Mouth ulcers can be a symptom of many diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and Reiter’s syndrome. Other times mouth ulcers could be caused by antibiotics, oral thrush and can occur post radiotherapy. The herpes virus can also cause mouth ulcers. Many patients can get reoccurring mouth ulcers and the reason is unknown. Western medicine resorts to various antiseptic washes and topical pain relieving drugs. Acupuncture for mouth ulcers aims to treat the root cause of the problem.
Are needles put in the lips or mouth?
No. The Chinese acupuncture meridians run and down the body and go to all the four limbs and cover every area of the body, including the gums and tongue. The acupuncture points selected to treat mouth ulcers are commonly placed well away from the mouth such as near the web of the toes.
The stomach, large intestine and heart can cause mouth ulcers.
Traditional theories say that the tongue is connected to the heart and that the mouth is the opening of the stomach. Also the large intestine meridian travels to the gums. If you think about it in modern terms, if we eat the wrong foods and heat and toxins build up in the stomach, you can see mouth ulcers could form in the mouth. If the bowels are not eliminating properly and causing constipation, again toxins can build up and manifest ulcers in the gums because the acupuncture meridians travel to those areas.
The heart is easily affected by emotional stress such as anxiety which can present itself with ulcers in the mouth.
Careful review of ancient Chinese medical acupuncture texts will reveal many references to specific acupuncture points and their time proven and recorded function of treating mouth ulcers. An easy way to understand this, is to imagine the acupuncture meridian running from the mouth and going down to the end of the little finger. If there is too much heat in the mouth causing an ulcer, an acupuncture point well away from the mouth on the heart meridian near the wrist is selected. It is as if needling this point will let out the heat and steam from the mouth which then allows the ulcer to subside.
There are in fact many other causes of ulcers according to traditional Chinese medical theory so a thorough examination and diagnosis is done at the initial consultation. There are over 600 qualified and experienced acupuncturists who are members of Acupuncture NZ practicing throughout the country.