RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- We all know our doctors would like us to have less salt in our diets but Redding resident Anna Pogoda believes more salt is good for you.
Twelve thousand pounds, to be exact.
That's the amount piped into the room at Saltana Cave and Spa in Ridgefield, the business she's owned since 2013. Salt, she said -- in the air as opposed to in our diets -- helps with a host of respiratory conditions, allowing folks to breathe better.
In fact, explained Pogoda, if it weren't for her daughter's asthma, the business may never have come to pass. A native of Poland, Pogoda said a visit to her home country -- and a man-made cave there -- helped her daughter's breathing dramatically.
Which is why, upon returning to Fairfield County, she decided to do "tons of research" and open her own. These kind of caves are popular in Europe, she explained -- they've been in Poland since the 1850s -- which made her confident a market existed. Hers, she said, was the first to open in all of Connecticut.
The centerpiece of the experience is the 320-square-foot temperature-controlled cave where the air is saturated with negative ions, minerals and salt particles.
Pogoda recommends clients come in comfortable clothes (i.e. exercise wear), listen to music and relax in zero-gravity lounge chairs while they breathe in all that salty goodness.
A maximum of eight people are allowed in the room at a time.
While many of her clients are regulars, she admits she also has a lot of first-timers who come out of curiosity.
The idea is new to our area so takes a while for folks to "get" the concept, she said. Added Pogoda: "Once people come and experience the physical and emotional health benefits, they come back."
The Saltana Cave is located at 590 Danbury Rd., (203) 969-4327, www.saltanacave.com/ .