WikiAnswers All Natural Val

It seems everywhere we turn nowadays people are talking about organic foods, healthy lifestyles and green products. It’s about feeling good and getting back to basics. Well over on WikiAnswers we learned a long time ago that the best things in life are all-natural. In fact, one of our all-time greatest Contributors is the one and only Natural Val. When asked about his user name, Val had this to say “I have been fascinated by all things natural ever since I can remember. I enjoy being outside and feel the greatest calm and contentment when I am in nature.” Val has been a dedicated WikiAnswers Contributor and Supervisor since early 2007 focusing mainly on science and health-related topics.

Here’s more on this preservative and additive free star wiki-er:

Are you a Floating or Category Supervisor (which categories)?

I supervise: Biology, Human Anatomy and Massage Therapy. I also like to answer questions in the sciences and health related areas.

What other badges do you hold on WikiAnswers?

I am a Silver Contributor, getting close to Gold, with almost 15,000 contributions. I was awarded a medal for 1,000 Trust Points and I was in the Top Twenty AnswerThon Charity Edition.

What is your first name?

My full first name is Valentin, a variation of Valentinius, one of three Roman Emperors. The names Valentine and Valentino are also variations of the name depending on which part of Europe you originated from.

Would you care to tell us about your family?

I have two older sisters. I am single, never married.

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

I live in North Carolina and just moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I’ve been here for about 4 years. Before that I lived in San Diego, California for about 16 years.

Where did you grow up and what are some special memories of your childhood?

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Most of my memories are about how different I was from the other kids because I was born in what used to be Yugoslavia, now Serbia. After we moved to the US when I was six, I encountered a lot of embarrassing moments when other kids would make fun of me because of my unusual name and that my parents both spoke English with a heavy European accent. My earliest memory of this was my first Halloween. All the kids had costumes and I had no idea what was going on. I was at my friend Greg’s house. And since he had Muscular Dystrophy, he didn’t go out Trick-or-Treating. So we stayed inside and gave out candy instead.

What educational information would you like to share?

I have a Bachelors Degree in Photography and Cinema, a Masters Degree in Art, emphasis in Photography and Video Production and a Holistic Health Practitioner Certificate for Massage Therapy.

What are some of your past and/or present occupations?

I am mostly an educator and teach Massage Therapy Courses. I also teach Continuing Education Courses for professional Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers.

What is/are your key area(s) of knowledge, interests or expertise?

My area of knowledge in Human Anatomy is a result of teaching the topic for many years. The reason I enjoy being a part of WikiAnswers is because it gives me a chance to expand my knowledge on the subject and also practice my teaching skills by answering questions.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

All my hobbies and collections are directly related to teaching massage therapy. I have a small collection, mainly decorative items from Thailand. I have made three trips there to study Thai massage, and I have brought back with me tapestries, singing bowls, gongs and other items to decorate the space when I teach to make it feel a bit more like Thailand.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I enjoy yoga, chi gong and martial arts.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I have had a mustache since I was 16. I am a bit OCD when it comes to locking doors. Sometimes I check, and double check them before I leave my apartment or car. I have 6 pair of the same shoes. I have been called ‘Mr. Practical’ by family members ever since I gave my mother a can opener for Christmas when I was 8-years-old.

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

I have a unique ability to ‘read’ people. With my skills that I have acquired in my years of teaching and giving professional massage, I have heightened my senses to be able to find ‘spots’ of tension in people. At a demonstration I did at a Massage Therapy Convention where I was teaching a course on Bodymind Therapy, I located the source of a woman’s pain in about a minute. It brought her to tears when I gently touched it to bring her awareness to the trauma that was locked inside.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Working at the Deaf Community Center in San Diego and teaching ASL, and reading and writing English to pre-literate deaf people from around the world.

What are your special goals or dreams?

To continue teaching massage therapy until I retire and move to Thailand.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

Most people find my outer personality to be a bit ‘anal-retentive’, but I am mostly a quiet person, even shy at times. I truly let myself out when I teach. I get very animated and enthusiastic. My shyness disappears and I am in the moment, the zone, and my whole focus is on helping others become more of who they want to be.

What brought you to WikiAnswers?

I found it on the web and answered a few questions. Then I got a message from WikiAnswers Community Coordinator, Crystal, that she really liked my answers and invited me to be a Supervisor.

What keeps you coming back to WikiAnswers?

The love of answering questions. It’s the teacher in me. I’ve always wanted to help other people ever since my sister, Ofelia, taught me to tie my shoes when I was three. Her act of kindness sparked something in me that I’m sure was already there, it just gave me so many feelings of gratitude that it grew into a strong feeling and I felt that I had to do the same for others.

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