Tammy is a 55-year-old manager. She came to me because she had the feeling of a lump in her throat for 3 months. She also had a swollen sensation in her neck around the thyroid gland area. The doctor couldn't find anything in her throat and had arranged an endoscopy to check her oesophagus and stomach, which she was still waiting for. She felt stressed and anxious because she was worried about the examination and feared she was having a tumour. She had fairly good sleep, appetite and digestion. She looked well and in good shape. Her pulse was slightly sluggish and I caught a few irregular beats which I asked her to keep an eye on. I explained to her that there's probably nothing in her throat although she can still go for endoscopy to investigate. In Chinese medicine, feeling a lump in the throat is called Plum Pit Qi because it feels like a plum pit is caught in the throat.  

Plum Pit Qi is first mentioned in Chinese literature in the Jingui Laoyue, a treatise composed at the end of the Han Dynasty (ca. 220 A.D.). The text addresses miscellaneous disorders, mostly those suffered by women. It includes this brief statement: "A woman who feels as if a piece of broiled meat is stuck in her throat should take Banxia Houpu Tang (Pinellia and Magnolia Combination)." The Chinese later described the sensation as that of a plum pit caught in the throat. Its cause was attributed to the emotions coupled with stagnation of phlegm.
I did acupuncture in Tammy's neck, back and ankles. The following week she said the lump in her throat had gone. The results of endoscopy and various blood tests were all normal. The only thing she had was some palpitations but the doctor didn't find anything wrong with her heart. We had two more sessions until she felt absolutely normal again.