most physical habits, the underlying causes may be quite
varied, and at different psychological levels. While
hypnosis has a wide range of applications, the ailments that
are most directly related to physical habits tend to be the
ones that can be treated with hypnosis most quickly and
cessation is the most well known of these, and is one of
the more successful and less invasive techniques for
achieving its goal.
Another popular area for hypnosis
treatment is for weight
loss. Similarly, hypnosis is also the best technique for
conquering the nail biting habit.
biting shares many similarities to smoking. It is a
physical, ritualistic habit. Either may be caused by the
mechanics of a simple physical routine, or maybe symptomatic
of deeper psychological problems. And in either case the
habit itself can be very effectively stopped with
and resolving underlying psychological problems which
manifest themselves in nail
biting or smoking can be a process that requires
multiple sessions with a skilled consulting hypnotist. Not
all hypnotists and consulting hypnotists are capable of
working at the deep psychological level. Thankfully, for the
purposes of eliminating a smoking or a nail biting habit,
they don't need to work below the most direct physical
more immediate goal of finding a nail biting cure is far
more straightforward. Many
of our deeper emotional and psychological states are
impacted by our physical state, so in solving the physical
symptoms directly, we can also have an indirect impact on
deeper issues. Also,
not all negative physical habits have underlying causes;
sometimes it is truly just a physical habit; it just
"feels" good for the person to take part in them.
my experience, the relaxed and focused state of hypnosis can
achieve nearly miraculous results when it comes to achieving
simple physical state changes.
Whenever I eliminate severe burn pain, remove nausea,
and solve other physical symptoms for a client in mere
seconds, it still amazes and surprises me, even though I'm
supposedly the one with the "power" (although as
we know, the true power lies in the client's unconscious
capabilities exist in each of our minds to block severe pain
and nausea; so the ability to prevent one from biting their
nails is a relatively modest goal in comparison.
have found three of the powerful aspects of hypnosis to be
association, substitution and anchoring.
With association, one can link the undesirable
behavior to something truly unpleasant; with substitution,
one can replace the bad habit with a harmless one; with
anchoring, one can link physical movement triggers with
alternative feelings and behaviors.
association, just like the simple hypnotic parlor trick can
make a piece of white bread taste like the best New York
Cheesecake to a subject, one can make the taste and feeling
of nail biting to be extremely distasteful. If your subject
consistently and repeatedly is conditioned that the taste
and feel of nail biting is very unpleasant, it will help the
habit to disappear.
are chemical products that achieve this goal via unpleasant
tasting nail polish. However, with a mental association they
can stop nail biting without relying upon consistently
applying a chemical product. This "aversion" type
of therapy can be very helpful. But it is only reliable when
used as an adjunct to eliminating stress that causes one to
bite their nails, as well as extinguishing conditioned
responses (unconscious associations), which triggers one to
bite their nails.
substitution, it can be very effective to replace the nail
biting habit with a more benign habit. For example, it is
very effective to place the suggestion that whenever one
feels the urges that lead them towards nail biting, they
will instead take a deep breath, and exhale slowly,
achieving all the same feelings and resolution that nail
biting used to bring. I have found the deep breathing
substitute to be very effective for a wide variety of
similarly can be used to subvert one action into another,
and works well with the association and substitution. It is
useful to create the suggestion that each and every time a
subject sees their fingers coming to their mouth, they
strongly remember the bad taste association, and that they
instead take that deep breath to resolve the tension.
summary, hypnosis has been proven as one of the more
successful techniques for negative habit modification. Just
as with smoking cessation, the techniques and concepts
outlined here prove to be very effective as a long-term
© 2007 By Alan B.
Densky, CH. This
document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved.
Alan B. Densky, CH is
an NGH certified consulting hypnotist and NLP Practitioner.
He has been helping clients with stress
related symptoms like nail-biting since 1978. He offers
a comprehensive seven session program based on Ericksonian
Hypnosis and NLP to quit nail-biting.