When your head is pounding, do you head straight for the medicine cabinet? Before you pop any pills, try these natural headache remedies to prevent or stop a throbbing headache.

Strengthen your neck

It might sound strange, but headache pain can come from weakness or spasms of the neck muscles. How? Pain travels from your upper back and goes to your lower neck, the upper neck, as progressively weak muscles compensate for, say, too much computer time.

To put the brakes on reoccurring headaches, work on strengthening the trapezius muscles in your upper back

It only takes about 5 minutes, three times a week. Try this move to stretch your neck and traps. Modify your diet. Some foods and ingredients, including caffeine, cheese, smoked meats, sugar, chocolate, and foods containing MSG, are known to trigger migraines in susceptible people. If you regularly indulge in any of these foods, eliminate them one at a time and see if you can figure out the culprit. Find out what other factors might be triggering your throbbing headache.

Push pressure points

Acupressure is one of the age-old headache remedies and may help dim headache pain. Try rubbing the two points on either side of your vertebrae at the nape of your neck (right below the ridges at the base of your skull).

Massaging the webbed area on the top of your left hand, between your thumb and forefinger, may also relieve your pain

Keep moving. Regular aerobic exercise means fewer headaches because it helps relieve stress and increases the level of painkilling endorphins in your system. Similarly, yoga, stretching, and meditation to help reduce tension, thus relaxing the chemical cascade that can cause headaches.

Catch some action 

Love making with your significant other! Orgasms often stop a throbbing headache in its tracks since it’s associated with the release of a vasodilating gas called nitric oxide. Here’s what to do if you get headaches after a romp between the sheets.

Originally published at thecompleteherbalguide.com