Hypnotherapy can end that nail-biting habit

It is a common sight to see a teenager or even a young adult biting their nails. In fact, statistics show nail biting (known as onychophagia) to be a relatively common habit that affects people of all ages. nail-biting

Estimates suggest that 30% of children, 45% of teenagers, 25% of young adults, and 5% of older adults bite their nails, with the aesthetic consequences being the most obvious.

This is not a healthy habit as nails are an ideal location for bacteria to thrive, and that includes potentially pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. By biting nails, these bacteria are transferred into the mouth and the rest of the body, where they may lead to infections.

As fingernails are difficult to keep clean, they are a prime point of transfer for infectious organisms and nail biters can also be susceptible to paronychia, a skin infection that occurs around the nails with bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms brought about by chewing able to enter through tiny tears or abrasions, leading to swelling, redness, and pus.

There are many theories as to why people bite their nails, but most agree that it often stems from stress or may be an activity that’s picked up as a child.

For some, the social stigma and embarrassment over the look of their nails causes them to become depressed, isolated, or avoid activities they would otherwise enjoy.

Nail-biting is seen as a stress-relieving habit and people may bite their nails in times of stress or excitement, or in times of boredom or inactivity. It can also be a learned behaviour from family members and is seen the most common of the typical ‘nervous habits’ which include thumb-sucking, nose-picking, hair-twisting and tooth grinding.

It is not an easy habit to break but hypnotherapy can, and does, help. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) is a not-for-profit national body representing almost 2000 professional therapists around the UK. They are fully-trained to the highest standards and they all adhere to a code of conduct.

Dealing with unwanted habits, stress and anxiety is common for many therapists and the NCH-registered therapists can offer a successful resolution to a client’s problem because they work directly with the subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made.

Many people bite their nails without realising they are doing it as they could be involved in another activity, such as reading, watching television, or talking on the phone.

If you are one of those people, contact an NCH hypnotherapist near you by clicking here to access the easy-to-use directory.