The Chest segment: The chest is one of the most significant areas for armoring because of its participation in the function of respiration. The full expansion of breathing is involved in all armoring. In expressing anger we breathe heavy if we are really fully angry. If we are passionately loving, we go, ah, ah, ah. Contrariwise, in fear, we go, he, he, he, he, we pull our chest in, which is why people with acute anxiety so often complain of a lump in the chest or a weight on the chest. When we cry, we move our chest fully in sobbing. So we can see that in all of the emotional expression the free movement of the chest is involved. Contrariwise, when we want to inhibit any emotion, we hold our chests. This is why most of us walk around not breathing fully, because all of us are repressing something which we might feel fully if we let this go.
Also involved with the chest segment are the shoulders and the upper extremities, which is part of this segment. In the expression of the emotions that this segment is capable of, we have patients punch with all the anger they can muster on the couch. I have a baseball bat that they bang on the couch, and we distinguish between those people who punch like this (punching weakly) and people who punch like that (punching vigorously), because the second is like human beings should be capable of.Another expression of the upper extremities is to be capable of feeling love, of being able to stretch out one’s arms longing for someone else, and longing for contact with the universe just to make connection.
The armoring of the chest is manifested in the elevation of the bony structure, a chronic attitude of inhalation, shallow breathing, and the immobility of the thorax. We already know that the attitude of inhalation is the most important instrument in the suppression of any kind of emotion. All the intercostal muscles, the large chest muscles (pectoral) the shoulder muscles (deltoid) and the muscle group on and between the shoulder blades are involved in the armoring of the chest.”