Four years ago, Karima Valentina Hočevar, a Ljubljana-based economist and personal growth counselor, suddenly lost the ability to hear in her left ear while vacationing in Greece. She then participated in her first craniosacral resonance session in Greece, led by the internationally acclaimed therapist Chintan Veet of Switzerland. Traditional medicine couldn’t help her when she returned to Slovenia, but a few months after accepting her condition, her hearing returned. She had had many craniosacral therapies, so she believes they were successful.
Two days before the family vacation in Greece was over, Valentina decided to extend the August vacation because she had found an introductory session of craniosacral resonance led by Chintan Veet. She remembers how on the morning of the second day of the seminar, she woke up with a funny feeling in her head. When she got up and walked to the bathroom, she could feel some sort of pressure building up or some noise in her left ear, which escalated to the sudden sound of a clap, and after that she was deaf. This all happened in a few seconds.
Her experience was very strong and her head felt strange, so she panicked. She felt like she was losing her balance. The worst part was that she was alone in her struggle; her husband and children had returned home. She explained what had happened at the seminar. Chintan Veet examined her with his hands and found that something was happening; he could feel strong forces on the left ear – a kind of a contraction. He advised her to see a doctor. The doctor assumed the cause was water in her ear, but after examining her, he found none. He checked her inner hearing by vibrating a special tuning fork, and after there was no response, he sent her to the hospital. She also saw an otorhinolaryngologist who confirmed that a nerve was damaged and advised her to return home and go to the hospital. She flew home that day and was admitted to the ER of the Ljubljana University Medical Center. She spent a week in the hospital for examinations, from a head CT to magnetic resonance, yet they could not find the cause for the hearing loss. She was treated with antibiotics along with a cocktail of pills, including sedatives. Her treatment also included vasodilators in order to improve blood circulation and get to the damaged nerve as well. This medicine was strong and she had been warned that she might have an unexpected reaction to it. On the third day, she lost consciousness, so she decided to discontinue this treatment. A neurologist examined her and said such treatment was too invasive and could cause an aneurysm, which is why his department no longer used it. A wish to avoid any further complications, coupled with an opposition to synthetic medicine, prompted Valentina to leave the hospital after a week and give up traditional medical treatment.
She returned home completely exhausted. Her hearing hadn’t improved, she had a rash all over her body, she was experiencing a strong reaction to the medicine, the flora in her mouth and genitalia had changed, etc. Months would pass before she would fully recover from this treatment. Despite the misfortune, she took to studying craniosacral resonance with all her might. Being in contact with Chintan Veet was special to her, as was the unique manner with which he had taught at the seminar in Greece. She wanted to deepen her knowledge, so she participated twice more in his program in Taiwan, completing her education there and receiving a craniosacral resonance certificate. At the same time, she studied and finished co-dependency theory. She spent November in training in Taiwan, where she received many therapies and conducted some as well. She had a few therapies with Chintan Veet and began to stabilize internally, calm down and accept her faith.
A SUDDEN RETURN OF THE ABILITY TO HEAR
At the end of November, she returned home, and December proved to be her lucky month. She says she will never forget the day her hearing came back. “I was at a parent meeting in school. I was sitting in the group when I suddenly started to feel different; I had a feeling of purity in my head. Then I sat in my car and drove home. My husband called me, he wanted to know how the meeting went. I was holding the steering wheel with my right hand, so I instinctively used my left hand to put the phone to my left ear, and I could actually hear my husband. It was a distant sound, but it was such an amazing moment for me – realizing I could hear him clearly.” In January, she had an appointment at the Medical Center. They ran some tests and measured her hearing ability at different frequencies. They found her hearing had improved by 60%.
At that point, she had had at least 40 or 50 craniosacral resonance therapies. Before she went to Taiwan, she had also had therapy with Veet in Paris and Switzerland. With the help of craniosacral resonance, she discovered a lot of things about herself. She slowly integrated her treatment and was more and more in touch with herself – with her being. “Trusting the work and the process itself opened something in me, and things somehow aligned, especially around my head. When I was younger, I fell off my bike badly and landed on the left side of my head. Additionally, my mother had a difficult birthing experience, she had difficulties pushing me out. Due to shock and contraction, my bones consequently developed differently as I grew up, so the left side of my head is pushed inward. I can also add the stress of that year to these traumas; I had had three miscarriages along with an otherwise planned pregnancy.”
Valentina researched further and found another interesting therapy, similar to craniosacral resonance, called “somatic experiencing”, created by Peter Levin. This is shock trauma therapy which helps eliminate the consequences of developmental traumas and other traumatic experiences, such as surgeries, falls, and accidents with a strong effect on the nervous system. “A shock or trauma causes energy to pile up, and the fear associated with this influences the autonomous nervous system. It contracts and leads to sympathetic activation. If this sympathetic activation is too strong, parasympathetic activation engages and – as if hitting the brakes – the organism freezes and the person goes into a state of immobilization or shock. Such a state can have a severe effect on our lives on the physical, emotional, and mental levels. When working with people who have suffered traumatic experiences, it is important to be especially careful. This is my experience when working with people and from studying.”
HEALING IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Karima Valentina discovered that trust is very important for the healing process. She believes that when a person is stressed and, deep down, doesn’t trust the therapy despite other people’s recommendations, the healing process won’t take place. She points out that craniosacral therapy is based on the internal process of self-healing, and this only starts when the environment is completely safe and when a person feels safe on all levels. Craniosacral resonance taught her that the healing doesn’t take place while under pressure. As long as she fought and resisted and was unable to accept the fact that she couldn’t hear and saw only a bunch of problems she couldn’t get rid of, nothing happened. But when she relaxed and accepted the state of things and decided to live with it, something else started to unravel. This therapy helped her come into contact with the ability to accept the present moment. With her rich experience, she can now help others as well; she specializes in working with women and children. Her and Chintan now work together as therapists. “If you want to force something to happen, the effect will be the opposite. In subtle spheres, the system feels acceptance, safety and love, and you must do something within yourself so that the client resonates that on a subtle level. I like Jung’s sentence, it lingers in my head, even when I travel the world and meet the people I work with in workshops: ‘You can be the right person but use the wrong techniques, and the result can be great. You can be the wrong person and use the right techniques, but there is no result.’ It’s more about being present – and having a quality presence of being as the one conducting the therapy – in order for a process to start and for a person to feel safe enough to let things loosen. Trust and safety are very important.”
Valentina noticed that she had transformed quite a bit while she was deaf. She had lost and distanced herself from the outer world enough that she needed something to quickly and effectively bring her back. Today, she realizes that she feels completely different from how she felt five years ago. 60% of her hearing has come back and remained at this level and she feels sure and stable, like she’s back home. Despite all that has happened, she is happy for it since it turned her life upside down – in a good way. And, she says, the experience took her in the direction of gaining a new perspective on her life. This direction is very beautiful and provides rich results in the sense of feeling as if you’re returning home, as if you know who you are, what you are, and what you want in life.
“Based on my own experience, I can say that in the long term, this can transform a life in all aspects in a beautiful, non-invasive and integral way. You feel a responsibility to yourself and to your loved ones. You realize your actions have consequences and know better than to leave your family and go off to India or pick up various addictions, for example. Today, we have many examples of such run-aways. This has transformed my life into a beautiful, down-to-earth, stable and innocent journey. It’s not about trying to change others, it’s about you, and this brings you all kinds of energy. I have gained a lot, as has my family – my husband and my kids. I wish I could recreate this for other people, so they could experience what I have. I’ve been on this intense journey for 17 years; I have experienced so much and this path led me here. That is why I organize introductory seminars and a one-year class in craniosacral resonance in Slovenia which is suitable for anyone, since this is a life journey that allows you to dive deep within yourself and get to better know yourself.”
published in Zdravje magazine