The state of our relationships affects our emotions and overall wellness, in large part because the brain does not know the difference between physical and mental stressors. As mind-body medicine teaches, our interpersonal connections can be sources of stress, keeping us trapped in limiting patterns due to conscious or unconscious subtle-level dynamics. But what if it were possible to detach, freeing up your consciousness to put towards your growth and goals instead? Cord cutting purports to do just this.
Cord cutting is a healing technique to help “unhook” you from draining or unhealthy emotional dynamics, freeing you from relational patterns that squander your mental energy. It is important to note that cord cutting does not seek to remove healthy emotional bonds with loved ones; rather, it clears away emotional obstructions that are limiting you consciously and unconsciously. Energy healers can help you catalyze this healing process, removing cords of attachment, and allowing relationships to grow into more evolved states—or even for you to outgrow them altogether.
The idea is that energy work moves you into a higher-vibrational state that allows you to transcend less evolved ways of being—including unhealthy relationships that keep you anchored in a lower vibration of functioning. Some teach that releasing cords brings you closer to enlightenment regardless. (Think, for instance, of the Buddhist teaching that attachment is the root of all suffering.) In this way, cord cutting can be seen as a practice to untether your soul from low-frequency hindrances to living your most actualized path.
Below, three energy workers explain the practice of cord cutting and how it can benefit your wellness.
What is an energy cord?
“Everything is energy,” says transcendental beauty practitioner Taryn Deane AKA The Beauty Mage, “from your home, to your pets, to your friends, family, and even strangers.” She explains that each carries a unique energy signature that can form spiritual connections, or cords. Keeping the relational dynamic in mind, it helps to think of energy cords as an open energetic channel of emotional communication.
Depending on the nature of the relationship, the emotions you receive from the other may impact you positively, negatively—or even neutrally. While healthy connections can help instill confidence, vitality, love, and joy, and do not require maintenance, others are restricting. “[For example,] perhaps because one person is jealous or competitive, and sending that frequency of energy through the cord to the other person,” says Julie Civiello Polier, holistic esthetician and energy specialist, and founder of the LINEA Method. “For the latter, it is incredibly healing to sever these cords so that our energy isn’t draining, nor are our decisions made from a place of fear of hurting anyone else’s feelings by shining too bright.”
Cords of Attachment
Dean identifies connections that represent problematic ways of relating as cords of attachment. It is important to note that they impact us to varying degrees, and that they persist over time—lifetimes, even. For instance, an energy cord with a person in your life that wants to control you might feel intrusive at the conscious level, whereas a cord with your beloved pet may be unconscious and simply the result of them wanting you to feed them more treats.
Some intuitive healers describe cords of attachment as forming whenever there is an unfulfilled desire between you and someone else. Dorita Redelinghuys, co-founder of Skinesiology Vibrational Skincare, describes it in more detail, stating, “When the relationship between you and the other person is not equal or reciprocal it becomes an intrusive presence, creating a lower vibration, leaving energy blockages in your energy field.” Thus, relationships formed or perpetuated by fear, power, anxiety, or a need to control or suppress, all call for cord cutting.
What do energy cords look like?
Cords are “seen” psychically, in the mind’s eye, and how they intuitively appear may be symbolic, speaking to the subtleties of the relationship’s emotional effects. “Cords can feel like all sorts of things—some feel like thick, barnacle-covered rope… Some cords are like metal chain link or even chainmail,” Civiello Polier says. She often senses cords to be like rope or barbed wire, and visualizes a corresponding tool to sever them (i.e., a serrated knife or wire cutters).
Where cords attach to also varies, but oftentimes it involves the chakras, our energy centers. While a healthy, loving connection may connectonce at the heart chakra, a cord from someone that wants to inhibit your self-expression might attach to your throat chakra. In a particularly vivid instance, a highly controlling individual sent cords to the major joints on the victim’s body—as if she were a marionette!
How do we remove cords?
“It is definitely possible to cut a cord of attachment on your own, but there are times [when] you will need the aid of a skilled healer for support in completely severing [the cord] and healing the wound,” says Dean. Redelinghuys points out that it is the low vibrational nature of the cord that makes it especially difficult to remove yourself. Instead, a practitioner or ritual can help you raise your vibration such that you can transcend the patterns of behavior that perpetuate the cord’s corresponding relational dynamic. In a way, it is as if the higher vibration of energy evolves the relationship—or your role within it—to a state that is no longer damaging.
A popular method of cord-cutting session entails a visualization exercise in which our cords are pictured and detached in the mind’s eye. Some healers will guide you through the process, and might even call upon the assistance of energy beings like the Archangels. “One of my favorite ways of removing cords…is to request the aid of Archangel Michael,” says Civiello Polier. “Michael is often depicted with a giant sword and he is known as a protector.” Reiki practitioners and energy workers might send energy to the location on your ethereal body, or even to a visual representation of the situation, like a drawing.
Depending on the belief system that best resonates with you, Dean lists a variety of other methods that can be implemented to remove cords, which may include “resonant sound therapy, meditation, candle magick, jar magick (hoodoo/voodou), or elemental magick.” Sometimes a combination of all of the above is used.
What will we experience after removing a cord?
“Expect a readjustment of the relationship,” says Redelinghuys, stating that the relationship will take on a new form. “[This might mean that] the relationship no longer exists, or there could be an outburst of anger from the other person as they are confronted with the new norm.” Remember that all behaviors, including dysfunctional ones, develop as coping mechanisms. The unhealthy dynamic was therefore serving a purpose for the unhealthy ego involved—perhaps to keep uncomfortable feelings of jealousy, insecurity, or a lack of self-esteem unconscious. Once you disengage, you can expect a great release—but there may be an outburst from the other party whose insecurities have surfaced. Maintaining this new healthier state of being requires that you set healthy boundaries and continually act in ways that reinforce your self-worth.
Physical symptoms can also pop-up post cord cutting. “Some folks notice a feeling of lightness inside and outside of their bodies. Some burst into tears [because] it’s such a release… Others may feel extremely tired, nauseous, light-headed, or even have diarrhea! It can be a very physical reaction when one is healing some very deep and held experiences,” Civiello Polier says. “I often feel a rush of energy coming back to me, almost as if I’ve had a delicious cup of matcha tea. No longer is my energy unconsciously draining down the length of that cord.” The overall emphasis from our practitioners is to trust your inner-knowing; what you instinctively feel you need is exactly where to begin healing following a cord cutting session.