Zen Institute

A full-service medical spa
By Demi Braque

From inner peace comes true beauty. This simple mantra is Zen Institute’s (ZI) guiding philosophy. With the harmonious combination of medical science, creativity and aesthetic sense, the wellness center pursues holistic health which in turn manifests itself on the outward appearance.
“Here at the Zen Institute, we treat the patient as a whole person and not on a specific body part. If you concentrate on a specific part, it might not strike a balance with the rest of the body,” intimated the seasoned dermatologist who’s known in Aesthetics and Anti-Ageing Medicine.
The ZI envisions the pursuit of true beauty as a journey rather than a destination. Like the crafting of a masterpiece that’s perfected by deliberate strokes, slow processes yield far better results than those done with a deadline to meet. Hence, ZI does away with the pressures that necessitate the use of invasive and potentially traumatic shortcuts. Through this careful, yet solidly paved path, it ensures longer-lasting beauty that has been perfected from within.
Behind the team of competent doctors at the ZI is its proprietress and head, Dr. Mary Jane “MJ” Torres. A graduate of the UST Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, Dr. MJ also took her post-graduate internship at St. Luke’s Hospital and did extensive training under the tutelage of some of the country’s leading dermatologists and surgeons. She is currently part of a teaching group based in Thailand conducting workshops and trainings on aesthetic medicine for Asian doctors. She also had training on Botox in Istanbul (Turkey) as well as lipo-therapy in Athens (Greece).
“I started Zen Institute in 2006. Since then and until now, we will always be known as a non-surgical and non-invasive clinic. We are the allies of surgeons in their pre-op and post-op procedures. ZI offers overnight and 3-day stays for patients undergoing colonics treatment and those who hail from the provinces.
“Medical tourism, of which I am a proponent, can’t seem to take of as it should have been because of the lack of facilities to push the said program. The culture of medical spa in the country does not include stay facilities as of the moment,” enthused Dr. MJ.
Dr. MJ pioneered the latest technology in body sculpting called Resonax that is one of the first in Asia and Europe. Resonax is the latest non-surgical technology that introduces electrode doses to the body to hasten the process of dissolving fat as it helps tighten the skin. This procedure is also an effective treatment for acne, scars, cellulite, and sagging skin on the face. She also specializes in non-surgical facial contour & lift with special training in platelet rich plasma (PRP) and power cell lift; body sculpting with weight management; as well as evidence-based anti-ageing treatments.
PRP is a procedure that applies stem-cell technology where growth hormones found in the platelets of one’s own blood are activated to initiate and promote permanent cell growth where applied.
A hardcore believer in non-invasive surgery who’s well-respected in the medical field, Dr. MJ promotes a lifestyle of wellness to her clients through personal coaching. “To be considered a medical spa, a clinic must have the four pillars that address patients’ needs. It must have services for aesthetics, pampering, options for lifestyle, and an integrative scheme with aesthetics.
“An example of the integrative would be colonics nutrition, an intravenous procedure done in-clinic for the health within the system. It’s all for wellness. Into this realm also come detox, supplements, and dosages for hormonal balance.
“Aesthetics would include facial contouring, hair treatments, body sculpting, skin rejuvenation, whitening, fillers (lip/nose/cheek), Botox, carbon laser, and lipo-cryo that use extreme cold temperature to melt body fats. Our lifestyle-related options include nutritional and fitness programs (with yoga/zumba personal trainers) and counselling. Our pampering services, on the other hand, are different from all others in that it is science-based. For this, we have spa treatments and protocols for anti-ageing and weight management. It is at the same time a therapeutic treatment.
“You need to do everything externally first before you even consider surgery. That should be the last resort,” she intoned.
To successfully achieve the results desired, the Zen Institute applies a protocol-based approach with treatment frequency ranging from once weekly to twice monthly, based on individual needs. When complied with, the results may appear in as short as two treatments; depending on the procedure administered. However, it is highly recommended that the individual finishes the entire program for long-lasting results.
From a mere 75-sq.m, 8-stall clinic, the new Zen Institute in Quezon City is a far cry from its humble beginnings. The spanking new 2-storey edifice has now 15 rooms (two of which are couple rooms with its own T&B for overnight stays), 16 beds, a yoga/zumba floor, separate washroom for male & female patients, as well as office spaces.
“Despite my medical training, I am a very corporate person who works best with a team. I delegate the things to be done but oversee everything. As the youngest in a brood of ten, composed of businessmen, politicians and professionals, we all grew up doing our share in the upkeep of our home. I guess that’s where I saw that many heads are better than one.
“I’m an early riser. In the mornings I do my management meetings and answer mails while the afternoons I devote to my patients. Zen Institute may yet grow in number and I’m setting sights of opening a branch in Alabang in the near future,” apprized Dr. MJ.
Dr. MJ is blessed with a brood of four; three boys and a girl: Anton, a future neurologist; Adel, a finance student; Aica, and Anjo, who are both in high school.

The Zen Institue clinics are located at the G/F of the Bonifacio Technology Center in Taguig (8562027-28/09175027701); at the St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center in Batabgas (+43) 778-4811/778-4818; and at #69 Sct. Rallos St. in Quezon City (441-1712, 412-2528, 0917-5328992). For more information, simply log-on to their Web site, www.thezeninstitute.com


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