Meditation for Skin Picking

Tasneem Abrahams
Mar 14th, 2017

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Skin picking may start with something mild and harmless but if not treated early it can escalate into a serious clinical condition. When it starts affecting a person’s physical health and/or emotional well-being, it means professional help is needed. There are many therapies and medications that can be used depending on the severity of the condition.


Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself. Meditation exercises are closely linked to mindfulness and are recommended to help cope with stress related to skin picking. These exercises keep the mind and body healthy. They enable patients to keep busy and replace skin picking with something more positive. Exercise can reduce anxiety and depression. It minimizes skeletal muscle tension and increases metabolism of excess adrenaline and thyroxin in the blood. It even acts as an anti-depressant.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the methods we employ in our online therapy program is Mindfulness-based therapy. Many times people try to control discomfort coming from unwanted feelings, thoughts and urges. As a result they start picking their skin to eliminate the discomfort. Mindfulness-Based CBT (Cognitive Based Therapy) helps the patient understand how he can non-judgmentally accept psychological experiences that are uncomfortable. The patient realizes that he can experience uncomfortable thoughts without harming his skin. There are many exercises that have been linked to mindfulness such as yoga and meditation.

Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)

Loving kindness meditation (Metta) is a Pali word that means kindness, benevolence, and good will. The practice comes from the Buddhist traditions, especially the Theravada and Tibetan lineages. “Compassion meditation” is a contemporary scientific field that demonstrates the efficacy of metta and related meditative practices. Demonstrated benefits include: boosting one’s ability to empathize with others; development of positive emotions through compassion, including a more loving attitude towards oneself; increased self-acceptance; greater feeling of competence about one’s life; and increased feeling of purpose in life.

Vipassana Mediation

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It is a balanced technique for refining the mind of the mental elements that cause distress and torment. It is a state of self-regulation of your attention and the ability to direct it towards breathing, eating, or something else. Curiosity, openness, and acceptance are all part of insight meditation. One of the benefits of vipassana for dermatillomania sufferers is that it lowers stress and anger while maintaining emotional balance. These techniques benefit mental health. Meditative techniques like vipassana also aid in maintaining emotional balance and treat neurosis and other unhealthy emotional conditions.

Taoist Meditation

Taoist MeditationDaoism is a Chinese philosophy and religion, dating back to Lao Tzu (or Laozi). It emphasizes living in harmony with Nature, or Tao, and it’s main text is the Tao Te Ching, dating back to 6th century B.C. The chief characteristic of this type of meditation is the generation, transformation, and circulation of inner energy. The purpose is to quieten the body and mind, unify body and spirit, find inner peace, and harmonize with the Tao. Some styles of Taoist Meditation are specifically focused on improving health and giving longevity.


A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation. Yoga has been found to be one the most effective ways of reducing stress. Patients can even identify obsessive thought patterns via yoga. The yoga asanas as well as yoga relaxation techniques enable the patient to find relief from their stress and anxiety. By stretching and strengthening the muscles the patient feels relaxed and is able to enhance his well-being.


Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that has evolved over centuries to become a means of alleviating stress and anxiety, a form of "meditation in motion." Advocates claim that it promotes serenity and inner peace. Similarly meditation, hypnosis and tai-chi also help the patient reduce his physical tension and feel good about himself. Acupuncture is another tradition means of relieving blockages that are causing some kind of disorder. It results in a calm and relaxed mindset. From abdominal breathing to guided visualization meditation, different methods are used to treat patients. Once you are relaxed, tiredness is minimized, energy level is improved, self-confidence is enhanced and coping with stress becomes easier.

Tasneem Abrahams

Tasneem is an Occupational Therapist, and a graduate of the TLC foundation for BFRBs professional training institute. Her experience in mental health includes working at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital forensic unit (South Africa), Kingston Community Adult Learning Disability team (UK), Clinical Specialist for the Oasis Project Spelthorne Community Mental Health team (UK). Tasneem is a member of both the editorial team and the clinical staff on Skinpick, providing online therapy for people who suffer from excoriation (skin picking) disorder.

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