Barking’s Bath House celebrates Women’s Empowerment month

Virginie Auvray, reflexologist Millie Laws and managing director at The Bath House, Rachelle Moulai

Virginie Auvray, reflexologist Millie Laws and managing director at The Bath House, Rachelle Moulai - Credit: Archant

The therapy rooms are offering women a free sauna session in honour of the occasion.

What better way to relax and unwind than enjoy a free sauna session?

The Bath House is offering just that to celebrate Women’s Empowerment month – with managing director Rachelle Moulai suggesting that taking care of yourself can be empowering.

“Why don’t women just take care of themselves?” she said.

“Not just for women’s empowerment days and not just the month. You can empower yourself by taking care of yourself.”

The Bath House began life in 2012 as part of the borough’s Olympic legacy to support health and wellbeing for everyone.

Originally intended as a pop-up, the venture was so popular that space was found within in the Barking Learning Centre for a more long-term fixture.

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Co-director Farrah Idris, who lives in Park Avenue and grew up in Barking, says the team are excited to be part of the borough’s regeneration.

“I have seen Barking change over the years. We went through a period of stagnation and are now seeing a lot of development. It’s exciting to be on the cusp of that.”

Rachelle added that as a non-profit business it is committed to providing low-cost therapies and a safe space for people to meet.

“Who earns a lot of money in Barking?” she said. “In central London a massage is £80, here it’s from £30.

“If you are on your own you might be scared to go to a spa, but here you are made to feel right at home.”

And the centre – which offers a range of therapies from reflexology to kinesiology – aims to offer a holistic approach that empowers people to take better care of themselves.

Rachelle explained: “People want to do something about their health. We do want to provide services for them.

“They smoke, they drink and don’t exercise. People should invest in themselves.

“Even my friends say they can’t afford a massage, but they can afford cigarettes. You make your choices.”

Originally from France, Rachelle’s career has taken her around the world.

She has worked in luxury West End hotels, five star resorts in the Seychelles and Bora Bora – and at a crisis centre in Haringey.

“I always say I’ve gone from Bora Bora to Barking!” she joked. “In Barking you have all the nationalities, you have everything in one place.”

She also learned that good health is our biggest asset.

“I have worked with the richest people and the most famous and the homeless,” she explained. “Everyone wants the same thing, they want to be healthy and feel good.”

You can book a free sauna session from Tuesday to Saturday next week. Visit