How Does HRT Plus Work to Stop Obsessive Hair Pulling
The first step of this program involves the person to log their bouts of hair pulling. They are to list the time, where they were, how many hairs were pulled out, if they felt the urge to pull out their hair, or if they were pulling their hair without noticing until it was already in progress or over with. Behavioral specialists who use this program believe that by having the TTM patients log their hair pulling episodes, it will cause them to be more aware of the seriousness of their condition as well as give them some insight as to what may be causing them to pull their hair out. Learn some common causes of hair pulling by reading What are the Causes of Trichotillomania.
The next step involves having the patient learn muscle relaxation techniques. Generally they watch a video and learn a 15 minute exercise on how to relax their muscles. Most patients, after a couple of weeks of doing this relaxation technique a couple of times a day will soon learn to compact the exercise into 60 second exercises and get the same benefit. The trichotillomania behavioral specialist will instruct the patient to do these one minute relaxation exercises several times a day.
The third step of the program involves teaching the TTM patient breathing exercises. This can be compared to the type of breathing taught in yoga or meditation. The patient is taught to do these exercises by breathing in from their diaphragm. This diaphragmatic breathing will later help the patient to relax and breathe through an urge to pull their hair out.
The fourth step involves teaching the patient to clench their fists, bend their arm to a 90 degree angle, and hold their arms to their sides. By doing this when the urge to pull their hair begins, they will be unable to do so because their fists will be closed and their arms to their sides. This is known as a competing response. By holding their clenched fists to their side during an urge they are disallowing themselves to pull their hair. This process is also one that will not draw much attention if the person is in public when the urge to pull their hair starts.
After learning all four of these steps the behavioral interventions for trichotillomania will all be brought together and used simultaneously. When a person begins to have the urge, they will incorporate each step to avoid pulling their hair.