Monday, September 19, 2011

Zen Spa Review

For this blog post I am grateful to have two of my good friends who will be reviewing and writing with me regarding our Zen Spa experience. Both of whom are Licensed Massage Therapists and Massage Therapy professionals in the Philippines. Let me present their spa reviews in two different formats.

Rommel D. Martinez, LMT, is a former scriptwriter who came from a Political Science background at San Sebastian College, founded Greenbay Therapeutic and Rejuvenation Services and also partnered with our good friend (Hadjii Crespo) in Transition Body Wellness Center. He developed (and in the process of writing the books/manuals for) his signature and most requested Graeco-Swedish Fusion, Hagobao (Coconut Massage), Greenbay Body Scrub, Greenbay Pediatric Massage (for 8-16 year olds), Greenbay Athletics, Meridian Therapy (a sort of acupuncture without needles) and some more.

As a timely birthday gift from me, Rommel went for a massage experience in Zen Institute Medical Spa in Scout Rallos in Quezon city on Sept. 7, 2011. Let me relate below Rommel's account of his Zen spa experience.

This branch offers Swedish Massage and Shiatsu for their massage services and also offers skin whitening (whole body or localized… underarm, bikini line), body sculpting for clients who have undergone liposuction or sagging skin/cellulite, body scrub (with salt glow, seaweed mask or whitening mask), facial contouring (sagging skin, double chin, BOTOX, biochemical facelift, fillers, lip sculpting, microcellular facelift by RF technology, facial spa with microcellular serum, facial toning and autologous cell rejuvenation). They also have anti-ageing therapy, acne treatment, laser hair removal, glycolic peel, electrocautery, and collagen induction. Their massage costs P1,500.00 (for basic).

I had my appointment at 3pm, but the usual me arrived early and I was there around 2:15. I thought I will have to wait until 3pm for my massage, but after only 15 minutes I was called in to have my massage. Oooh, I don’t have to wait long after all. It is not that hard to set an appointment, basta it is not on the following day unless they still have a free slot by then.

Since the place is inside Fanny Serrano´s salon, the space is not that big or spacious, in fact a bit crampy. Well their name is Zen so the set is quite minimalist (but not Japanese-ish). The reception area is not really roomy, off-white color with chocolate brown highlights. The light blue color of the shelf is, I think, out of place (perhaps to match the light blue panel in the a/c across it). The massage room is likewise small (like the cubicles in massage clinics of the visually impaired), but there is a shower room inside (because I only had the basic service, I did not take the shower). The water closet (toilet bowl) is in the CR at the end of the hall, so you better make your weewee (peee) first before you have your massage (and shower). The massage bed is immaculate white with built-in face hole, the metal frame is covered by the white sheet. The towels are also laundry-fresh and comfortably warm. There is a bath robe for use of those who take a shower first. Because the name includes “Medical”, I thought my vitals (B/P, temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate) will be taken first, but none of it was checked. I was not also asked to sign a client intake form. The receptionists are wearing medical coat which gives out a clinical air. Some of the cubicles have only dark and heavy curtain for door, some have sliding door.

The staff are friendly and accommodating. My therapist, Joanne, is very nice and friendly. I told her before my massage that I have an allergy flare-up, but it is drying up na, so she asked where it was and avoided the area during the session.

I had the Swedish Massage, but the massage felt like it was just a light and deep effleurage with just a bit of petrissage, and a lot of tapotement. I guess they are also joining in the anti-dengue drive because I counted a number of claps like swatting mosquitoes (there is no mosquito ha, hehehe). I wonder whoever started that “palakpak” move which is quite prevalent in many spas. I guess, aside from swatting mosquitoes, its other purpose is to wake you up in case you get too relaxed if you are feeling sleepy na. But if not for that “palakpak” moves, the massage is relaxing. Joanne also did very well in squeezing out those nodules or what people usually call “lamig” out of my trapezius, rhomboids and scapulae.

I guess what they need to improve on, for a start, they can look for a more spacious place, and change the piped-in music to a more oriental sound (or nature sound) instead of new-age, anyway their name is oriental. But their location is good, very near major roads but not that busy and noisy. If they stick to the “Medical” nature in their name, they might just as well take the vitals and have the clients fill up an in-take form. Over-all I can give the spa a grade of 80-85%. I can recommend the spa, but tell the others not to expect too much. If you prefer a Shiatsu massage, it is advisable to tell the receptionist when you book for your appointment, otherwise you might be automatically booked for Swedish. If you are looking for other types of massage (yung legit lang ha), you must scout around for other establishment because, as I said, they only offer Swedish or Shiatsu for their massage.

For the second spa review of Zen spa at Scout Rallos in Quezon city. I am presenting it in an interview format. Our next reviewer is Maria Fe M. Rapio, a DOH Licensed Massage Therapy Private Practitioner, an Occupational Therapist by education, have also a Physical Therapy background and a TESDA Assessor for Massage Therapy and Hilot Wellness Massage for Manila District. Clinical Trainer for MEDSSAN Training Institute, had been a Massage Trainer for several foundation such as Caritas Foundation, PAGA(Philippine American Guardian Association), AAP(American Association of the Philippines) CHILDHOPE.

What services do they offer? and how much are the range of prices?
They offer facial and diamond peel and spa treatment such as body scrubs and massage as well

What time did you arrived? Did you wait long? Was it easy to schedule an appointment with them?
I arrived 11:45 am 15 minutes before my scheduled time...Ii waited not that long because there is a therapist who is about to end a session with one of their clients 11:50am they started my massage ... I called over the phone and they prioritize ahead booking or ahead schedule clients rather than walk in ... I called on the 24th of august i was schedule the following day

How was the ambiance? Is it relaxing?
The ambiance is really relaxing coz the entire scent of aromatherapy fills the air.

What about the cleanliness of the place, linen, etc
The area is well maintained and the linens were arranged well.

How are the staff manners and behavior? Do they seem eager to serve you? Are they busy at the time of your arrival?
All the staff are friendly and they attend to me eagerly... even if they have clients who stay there they still prioritize scheduled clients.

How was the massage session? What type of massage did you have?
The massage was great I had a Swedish with Shiatsu massage ..
The therapst knows all the areas of my stress .. I asked the therapist what type of oil will she be using for me when I find out its a mineral oil I asked her to use the one I brought with me and I gave it to her.

What do you think is the uniqueness of the place?
They have state of the art facial equipment and they have wide range of derma products

What do you like and don't like about the place, the massage session you had, the therapist and/or the session? what do you think needs improvement?
The therapist should have at least 10 minutes rest before engaging to another service to prevent them to have tiring hands ...

Would you recommend this place to your friends and family?
If you are person who values time and schedule to follow I will definitely recommend this place coz they follow schedule and value clients time

If you were to rate the massage experience how would you rate it from a scale of 1-100?
80-85 will have be a as good as what i can sense or maybe they dont allow me to have shower becoz its a gift certificate only hehehehe

Is there anything you need we should know about your visit to this spa? and any tips for spa goers out there who would like to try out their services?
If they want to experience massage in the city setting Zen Institute will be a nice place to stay and a smiling personnel that will assisst them on having their massage.

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