The Hampshire Hypnotherapy and Counselling Centre, in Whiteley, has launched the Health Anxiety Hypnosis app to stop face touching.
It’s hoped this will reduce exposure to harmful bacteria, as well as to help improve overall health.
Clinical hypnotherapist, James Holmes, who co-created the app, said: ‘Making yourself aware of how often you touch your face with your conscious mind can allow you to redirect this behaviour.
‘That's why hypnosis is such a valuable tool, it works directly with your subconscious mind to acknowledge your habit of touching your face and redirect it towards new, healthier habits.’
According to the firm, the behaviour of face touching is purely psychological and is known as reactance, which is a type of mechanism where the brain wants to ensure that the person is free to do whatever it is that they want to do with their own lives.
It also says that the average person touches their face 23 times per hour.
The app uses hypnosis to aim to stop people from performing this unconscious behaviour.
It will help the user to be more in control and less fearful about their health in general.
Research has shown that how, using hypnosis, people can improve their immune system and feel more in control.
It has also been shown to lower pain levels and improve overall happiness and mindfulness, the firm claims.
As well as sessions on how to stop touching your face, the app features sessions on how to reduce anxiety and stress, be happier and manage pain.
The firm created the app after clients asked them how to help them reduce anxiety after the coronavirus outbreak.
In January 2016, its virtual gastric band weight loss programme was featured in Channel Four’s How to Lose Weight Well show.
Its app downloads worldwide are currently just over one million and its podcast show has received over 200,000 downloads.
The app is available on iOS and Android.