Chinese Medicine and the Moon
What with the Goddesses, Witches and probable Werewolves of this town, it feels a bit like preaching to the converted but the recent moon rise over Glastonbury Tor in January was so spectacular I felt compelled to write about its importance from a Chinese medical and Daoist perspective.
It is pretty much a universal trait that the sun is seen as masculine and the moon as feminine and Daoism is no different. The sun is clearly about as Yang as it gets and the moon is its Yin counterpart. I find it truly amazing that they appear to be exactly the same size in the sky, the chances of which must be truly astronomical!
It is said that when the Yang light of the sun shines on the moon and reflects to Earth, this light then becomes Yin. It is clear that this light and the moon itself has a great effect on us. You only have to go and look at the sea and witness the effect it has on the tides to appreciate this. Indeed the moons gravity has an effect on every drop of water on the Earth and as we are made up of seventy percent water, it obviously has a pull on us too. This can be most clearly seen within a woman’s menstrual cycle which ideally should be in time with the moon. For optimum health a woman should ovulate during the full moon, when energy and blood is rising upwards, and they should menstruate during a new moon when energy and blood are sinking and the ‘heavenly waters can flow’. There are Daoist practices, such as ‘moon gazing’ which can help a woman to tune into and regulate these cycles. Acupuncture can also help. Many of the menopausal symptoms, which many women suffer from, are due to being out of sync with the lunar cycles for a protracted amount of time and there are acupuncture protocols that can help re-address these issues.
Pregnancy is also linked to the lunar cycles. It is said that a child conceived on a full moon will potentially have more energy, be more robust and less prone to illness. Gestation then lasts for ten moons rather than nine months, with each moon pertaining to a different meridian system. During this time it is essential for a woman to try and remain as emotionally calm and as physically nourished as possible as the mother’s essence is directly linked to the child’s.
However it is not just woman who are affected by the moon. It is a well-known fact that hospital visits increase during the time of a full moon and the word ‘lunatic’ was used to highlight the fact that people do generally act a bit crazier at this time. This is because the full moon draws more energy up to the head which can increase any pre-existing mental-illness or even simply create more headaches. It is for this reason that in classical acupuncture it is forbidden to put needles in to the head during a full moon. There is already too much Chi rising so it’s better to put them in the feet to draw that energy back down!