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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 7 February 2008
Steam and sauna are not just ‘beauty’ treatments

• FURTHER to the letter (Is everything down at the pool really going swimmingly? January 31) about what’s not happening at Kentish Town baths, I have just been informed that the sauna and steam room – the health suite – is not being replaced at all.
I am very disappointed to hear this and would like to know why?
These provisions have been removed from Swiss Cottage during the refurbishment, apart from a tiny sauna in the gym which is inaccessible from the swimming pool.
Health suites are provided at all leisure centres in Islington.
As someone with a disability, affordable steam and sauna facilities are crucial to my health and wellbeing.
Since discovering these facilities at Kentish Town baths, I have used them regularly for 14 years.
They are not just “beauty” treatments but offer therapeutic benefits such as deep muscular relaxation, pain reduction, decongestion from colds and flu, improving blood circulation, aiding sleep problems and reducing need for medication. They also stimulate the lymphatic system, which detoxifies the body helping to prevent conditions such as arthritis.
There are many people in Camden who, like me, either have disabilities, are elderly, or have other health needs which mean that gyms are inappropriate or inaccessible as ways of staying well.
Is this one of the downsides of private investment – turning public leisure facilities into luxury flats and giant gyms to make a profit for the investors?
As Rose Hacker says, “Who do they think they represent?”
Until its closure, I had regularly used the steam and sauna at Kentish Town for 14 years. I enjoyed meeting many women like myself, with health issues, poorer women who can’t afford private facilities, women from varied cultural backgrounds where one afternoon a week’s relaxation and socialisation, counterbalances their otherwise stressful and busy lives.
This will be a huge loss for us.
Cabby Laffy
Address supplied

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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