Health shenanigans at the full moon
Posted on 31st January 2018 at 20:11
The effects of a full moon on our health
Last week on the blog about green tea I mentioned biodynamic farming and how it acknowledges moon phases and works with them throughout the growing cycle. Life on earth is dependent on both the sun and the moon, and since time began, both have held a profoundly symbolic importance for mankind. The influences of the Moon’s gravitational pull on the seasons and plant growth (as well as animal and human behaviour) has been documented since ancient times and scientists today continue to research the proof of such acquired ‘wisdom’.
Today’s full moon highlights what I see in my practice every month – certain complaints and issues seem to be heightened at different stages of the lunar cycle. Studies show that GP consultations increase around the full moon and not necessarily for conditions related to depression or mental health. Gout and asthma attacks have been shown to peak during both full and new moon phases.
It is common knowledge that phases of the lunar cycle exert an influence on fertility and menstruation but it is now thought that appetite and the immune system may also be affected. If you find you go through phases of low mood, irritability, digestive disturbances or an escalation of any symptoms of disease that only seem to last a few days, then tracking those flare-ups against the lunar calendar may be a good idea.
The full moon has energetic advantages that call us forth to activity and give us the energy to embark on new projects. By resting more during the new moon phase and participating in externally motivated activities during the full moon, we heighten our own life force and enhance inner harmony.
Many studies have been conducted on the length and quality of sleep during the various moon phases and results are varied and inconclusive. However there is good evidence to suggest that sleep is affected in the days leading up to a full moon due to lowering levels of melatonin, a hormone vital for the circadian rhythm that drives the body's sleep cycles. Researchers found that it took people longer to fall asleep and that deep restorative phases of sleep were reduced by 30% as the full moon grew closer. In some ways this is good news as poor sleep can lead to poorer sleep when anxiety kicks in. If you know that you may experience sleep disturbances around a full moon you can accept that as part of the wonderful, natural world in which we live and rest assured that in a few days time you should be sleeping like a baby again.
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