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Renowned hypnotherapist Joseph Pond on how self-hypnosis and acupuncture can alleviate your aches and pains this winter

As I sit here writing this, I’m actually in a fair degree of physical pain from a bad tooth.

Of course there are different ways that I can alleviate this pain. Self-hypnosis is one powerful technique which I’ve taught to countless number of people. And when all else fails, there’s always codeine.

I know that as winter approaches, for many of you, old aches will return with renewed vigour. Since I also practice acupuncture, winter tends to be one of my busiest times because of conditions that worsen in the cold, such as arthritis and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Of course, the first protocol is to remove the source of the pain or to use medication to numb it. However, when those options are not available, I’m increasingly helping my clients explore mindfulness.

There are many, many studies which prove that helping people shift the focus of their attention has a profound impact on one’s subjective experience of pain and discomfort, whether the sufferer uses self-hypnosis or mindfulness. 

In the science of the mind, there are two aspects to pain that one can address. The first is the actual physical sensations that you are experiencing, and the second is the thoughts that you have about those sensations.

To take just the first aspect, pay attention to the discomfort as though it was made up of waves.

Many people prefer not to do this and have spent a great deal of their time resisting the uncomfortable sensations.

However, just as the energy in ocean waves will break up hard stone into soft sand, so too will the energy in your sensations soften the feelings in the core of your being. I know this is an audacious claim, but I also know many people who have opened up to their pain in such a way that the thoughts about their condition are no longer an additional source of discomfort.

So persevere with mindfulness. As always, I’ve recorded a guided meditation that I will freely send to you, as it’s difficult to offer a full experience of relief in this limited space.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and sits on the National Board of NLP and Hypnotherapy. Reach him at

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