THE INFLUENCE OF THE MOON ON THE HUMAN BODY: TRUTHS AND MYTHS

Born from a planetary explosion that occurred about 400 billion years ago, the Moon has always intrigued man. It was once considered a god, a celestial compass, but in fact it remains the only cosmic body to be visited by human beings today.

But it doesn’t stop there. Over time, sleeping problems, violent behavior, menstrual cycles and even the growth of nails and hair have been associated with a certain phase of the moon. The full moon, for example, would be responsible for worsening the conditions of the mentally ill, at least in the opinion of 81% of psychiatrists in a 2017 study.

This idea that the full moon can awaken emotions, provoke bizarre (lunatic?) Behaviors and even cause physical illness is a deeply ingrained belief to this day and, let’s face it, is not such an unreasonable idea. After all, several marine species have their reproductive cycles synchronized with the lunar cycles, not to mention the tides, which rise and fall with the phases of the moon.

Even so, there are few scientific studies that manage to correlate the moon with human behavior and health conditions. We did some research on some scientific works on the subject to prove, or not, connections between the moon and human beings. See the main topics.

Hair, nails and menstrual cycle

One of the most popular beliefs, that each phase of the moon can interfere with the growth and volume of hair, is present in the culture of several countries and is even part of the routines of many beauty salons, which personalize hair cuts and nails of customers according to the phases of the moon.

However, this is just a myth that has no basis in science. For if, on the one hand, it is true that the moon can interfere with gigantic masses, such as the ocean, its gravity has no effect on small objects, such as water glasses, much less on the fluids of our capillaries

As the moon takes about a month to orbit the Earth and the menstrual cycles have almost the same duration, many people see a synchronization there, which absolutely does not exist. In a 2013 study, scientists followed 74 women for 980 periods, and found no association between menstruation and the moon. This, it is good to say, also does not have the power to advance childbirth.

Moon, madness, werewolves and suicides

The association between the full moon and insane behavior and violent acts goes back to antiquity. Hippocrates himself, father of modern medicine, saw a connection between madness and “the moon goddess”. However, this myth has no scientific basis. Although hundreds of studies have been done in this regard, no psychological analysis has been able to prove any link between moon and mental illness.

About werewolves, many people think the story came about because wolves howl more during the full moon, but even that is incorrect. Wolves howl to unite their flocks, before and after hunting. The moment when the moon rises, in any phase, is a favorable moment to call the group to hunt.

Another myth that involves the full moon is that it is “responsible” for an increase in suicide deaths. In fact, the opposite is true. In 2000, the Finnish Institute of Public Health analyzed 1400 cases of suicide that occurred during one year in that country. The conclusion revealed that the majority of suicides occurred during the new moon, just when there is less light.

All of these beliefs can be an illusory correlation, which happens when we draw a wrong conclusion because we do not consider all the data. For example, we suffered a robbery in Tokyo, and we think it is an insecure city, when, in fact, it is the safest in the world.

Does the Moon influence our health?

Since the cycles of the moon do influence some natural phenomena, such as the tides, many cultures have developed this very incorrect perception that the lunar phases are also capable of influencing human emotions, behaviors and health.

But it is not true that the full moon is capable of making people more aggressive, violent, or anxious and depressed. There is some evidence that the full moon causes some changes in the quality of sleep and also in cardiovascular conditions.

In addition, scientific studies on the subject continue, but, to date, what prevails is the idea that the effect of our natural satellite on our bodies is far less powerful than people think.

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