Nail Biting

Reasons for NAIL BITING – from the perspective of chirology

It’s not often that I do readings for people who bite their nails. That’s because in chirology biting your nails shows that you have inner resistance to personal growth. So people who munch away at their fingertips might be unconsciously stunting their own growth, and they tend to be less likely to seek counsel from others.

When someone with bitten nails does come for a reading, we first discuss the obvious meanings associated with nail biting such as stress, tension, anxiety, that things feel out of control and worry is their middle name. Then we look a little deeper to try to identify the significant issues of their life where they could do with some help, where there is inner turmoil, each of which fall into categories of our five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether.

First we discuss which nail you favour and which takes the most punishment. If you bite your middle (earth) finger more than any other, your problem may lie in the realm of the physical (earth). Do you have health or financial woes, or perhaps a difficult family life, or maybe you are moving house? Or are you stuck, plain and not so simple, with everything feeling in a state of complete inertia?

People who bite mostly at their water (index) fingers reveal their emotional vulnerability. If a person has heartache they may favour these two fingernails most, to comfort their gut wrenching pain of loneliness, or perhaps a specific relationship crisis, or maybe a friend has let them down.

Is your fire element running self destructively rampant, perhaps gambling or other addiction has you in a grip? Are you unhappy in your work, or perhaps you have no fire energy, instead an emptiness that aspects a crisis? If so, chances are that your ring fingernail (fire finger) is often between your teeth!

The condition of your baby (air) fingernail gives clues to your relationships too, but more specifically to your sexuality as well as to interests and hobbies and to matters to do with money. Are you on the edge financially, or unable to immerse yourself in a body of knowledge? Are there are communication blockages, with others, or perhaps you are blocked and denying aspects of and intimacy with self.
Bitten thumb nails often show some kind of separation in the person from their spirituality, or their religious identity, as thumbs are governed by the spiritual principles of chi. Thumbs also represent the will and bitten thumb nails could point to the owner feeling disempowered in their life.

If all your nails are battling to survive, many or even all of the above situations may apply! To sum it up, generally speaking nail biting shows stress, reluctance to grow or to face the truth about certain issues, a deep sense of inner loneliness, diminished self-confidence along with the sense of being unable to solve the problem.


“Hello Jennifer. I thank you for an interesting article on nail biting. I read hands from another system than you, a mixture of cheirology and the old Indian-Gypsy form, but I see nail biting as a problem the client has in grasping life in the area that finger represents, and if it is all fingers the client is afraid of grasping her/his life. And if there is a lot of flesh around the nail the client needs a lot of protection. Love from Hanne Hofsøy, Denmark.”

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