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Daphna Blacksea



Daphna Blacksea is a former Police Lieutenant for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, having retired after 24 years on the job. She also served in the rescue and recovery operations following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Since her retirement, she has become an International Police Advisor and Instructor, representing the Department of State. She has trained police, primarily in counterterrorism, living in countries such as Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Daphna recalls the exposures she experienced during her years in New York, their impact on her health, and the benefits of detoxification.



I was at LGA Airport for 15 years and was exposed to airplane fumes as well as vehicle fumes. I worked at the Port Authority Bus Terminal for almost 9 years. That is where I probably got much worse exposure. There were two large buildings, two square blocks. Most of my work was inside and there was no escape from the bus fumes.

During that time, I lost my singing voice and developed sinus headaches, something I never had before. My exposure at Ground Zero didn’t help things at all and although I wasn’t down there more than 10 times it was quite enough to have some effect on me. We took our masks off to eat, to take breaks and even on the pile because it was too hot.

I developed a real sensitivity to any kind of household chemical or scented candle. I was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, which I had some of before 9/11 but it only got worse from my exposure. I also developed breast cancer. I will never know if it was related to my exposure but apparently they think it is because it’s been accepted into the 9/11 Zadroga bill. I’m fine now thankfully, by the way.

A friend of mine was the tour commander for Ground Zero for nine months on the night tour. He was having sinus headaches and sinus problems. He told me about this program involving a sauna. It involved a sauna, exercise and taking a lot of vitamins. He said, “You can’t go wrong because it’s all natural.”

Before he introduced me to the program, I had already decided to have surgery because I had excruciating sinus migraines. I asked my friend, “Why don’t you get the surgery?” He said, “Because I don’t get the headaches anymore.”

I said to him, “You know, I think I want to do this program. I didn’t have the time before because I was working but now I am retired and I have the time. I know that working down there has taken off 20 years and all our lives.”

I went into the program. It’s not easy. It involves first, getting on a treadmill, working up a sweat that way and getting your heart rate up, and then getting evaluated and sitting in a sauna. It was very scientific and highly monitored. We could only stay in the sauna for a certain amount of time. Then they would get us out of there and we would take a shower to cool down and take potassium and the electrolytes that we lost in the sauna. It was very, very good.

I met so many interesting people. I was shocked because these guys obviously were very symptomatic and very much in crisis and really suffering, from minor things to major life-threatening illnesses. Some of them were taking many, many, many medications when they arrived.

I realized that this was a place that people went to when there was nowhere else to go. It was the last resort for many, many people. Their doctors, firemen doctors had told them, “There’s nothing more we can do for you. You’re going to have to retire. We’re going to have to get you on disability.” They had aged. They had aged overnight.

I saw miracles happening in that sauna. I remember a young fireman telling me that he got something in his eye down at Ground Zero on 9/11. Many doctors had seen him. Nobody could see what was in his eye but he felt it. He knew there was something. It was probably fiberglass or something.

He was living with this for over a year. Can you imagine living with something in your eye that’s driving you crazy for over a year? While we were there, it came out. That thing finally came out of his eye after sitting in that sauna for a month.

In that little box, little miracles and big miracles happened every single day. The firemen sweat black. They sweat green. Maybe not all of it was from being at Ground Zero. Maybe some of it was a cumulative effect from all the fires they fought. Who knows? It was wonderful, I’m telling you. It was sweaty and stinky, but wonderful.

I want to tell you the way I felt afterwards, I remember this and I felt it. Everyone told me how radiant I looked, and of course my skin was glowing, but I had such clarity. I had a clarity of mind that I don’t know that I’ve ever had.

I don’t know what sauna does, or what the program did, but there was something that happened to me mentally. I felt fine before, I wasn’t confused or anything, but when I finished everything was heightened. That’s the only way I can describe it.

My hearing, my eyesight, my sense of smell, everything, all my senses were heightened. Everything was in focus. I was able to focus so much better on everything. Lack of focus, or maybe post-traumatic stress, is one of the things that came from 9/11. I didn’t think I had lack of focus but my God, I just felt so different mentally. I felt so different.

I thank you so much for the service that you provided during that time. Just the love, the love that was felt and seen in the way that people worked to help us. I’ll always be grateful to all of you for what you did, for providing us the tools to get better and to not be sick anymore and to have normal lives.