Arts Therapies for Constipation

Last update: 18.07.2019

Therapeutic painting and modelling

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

The basic therapeutic aim is to arouse interest and joy in order to release the soul body (sensory organization) from its excessive cramping in the metabolic area. 

Painting therapy

  • Wet-on-wet painting is particularly suitable

  • Color spectrum from magenta to orange

  • Investigate the color yellow as a color of light
    Work on large areas standing upright with a wide brush, without commenting on what you are doing, or use the whole palm of your hand as a tool, so that the soul can enthusiastically immerse itself in the materials.
    Practice having yellow radiate out from the distance and downwards, moving rhythmically in such a way that the patient can explore yellow in its tendency to become white, ochre, gold and green.

Therapeutic modeling

  • Rhythmic movements in soft clay,
    to connect the soul body more deeply with the physical and to stimulate processes there.

  • Make vessels by forming a cavity 

Music therapy

Viola Heckel

  • Tenor chrotta (playing on the open strings)
    In cases of constipation, tenor chrottas can be used to relax the soul body involved in the excretory process. This stringed instrument, tuned to the “breathing” interval of the fifth, unfolds its harmonizing effect through the rhythmic gesture used to play it, and it stimulates a warming of the abdomen and legs through its low pitch. 

  • Experiences of vibration using the tenor chrotta
    There is the possibility of externally stimulating both warmth generation and relaxation by enabling the patient to experience vibrations. The patient places the soles of his feet on a tenor chrotta, while the therapist plays the instrument.

  • Instruments to lie on (“Klangliege”)
    This makes use of instruments which the patient can lie upon, in a similar way to the chrotta. The patient perceives the vibrations while lying on his back as the therapist plays flowing sounds on the strings.

  • Singing exercises
    Breath-deepening singing exercises have also proven helpful for this kind of constipation. The sound of the singing voice swings through the patient’s whole body and brings blocked energies back into flow.

Anthroposophic therapeutic speech

Barbara Ziegler-Denjean

The activities of the larynx and the breathing processes oriented towards speaking can be seen as an “enhancement” and transformation of metabolic processes. Things that we are digesting below are often exhaled on a higher level above, and we often “eliminate” things that have been on our minds.

  • In general, the sound “R” helps when the abdomen is tense and bloated, and is accompanied by intestinal sluggishness.
    The effect is supported by the speaker learning to grasp the lower space behind him with an “R” exercise:

    “Rattle me more and more rattles now rightly” (“Rate mir mehrere Rätsel nur richtig”) (1, p. 15, Creative Speech p. 35)

    The exercise can be run backwards and forwards with easy steps, so that the speaker moves as if in a rolling wheel.
    In the further course of treatment, the exercises are accompanied by a gesture of the hands from high to low, and spoken more and more agilely, whereby the individual “R” words can be exchanged, so that the articulation processes run faster than they can be reflected upon.

  • N-G” is stimulating for peristalsis.
    “N-G” has a direct effect on intestinal activity from the metabolic will area of the speech zones through “chewing” speech movements in which the root of the tongue is kneaded and the words are spoken with a loose lower jaw. This sound should be spoken with long, repetitive oscillations, especially for carcinomas in this area:

    “Ringing springing clinging singing swinging.“ (“Ringen springen klingen singen schwingen”)

    • The antispastic rhythm (short long long short) has been known since antiquity to support healing.
      It is accompanied in the first (iambic) part by a receiving, contracting gesture, which is then released and widened again in the (trochaic) second part by striding rhythmically. The centripetal gesture of the arms and the centrifugal striding of the feet are used to recreate food intake and excretion:

      “The day ends it, the light fades it, the night loosens what once bound us.” (“Der Tag endet, das Licht schwindet, die Nacht löset, was uns bindet.”)

      Rateless ration       Redlich ratsam
      roosted roomily      Rüstet rühmlich
      reason wretched     Riesig rächend
      ruined Roland         Ruhig rollend
      royalty roster         Reuige Rosse (1, p. 15, Creative Speech p. 35)

      Slinging slanging a swindler              Schlinge Schlange geschwinde
      the wounding fooled a vicor vexed     Gewundene Fundewecken weg

      The wounding fooled a swindler        Gewundene Fundewecken
      slinging slanging vexed                    Geschwinde schlinge Schlange weg (1, p. 22, Creative speech p. 58)

Overall, improvements are possible after five to seven weeks of therapy, though sometimes the effect is spontaneous.


  1. Steiner R, Steiner-von Sivers M. Methodik und Wesen der Sprachgestaltung. GA 280. 4th ed. Dornach: Rudolf Steiner Verlag; 1983. English translation: Steiner R, Steiner-von Sivers M. Creative speech. The formative process of the spoken word. Reprinted 1st ed. Forest Row: Rudolf Steiner Press; 2013.

Research news

Phase IV trial: Kalium phosphoricum comp. versus placebo in irritability and nervousness 
In a new clinical study, Kalium phosphoricum comp. (KPC) versus placebo was tested in 77 patients per group. In a post-hoc analysis of intra-individual differences after 6 weeks treatment, a significant advantage of KPC vs. placebo was shown for characteristic symptoms of nervous exhaustion and nervousness (p = 0.020, p = 0.045 respectively). In both groups six adverse events (AE) were assessed as causally related to treatment (severity mild or moderate). No AE resulted in discontinuation in treatment. KPC could therefore be a beneficial treatment option for symptomatic relief of neurasthenia. The study has been published open access in Current Medical Research and Opinion

Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine