The feeling of an obstruction in the throat (when there's not an actual
physical obstruction) is called Plum Pit Qi and is associated with Qi
Stagnation (Liver Qi in particular). Emotions such as sadness or
frustration can produce a lump in the throat or Plum Pit Qi.
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. The plum commonly used in China and Japan, known by the
local names wume and umeboshi respectively, has a small pit that can
become lodged in the throat; it has rough edges that contribute to the
sensation being described. The syndrome is called " Plum Pit Qi"
(meihe qi), indicating that bound-up Qi feels like a plum pit. Its
cause was attributed to the emotions coupled with stagnation of phlegm.
For more information see our article on Liver Qi Stagnation.