Main Entry: THROE
Etymology: Middle English thrawe, throwe, from Old English thrawu,
thrēa threat, pang; akin to Old High German drawa threat
Date: 13th century
Definition 1: pang, spasm
Definition 2 plural: a hard or painful struggle, “the throes of revolutionary social change” — M. D. Geismar
Here is an excerpt from Gilbert Rouget‘s magnificent example of structuralist anthropological analysis, Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations between Music and Possession.