Friday, November 12, 2010

Mysteries of the Moon...A Journey in Thought

During the time of the full moon, I get this tingly sensation in my head; I feel as if I am floating instead of having my feet firmly planted on the ground. Yet the community of science, generally speaking, does not correlate the presence of a full moon with any significant change in the number or intensity of event--natural disasters, emergency room visits, etc. It is believed that people give credance to the full moon for such situations only because they remember an event based on the presence of the full moon. Exactly, how in depth do these investigations go?

Lunar gravitational forces (and to a lesser degree, Solar) can be attributed to a significant and cyclical Earthly force-- tides. This is established. Now, it is assumed that this pull is not strong enough to create a change in solid matter such as the Earth's crust. However, if the pull is strong enough to influence fluid matter such as water, might this pull be able to influence the fluid matrix within the human body? The body has a huge reliance on the flow of fluids throughout the body. The circulatory system is a necessity, not only for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to distal tissues, but as an endocrine highway for hormones that create a long-term, but slow acting, effect on cellular metabolism. Any manipulation of bodily fluids can interact by increasing or decreasing the efficiency of this hormone to receptor attraction. Therefore, wouldn't it be possible that a full moon could have an indirect influence on human behavior?

Located deep with in the cerebrum is a small endocrine gland called the pineal gland. Studies of this gland have lead to the discovery of a secreted hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is believed to be a chief regulator in what is called the sleep-wake cycle. The pineal gland is believed to be photosensitive. That is, the secretion of melatonin has a reliance on the absence of light as a stimulus. Other than the secretion of melatonin, other aspects of the pineal gland are being studied. I have some thoughts on this, however. For instance, it is believed that the menstrual cycle is correlated with lunar forces. It might be possible that the same sleep-wake regulator may have a modulating effect on the secretion of progesterone and estrogen. Thereby, when the moon is full, less melatonin or other hormone is secreted; this results in a lack of inhibition to secretion of feminine hormones that control fertility. Likewise, during the new or dark of the moon, the body would be exposed to more melatonin that inhibits further hormonal release.

If melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle in which certain systems slow--digestion, heart rate, etc.--, and this hormone is released in response to a decrease in light, what other possibilities exist? As mentioned, hormonal changes take time, therefore it is possible that small amounts of melatonin are existent within our systems even during the presence of light. What happens when the light does not go away? Certain central nervous pathways within the brain provide frontiers of further study. The standard human does not use his or her brain to its fullest capacity. Is it possible that some of these neural pathways may be influenced by hormones such as melatonin or an unknown variety secreted by the pineal gland?

During the time of the full moon, I get this tingly sensation in my head; I feel as if I am floating instead of having my feet firmly planted on the ground. Might it be possible that the human body provides a key to neural and spiritual pathways--pathways that are determined by the presence of lack of photostimulation and inherent to us all. Certainly, the scientific community has a lot of research to do before they discredit "lunacy" or the process of "spiritual awakening" in people. Research studies may not have proven a correlation, but do we need science to prove something that we already know to be true?

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