Nail Biting / Picking
(onychophagy or onychophagia)

Nail biting and/or picking the nails and skin around the nails, can lead not only to unsightly nails and red sore skin, but feelings of embarrassment when around others. Aside from how you feel about this behaviour, your nails unsightly appearance and how dismissive others may seem about your nail biting/ picking, it can be very detrimental to your health. These are some of the reasons why you should consider if treatment (and specifically hypnotherapy treatment in-person or online) is required for your nail-biting habit:

  • Nail Biting was reclassified in 2013 (by The American Psychiatric Association) as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), along with other forms of what are considered as “pathological grooming”. This is despite the fact that for most people, this behaviour is simply the result of stress or boredom and so will dissolve when stress and boredom are relieved.
  • Bacteria on the nails and skin can readily be transferred to your mouth and into the rest of your body, where they can cause infections.
  • Paronychia, a skin infection that occurs around your nails, is more likely to develop in those that bite their nails.
  • Nail biting can cause your teeth to shift out of proper alignment, become weakened, misshapen, and/or worn down prematurely.
  • Chronic Nail biters report that their nail biting intrudes and detrimentally impacts the quality of their life. If this is what they believe, then this is what will eventuate as their reality. As the saying goes: “If you believe you can, then you can – if you believe that you cannot, then you cannot – either way you are right” – A self-fulfilling prophecy which highlights the power of our beliefs in creating our reality.

All of the above are factors that you should consider, when deciding whether to have treatment to become free of this addictive behaviour - with hypnotherapy being top of the list for effectiveness in this arena. With chronic nail biters, hypnotherapy will be used to replace the unwanted behaviour with a favourable one, which your unconscious mind will choose as a positive behaviour. For example, raising your finger(s) in order to bite or pick at them, can be replaced by raising your finger(s) in order to ‘gently stroke’ your lips, with associated positive feelings put into place. In fact this replacement activity has been shown to be psychologically very soothing and calming!

To find out more on how we can help you in-person or online contact us now.