Arts Therapies for Dry Mouth

Last update: 25.06.2019

Therapeutic painting and modeling

Heike Stenz, Cristina Mösch, Juliane Staguhn, Georg Hegglin, Andrea Ritter

Painting therapy

In painting it is important to make sure that the whole painting becomes an expression of the organism.

  • Wet-on-wet painting 
    First of all dissolve, “soften,” and set in motion – then bring the picture out of its mobility of color and form into one that is shaped by the creative power of the ‘I’.

  • Painting with plant-pigment paints
    The inherent warmth of natural plant material lives in plant-pigment paints, which can support the strengthening of one’s etheric body when painting with them and paying attention to their color qualities.

  • Let two colors slowly and actively merge together, using the brush.
    The slower the execution, the smoother the transition. We can thus harmonize the connection of both states at the interface between the element of air (smelling) and the element of water (tasting) in the mouth.

Modeling therapy

  • Working with very soft clay
    helps to strengthen the etheric body.

  • Form the clay by sliding the hands, shape the clay rhythmically on a board.

Music therapy

Viola Heckel, Sebastian Weiss

  • The most direct influence on dry mouth can be achieved through singing therapy.
    The blood circulation in the mouth can be stimulated in such a way that the salivary flow of the salivary glands is increased, through targeted vocal and sound exercises.

  • The musical intonation of consonants "L”, “M” and “N” are suitable sounds.
    The formation of consonants stimulates form-giving processes, while the flowing sound of the sung tone remains the supporting element.
    Tone sequences in steps are suitable, especially those using the musical interval of the second. The interval of the second leads melodically into movement and conveys a flowing quality. Since resonance phenomena affect the whole body when a person sings, the therapeutic effect is felt throughout the organism as well.

Anthroposophic therapeutic speech

Barbara Ziegler-Denjean

Feeling one’s articulation change through the different speech zones can be compared to tasting food. It thus stimulates salivation. The taste zones correspond to the speech zones – tongue root, tongue tip, the lips – and we also naturally use the terms ‘sweet’, ‘salty’, ‘hot’, ‘spicy’ or ‘bitter’ to express inner characteristics of the soul. Speech articulation and the chewing of food both occur in an airy-aqueous environment in the mouth (linked to the soul body and etheric body; for an explanation of these terms see This common range of activity and sensation makes it possible to have a stimulating effect on the salivary glands via the speech muscles, especially when joy and liveliness characterize the person’s speaking, as all the body glands react sensitively to mental moods. 

  • Fluency exercises (speech gymnastics)
    The flow of saliva is supported by skillful and fast articulation, as is needed for fluency exercises. This additionally leads to increased blood circulation in the oral mucosa.

  • The sounds “S”, “Z” and “SH” are particularly helpful in achieving this
    e.g., as they occur in the following exercise:

    Tu-whit twinkle ‘twas
    twice twigged tweaker
    to twenty twangy twirlings
    the zinnia crisper
    zither zooming shambles
    this smartened smacking
    smuggler sneezing
    snoring, snatching

    The same exercise in German:

    Zuwider zwingen zwar
    Zweizweckige Zwacker zu wenig
    Zwanzig Zwerge
    Die sehnige Krebse
    Sicher suchend schmausen
    Dass schmatzende Schmachter
    Schmiegsam schnellstens
    Schnurrig schnalzen (1, p. 23, Creative Speech p. 42)

  • Dramatic sentences
    Since the flow of saliva increases the more that language is emotionally affected, we incorporate small dramatic sentences into the series of exercises, so that the language images also have a stimulating effect on the person’s life processes, e.g.:

    And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
    As when water and fire first blend;
    To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
    And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
    And the ocean will never exhausted be,
    As if striving to bring forth another sea. (2)

  • Air sound “R” and wave sound “L
    A strong “R”-impulse (air sound) can be alternated with a flowing “L” (wave sound) with appropriate exercises. This results in a stimulating effect right into the lymphatic system. “L” exercises also support voice flow:

    Lamer lightness Lisa loiters
    Lisa loiters lamer lightness

    The same exercise in German:

    Lämmer leisten leises Läuten (1, p. 50, Creative Speech p. 71)
    Leises Läuten leisten Lämmer

    Breathing deeply and moving the vowels always serve to make all psychosomatic processes more fluid and mobile.

  • In general, a soft “CH” is a good help for dry mouth,
    because this sound already exerts physical pressure on the lateral salivary glands across the width of the tongue. This sound helps to rebuild the oral mucosa, especially after chemotherapy.

    Improvements occur after about three weeks with regular practice. 


  1. Steiner R, Steiner-von Sivers M. Creative speech. The formative process of the spoken word. Reprinted 1st ed. Forest Row: Rudolf Steiner Press; 2013.
  2. Schiller F. From: Der Taucher. In: Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1798. Tübingen: J.G. Cottaische Buchhandlung. English translation: Online version (translator unknown), as checked on 4.6.19:

Research news

Mistletoe therapy in addition to standard immunotherapy in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer indicates improved survival rates 
Immunotherapy with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors has significantly improved the survival rates of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results of a real-world data study (RWD) investigating the addition of Viscum album L. (VA) to chemotherapy have shown an association with improved survival in patients with NSCLC - regardless of age, degree of metastasis, performance status, lifestyle or oncological treatment. The mechanisms may include synergistic modulations of the immune response by PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors and VA. However, the results should be taken with caution due to the observational and non-randomised study design. The study has been published open access in Cancers

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