How Effective is Hypnosis for Nail Biting?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 February 2020
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Eliminating unwanted behaviors, such as nail biting, through hypnosis is possible for some people. In others, hypnosis for nail biting will not work because of their personality, the skill of the hypnotist, the type of hypnosis use, or if patients give up on treatment before the full benefits are achieved. Hypnosis is a state of partial consciousness where most people are more receptive to suggestions than when fully conscious. The best way for hypnosis to work is to select a good hypnotist, commit to the treatment, and give it a reasonable time frame to work.

Hypnosis for nail biting can be effective if the patient can be deeply hypnotized and unconsciously accept the methods used to stop nail biting. Once deeply under, the hypnotist will either substitute or replace the bad habit with something else or link the triggers of the behavior with a positive emotion. These unconscious suggestions survive in the conscious mind after hypnosis and keep the person from nail biting by creating a sense of calm and relaxation when a person needs feels the need to bite nails. These subconscious aids will make the person stop nail biting or make it easier to quit. Hypnosis for nail biting often requires several sessions, and some hypnotists suggest practicing self hypnosis at home to augment the in-office sessions.


The use of hypnosis for nail biting may not work if the patient has a personality which tends to question everything, is extremely strong willed, or does not actually believe in the hypnosis technique. Most hypnotists feel just about anyone, strong willed or not, can be hypnotized, but it may take extra sessions and the patient often gives up out of frustration or cost. Failure can also be linked to the skill of the hypnotist. If one method of hypnotizing fails, then another method or hypnotist should be found.

Finding a good hypnotist is key to using hypnosis for nail biting. Typically, hypnotists are not licensed, so the hypnotist’s method of training will be the best judge of their qualification. Hypnotists can be trained at colleges, specialized schools, by another hypnotist, or self taught. College or special school training is usually the best since these people are more likely to be exposed to different methods of hypnosis and know when each method is best applied. The hypnotist should have successfully treated many cases of nail biting and should be able to project the number of session the treatment will require.


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Post 2

I have tried to be hypnotized, and it just doesn't work for me. I agree with the article, because skeptics and strong-willed people simply can not reach the level of relaxation required for hypnosis to work.

Post 1

For people who don't think that hypnosis is a good solution for nail biting, there are topical solutions they can apply to their nails. These are in liquid form, and have a very bitter flavor that makes nail biting very unpleasant.

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