" Hence, an understanding of the movement of the chest and lungs is essential to sending the totality of the life force or vitality within an individual. It is within the chest that we sense the energy of our impulses and passions...
What we have learned from our daily working with people with insufficient breath, coupled with spasm (constriction) of the diaphragm and chest, is an almost universal condition. It is as if we dare not live ( and feel ) too much. We keep ourselves half dead...
It is a clinical fact that when people in therapy begin to breathe fully, they increase their available energy quite rapidly. In fact, just by encouraging breath alone we often find that many people come in contact with repressed emotions and feelings. The augmenting of the life flame within the chest begins to mobilize the contained emotions of the heart and lungs.
One of the emotions that arises frequently is that of longing, longing for love and affection. Deep, heartfelt sobbing occurs, sometimes freeing the withheld sobs of a lifetime. The child whose sobs were cut off long ago often reappears...."
From " The Body Reveals: What Your Body Says About You ". By Ron Kurtz and Hector Prestera, M.D.
This is partly why using qigong, yoga and massage for assisting with releasing & opening up the chest, pectoral muscles, diaphragm, abdominal, sometimes pelvic and shoulder muscles and fascia which often become habituated into a less or more forward contracting postural norm, is so valuable.
That closed down position is often both an expression and perpetuating of numbing, closing down ones more free flowing, naturally pleasurable loving heart energies and feelings too. Which often is connected with altering ones interpretations such that even diversely loving, kind nurturing intentions & expressions by people are misinterpreted and misperceived as if they are threatening, negative or otherwise uncomfortable.
Not that anyone needs to partake of experiences one truly wishes not to. But at least clearing the perceptual filters enough to appreciate & respect when people's offers and actions are intended by them as kind, loving, nurturing and supportive, contributes to one's own and relationally more peaceful, clear and loving perspectives and energies.
Opening up our whole chest, torso, shoulders and pelvis allows more spaciousness to breath, feel and flow more love energy & vitality into and through our entire embodying being.
While also releasing all too common neck, shoulder, back and pelvic tension & discomfort that is often developed from contracted anterior torso muscles and related fearing, suppressing & numbing of natural sensually and emotionally pleasurable feelings, pulling posterior muscles into chronic extension.