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                                                                        Penina Baumgarten

“Yeah, sure. Ok.”

Smile, wink, nod.

That was largely the reaction of anyone in the family who heard about our cousin Moishe’s new venture.

Releasing trapped emotions.  Energy healing for physical and emotional pain.  Magnetics.  It sounded like complete quackery. 

He’s gone off the deep end, I thought.  This was too strange and bizarre to be true.  I mean, I’m pretty open to lots of alternative stuff myself, but this was just too “out-there” even for me. 

So it became a sort of running family joke.  Anything from a toothache to a stubbed toe, to a missed package delivery was “trapped emotions.”  I burned dinner?  Trapped emotions made me do it!  We all had many a good chuckle – at first. But slowly, one family member at a time stopped laughing.  Word was getting around about the results of Moishe’s work… and it was not funny. It was incredible!

Moishe had worked with one cousin’s child. This normally anxious kid who clung to his mother’s side in social settings was now able to socialize and run around with the other children. A sister-in-law’s daughter who had started exhibiting behavior issues in school no longer had these issues, and the teacher was happily reporting how well she was doing. An uncle started being able to eat wheat and sugar again after being on a sugar-free, spelt-only diet for years. 

And so, our mocking “ha!”s turned into sheepish “oh!”s.  

My curiosity was piqued.  What was this mysterious practice?  How did emotions become trapped?  How can something intangible cause physical problems?  Most importantly, could the Emotion Code work for me? For nearly three years I had been in daily, moderate pain in my middle and lower back.  Often it would get so intense that it would be hard to breathe. 

Since going to the chiropractor and acupuncture hadn’t helped at all, and I had seen only temporary relief with reflexology and a rigorous exercise class, I had just resigned myself to being old and decrepit before my time.

But Hashem had other plans for me. One weekend shortly thereafter, Moishe’s sister Nechoma was visiting.  As we chatted, I paused to try and stretch some kinks out of my aching back.  Knowing of my struggles through the years, she suggested I call Moishe about my back.

I didn’t need much nudging.  I was in so much pain by then I would have stood on my head and sang like a canary if I thought it would help.  And so I finally made the call that would change my life. 


Moishe Weinbaum is my husband’s cousin.  My husband spent a lot of time in Moishe’s childhood home in London as a bochur and became very close with the whole family.  So naturally I had met Moishe a number of times over the years when he came to visit.  He always struck me as a funny, quick-witted, nice guy.  But I was about to begin to get to know a whole other dimension of him. 

When I made that first call, I was nervous.  And also more than a bit chagrined.  But in his calm, patient way, Moishe put me at ease, listened to me describe my ailment, and explained the concept of trapped emotions. 

“Emotions are energy,” he explained.  “And when we experience negative emotions that are very intense, such as anger, sorrow, humiliation, or fear, they can become trapped in our bodies.  Being that the body, and everything, really, is also made of energy, the two energies’ differing frequencies conflict with one another.  Sometimes they can stay there for a long time, even from childhood, before anything happens, but they very often end up creating problems, either physical or emotional.”

Cue my defensive side.  “Well, I had a great childhood!” I huffed.  “I was never bullied at school, I had great friends, wonderful, hands-on parents, and Baruch Hashem my life is still pretty charmed, so I probably don’t have any trapped emotions!”

Evidently, Moishe was used to this reaction. 

“Everyone does!” he exclaimed.  “Even if you don’t consciously remember a specific incident, your subconscious mind will remember what caused the trapped emotion.  And that’s what I tap into to identify and then release the emotions – the subconscious.  Would you like to give it a try?”

Well, what did I have to lose?  I said yes.  Moishe began to mumble some words and numbers. I began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into.  Just as I was about to try and think up a polite way to get myself out of this, Moishe finished. 

“I found and released some trapped emotions,” he said.  “Bitterness, a lot of resentment…does that sound at all familiar?”

I was stunned. “I…I know what that is.” 

After I had my fourth baby, I had been working insane hours, trying to build my business, take care of four tots ages four and under, and still be a contributing member of society. Basically, I completely burned myself out and ended up with a prolonged case of mild baby blues.  The emotions Moishe listed were pretty much all I felt for two years.  And crazily enough, right after I managed to pull myself out of that funk is when my back pain began.

Even crazier, now my back was feeling…better!  I told Moishe so. 

“Great! I’m glad to hear it!  Let’s talk again in a week, but if you’re in pain in between now and then let me know.”

Well, this skeptic-no-longer could hardly wait for the next week.  Turns out I didn’t have to.  A few days later I was sprawled on the wood floor in the living room dialing Moishe’s number. 

“Help!” I croaked.  “It’s really hurting again.”

More mumbling and numbers from the other end.  I vaguely wondered what it was about, but I couldn’t focus. 

Suddenly I felt a bubbling sensation, and I was not in pain anymore. 

“Ok seriously, WHAT just happened?” I said. 

“I released some more trapped emotions and Baruch Hashem you feel better!” Moishe explained.  “By the way, when you were 16 or 17 did you experience a big shock?”

I traveled back mentally.  “Let’s see…that was seminary time…and I remember…sitting on the floor by the pay phone in the lobby, crying my eyes out because I had just been told that my grandmother had been diagnosed with a large, cancerous tumor. It was pretty shocking…Wait, WHAT?! “

Moishe took it all in stride. 

We kept our appointment for the next week.  It took a few weeks, but after that I no longer needed the mid-week pick-me-ups.  Until Chol Hamoed Pesach.

We had taken our kids to a trampoline park as a big treat.  Suffering from delusions that I was 19 years old and even slightly physically fit, yours truly started bouncing along with the kids.  It was terrific fun, but mid-dive into a pit full of foam cubes (which is devilishly hard to get back out of, by the way, ask me how I know) I felt a tiny tweak in my lower back.  A half an hour later I was sitting in the car, regretting every single decision I had made in my adult life that had led me to this point.  By the time we got home I couldn’t move an inch in any direction without a breathtaking wave of pain.  I grabbed my phone.

“Moisheeeeeeee!” I howled desperately into a voice note.  “I’m dyyyyyyyying! I tweaked my back and now I can’t breeeeeaaaaathe! Fix me pleeeeaaase!”  And he did, bless his heart. 

Ten sessions later I was living a new life.  Not only had Moishe completely done away with my back pain, but during our sessions he dispensed many valuable tidbits of wisdom that helped me immensely. 

Baruch Hashem we were blessed with a baby boy about a year and a half after finishing the sessions, and last month we were blessed again with a little girl – not quite 15 months between the two of them -and my back has held up through it all with only a slight whimper of protest.  I told Moishe he must have a long list of merits by now, but he can add two Jewish souls and one happy mother to that list.


Oddly enough, that life-changing experience is not what compelled me to look into becoming an Emotion Code practitioner.  I just chalked up my new existence to “Moishe’s magic”, not something I could ever do myself.

The epiphany happened after our long two-way cross-country road trip last summer (see Echoes, September 2020 issue).  I was halfway through my pregnancy with my newest daughter and feeling a little tweaky in the back.  I called Moishe and told him, also mentioning that I had what seemed to be carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist.  It hurt so much I couldn’t put any pressure on it, to stand up from the floor or anything like that.  “But I’m pregnant, and my baby is a chunk and I carry him in that arm, so that probably explains the pain.”

A bit of mumbling from the other end.  “Actually, I can’t help with your back, it’s a misalignment, go get it seen to. But your wrist…” more mumbling…”Do a push-up!”


“Yes, now!  See if you can put any pressure on it.”

I hunkered down and did a from-the-knees push-up my mother, a gym teacher, would not have been proud of. 

“I can do it, but it really hurts.”

Several push-ups and released emotions later, I was holding a 30-second plank, no problem. 

I was floored. 

I sat on my bed in a daze, thinking back to my days as a single girl when I used to volunteer everywhere and help people whenever I could, just for the sheer joy of making someone else happy.  I still try to be helpful when possible, I thought, but my time and capacity are much more limited now – Baruch Hashem!

I help people with design, I give discounts and freebies when I can, and I volunteer with our local Friendship Circle, but THIS…this is literally life-altering!  To be able to help others on this level would be incredible!

I somewhat jokingly texted Moishe back.  “Hey, do you need an assistant?  This Emotion Code stuff is really cool!”

“YES!” came the immediate reply. “Do it.”

Moishe recommended that I read the book by Dr. Bradley Nelson, the man who developed the Emotion Code. Over Tishrei I had extra reading time and I got halfway through the book before two things happened: my son caught a cold, and the sciatic pains that had plagued me throughout my previous pregnancies returned. 

Now a cold would not ordinarily be a big deal, but my son has asthma, a kind that makes him cough non-stop for a week straight during a flare up – and a cold always triggers a flare up. Baruch Hashem the asthma is incredibly well- managed outside catching a cold, but when it does happen, it’s so hard to listen to my boy hack up a lung and suffer with the resulting sore throat for that week.

Hmmmm, I thought. Could the Emotion Code help him kick this? 

After two days of nonstop coughing, I figured we had nothing to lose.  I reread the instructions in the book, feeling very much like I had stumbled across an ancient magical spell.   

I needed to tap into my son’s subconscious memory using muscle testing.  This involved using my hands to get “yes or no” answers from the subconscious – my muscles would stay strong to indicate a positive answer and weaken when the answer was negative.  To my surprise I easily found some trapped emotions listed in the provided chart by using the process of elimination.  As directed, I ran a magnet down my son’s back to release the trapped emotions.  Feeling weirdly hopeful, I gave him a kiss and sent him to bed.

The next morning, he was well enough to send to school!  That was huge.  He usually must stay home a minimum of four days because his incessant coughing creeps out his teachers. The next day yielded hardly any coughs at all. 


I thanked Hashem profusely and tearfully, then immediately grabbed the book and headed off to see if I could sort out my sciatic pain.  Wouldn’t you know, it vanished overnight, and didn’t reappear until a month before I gave birth. 

I was hooked.  Now I wanted to fix everyone and everything!  Moishe directed me to the certification course and gave me helpful advice on how to set up as a business, but I had one stop to make first. 

Lubavitcher chassidim have long made a practice of writing to the Rebbe, seeking advice and brachos, especially before embarking on a new path in life.  Historically, in times when mailing a letter to the Rebbe directly was not possible, the writer would place the letter inside one of the Rebbe’s sefarim.  Since the Rebbe’s passing on Gimmel Tammuz of 1994, chassidim and admirers of the Rebbe have done the same, often selecting a random volume of the Igros Kodesh, a set of sefarim that contains thousands of responses from the Rebbe to those who sought his holy counsel and blessing and inserting their letter within it.  Then, after prayer and Tehillim, the responses are read that are on the pages where one’s letter was placed.

I definitely needed brachos.  Not only to be practically and financially successful in my quest to help others, but also to somehow find the time in an already busy schedule to learn for and pass the certification test, finish 30 training sessions and start a business in less than two months so I could have it done before the new baby arrived!

After davening for brachos at the Rebbe’s ohel in Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, I came home and took out my letter. 

“…every Jewish man and woman are shluchim of Hakadosh Baruch Hu to bring His light into their surroundings…aside from the zechus to have an influence (on others), Hashem Yisbarach gives them special kochos and possibilities to succeed in their shlichus, the shlichus of melech malchei ham’lochim, Hakadosh Baruch Hu.  Of course, this is a very big responsibility and a very big zechus at the same time.

“…and even more, we must try and quickly fulfill our shlichus…and Hashem Yisbarach is sure to fulfill His promise…for you, your husband and your children sheyichyu, all that is needed in gashmiyus and ruchniyus…”

My shlichus?  I always felt I was meant to help people, but this sealed the deal! 

With Hashem’s blessings I took the course and managed to get certified in less than two months.  I had a lot of coaching and encouragement along the way from Moishe, who, despite being booked out for months in advance, somehow managed to find time to calm and reassure me (and even remove some nasty self-doubt emotions!).



Working with my clients so far has been so fulfilling and rewarding.  Baruch Hashem we’ve experienced small reliefs – my aunt’s pain from an old finger sprain going away, and huge wins – a single mother’s teen daughter making and eating a plate of food after displaying anorexic behavior for six months.  We get to celebrate a girl making a healthy choice to eat, and my aunt’s new ability to hold her exuberant granddaughter’s hand, and even play the hand wrestling game “mercy” with her without pain.  

I now know what the words and numbers Moishe mumbled were.  I mumble them myself as I work, muscle testing and using the chart to find and release the trapped emotions in my clients.  I put up with the teasing from my teen daughter, who calls me “The Number Mumbler”, and I don’t even tease her back when she blows in the front door after school and yells, “MAAAAAAA, I need you to Emotion Code me, my teachers are craaaaaazyyyyyyyyyyy!!”

Im yirtzeh Hashem the brachos I received will be fulfilled, and I’ll be able to continue doing what I love most – truly helping people.  


Peninah Baumgarten lives in Brooklyn, and is an Emotion Code practitioner, graphic designer, a proud wife, and mom to six fabulous little humans, Bruch Hashem. You can reach her at peninah@feelingbalance.com. 

* Releasing trapped emotions is not a substitute for medical care. This information is not intended as medical advice and should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.  In the case of the young teen, she has been seeing a therapist for her issues.  

** Not all issues are resolved in one session.  In fact, most are not.  The degree of severity of the issue and the amount of emotional trauma experienced will vary depending on the client, as will the amount of sessions needed to yield results.

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