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Renowned hypnotherapist Joseph Pond on how using your mind can help reduce the suffering associated with ‘allergic’ reactions

When I met my wife, I learned she was allergic to wasps. As a child, she had been stung repeatedly on the foot by a wasp trapped inside her boot.

In her panic, she had been unable to free her foot quickly enough. To this day, I was told, a wasp sting would make her swell up like a grapefruit.

Fast forward 20 years. One morning while opening a window, she got stung. She screamed and swatting it frantically, shouted: “Is it a wasp?”

I looked down at the dying wasp and did what any considerate husband would do— I lied. “It’s just a bee, relax,” I said.

I reasoned that as we were just off to buy groceries, I could get her antihistamine before the swelling started in earnest and there was no need to alarm her.

Her relief was instant and we didn’t end up shopping immediately. For the next hour or so, I watched nervously, waiting for a reaction that never came. It became clear that drugs weren’t necessary.

When I was younger, my grandmother — terribly sensitive to roses — entered a room and immediately started wheezing upon spying a dozen of the dreaded flower. Her ‘allergy’ mysteriously disappeared after being told they were artificial.

At this time of year, I get lots of clients suffering from hay fever.

Drugs are great for it, but as someone who is interested in exploring the human mind, I also know that you can also improve your symptoms by changing your understanding.

Your immune system is there to protect you, yet if it panics while encountering a harmless substance, such as pollen or animal dander, it’s not doing its job properly. Structurally, I explain, hay fever is very similar to a phobia.

Then there’s the case of Mr X, a client who was allergic to feathers.

Upon questioning him, he admitted that he’d rather keep his sensitivities because it got him out of visiting his mother-in-law, who owned a canary.

It must be noted that real allergies can be life-threatening, but hay fever is just a nuisance.

Contact me for a report on ways to use your mind to reduce suffering.

Joseph Pond is a clinical  hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at or at Hypnosis/?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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