Can the Moon Solve All Your Health Issues?

Victoria Hoff

About a year ago, I walked into Brooklyn Acupuncture Project, a community wellness clinic in New York City, in a last-ditch attempt to solve some pressing #ladyproblems—specifically, that my cycle had been extremely irregular for, oh, five years. My OB/GYN had suggested acupuncture as an option if gaining weight and cutting down on exercise didn’t work to normalize things. (They didn’t.) And though I had been interested in trying acupuncture for years, I couldn’t help but feel simultaneously fascinated and extremely sceptical that this would be a legit solution to this very real issue. “You’re in good hands,” my practitioner assured me, before explaining that she had actually first gotten into acupuncture when suffering from similar problems of her own—and that she was going to use the same regimen that worked for her to cure me.

So I found my dubiousness ebbing away, even as she rattled off a rather interesting treatment plan: Our aim, she said, was to match my cycle with the lunar cycle—both are 28 days long, and the moon has been associated with feminine energy in Eastern medicine for centuries. After my session, I walked away with the most bizarre prescription ever: In addition to returning for weekly acupuncture, I had to supplement my diet with flax oil while the moon was waxing, and evening primrose oil when the moon was waning. I’d also have to take a certain strain of Chinese herbs—not-so-coincidentally called Moon Pearls ($45)twice a day. “You’ll get your period on the new moon,” she told me on my way out the door, as I started downloading a moon calendar app. And since we’ve bypassed the TMI stage at this point of the story, let me just tell you: I did.

This experience rattled my part-time belief in all things spiritual and alternative into a full-fledged fascination. What else could the moon do for me?

A lot, it turns out. Those who subscribe to this alternative approach to wellness feel strongly about the impact of nature’s energies on our bodies and minds, and the moon is a big force of nature—not to mention that it’s perpetually in transition, altering our states of being as it moves from full to new and back again. "While this relationship includes our physical, psychological, physiological, and spiritual states, it is our mental state of mind that is the most influenced," says Dr. Pratima Raichur, Ayurvedic guru and founder of an eponymous holistic spa in New York City. "Ayurveda offers so much wisdom on how to live in accordance with the moon—from breathing techniques, to meditation, lifestyle and nutritional guidanceso we can maintain stability during these fluctuating phases and achieve true balance and wellness."

“Often there is a lot of dread or cynicism around lunar activity, especially a powerful moon,” adds Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of alternative wellness destination Moon Juice (for example, feeling out of whack during the full moon). “I choose not to experience lunations in that way, but instead to relax into it and ride the wave, knowing it’s all divinely ordained energy working on us.” 

With this in mind, we asked the experts to explain how they tweak their wellness routines in order to be better attuned to the lunar cycle. Keep reading to see their diet and mindfulness tips for approaching the new moon, full moon, and every stage in between.

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