nail biting

Nail Biting Hypnosis

Finger Nail Biting Compulsive Chewing Sucking Twirling onychophagy

End nail biting, chewing your nails

Nail Biting Hypnosis is very effective at ending compulsive Nail Biting. Stopping fingernail biting is a standard and successful hypnotherapy treatment. About ten percent of adults in Wellington bite their nails. Most people can stop after a single hypnotherapy session.

Nail biting is a generalized response to environmental stress.  Hypnotherapy for Nail Biting rebuilds your thinking and feeling about the habit. In trance, the process rebuilding your belief systems,   convincing your inner mind that it can overcome a long standing habit. Most people can stop biting finger nails after one hypnosis session.

The fingernail biting habit is a distraction behaviour originally created as a response to stress. The treatment does not concern itself with identifying the original reason for the stress: it is effective without looking into the past. There is little or no psychological aspect to nail biting. It is simply a nervous habit that has gone out of control.

Nail Biting Hypnosis

How you can end your nail biting

The treatment at Wellington Hypnotherapy uses multiple approaches. The exact sequence depends on the particular client but the general pattern is as follows:

Behaviour Substitution

There is a physical component to nail biting that needs to be dealt with. The client is taught a simple hand behaviour to use anytime the feeling associated with nail biting arises. The substitute behaviour replaces the physical actions of biting or chewing until the biting behaviour is replaced and dies away. The subsitute behaviour includes a mental exercise that ties in with the hypnotic visualisations.


Under hypnosis the client visualises themselves with strong long nails and are guided through a series of visualisations where they are using their hands to point to things in company, are picking at a roll of sticky tape, are picking up coins, can see themselves with beautiful nails. The purpose of this is to instill the belief that they can have long nails, that they deserve long nails, that they need long nails. The hypnosis plants a firm image into the subconscious of what nails should look like and feel like.


A separate series of suggestions then connects their memory back to the time when they did have long nails, reminds them that long nails are natural and normal for them. The purpose of this is to reactivate dormant resources.

Future pacing

This process engages the client's imagination in situations where they would normally be embarassed by their nails. The situation is described but in the visualisation the client has perfect nails and uses the nails naturally and gets rewarded by admiring looks, remarks and tactile rewards. The purpose of this is to rebuild their self esteem with respect to their nails.

Post Hypnotic Suggestion

The hypnotist then creates one or more strong post hypnotic suggestions. The exact wording will depend on the client's behaviour, but will be along the lines of "every time your hand approaches your mouth you will feel an irresistable force pushing that hand away". The purpose of this is to prevent reactivation of the purely muscular behaviour under stress, the habit part.

Direct suggestion

The session finishes with a battery of direct suggestions. The purpose of these is alter the client's inner beliefs about themselves and their own ability to end the nail biting.


Every session at Wellington Hypnosis ends with suggestions of having made a major decision to stop and of feeling good about this. A final post hypnotic suggestion links some physical trigger as a reminder of the new behaviour.

Most people stop biting their nails immediately.

Tips to stop nail biting

1. Realize what you are doing.

Think about what you are actually putting in your mouth. Your hands touch everything: dirt, germs, bacteria, moulds, fly droppings, rotting spores - everything. And it all gets transferred into your mouth every time you bite or suck your nails.

Disgusting stuff lives under your nails. Even if you wash your hands frequently micro organisms like fungus and viruses live under your nails in the nailbed, and these get transferred to your mouth as well. Broken and bleeding nails just give a way in for more nasty stuff.

2. Remind yourself

It is just a habit. There is no psychological element to it other than belief that you can't stop. Remind yourself constantly about why you want to stop. Write a list of all the reasons you want to stop and then copy them to bits of card and post them all round the house: on the fridge, on the door out, in your bedside drawer, on the dashboard of your car. And on the bottom in big letters write "I CAN DO IT".

3. Carry a nail care kit

Make sure you always have a nail file on you. Most people feel the need to bite or pick when they think there is some ragged bit that needs dealt to. So if you always have a nail file handy you can spend the time carefully filing and smoothing, and gradually the biting habit will fade away. As your nails recover from the abuse, you can then use things from your kit to maintain your nail's appearance.

3. Be good to your nails.

Use cuticle oil at night and it will get absorbed into the nails. Spend some time moisturising your hands daily. Book a regular professional manicure. You won't want to ruin them after they are looking so nice. Nail polish strengthens and protects nails, even men can benefit from clear polish.

4. Make a feature of your nails.

After years of hiding them, why not spend some time making them noticeable? As soon as you get some positive results play around with different nail polishes, try some nail art, take an interest in them. Your interest will be repaid.



Nail biting disfigures your nails. They look horrible and knowing that other people are looking at them affects your confidence. Make the change today. Book a session and stop biting your nails forever.

Your session lasts about an hour, and costs $100.


I am ready!


029 773 4400

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