I notice a few things in the upper torso and throat area that likely are related to the same issue.
(a) A persistent contraction in my throat. (This one has changed and is lighter through inquiry. I found it related to a few times in childhood where I felt I was suffocating, and there is likely something there about communication as well.)
(b) Tension in my shoulders. I have had this at least since my teens, and it’s a pattern in my immediate family. (I think it partly has to do with not speaking up, holding things inside, feeling the burden of what’s unsaid.)
(c) My internal images/sense of my upper torso is a bit fragmented. For instance, if I want to pinpoint mentally the location of a point on the spine, I see two or three overlapping images and am unable to do so. I especially notice this if I do a practice of bringing my attention up and down the spine along with the breath. I did a similar Daoist practice in my late teens and early twenties, and that’s how I initially became aware of this. (I suspect this may have to do with not wanting to incarnate fully, and perhaps some developmental trauma in early childhood.)
(d) My belly feels relatively rich and full of energy, while my upper torso – chest, shoulders, and throat – seems to have less energy and fullness. This is also reflected in the appearance of my upper torso.
All of these have shifted through TRE, inquiry, and – more recently – Vortex Healing. I may update here as it continues to shift.
Update July 14. I led a somatic mindfulness group today and explored my own throat contraction in the process. It was about a two on a scale to five initially. After a while, the contraction softened and went away and what was left was a contraction in the outer areas my shoulders and some in my jaw. It was as if the center went away leaving a donut of remaining contraction. Pretty interesting. I have worked on this area with Vortex also off and on, and will continue to do so.
From email to Andy, my current Vortex healer:
It’s a bit difficult to describe. When I check into the upper part of my torso, I see overlapping images of that area and also have trouble – for instance – pinpointing mentally where the spine is.
I also hold a lot of tension in my shoulders. And I have a consistent contraction in my throat. I think it’s all related.