Hypnosis For Nail Biting | A Natural Way to Get Rid of This Unhealthy Habit

Have you been a nail biter since you were a kid, and you want to stop biting your nails?

Nail-biting can have effects such as spreading germs, destroying your cuticles, and ripping your skin. It can get worse if you are bored or experiencing stress and anxiety. Probably you have tried other methods to stop nail-biting, such as wearing gloves, having an expensive manicure, etc., but you still can’t resist the urge to bite your nails.

But have you tried hypnotherapy to deal with excessive chewing of nails?

How to Use Hypnotherapy for Nail Biting 

Hypnotherapy is a goal-oriented treatment that offers practical solutions to problems. Hypnosis has been proven effective in dealing with various anxiety-related behaviors such as hair pulling – see how to deal with trichotillomania – and nail-biting. It is based on the premise that your mind consists of the conscious and subconscious parts, and the two parts work together to navigate life.

Sometimes you can have the conscious and subconscious being in conflict with each other, which results in problem behaviors and states. You can achieve your desired change through the hypnotic process that resolves the conflict between the conscious and the subconscious.

Upset woman talking to her therapist on the couch

What is hypnotherapy?

A hypnotic trance refers to a state of mental and physical relaxation where a person becomes open to accept new positive suggestions from a hypnotherapist or hypnotist.

If you want to experience a hypnotic trance, you should start by relaxing your body and mind. Your hypnotist will guide you with suggestions and imagery that will help you let go of any tension. Once you relax the body, it becomes easier to accomplish mental relaxation.

Hypnotherapy helps to bypass the critical faculty of your mind. The critical faculty refers to the part of your mind responsible for analyzing and evaluating, which helps make decisions.

a human brain model in female hands

Although the faculty carries out the essential function, it may not be enough for creating lasting change. For instance, if I am struggling with biting my nails, I can use my critical faculty to decide that I need to stop the habit. However, it may be challenging trying to stop the behavior.

This is because habits and motivations are not stored in the critical faculty. They are stored in a deeper part of the brain known as the subconscious. If you are in a trance state and completely relaxed, it is possible to bypass the critical faculty. Thus you can connect directly with your subconscious and deal with the motivations and beliefs stored there.

When you connect with your subconscious directly, you can discover that your nail-biting problem is based on a strong need for love and safety. Your hypnotist can then help you discover other healthy solutions to satisfy your need for love and safety.

Who Can Use Hypnotherapy to Stop Nail Biting? 

Onychophagia or nail-biting may not be permanent or destructive behavior. However, it can develop into a long-term problem if it’s not taken care of.

If it develops into a disorder, the person will experience chronic nail-biting, destroying the fingernails and other tissues around the nails.

Stop Nail Biting sign written on the palm

How do you know you are struggling with onychophagia? Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Destructive fingernails and cuticles
  • Dental issues such as infections
  • Feeling anxious, stressed, or distressed prior to biting
  • Feeling relieved during or after nail-biting
  • You can experience feelings of embarrassment, guilt, and shame due to damage to your skin and nails due to biting
  • Sometimes nail biting can strain your family and social relations

How Can Self Hypnosis Help You With Nail Biting?

Stress and anxiety are typical experiences from time to time. However, such feelings can adversely affect one’s life if they result in body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) such as hair pulling, nail-biting, or skin picking.

Hypnosis has an emphasis on physical and mental relaxation. Thus, it can come in handy in dealing with such feelings. Some of the techniques you can use include:

Pattern Interruption Technique 

Nail-biting can be due to specific feelings or situations in a person’s life. If you are aware of such feelings in your life that may be causing you anxiety and stress, you can apply pattern interruption techniques to deal with them.

For example, if you notice a trigger to start biting your nails, you can choose another action. For instance, you can start tapping your hand while repeating a positive statement such as “I know am stressed but I chose to do something else other than biting my nails.”


Your hypnotist will guide you into progressive attention on different parts of your body, which helps you relax and enter a trance state.

The therapist will then make soothing suggestions that go straight to your subconscious mind and help you to release the stress. The process helps to reduce stress and anxiety that can help you to stop biting your nails.

a man and a woman relaxing outside

Anchoring Resource States

When you’re in the hypnotic trance state, you start imagining situations that trigger you to bite your nails. Your therapist then guides you to imagine a new resource state like feeling at ease.

When you achieve the state, the therapist will then ask you to anchor it by choosing an action such as rubbing your fingers. When you engage the anchor in the future, you remember the clm state and avoid unwanted behavior such as biting nails.

Apart from the above techniques, your hypnotherapist can also suggest other tools to help manage your nail-biting issue. Some of these tools can include deep breathing exercises, self-hypnosis, and relaxation meditations.

How Do You Do Hypnosis for Nail Biting? 

Before you can start hypnosis treatment for nail-biting, your hypnotherapist will help you lay the foundation for the session. This will include an assessment where you can be asked about your current and past experiences with biting nails.

The therapist can also ask you about other current and past treatments as your nail-biting issue can be connected to other medical or mental health issues. With that understanding, your hypnotherapist can coordinate your treatment with the others.

Other areas you can explore with your therapist include:

  • The expected outcome from the treatment, e.g., feeling at peace during situations that trigger you to nail bite
  • Identify what triggers you to nail-biting
  • Noting the emotional and physical

The therapist will use all the information to create hypnotic suggestions that will lead to behavior change.

Note, the number of hypnosis sessions can vary from one person to the other. Some people will get their desired results with one session, while others require more sessions.

How Do You Find the Right Hypnotherapist? 

As hypnosis gains popularity, you have a lot of options to choose from. You can use the following steps while looking for a hypnotherapist:

  • Learn about hypnosis: you can check YouTube videos, read online articles, books, etc. that will help you understand hypnosis
  • Schedule multiple consultations: most therapists offer free consultations to their prospective clients. Schedule several consultations with hypnotherapists and compare what they offer
  • Interview your prospects: you should treat the consultations as job interviews to gauge whether a hypnotherapist is a fit or not. Ask the prospective therapist about the success they’ve had with a particular issue or dealing with people with anxiety. Get to know if they also offer any other support before or after the hypnosis session.
a man talking to the therapist

Final Thoughts 

Are you struggling with a nail-biting problem? Nail-biting can start as an innocent activity for a young one but may escalate into a disorder in the future. It can be caused by various triggers, such as feeling anxious or overwhelmed with panic or fear.

The practice can have physical effects such as destroyed skin, cuticles, and surrounding skin. A person with a nail-biting problem can feel ashamed and embarrassed during or after the activity. You can use hypnosis for nail-biting to deal with the issue.