Anxiety and nervous disorders can have an equally disruptive impact on the body as it does on the mind. From hair-pulling to nervous scratching, grinding teeth to chewing lips, these behaviours (BFRBs) can manifest as intense, uncontrollable urges that can be very difficult to overcome. Nail-biting is among the most apparent, common, and maligned of the BFRBs, affecting as many as 1 in 20 people.
Nail-biting has been given a very negative rep – and with good cause. While some people twirl their hair, and others fiddle with jewellery to deal with stress and anxiety, nail-biting is seen as a heavily criticised habit, with many a parent chastising their child for chewing on their nails.
From age-old remedies involving painting the nails with foul-tasting adhesives to medical treatments that can do more harm than good, for generations, people have searched high and low for a solution to this problem without much success.
Recently, nail-biting has been examined and better understood with anxiety and stress as the identified culprits for this habit. Hypnotherapy is one of the most recognised treatments for stress, anxiety, and other disorders, capable of taking a holistic, non-medicinal approach to most things related to the everyday pressures on the mind, including the issues and challenges that can lead to persistent nail-biting.
Nail biting, also called onychophagia, often begins in childhood and, if left untreated, can continue well into adolescence and on to adulthood. Onychophagia isn’t considered terribly dangerous, but the habit can lead to a number of related problems and ailments if left unchecked.
The habit often begins during childhood and essentially involves the client chewing or gnawing on their nails to varying degrees. Nail-biting can range from mild to severe, and clients will often bite on their nails, unknowingly, until the keratin has been bitten back to the flesh beneath, sometimes leading to bleeding and significant pain.
Besides the visible physical damage that these actions can do to the body, the associated complexes, negative perceptions, and lingering stress they cause can be equally, if not more destructive. Often seen as a “disgusting” habit by those who have never been a victim of the compulsion, nail-biting can lead to a difficult cycle of anxiety triggering biting, internal negative reinforcement from others, and even more resulting stress. These are just a few of the damaging, risky, and often painful consequences of nail-biting:
Beyond the physical problems that nail- biting causes clients – especially children – are often judged and condemned for their habitual behaviour with many people offering little sympathy to those affected by the habit.
As many as one in twenty people suffer from nail-biting and its associated disorders. Those lucky enough to be diagnosed as soon as the habit becomes a noticeable problem are usually able to find effective ways to manage it. For many others, however, finding a lasting treatment can be a tricky endeavour.
While there are many nail-biting, many are either untested or can be dangerous to the client. Hypnotherapy is an effective tool and treatment for such ailments as nail-biting and is great at getting to the root cause of the habit.
Instead of going after the habit itself, hypnotherapy is centred around addressing the associated causes of stress and anxiety and then treating the triggers of the problem. This holistic approach means that hypnotherapy treats far more than any singular issues causing problems like nail-biting, it addresses multiple elements of the mind.
Nail-biting is just one of the countless disorders that the therapists at Hypnocare are able to treat through the application of a variety of hypnotherapy treatments such as deep relaxation, affirmations and positive reinforcement. By tapping into the subconscious and addressing root anxieties, deep-seated fears, and life-long issues, therapists can leave clients feeling healthier, better, and happier, with nails that will thank you!
At Hypnocare, we are here to help you, and we’re happy to answer any questions or address any of your concerns before even committing to a session. So reach out to us and see for yourself, the power of hypnosis.
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