Conventional wisdom says that whenever there's a full moon, strange things happen.

A full moon over the Arizona desert.

Here in southern Arizona, new research is looking at ways to use moonlight to heal illness and disease.

Whether it's hocus pocus or science, moonbeam healing has its believers.

As a full moon lights up the southern Arizona sky earlier this week, volunteers adjust a reflector more than 50 feet high to collect moonlight.

Eric Carr was skeptical the first time he came out here. But after spending a few minutes basking in a moonbeam, he says his life changed.

"I just noticed I was breathing a lot easier. I've had asthma since I was a kid."

He's now off his asthma medicine. He describes standing in front of the beam as a peaceful, euphoric experience.

"I feel like I have a new set of lungs. I don't understand it, but it worked."

The project developer, Richard Chapin, put up his own money to build the moonlight collector. He says it's helped with depression, pain, even cancer: there's just something about the light.

"Hopefully these differences in reds, and yellows--you have all the colors of the spectrum--will activate parts of the body and make a healthful difference."

We checked with several doctors around the area, but they didn't want to comment because they say they don't know enough about the research.

But people have their opinions.

"Lunacy comes from the world 'lunar.' I think it sounds nuts to me frankly," says Tucson resident Renee Sebag.

Chapin tells the skeptics: "You've got to come out and try it and then you'll be a believer."