Friday, 15th December 2017
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With Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos, rgn

Health Therapies Clinic

13 Gladstone Street, Waterford.

Tel: 087 2025753.

Insight Natural Health Clinic

15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny

Tel: 056 7724429

By the light of a silvery moon

Last week I wrote about the importance of light, and described some of the impacts that changing the clocks can have on our health. In that article, I mentioned that there is another factor that may have an influence our health and wellbeing, a cause that we rarely think about: the moon.

The ancients definitely believed in the connection between moon and mood. The word "lunatic" is based on the Latin word for moon ("luna") and comes from the belief of our ancestors that the different phases of the moon could make people insane. That theory has been largely debunked in modern times, but there is still evidence of the influence of the moon on our everyday lives.

If you have small children, you may have noticed that their behaviour changes - usually for the worse - around a full moon. Many studies point to a link between the moon and a woman's menstrual cycle, with a statistically significant amount of women getting their periods around the full moon (it's not clear why, though!). Sleep patterns can be disrupted. Policemen, doctors, psychiatric nurses and others who work in the medical and emergency services often state that their workload increases during a full moon. And a full moon is also linked to a rise in crime rates, although that may be down to the simple fact that there is more light at night time for ne'er-do-wells to do their dastardly deeds!

The moon has a close relationship with water on earth, and is primarily responsible for the tides. Given that we humans are 60% water, to my mind it is not surprising that the moon might have a pull on us too - although against that, it has to be said that tides affect open water whereas the water in us is enclosed!

Of course, not everyone is affected by the moon, and different people may be affected in different ways. The type of moon is also significant; the so called Super Moon, when it is closest to the earth, exerts the greatest influence. If you are out of sorts at times, and are not sure why, it might be worth seeing if you are affected by the lunar cycle: forewarned is forearmed!

All things considered, I believe that the moon must have had a greater influence on humans in the past. Nowadays, at night we have light everywhere we go: streetlamps, torches, headlamps and lights in our homes at the flick of a switch. Darkness has been banished, and for many people, a full moon can come and go without them ever noticing it in the sky. Hardly anyone experiences the dark at night any more, or the unreal, ethereal light of a full moon,

Yet if you do ever find yourself alone in the country under a pitch black sky or in a remote spot where the only illumination comes from the silvery light of a full moon, the effect can be staggering, disturbing, overwhelming and inspiring in equal measure! A few generations ago, when the night meant darkness, the moon must have played with the minds of our ancestors, and perhaps it is that folk memory that is the reason why the moon continues to influence us!

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