A new way to fight nail biting. It costs nothing and anyone can use it

A new way to fight nail biting.  It costs nothing and anyone can use it

Nail biting is a fairly common problem. Both children and adults struggle with it. German researchers have developed a method that can help combat this embarrassing habit. It’s fast, simple and free.

The problem of habitual nail biting, i.e. onychophagia, can affect up to 50 percent of people. population. It generally affects children and teenagers, but it can also affect adults. Researchers in Germany have developed a new method to combat this harmful pattern of behavior.

Self-calming as a method of combating nail biting

The technique was developed – together with his research team – by prof. Dr. Steffen Moritz, head of the Clinical Neuropsychology Working Group at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. It involves gentle stroking of the skin. This can be done in many different ways, including circling your fingertips over your palm, tapping your fingers against your thumb, massaging your forearms, clasping your hands together, etc.

To check the effectiveness of the proposed method, the professor conducted a study. It was attended by 268 people who display various habitual behaviors (skin picking, nail biting, etc.). The volunteers ranged from 18 to 80 years old. Half received a textbook describing Professor Moritz’s concept, and the rest were informed that they had been put on a waiting list. After six weeks, participants were asked about the effects of the experiment. It turned out that in the research group that used the stroking technique, 54 percent. people noted an improvement, i.e. a reduction in the frequency of habitual behavior. For comparison, in the control conditions such a change was observed by 20 percent. surveyed.

However, more extensive analyzes are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the method developed by the German team of experts. It is necessary to check whether the obtained results are maintained over time and assess the risk of possible recurrences. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from habitual behavior are ashamed of their problem and do not seek professional help, which makes it difficult or even impossible to conduct research on onychophagia. At the same time, it is worth emphasizing that, according to specialists, there is a great therapeutic potential in the technique created by Professor Moritz. Stacy Nakell, a psychotherapist who helps people with habitual behavior on a daily basis, talks about this:

I like that (the Moritz technique – editor’s note) it introduces the idea of ​​self-calming. I think it is missing in many modern therapies.

At the same time, the specialist draws attention to one very important issue – in the therapy of habitual behavior, one should not focus only on eliminating unpleasant symptoms. Finding the causes and emotions that underlie the problem is crucial for the success of the therapeutic process.

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