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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

Could a return to cyclical living help people living with chronic illness

Modern lifestyles have a lot to answer for when it comes to the stresses we experience on a daily basis, and the prevalence of chronic illness in today’s society.

In many ancient cultures evidence has been found of our reliance on seasonal, cyclical living - not just on a group level but on an individual level, too. As humans, much of our biological processes depend on nature around us – our circadian rhythms governed by the light of the sun, the purity of the food we eat, the seasons. External matters and how we react to and interact with them influence us much more than we think.

So could a return to this way of life, or incorporating elements of it into our daily routines, help alleviate symptoms of chronic illness?

The magic of moon cycles

If you’ve been following my Facebook page, you’ll know I am fascinated by the cycles of the moon. As the moon influences the gravitational field of our planet, it has an immense impact on all beings on earth – humans included!

Throughout each month (roughly – each cycle differs slightly in length) the moon goes through different phases from the new moon to full moon, and back again to the dark new moon. A flow of waning and waxing, in turn causing us to be impacted by its movements whether we notice it or not.

For a long time now I’ve been exploring how moon cycles link with our energy levels, and how becoming in tune with your cycle and how your body responds throughout each month. The importance of finding balance cannot be overstated – and being able to do so can have a hugely positive impact for anyone living with chronic illness.

As much as society would like to tell us otherwise, we simply can’t be busy all the time. Our bodies need some rest too – rest itself is productive as it allows us to repair and regenerate.

I talk a lot about planning, pacing and prioritising both in my workshops and privately with clients who have chronic illness or a cancer diagnosis. Using techniques like this can help you function in the best way – but you can only use them effectively when you really know yourself and can identify feelings and warning signs to slow down before it’s too late. Once you know yourself and can tune in, you’ll learn to do things when you have the most energy, and can give yourself permission to rest when you need to.

Here’s a brief overview of the moon cycle, and how this energy can have an impact on how we are feeling.

New moon: New beginnings, set intentions. A quiet time to relax and practice self-care. A time to get clear on any goals for month ahead. A time to look forward to, to plan for, to make time for. A time of lower energy, a time to tune into our body, do less and allow our body and mind to repair and grow.

Waxing moon: Energy is building (moon is getting bigger) – a great time to slowly build up activity and increase exercise (at your own pace), a time when you may feel increasingly motivated and inspired.

Full moon: The full moon is the high point of the lunar cycle, the time of highest energy. It’s the time of the month when many people find themselves feeling a little wound up or anxious. It’s intensely energising, which is why people are said to sometimes go a little ‘crazy’ on a full moon! I know I've experienced some crazy shifts working in the hospital on a full moon! Some are more sensitive to this energy than others. It's a time to practice self-forgiveness, and contemplate all that you have achieved since the last new moon.

Waning moon: Energy is slowing down (getting smaller) – A time to breathe, to do less, expect less of yourself and slow down any exercise and activities. A time for letting go and surrender.

For women especially, the effect of the moon is often more noticeable, as we are lunar beings in line with the feminine energy of the moon (the sun signifies masculine energy). That’s why menstrual cycles are also known as ‘moon cycles’ or ‘moon time’, because women are often synced to different moon phases. In fact the moon phase your period falls on may have an impact on your life as a whole.

Finding balance

When we live intuitively, we can bring better balance to our lives.

Through listening to our bodies and taking into account external elements, we can minimise the risk of exhaustion and can be confident that we are giving our bodies what they need at any given moment, whether that’s rest or exercise, food or water.

Start by simply noticing, then taking small steps that you’re comfortable with, incorporating small daily rituals to help you to get into the habit of checking in with yourself more often.

Tuning into your body

If monitoring moon cycles and getting to grips with the astrological side of things is too much for you, simply tuning into how you feel each day can make a huge difference. You might like to keep a journal of your daily feelings and see how your energy levels fluctuate throughout the month. Then you can act and plan accordingly, seeing which seasons suit you better, which foods agree with you, which activities deplete you, and which ones lift you up.

Combining a holistic and clinical approach

How I differ from other therapists in my field is my unique approach to supporting patients with chronic illness. I combine the clinical work I do with an intuitive holistic approach, which in turn brings about real, lasting changes in my patient’s lives. I like to think of this approach as soul aligned wellness.

If you are curious to learn more then keep an eye out for my monthly newsletter. If you are not already a member then you can sign up here

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