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Practitioner Bonnie Thompson on The Emotion Code

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Emotional Baggage: Lighten your Load with The Emotion Code

By Bonnie Thompson

Can you relate to the term “emotional baggage”? Everyone seems to have some and we all recognize that it is not a good thing, but what is it? And how do we get rid of it?

The Emotion Code, an exciting new form of energy work created by Dr. Bradley Nelson, calls this emotional baggage “trapped emotions.” According to Dr. Nelson, emotional energy can become trapped in the body when we are overwhelmed or traumatized, when our defenses are down, or when we are unable to fully process emotions. In addition, blocking or “stuffing” an emotion can cause it to become trapped.

What’s Wrong with Emotional Baggage?

These trapped emotions, until they are brought to conscious awareness and released, interfere with the healthy flow of life force energy in the body. This can affect our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, our relationships, and our ability to fully express our creativity and gifts with the world. Trapped emotions take a toll on our energy levels as energy is diverted to maintain all this baggage.


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Another way that trapped emotions can affect us is by forming a heart-wall. A heart-wall is made up of trapped emotional energy that surrounds the heart as a way to protect it. It is created by the subconscious mind when it feels that your heart needs protection from emotional pain or injury.

A heart-wall is an important protective mechanism and can be absolutely necessary to help you survive certain traumas in your life, but it comes at a price. Energetically, the heart is the center of your being, it entrains the rhythms of the body (including the brain), and it is also a source of intuitive knowing. A heart-wall blocks the heart energy and gets in the way of the body having full access to the heart. It also blocks your ability to fully give and receive love.

Dr. Nelson estimates that the average person has collected 300-400 trapped emotions. That’s a lot of emotional baggage! Wouldn’t it be great if we could unload some of this? Thanks to Dr. Nelson, we now have one more way to do this. The Emotion Code allows us to quickly and easily identify and release trapped emotions. In fact, you can learn to do this for yourself.

How Does It Work?

The process is simple. Muscle testing is used to identify a single trapped emotion that the body is ready to release. Once enough information has been obtained about this emotion, such as the age when it became trapped and where it is held in the body, it is released by running a magnet several times along the Governing Meridian (usually down the back).

It looks so simple but the effects can be very profound. Some people feel better almost instantly; some experience the changes more subtly and over time. Many people report feeling “lighter” after an Emotion Code session, as if a weight has been lifted from them.

The Emotion Code can be effective in releasing chronic pain, relationship blocks and anxiety, among many other things. While it would be unwise to claim that trapped emotions cause disease, Dr. Nelson says that he has never treated someone with a disease or condition that did not have any trapped emotions that were contributing to the problem.


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Results are difficult to quantify and are usually more subtle, but here are some examples from my own work with clients (names have been changed for their privacy):

Craig had many physical complaints and we decided to follow his body’s wisdom on where to begin releasing trapped emotions. We released a number of trapped emotions, several in the area of his abdomen. He did not notice any significant shifts during the session, but when I saw him again two weeks later, he reported that the liver pain that he had lived with for many years was now gone. Doctors had been unable to identify the source of this problem.

Michelle had been unable to find a positive lasting relationship since her divorce about 13 years ago. She came to me to have her heart-wall cleared. When she came in for her fourth session, she was glowing with the news that she had run into an old boyfriend from high school and they had re-established a romantic relationship. I can’t say if that relationship continued as that was our last session, but it was a delight to see her so obviously in love!

Lynnae was experiencing anxiety related to her job that was becoming debilitating. Every morning she would wake up to negative self-talk that would drive her anxiety to the point that she would become physically ill. We decided to target our Emotion Code work toward any trapped emotions that might be contributing to this negative self-talk. After just a few sessions she felt a significant decrease in the negative voice with a corresponding decrease in her anxiety levels.


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The Emotion Code can affect all levels of being. Part of the fun of working with it is that we never quite know what will come up. We simply rely on the wisdom of the subconscious mind and body to lead the way.

But I Don’t Remember Where All My Emotional Baggage Came From!

One of the best features of this technique is that it allows us to bring to conscious awareness many issues from the past about which you have no conscious memory. We access the wisdom of the subconscious mind through a form of muscle testing to get the information we need to release trapped emotions.

Some of our trapped emotions were actually handed down to us at conception from our parents. Most of us carry some ancestral emotional baggage. These inherited emotions can also be released with The Emotion Code. Not only does it release from us but it also releases from all the previous generations who passed this on to us. This can bring profound healing within families.

On several occasions when working with a client on releasing inherited emotions, either the client or myself or both of us have felt the presence of their ancestors as we released trapped emotional energy from several generations. This has been a precious gift to them as they feel the healing of family issues.

Does The Emotion Code Work on Children?

The Emotion Code works well for all ages, especially children. You are probably aware that many of your issues are based on experiences from childhood. What a great gift to help children let go of the emotional baggage they’ve already picked up and freeing them from a lifetime of dealing with it!

My own children have benefited from this work. My oldest son had chronic nasal congestion most of his life (he’s now almost 15). After a few Emotion Code sessions he experienced significant relief. I hadn’t really noticed the shift until one day I realized he was no longer sneezing every morning!


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The Emotion Code can also be used on animals, large and small, and many have reported excellent results. My youngest son loves receiving Emotion Code and asked me to work on his pet hamster, Griffin. We released just three trapped emotions from Griffin (that’s all he had). Afterward, we noticed that Griffin no longer ran to hide when we approached his cage. He comes to the front of the cage now and no longer seems as fearful. This made my son very happy and I was pleasantly surprised.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the process look like?

Basically, we begin by asking your body if you have a trapped emotion. The answer is determined through testing the muscle response of the body. A strong muscle indicates a Yes answer, a weak muscle indicates a No answer.

If the answer is Yes, we use a chart of 60 representative emotions to narrow down and identify the trapped emotion. Once we’ve discovered what the emotion is, we usually need a bit more information about it in order to release it. I typically use muscle testing to determine the age at which this emotion became trapped and the location of the trapped emotion in the body.

Once we have this information the trapped emotion is usually ready to be released. Again, we use muscle testing to ask if we can now release the trapped emotion. If the answer is No, we continue asking questions until we get enough information. If the answer is Yes, we brush a magnet down their back three or more times to release it. Then we check to make sure it has released by muscle testing again.
This process continues until the body indicates that no more trapped emotions can be released at that time.

What does it feel like to have trapped emotions released?

Many people feel a tingling or cool sensation as the emotion is releasing but it is also normal to feel nothing at all. You do not have to feel something for it to work. I didn’t feel anything the first few times I experienced The Emotion Code, but I have since felt significant shifts.

After a session you should be prepared to experience some ups and downs in your mood while your body integrates the changes brought on by releasing trapped emotions. Some people also experience intense dreams. This is normal and will dissipate in a few days. Most people don’t notice big changes right away. These changes are usually more subtle and show up over time.

Does The Emotion Code treat specific diseases or conditions?

No. The Emotion Code is not intended to treat or diagnose illness or disease. While there is some anecdotal evidence that releasing trapped emotions can help heal physical symptoms, it is not a substitute for appropriate medical care. It is an excellent way to clear emotional blocks to healing and can, in that sense, be very supportive of the healing process.

What kind of magnets do you use? Do you have to use a special kind?

Dr. Nelson uses and recommends the high-quality Nikken magnets, but he also freely shares that most any magnet will do. He suggests that a simple refrigerator magnet will work fine for The Emotion Code.

How long do you leave the magnets on?

The magnets are not left on the body. The practitioner will rub the magnet along the spine, from the top down and then off the body. The magnet can also be passed down the spine an inch or two off the body—full contact is not necessary.

How long does a session last?

A typical Emotion Code session will last about 30 to 45 minutes. It will depend somewhat on how many trapped emotions your body is able to release at one time. In my experience, we’ve been able to release anywhere from four to fifteen in one session.

Once trapped emotions are released, are they gone forever?

Yes, according to Dr. Nelson. In his over 20 years of working with The Emotion Code, he has never seen a trapped emotion that returned. It is important to understand that trapped emotions are from a specific incident in our past. When we release, for example, Anger, we are only releasing the energy from one point in time when that Anger occurred. There may be many more Anger trapped emotions from other experiences at other times and each of these will likely need to be released individually.

Do you have to remember your past and is it only for this lifetime?

You do not have to remember everything from your past. This is the beauty of this work. We can use the muscle testing to determine enough information to bring the trapped emotion “to the surface” or to your awareness. Once that emotion is identified and we have created some awareness about it, it is a simple matter to release it.

Is there anything a client needs to do in order to prepare for releasing these emotions?

Not specifically, but it is always useful to come to a session with an open mind and I ask my clients to maintain a neutral mindset while I’m muscle testing to support clear answers. I also like to prepare my clients for the possibility that they may experience some uneven moods and intense dreams for a few days after their session as their body integrates the changes.

How do you muscle test a dog?!

You don’t (although I suppose you could try!). Muscle testing for animals, small children and others who cannot be tested is done either through a surrogate or by proxy. In surrogate testing, a person makes contact with the subject being tested by touching them or holding their hand. The practitioner then muscle tests the surrogate. In proxy testing, the practitioner either tests another person on the client’s behalf or tests on themselves for the client.

Can The Emotion Code be used remotely (like distance healing)?

Yes, it is just as effective when done remotely and is done by proxy for the client. Dr. Nelson is very clear, however, that you must always have permission before doing this work for someone else.

Can I do The Emotion Code on myself?

Yes! Once you are able to master the muscle testing process it is very easy to get started using The Emotion Code for yourself and others. Dr. Nelson offers many options on his website, www.healerslibrary.com, for learning the Emotion Code.
If you’d like to read more about The Emotion Code, I highly recommend Dr. Nelson’s book, “The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness.” He does an excellent job of explaining difficult energetic concepts in simple, clear terms. The book also provides everything you need to know to get started using The Emotion Code.

About the author:
Bonnie Thompson, HTCP, CECP, EFT-ADV, is a Certified Emotion Code Practitioner and practices Healing Touch, The Emotion Code and EFT in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is passionate about helping her clients heal on all levels and loves sharing what she has learned to empower others. You can learn more about her work at: www.healingtreewellness.com.

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9 Comments to "Practitioner Bonnie Thompson on The Emotion Code"

  1. Billy Duncan

    October 13, 2011

    Great summary. Thanks. I can use it for
    several people, especially relation who
    are skeptical. I do a lot of NTE
    removals. The results are wonderful.

  2. Janet Williams

    October 13, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this great summary. I'm new to this and would like to become a Certified Emotion Code Practioner.
    This will help me to better explain my intentions and the process - especially to my sceptical 86 year old mother. I haven't informed her yet, but I plan on her being one of my first clients. Bless her heart.

  3. Rebecca Johnson

    October 13, 2011

    Bonnie, I agree with Billy that your summary will be helpful to many. I've read The Emotion Code book and studied the DVD seminar. I've used the method on myself and considered becoming a practitioner. Thanks for taking time to compile and share your summary!

  4. Kathy Atkinson

    October 14, 2011

    Great article Bonnie. As an EFT practitioner myself, I am curious if you combine the two techniques or just use the magnets during the Emotion Code sessions?

    • Bonnie Thompson

      October 17, 2011

      Thanks Kathy! I do sometimes use EFT and TEC during the same session, but I haven't tried to combine the two techniques. I usually start with TEC and shift to EFT or Healing Touch based on how the energy is moving in the session. One of the reasons I love TEC is that it meshes so well with other techniques and has strengths that other techniques just don't have.

      And I'd like to thank Dr. Brad for sharing my article on his blog. I love that it is helping make TEC more accessible and spreading the word!

  5. beth Foley

    October 14, 2011

    brillant you some it up perfectly - well done

  6. Rocio Galán

    October 14, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. I have just started to practise The Emotion Code and I am delighted. I am learning a lot about my own self as well as healing me!

    I do hope this technique helps humanity to be a healthier and happier one.

    Greetings from sunny Seville, Spain.

  7. Kathleen Kuper

    October 15, 2011

    This is really well written. Thank you for sharing this summary with us.
    This is such a precise , yet comprehensive explanation of the emotion code.
    Are we allowed to use this as long as we quote the source?
    Kathleen

    • Bonnie Thompson

      October 24, 2011

      Kathleen,

      I can't speak for Healers Library, but as far as I'm concerned, please feel free to share this article with others. I just ask that you keep my information at the bottom of the article as it is here. Thanks for asking!

      Blessings,
      Bonnie

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