Benefits of Bellydancing
Najia (center) & students dance for a health segment featured on CNN Headline News.
Belly Dance Relieves Back Pain
In June 1998 Najia appeared on the cover of PTOT Speech Today, a physical and occupational therapy
magazine provided to the health care industry throughout United Stated. In this
article she tells
how she used bellydance to recover from spinal injuries.
Hard to believe that the Philadelphia area dancer once
suffered a sports injury so severe that doctors recommended surgery to fuse her spine. She declined and spent
several pain-filled years until she discovered belly dancing. "Once I started belly dancing,"
she says, "my back problems disappeared completely."
Najia's Students Share Their Experience With Health, Mind and Body
Busy Working Mother Find's Dramatic Change in Posture and Appearance
As a busy working mother, I appreciate that belly dancing fulfills many
needs at the same time. Belly dancing allows me to express myself and
develop as an artist and also exercize and tone my body. Belly dancing
rejuvenates me on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. It offers a
way combining my interests in music, costume design, emotional
expression and movement. Although I have done yoga in the past and
pursued other forms of physical fitness, belly dance has made the most
dramatic beneficial change in my posture and my appearance.
Andrea, Clinical Social Worker
Student Finally Finds Relief from Muscle Spasm Due to Car
Accident from a Bellydance Lesson
I'd first like to start off by saying that I was in a car accident two months ago.
I was rear ended and it caused my neck and back to spasm. I have been going to the
chiropractor and to physical therapy since the accident, yet I've still been in pain.
I just came back home from a private session with Najia and this has to be the first
time that I've felt this great since. Not only did I learn how to do proper bellydance
moves, but it also helped to loosen up my back muscles and align my spine. Najia is
the best dance instructor. I'm still in disbelief as to how my body feels. It is just
like I came back from getting a massage! I highly recommend learning from Najia.
Through bellydancing I have been able to mix both my passion for dance and moves that
help to heal my body. Najia is amazing!
Once again thank you!
Rebecca student from Media PA who took her first private belly dance lesson.
Deep Muscle Therapist Finds Relief From Her Workday Through
Najia's Postural Training
Although I have only been a student of Najia's for a short time, I have already noticed how
bellydance and your ever-gentle approach to teaching this art has helped me. I am so much
more aware of my posture, specifically the way I hold tension in my lower lumbar/sacral area,
especially when I work. As a deep muscle therapist, I know the importance of good body mechanics
when attending to my clients. Since I have studied with you, I can feel the difference at the
end of the work day. I thank her so much.
Shauna Filippone, Deep Muscle Therapist
Bellydance Helps You To Build Confidence and Embrace your Feminine Side
I move permanently on Sunday, so this week has been really busy with packing. I came across all of my belly dancing s
tuff and thought of you so just wanted to say hi. Thanks for all of our talks and your kindness and wisdom with me.
I appreciate all the time you put into not only teaching me the beauty of belly dancing, but also helping me reach
within myself to build my confidence and find embrace my feminine side.
Thank you for all you continue to do for all of the women who cross your path. You are a beautiful, gentle, and loving
soul. I am so blessed to know you.
Kathy from Philadelphia
She Lost 50 Pounds and Gained Femininity and Grace
I want to thank you so much for your amazing classes...... I cannot begin to explain to
you how your classes have affected me in nearly every way every day. I have gained
confidence, sensuality, femininity, and grace. I have lost nearly 50 pounds…and I have
never felt more alive, and more myself than when I lose myself to the music and just
dance from the heart.
Laura, North East Philadelphia (letter from a belly dance student after studying with
Najia for just a few months.)
Bellydance is Good for Body and Soul
My weekend was totally crazy! Just wanted to let you know that I REALLY enjoyed Friday's Lesson
(and the tea)! Between my riding lesson & and dance lesson when I layed down Friday night. . . it was
as if my spirit was being totally renewed!! There was just a happiness, a joy and a peace that I haven't
felt in "forever"!! Like my mind & my body were both feeling the same GREAT things at the same time! Suddenly,
there was this really positive energy! I kinda felt like there should have been a visible glow emanating
from my being!! Hope I don't sound too weird! Anyway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! :-).
Bridget -a 40 something bellydance student who is finally living her dreams for the first time in her life
Bellydance Class with Najia Helps Relieve Sadness
Thank you. You are such a wonderful person - you always help me, I am so grateful that I have a opportunity
to learn from you and have your help. I am struggling with my health problems - so I am kind of down, but with your help I am better.
Student from Ardmore, PA classes
Her Back Pain is Gone. She Has Less Migraine Headaches Due to Bellydance
When I began dance lessons at 38, I looked young and trim, but I felt twice that age. Long-standing
posture problems had blossomed into back problems, frequent migraines, and the mind-bending jaw pain of
TMJ syndrome. There were mornings when my hip locked up badly enough that I had to roll out of bed onto
all fours, crawl to the door frame and claw myself up into a standing position, then will myself into
range-of-motion exercises that got me walking once more.
These last three years of dance have changed my life. As I struggled to master moves, I've learned
physiology, yoga technique, Pilates exercises - a whole range of tools that have helped me develop a deep awareness
of what my body needs at any given time. I've gained flexibility, strength, and endurance despite fibromyalgia.
Back pain is gone. Migraines are a rare event. TMJ is gone. My hip locks up occasionally, but I can unlock it in less
than 5 minutes with hip moves I learned from belly dance.
A healthy, centered posture became mine when I mastered spinning and sword-balancing.
At 42, I'm at a crossroads. What I do now will determine how I will function in the future in terms of
balance, range of motion, and emotional stability. I'm convinced this is the right track.
Although I never had a weight problem, before I danced, I had no muscle in my legs to speak of, and as
my girlfriend Gerry described, "your legs used to look as though they were hooked on wrong"! My shoulders were
hunched, and must have been that way for so long that when my body finally accepted its present position, I felt
and heard this odd crackling sound, like the little kids' candy "Pop Rocks", in the muscles over my breastbone!
When my posture improved, my body language changed to "I respect myself. You respect me, too." Overnight, my boss
and coworkers treated me differently - for the better.
My husband tells me
I look wonderful. Belly rolls and camels finally dissolved the little pregnancy "souvenir", which
I'd kept until my daughter was nine! Even my FEET look in better shape, courtesy of dance.
S. A., Havertown, PA
Om Helena Speaks on Beauty
Beauty is an endangered species. We live in a world where people flap their arms and legs and grab
their crotches, then tell us this is dance. We live in a time where grown women are afraid to look
and move like women. Our daughters live in a world where a beautiful, sparkly, feminine costume shocks
and awes young boys who have only seen their classmates in ragged jeans.
We live in a world where live musicians have been replaced by drum machines and electronic keyboards
played in a lonely studio.
We live in a world where emotion is suppressed or mangled into howls. We have a mission to keep beauty
alive, to keep music alive, to keep woman-ness alive, and to keep our hearts alive despite the forces that deny them.
Om Helena, Havertown, PA