Nail Biting: Let hypnosis Lend A Hand For Quitting
By Alan B. Densky, CH
you have ever tried to curb your nail
biting habit, you know just how difficult it can be.
Perhaps you have worn gloves or bandages over your
fingertips, or flavored nail polish. Likely they worked for
a short time, but ultimately you found yourself with ragged
nails and bloody cuticles again.
reason that a topical nail biting cure is unlikely to be
successful makes sense when the cause of the behavior is
examined. The nail biting habit is chronic and very similar
in nature to other stress-related patterns, such as skin
picking and hair pulling. Fundamentally, these behaviors
satisfy an innate urge; thus if the urge is not satiated or
eliminated, the behavior will resume. No amount of bitter
nail polish will curb the need for nail biting or bring
about the sense of relaxation you feel after gnawing on your
that vein, a person cannot actually cure nail biting, but do
not despair: Fortunately, time-tested therapies that can aid
in recovery are available. There is a three-step plan that
can effectively stop nail biting if you are motivated to do
fundamental step involves hypnosis.
the uninitiated, hypnosis conjures images of people watching
swinging pendulums or barking on stage for others'
entertainment. Rest assured that at its root, hypnosis is
simply deep relaxation in a trance-like state. Many people
mistakenly believe that hypnotic trances are like sleep, but
you are awake and fully conscious, simply more relaxed and
open to suggestion.
fact, most of us experience some form of self-hypnosis every
day, during times when we tune out most of the distractions
around us to focus on a certain task while remaining fully
conscious. It happens effortlessly while we read, watch
television or daydream.
biting is stress related, the more effectively you can
release and work through tension and
anxiety, the more
successful your efforts to stop nail biting will be. The
primary goal of hypnotherapy is to teach you how to maintain
a state of relaxation at all times.
are encouraged to investigate several different hypnosis
methods, such as traditional hypnosis, Ericksonian hypnosis
and Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques, to enhance both
the relaxed state and to achieve a greater sense of
well-being. A qualified consulting hypnotist will know which
option is ultimately best for you.
next step to curbing a nail biting habit is to become aware
of the behavior since nail biting is done unconsciously.
Hypnosis is very helpful for this stage, as
communicating with the unconscious mind to trigger the
conscious mind's awareness that you are about to bite your
nails can help greatly. This allows you to make the choice
to bite your nails or not. And since hypnotherapy has all
ready helped to relieve the underlying stress, the powerful
compulsion to bite your nails has been greatly reduced, or
final step for using hypnotherapy to quit biting nails is to
completely remove the underlying compulsion to bite or chew.
There are techniques that can actually program you with a
compulsion to eliminate biting your nails; because just as
habits can be broken with hypnosis, they can also be
is effective with curbing behaviors such as biting your nails because, though the session will not miraculously
create complete willpower, it can strengthen your resolve
and ensure that decisions you make during a relaxed state
will still carry over when you are under stress. Further,
hypnotherapy can help you communicate with your unconscious
mind to get it to align with your conscious mind so both
entities work toward your goal.
should be noted that some prospective hypnosis clients have
a fear of having suggestions planted or of remembering
"hidden" memories while in a trance. Rest assured
that consulting hypnotists are formally trained and accredited and
adhere to the strictest ethical and professional guidelines.
The methods used by professionals to make beneficial
suggestions to your unconscious are entirely different than
those used for memory recall or age regression. So the use
of hypnotherapy for effectively ending the compulsion to
bite your nails will not lead to unintended memories or
CONCLUSION: Nail biting is a compulsion like any other, and willpower alone is generally not enough to eliminate the behavior. Using hypnotherapy or hypnosis CD's and all other resources available will more likely lead to a successful, comfortable end to your nail biting.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
This document may NOT be re-printed. All