A Cricopharygeal Spasm is a spasm of the cricopharyngeal muscle, which controls two valves in the esophogus. A spasm in this muscle causes a tight feeling in the throat. This problem is usually caused by anxiety. It is often worse as the day progresses and symptoms may come and go.
I was having an uncomfortable sensation in my throat. It was the same feeling I might get if I was about to cry, but I was having it even when I was not about to cry, and I was having this feeling all day long. It was accompanied by hoarseness and was generally worse in the evening. I would lean my head back to try and stretch out my neck as I almost felt as if I were being strangled. At first I thought it was a cyst or tumor so I used a castor oil pack on it. That was nearly unbearable as I already felt as if I were being strangled and having something around my neck made me feel worse.
After some research, I realized I probably was experiencing Cricopharyngeal Spasm, which is usually caused by anxiety. The pieces began to fall into place. I remembered two other times in my life, times of very great stress, that I had the same problem. While I wasn't feeling anxious, I realized that I have been under great stress for a while with the recent terminal illness and death of my mother, and now my father's serious health problems.
The only natural solutions I could find online for Cricopharyngeal Spasm - (tightness in throat) were to reduce stress (not always possible! ) and sip on warm water or tea. Apparently some find relief when eating or drinking.
Since the cause appeared to be anxiety, I began to research natural cures for anxiety. I began taking the herb Rhodiola and it worked very well for me. I would take one capsule in the morning. If symptoms were present, I would take another capsule in the afternoon. Some people find that Rhodiola helps them sleep, while others find it makes it harder to sleep. For this reason, I avoided it at bedtime, but always made sure to take my magnesium at bedtime, which does seem to relax me and help me to sleep.
Valerian is another great herb for anxiety. If symptoms begin to pick up in the evening, I put a dropper full (15-20 drops) of Valerian Tincture into 2 ounces of water and this again alleviates the symptoms.
Because occasionally a tight feeling in the throat could be caused by a thyroid disorder or tumor, it is wise to get a medical opinion to verify a diagnosis of cricopharyngeal spasm, especially if self-help remedies for anxiety do not give relief.
Earth Clinic has other stories of anxiety remedies on this page: http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/anxiety.html
(Albuquerque, New Mexico)