Aromatherapy was used by rescue workers to help them overcome the noxious smells and the physical and emotional effects of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, a Dublin conference has been told.
Clinical aromatherapist Elieen Cristina described how aromatherapists working for the United Aromatherapy Effort gave air purifying sprays and essential oils to emergency teams.
Firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians along with construction and sanitation workers and volunteers also used the sprays and oils to help with sore muscles, cracked dry skin and the emotional effects of the disaster.
The aromatherapist told the Botanica 2012 conference that “The Ground Zero mixture was simply beyond human experience – considering the chemistry of ignition, pressure and combination of cleaning agents, carpeting, various fuels, computers, machinery and vehicles.”
“Many of the Ground Zero workers said the sprays they were given helped mask the odours they experienced on the job and allowed them to breathe clearly while working and at bedtime.
“Workers were told to spray the formulas high in the air so the mist would help cleanse the air of bacteria.”
Eileen – a Founding Director of the “United Aromatherapy Effort” – said the organization was set up after 9/11 to help emergency personnel at the World Trade Centre Site.
The non-profit organization “Serving Those Who Serve” also provided Ayurvedic herbal supplements and consultations.
“The herbs and aromatherapy were effective in a post disaster scenario, each in their own venue of application to a comparatively small population and this care is ongoing.”.
“While there are still workers dying of cancers, the essential oils and herbs helped reduce the symptoms of many workers and volunteers, and therapists providing the service helped them cope with their emergency work,” she added.
As part of a Complementary Alternative Medicine program, Eileen teaches clinical aromatherapy to graduating nurses at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She also teaches at the Lancaster School of Massage in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and privately.