Marvyn Perez Faculty Spotlight Q & A:
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy connecting with the students and ensuring that they get the most out of their education. I am always available for their questions and I frequently have interns ask me about questions regarding themselves, their family members, and their patients regarding Western medicine, herbs, formulas, etc...
Q: 1. What is your favorite herb or herbal formula? Why – What properties or agents make it so special?
A: There are 2 formulas that I really benefit from. The first one is Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang. It literally means "Tonify Middle Spleen Qi Decoction." It's the perfect formula to give a little extra boost and energy. It has a high dose of Astragalus (Huang Qi) which is a great immune booster and combats fatigue. The other formula is Huang Lian Jie Du Tang. It clears heat and I make sure to take it during meals that are too hot and spicy. The cold herbs in this formula balance out the hot herbs in the food and it allows me to occasionally enjoy certain spicy cuisines without the side effects.
Q: 2. Can you share any summer nutrition tips? What herbs or foods are best in summer?
A: During the summer watermelon is a great fruit. In Chinese medicine it clears summer heat and generates fluids. This fruit is very cooling and perfect when it's been hot outside and you've been sweating. I like to combine it with water and lemon juice. Additionally, watermelons are packed with lycopene and vitamin A. This summer fruit quenches thirsts and is a great source of water and electrolytes! Typically, Traditional Chinese Medicine nutrition focuses more on cooked foods as they are easier on our digestive systems. However, during the summertime one can indulge more in raw foods, like salads, raw fruits and veggies.
Q: 3. Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite dish? Do you incorporate Chinese herbs (or any herbs) in your cooking?
A: I love to cook and I've been told I'm a great chef. Within my community I'm famous for making pork ribs cooked with slivers of garlic and soaked in a combination of citrus juices including oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons. I marinate it, then bake it in the oven until it's packed with flavor and falls off the bone. I also enjoy grilling carne asada.
I love to modify recipes and enjoy adding health foods to traditional recipes. Some herbs that I regularly cook with are tonics like jujube (Da Zao) and Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi). I also cook traditional black beans with the neutral tasting black fungus mushroom for added nutrition. My cooking style has definitely evolved and I've incorporated new elements since having attended Yo San.
Q: 4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I enjoy connecting with the students and ensuring that they get the most out of their education. I am always available for their questions and I frequently have interns ask me about questions regarding themselves, their family members, and their patients regarding Western medicine, herbs, formulas, etc...
Q: 5. When you are not at Yo San, where would we most likely find you?
A: When I'm not at Yo San, I enjoy spending time with my son. We like to explore new restaurants, go to the movies, and walk around unique neighborhoods.
Q: 6. Any favorite summer activities?
A: During the summer I enjoy going to BBQs and spending time with family and friends.
Q: 7. What influenced you to choose TCM/acupuncture as your career choice?
A: I was introduced to acupuncture and Chinese medicine when I was in medical school in Mexico. However, it wasn't until I had been in private practice for several years in Mexico and Guatemala, that I rediscovered TCM. I received a very powerful treatment and the practitioner shared with me his experience with Chinese medicine and let me borrow some of his textbooks. I was able to see that TCM was not magic like it is often portrayed, but rather a powerful medicine both rich with theory and successful clinical results for thousands of years. I was inspired to learn more and moved to Los Angeles to further my education. My knowledge of western medicine helps me tremendously and I am grateful to be able to integrate both medicines.
Q: 8. Why did you choose to attend Yo San?
A: I chose Yo San after having researched all the other schools in southern California. Yo San struck me as the most serious school and I wanted to get the best training. The community was very friendly and welcoming as well which made Yo San the best option for me.
Q: 9. What advice can you give my prospective students interested in applying to Yo San?
A: My advice to students is to study and to truly learn as much as you can. Read the books! Seek help when you need it. And question everything. Be open-minded toward Western medicine and learn Western medical language. It is very important to be able to communicate with other healthcare providers.