The moon’s effects date back to legends and mythology of ancient civilizations. Many people dismiss myths concerning the influence of the moon, but it’s very hard to completely disregard the effects of the moon because the tides on this Earth, the oceans, everything follows the moon’s gravitational pull. So it can’t be dismissed as doing nothing to us. Real effects are being found through science.
Is it just old wives' tales and superstition that the moon has an effect on your health? Not according to medical professionals, who swear they deliver more babies and see more injuries when the moon is full. A study of British physicians found that visits and emergency calls increased during a full moon and decreased during a new moon. Numerous studies have also confirmed that the moon has a definite effect on our health.
• Sleep. A study from the University of Basel in Switzerland published in the journal Current Biology found that it took people longer to fall asleep during a full moon. In addition, the rate of brain activity that indicates a restful, deep sleep dropped by 30 percent, and, overall, they slept for 20 minutes less. Tests also found a reduction in melatonin, a hormone that helps normalize sleep/wake cycles, during the full moon. "The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not see the moon and is not aware of the actual moon phase," said lead researcher Dr. Christian Cajochen.
• Menstrual cycles. A woman's menstrual cycle is four weeks — the length of a full moon cycle. A study published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica tracked more than 800 women for up to 25 years and found that almost 30 percent of women had their periods around the full moon. A study of more than 8,000 women presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine found that most women's periods began in the two weeks beginning 11 days from the start of the full moon. Other studies have found that women are most fertile during a new moon when the sky is darkest.
• Heart attack. A German study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology examined the records of 16,000 heart attack victims and found a significant reduction in heart attacks during the three days following a new moon. They theorized that the moon has a beneficial effect on the heart twice a month — during a full moon and also during a new moon when the sun and moon are aligned and gravity is at its strongest. An Indian study monitored the effects of exercise on the heart during the different phases of the moon, and found hearts worked more efficiently during full moons and new moons.
• Kidney stones. A study of almost 1,500 people published in the journal Urology found that pain caused by kidney stones increased significantly during a full moon. Although not all studies have come to the same conclusion, a study at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital also found that patients admitted with urological emergencies increased during the full moon.
• Brain. The term "lunatic" comes from the Latin word for the moon "luna" and stems from the belief that mental problems increase during a full moon. A 2011 Dutch study of more than 5,400 patients found that full moons brought an increase in emergency admissions of psychiatric patients. Researchers theorized that the moon's gravity could have an effect on mood and behavior by affecting the movement of liquids in the brain. Some psychologists claim they have an uptick of patients with emotional problems during the full moon. A full moon appears to bring benefits to epileptics: Scientists at University College London found that epileptic seizures decreased during full moons.
• Surgery. A 2013 study published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery found that patients who had an emergency form of open heart surgery (acute aortic dissection repair) during a full moon were hospitalized four fewer days — 10 versus 14 — than those whose surgeries occurred during different phases of the moon.
The full moon also has an effect on animals. A study published in the British Medical Journal found people were twice as likely to visit an emergency room due to an animal bite during a full moon. A study of almost 12,000 cases at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medicine center found that emergency room visits for dogs increased by 28 percent and for cats by 23 percent during a full moon.
THE PHASES OF THE MOON
The Moon moves through eight different phases each month. They are:
Waxing Crescent Moon
1st Quarter Moon
Waxing Gibbous Moon
Waning Gibbous Moon
3rd Quarter Moon
Waning Crescent Moon
The new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the earth and sun. The three objects are in approximate alignment. The entire illuminated portion of the moon is on the back side of the moon, the half that we cannot see.
At a full moon, the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment, just as the new moon, but the moon is on the opposite side of the earth, so the entire sunlit part of the moon is facing us. The shadowed portion is entirely hidden from view.
The first quarter and third quarter moons (both often called a "half moon"), happen when the moon is at a 90 degree angle with respect to the earth and sun. So we are seeing exactly half of the moon illuminated and half in shadow.
An easy way to remember and understand those "between" lunar phase names is by breaking out and defining 4 words: crescent, gibbous, waxing, and waning. The word crescent refers to the phases where the moon is less than half illuminated. The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. Waxing essentially means "growing" or expanding in illumination, and waning means "shrinking" or decreasing in illumination.
After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half, so it is waxing crescent. After the first quarter, the sunlit portion is still increasing, but now it is more than half, so it is waxing gibbous. After the full moon (maximum illumination), the light continually decreases. So the waning gibbous phase occurs next. Following the third quarter is the waning crescent, which wanes until the light is completely gone -- a new moon.
It has been known for centuries that the full moon can affect people’s consciousness and behavior. Many people may feel wakeful at night with energy streaming through their body for the three days before full moon. NASA-supported scientists have realized that something does happen every month when the Moon passes through Earth's magnetic tail.
"Earth's magnetotail extends well beyond the orbit of the Moon and, once a month, the Moon orbits through it," says Tim Stubbs, a University of Maryland scientist working at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This can have consequences ranging from lunar 'dust storms' to electrostatic discharges."
Anyone can tell when the Moon is inside the magnetotail. Just look: "If the Moon is full, it is inside the magnetotail," says Stubbs. "The Moon enters the magnetotail three days before it is full and takes about six days to cross and exit on the other side."
Human consciousness too is made up of electrical activity, which can be measured with an electro encephalograph, and a magnetic aura, or field of energy. A lot of people can feel this field of energy.
We all know from astrology that each of the planets, and the sun and moon, have an influence on our feelings, emotions and consciousness. The moon affects our emotions because the moon influences water; just as the moon causes the tides, it exerts a pull on the watery components of our body, and we feel this as emotions. The body is made up of 70 to 80% of water.
It is beneficial to extend our awareness to take in all the influences of the celestial bodies, as they all communicate with, and have an influence on, each other by the transfer of electrical and magnetic energy. Studies have shown that the moon influences brain activity tremendously. It increases the level of frequency and vibration of particles in the human brain.