If you've noticed a hump forming at the base of your neck between the shoulder blades, you're not alone!
This accumulation of fat is known as a neck hump, and it causes discomfort as well as self-consciousness for anyone affected by it. It's important to know though, that having a neck hump is not your fault. While there are multiple causes of why you would form a neck hump, one often overlooked cause is due to elevated cortisol levels.
Cortisol, the hormone produced in your body in response to stress, can lead to fat accumulation in multiple areas of the body — including your belly, your face, and the back of your neck.
So reducing those cortisol levels can help to significantly reduce that fat accumulation.
(If you want to know more about the science behind stress, cortisol, and weight gain, you check out our blog Why Can’t I Lose Weight: The Real Reason You Can’t Lose Weight.)
And our recommendation for reducing the cortisol levels in your body is with our signature somatic exercise program, Full Body Release.
How Somatic Exercises Lower Cortisol And Reduce Your Neck Hump
Somatic exercises are one of the only practices you can do that regulates your nervous system back into its window of tolerance (aka. it's optimal zone of arousal) after being stuck in either Fight or Flight Response or Freeze Response (also known as dorsal vagal shutdown).
When your nervous system is in a Fight or Flight Response, your body is actively producing an excess in cortisol because you're keeping yourself stuck in this stress response.
When your nervous system is in a Freeze Response, your body has been producing an excess in cortisol for so long that your nervous system can't physically process the stress anymore and begins to shutdown.
The similarities between both Fight or Flight Response and Freeze Response are that both responses will introduce high cortisol levels into the blood stream, causing a hormonal imbalance. This excess cortisol further tells the body to start depositing fat storages in certain places (like the neck), which causes a neck hump.
Somatic exercises however, can get you out of both Fight or Flight Response and Freeze Response, and can regulate your nervous system, release your excess cortisol, and start telling the body that it doesn't need to store fat in your belly and neck anymore.