Nail Biting, Picking, Pulling

Nervous habits like nail biting or hair pulling–why do we do these things to our bodies? Is it out of fear? Boredom? Stress?

Skin picking, hair pulling, and nail biting are labeled as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders. Nail biters often keep their hands hidden behind their backs. They often feel social embarrassment and experience out-of-control feelings at times. At times they may wonder why they can’t stop.  Habits as such start from early childhood years when faced with problems or issues that we don’t know how to voice, respond or resolve. This is a coping mechanism – a way to comfort or punish the self.

At the most basic level, these symptoms satisfy an urge. When sufferers feel stressed, pulling, picking, tapping, cutting or biting has a kind of soothing effect on their nervous systems and reduces levels of stimulation. On the other hand, when they are bored or inactive, they seem to provide a needed level of stimulation to the nervous system.

These symptoms can be overcome if you have the motivation. More important is learning to “de-stigmatize” yourself. You are not crazy, helpless, morally weak, or totally out of control, even though you may feel like you are at times. You can find a recovery for these habits if you are willing to work at it.

Therapy For People Who Bite Their Nails

To start with, nail biting is a stress-related habit. So the first part of the hypnotherapy is to teach the individual how to be more relaxed. I have found that traditional hypnosis, Ericksonian hypnosis, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques are usually quite effective. That’s because the very essence of hypnosis is relaxation.

The second part of the therapy teaches the individual to become aware of this unconscious habit. Suggestions can be given to the subconscious mind to make the conscious mind aware that you are about to bite your nails. Then you can consciously decide whether or not you are actually going to bite them.

The third part of the hypnotherapy is to eliminate the compulsion to bite. There are techniques that actually program the client with a compulsion to reject biting his/her nails.

Being realistic is very important. You have rehearsed the unwanted habit hundreds or even thousands of times. You will need to accept that the urge to bite your nails will not be overcome in few days, but through hypnotherapy and consistency, you can overcome these habits. Most importantly, you’ll feel good about your success!

To learn more about dealing with stress and anxiety in a healthy, positive way, attend our Overcoming Stress, Anxiety, and Panic Attack seminar on May 2nd from 7-9pm at the Glendale Hilton Hotel. You will learn techniques to cope with the stressors, plus instant relaxation and self-hypnosis. Let go of your bad habits and become a more relaxed, renewed you! To register, please go to HealWithin.com.

2 Responses to “Nail Biting, Picking, Pulling”
  1. Do you have a CD for nail biting for my grandson who lives in Atlanta and canot come to see you? If so I will come in and buy it up at your office.

    Connie E.


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The nature of the services provided are hypnosis, NLP, and Time Line Therapy™. These services are not licensed by the state. These services are non-diagnostic and are complementary to the healing arts services that are licensed by the state of California. These services do not include the practice of medicine or psychology or any other licensed healing art, Liza is not a licensed physician.