Nail Biting

When we meet people, we really don’t think much about the act of shaking hands with them.  But for people who bite their nails, that simple act can cause embarrassment, shame, anxiety and feelings of social stigmatism.  People who bite their nails may not understand why they do it and sometimes even feel like they have no control over it.  This is where Portland Hypnosis can help.

There are two basic reasons why a person bites their nails.  One is that it is a habit, something that the person does without realizing it such as when he or she is watching TV or a movie, or they do it even out of boredom.  The other reason is that it is a compulsion, something that the person has to do and will even interrupt other activities to bite their nails.  When this is the case, the compulsion serves a purpose, whether it is to relax the person or deliver some sort of pleasure, or sometimes when the person is bored it provides a needed degree of stimulation.

When the reason for nail biting is that it is habit, we can use hypnosis to program the brain to recognize when the person is about to start biting their nails, and make them consciously aware that they’re about to bite their nails so they can make the choice to bite or not.  Sometimes by making the person aware and giving them a choice between biting their nails and another activity, such as a brief breathing exercise given to the client by the hypnotist, is enough to eventually break the cycle.

But when nail biting is a compulsion it can be a little more difficult to get under control, but not impossible.  It just takes a little more time and effort.  The reason being that it “feels good” and provides short term satisfaction, relaxation, or other feelings of contentment or stimulation.  In this case the hypnotist will use neural linguistic programming techniques to essentially program a rejection to nail biting.  And in some cases where anxiety is also a factor to the compulsion, hypnosis along with relaxation exercises are used in addition to the neural linguistic programming to ease the anxiety.

When something as seemingly simple as shaking someone’s hand when you meet causes anxiety and distress because of nail biting, there is help.  Hypnosis and neural linguistic programming can ease the feelings of social stress and reprogram the compulsion to bite one’s nails.  It’s not a quick fix, but in fact requires dedication and patience to overcome a behavior that has been practiced many thousands of times over a number of years.  But the end result and the ease felt in social situations is worth the time and effort required.


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