walking daily, eating healthier meals and learning how to cut stress levels in half. Finally, your better health plan needs to be written. Creating it and keeping it in your head makes it much harder to succeed.

Step 2

Balance Physical Activity with Healthy Eating and Stress Release for Your Personal Needs

Most people try getting healthy by just getting physically active. We have been clearly shown that this approach just doesn't work. Joining a gym and working out three times a week is only a small part of the equation. Certainly physical activity is a component of better health but fitness alone is not enough to bring better health. Study after study shows that people who are physically active, eat better and take time to relax live longer and have less health problems. So, for 2007, take your three hours a week and decide how to balance these three activities to personally improve your own health. No two people are alike so your needs will be different from your friends.

Step 3

Choose the Right Support Team and Make it Fun
Year after year, watching people force themselves to try and "go it alone" while participating in activities they really don't like is really depressing. I'm convinced that the most important parts of a success health improvement program are finding a comfortable setting, having a loyal support network and participating in activities that are fun. Support is probably even more important to your success than the activities you choose or the foods you eat. If you make it fun, you'll stick with it and look back at the end of 2007 while patting yourself on the back for a job well done. Good luck in 2007!!!

To learn how Fresh Start can help you concentrate more on health and less on weight, please contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to

Team Sequoia MS Walk April 2007

It's that time again. Time to start preparing for the 2007 MS Reston Walk!!! The MS Reston walk is scheduled for Sunday, April 15th starting and finishing at Reston Town Center . Team Sequoia had almost 30 people walk and we raised over $5500 last year for MS education and research. This year we want to try and double both our number of walkers and set a fundraising goal of $10,000.

The MS walk is a great goal to set for yourself for 2007. This is the time of year everyone is making commitments to get more active. Here is your chance to do something good for yourself and MS.

We are looking for a sponsor for our pre-walk breakfast so let me know if you are interested or have any good ideas for places to eat. Starting in January we will have some "FUN Walks" to get our little feet in shape and initiate our fundraising drive. We'll also have another Whack-it tournament in February to raise money as well.

Go to to register and learn more about the event. Registering early, before February 1st enters your name for a prize drawing from the MS Society for two American Airline round trip tickets to anywhere in the Continental US for travel by April 1! If you have any questions or would like to help volunteer please email me at or call 703-628-2880.

I look forward to seeing you walk again this year.


Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

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

Required Disclaimer: The info rmation provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The info rmation 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 info rmation 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 info rmation 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) 2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

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