Saltana Cave: Body and mind benefits in salt ‘mine’
Published 8:19 pm, Friday, June 21, 2013
RIDGEFIELD — When Anna Husted and her daughter vacationed last summer in Poland, she took the 10-year-old to a salt cave, hoping the therapy would help with her child’s asthma.
She sat in the cave several times a week during their six-week visit, and her breathing improved, Husted said. “She was able to go without her medicine and inhaler.”
Upon returning to her Ridgefield home, Husted wanted her daughter to continue reaping the benefits of salt therapy. After some research, she learned that a West Hartford location was the only place in Connecticut where it is offered. So she decided to have a salt cave built in Ridgefield and open it to the public.
Husted, 35, found a contractor to create a 320-square-foot salt cave in a space she rents at 590 Danbury Road in Ridgefield. It’s similar to the caves that have long been popular in Britain and Russia, as well as in Husted’s native Poland.
Saltana Cave opened April 22 near the intersection of routes 7 and 35. Those who visit will find it’s a place where one can enjoy “peace and serenity,” while breathing in the salt particles, Husted said.
Among her customers are several children with respiratory conditions such asthma and allergies. Husted said they pop on their iPods, sit in one of the zero-gravity loungers and relax.
Inside the dome-shaped cave, visitors are surrounded by tons of salt rocks, typical of a salt mine. The floor is covered with small white salt crystals and the walls have salt crystals in varying sizes. Some are transparent, others opaque, and they come in colors such as pink, orange, white and gold.
Walls are lighted from behind with fiber optics, casting an amber glow. “The light helps too if someone has claustrophobia,” Husted said.
A salty mist is diffused into the air from a salt generator — called halotherapy. The climate is dry and comfortable — a constant temperature between 68 and 72 degrees. According to Husted, benefits come from negatively charged ionized salt and trace minerals.
“This saturated air is rich in many natural mineral elements,” said Husted, who suggested that visitors check with their doctors for information on the benefits of salt therapy and particular maladies.
Customers can spend 45-minute “salty sessions” in the cave at a cost of $40. For mineral absorption, Husted said 45 minutes in the salt cave is equivalent to “spending three days at the shore.”
Appointments can be made, but walk-ins are welcome. Sessions begin every hour on the hour, and visitors must bring socks. Private and group sessions can also be reserved, and there are salt therapy packages.
Mariette Kammerer, of Easton, experienced the cave on a recent weekday afternoon.
“It goes against (my) nature to take a break in the middle of the work day,” she said upon finishing her session. “I’m the type of person that has her motor running all the time. But after my stroke (in 1996) I have felt the need for stress reduction. I lost 65 pounds recently. I eat better. I practice meditation. I’m not a person who goes with fads, but I love this. I feel balanced, relaxed.”
For more information, visit saltanacave.com or call 203-969-4327.