ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hypnotherapy For Nail Biting

Updated on June 14, 2012
lilmrslay profile image

Through her passion for writing and coaching, Rachael shares her experience and support in the journey of loving an addict.


The clinical name for nail biting is chronic onychophagia and this common and seemingly innocuous habit can mean shame and frustration for those who haven’t been able to rid themselves of it.

Nail biting can occur at times of anxiety, fear, concentration or nervousness providing comfort in stressful situations. Most nail biters also tend to bite when they are in an equally relaxed state of unconscious, for example watching TV, reading, or daydreaming.

Some clients may pick at the nails, as well as biting and others may also extend their habit to not only picking their fingernails, but also their toenails. This may cause even more shame and embarrassment as the client acknowledges the social stigma of such an activity.

Although most people who bite their nails state that there is some comfort and relief achieved while biting the nails, the shame and embarrassment around the resulting finger and nail condition, and the frustration of not “simply being able to stop”, tend to grow once they become aware of what they are doing and ‘consciously’ knows they no longer want to continue.

Hypnotherapy is an excellent tool for providing a way through and out of the nail biting habit once a you are ready to break free of the compulsion and positive results can often be achieved in just a few sessions.

In most cases the nail biting doesn't have a major emotional or psychological link behind it, other than the possible psychological issues caused by the habit itself. A session between client and therapist should involve exploring this possibility but the behaviour is more likely a common physical habit, a ritualistic pattern that falls into the same category as other nervous behaviours such as thumb sucking, hair pulling and teeth grinding and can usually be broken without needing to unearth any deep underlying issues.

Nail biting can seem, for those unaffected by the habit, like a small issue to deal with but when a nail biter is freed of the urge and the ‘compulsion’ that has been with them for a long time, the changes can be as uplifting for them as someone who has released much larger issues.

During Hypnotherapy treatment for nail biting, substitution and association techniques are an extremely effective way of curbing the compulsive, repeated behaviour.

Providing the suggestion that the nail biter substitutes the urge to bite or pick with a new desire to drink water or to take a deep breath in and slowly exhale out are not only excellent health giving substitutions but also provide a pause where normally there would be an instant unconscious action.

Likewise, creating an association between the action of biting with an unpleasant taste and uncomfortable feeling can reduce the satisfaction and pleasure gained from biting, which in turn can help to deter the behaviour.

Hypnotherapy is recognised as one of the most effective, least invasive techniques for dealing with nail biting and requires very little investment in time or money compared the relief and confidence gained in ridding oneself of a long term habit.

If you are interested in seeing a live session of hypnotherapy for nail biting you might want to check out Richard Bandler's The Bandler Effect DVD in which he conducts a fantastic dual session for smoking cessation and nail biting.

These pre-recorded CDs for use at home are also a great way to start addressing the habit of nail biting:

If further support or personalised help is needed, a local Hypnotherapist should be able to help with the nail biting habit, as well as other compulsive habits.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)