Relaxation Techniques

Relax Your Mind

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Stress Relaxation

Before we can understand the final two papers we are going to discuss in this chapter (Ferris and Taylor 1994a,b), we need to learn about stress relaxation, which we now consider. Growth can be defined as irreversible cell enlargement (Hsiao et al. 1976, p. 482). Any reduction in tissue water potential reduces growth (Figure 7.1), sometimes completely stopping when water potential is lowered in a plant by 0.3-0.4 MPa (Hsiao et al. 1976, p. 482). The primary effect of water stress on growth appears to be physical. Turgor pressure is a prerequisite for cell enlargement. In the process of cell expansion, the first step in wall yielding is often viewed as a relaxation of mechanical stress in the wall (Hsiao et al. 1976, p. 484). The increase in cell volume, basic to growth, requires water uptake. In the simplest case, if the osmolality of the cell does not change see Kirkham (2005, pp. 305-308) for a discussion of osmolality , the only way to create the water potential gradient for uptake...

Supporting Healthy Sexual Functioning For Both Genders

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) has vasodilatory effects and has been shown to help men with erectile dysfunction. In two studies,16,17 men with impotence noted meaningful benefits when they took ginkgo. Ginkgo's vasodilatory effect can help both men and women who want to achieve optimal sexual function. Like arginine, ginkgo is a natural substance that enhances circulation yet ginkgo has potent antioxidant and vascular stabilizing effects as well. Thus, this herb not only serves as a treatment in addressing symptoms, but nourishes the body at the same time. The herb accomplishes this by facilitating microvascular circulation, vasodilation, and smooth-muscle relaxation.18 Ginkgo and ginseng have been shown to relax smooth muscle and thereby increase circulation.19

Health Benefits of Urban Forests and Trees

An important positive effect of natural scenery on health is its stress reducing effect. Research similar to original studies in the United States (Ulrich et al. 1991) has led to similar results in Sweden (e.g., Hartig et al. 1996). Just visually experiencing a natural setting reduces stress. Stress relief, as measured through muscle tension, blood pressure and electrical brain activity, can be demonstrated within some minutes of exposure to a green environment (Ulrich et al. 1991). Moreover, viewing or visiting natural environments (compared to built urban environments without natural elements) after stressful or mentally fatigued situations, produces greater physiological changes toward relaxation and faster recovery of attention-demanding cognitive performances (Parsons et al. 1998). Research has shown that even quite ordinary urban green areas have a stress-reducing influence in everyday life. In Sweden, Grahn and Stigsdotter (2003) demonstrated that the more often one visits...

The Control of Replication Origin Activation

Analysis of endoreduplicating cells by pulse labeling with 3H thymidine (Lilly and Duronio 2005) or flow cytometry (Galbraith et al. 1983) shows that endoreduplication consists, similarly to mitotic cells, of DNA synthesis phases alternating with gap phases. This observation strongly suggests that the controls that normally regulate entry into S-phase and prevent rereplication in mitotic cells are largely operating during endoreduplication. Additional genetic and molecular data also support the current view that endoreduplication can be considered a derivation of the mitotic cell cycle, that endoreduplica-tion requires more than just relaxation of the restrictions on origin licensing, and that many of the pathways involving CDK, SCF, and APC activities need reprogramming for endoreduplication to occur (DePamphilis et al. 2006).

Structure in an Aqueous Solution

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been used to study the structure of inulin in aqueous solutions. In addition, the use of low-angle laser light scattering, dynamic light scattering, and small-angle x-ray scattering following size exclusion chromatography has yielded information on the molecular weight distribution, hydrodynamic radii, and geometry of Jerusalem artichoke inulin (Eigner et al., 1988). Inulin was found to have a rod-like shape with maximum dimensions of 5.1 x 1.6 nm (length x mean diameter). 13C relaxation rate measurements indicate that the fructofuranoside units are not part of the polysaccharide backbone therefore, the structure is like a polyethylene glycol polymer with furanosides attached (Figure 5.1). This greatly increases the flexibility of the chains, which is reflected by a segmental motion that is two to three times faster than amylose (Tylianakis et al., 1995).

Fast Kinetics of Fluorescence Parameters

Induction curves of fluorescence parameters reveal the velocity with which the specimens can adapt to their changing environment. Induction curves with quenching analysis measured at 10 ms sampling rate showed first a fast and then a gradual drop of the current fluorescence (Ft) and maximal fluorescence (Fm) in the common Rhodophyte Corallina officinalis when the thalli were exposed to a bright halogen light source (Fig. 7) (Hader et al., 2003b). Non-photochemical quenching followed this pattern antagonistically and reached high values within less than 100 s. During this time the PS II photochemical efficiency (Y) hardly increased above zero and photochemical quenching (qP) increased only slightly. Both parameters showed a significant oscillation. This is even more pronounced in the subsequently measured relaxation kinetics where Y and qP followed a parallel oscillation that dampened out after some time. The PS II photochemical efficiency and the photochemical quenching stepped up...

Obligate Hemiparasite to Holoparasite Loss ofAutotrophic Functions

The increasing use of and dependence on host carbohydrates allows a relaxation in parasite photosynthesis. This is accompanied in many cases by rearrangements and deletions to the parasite chloroplast genome (Morden et al. 1991 Bommer et al. 1993 Delavault et al. 1996). Of course, once the chloroplast genome has undergone extensive deletions, the parasite is fixed as a heterotrophic holoparasite.

The Photosynthetic Water Oxidation Centre

Subunit I contains nine conserved histidine residues, which are sufficient to provide the six ligands suggested by the spectroscopic data. Two for cytochrome a, one for cytochrome a3 and three for CuB. Holm and coworkers (1981) have developed a schematic model of subunit II of cytochrome oxidase (Fig. 5-24). Cytochrome a is coordinated to two histidine residues close to the membrane surface in separate transmembrane helices. Cytochrome a3 - CuB is located between the same helices, with a third helix providing two of the CuB ligands. This arrangement places the two heme groups very close together (ca. 14 A centre to centre) which seems to be at variance with the relatively slow electron transfer from cytochrome a to the bimetallic site. In addition, electron spin relaxation measurements indicate that the distance is about 20 A (Brudvig et al., 1984). As a result Malmstrom (1989) has suggested an alternative model which retains the structure of cytochrome a but places cytochrome a3...

Variation in Insect Response

Susceptibility, being the opposite of a resistance mechanism, serves pest management through the relaxation of selective pressures which might otherwise drive a pest population toward biotype development and loss of resistance efficacy. In this regard, it can be an important practical aspect of preserving pest management through deployment of resistance. Such susceptibility has also been termed refugia. Refugia are host locations where the pest can develop without an intense selective pressure, and coincidentally, where natural enemies of the pest can find hosts to maintain their populations. Susceptibility refugia have been the subject of considerable thinking with regard to the use of genetically engineered plant systems (Gould 1998 Raffa 1989). Here the concept is expanded to include it with a role in managing pests in genetically-limited tree systems, even without genetic engineering. The important feature, without regard to the origin of resistance, is the intensity of the...

Biological Timekeeping

The characteristics of circadian rhythms have already been detailed in Chapter 2 and a number of mathematical and biochemical models have been advanced which describe or predict the behaviour of the underlying oscillator. Mathematical models include harmonic oscillators, relaxation oscillators and limit cycles. Of more intuitive use in a biochemical sense are negative feedback or linear models. These can predict oscillations with a 24 h periodicity and limit-cycle behaviour (Lumsden, 1991). There are, generally speaking, three types of biochemical models for underlying oscillators, based in some way on product feedback, although elements of one type can overlap into another. Metabolic oscillators are simple or complex metabolic pathways in which allosteric effects of substrates and products feed forward or backwards to produce intermittent fluxes through the pathway. Examples of such processes include the rhythmic glycolysis in fermenting yeast in response to adding extra substrate to...

Mitochondrial DNA recombination is controlled by the nucleus

Evidence of nuclear influence on mitochondrial genome stability first emerged indirectly in plant cell cultures, where mitochondrial rearrangements often arise in apparent response to relaxation of nuclear control in vitro. It is common to observe the emergence of novel DNA polymorphisms in lines following in vitro culture. In some cases the DNA polymorphisms that emerge are highly reproducible or represent conformations that are detectable at much lower levels in the original material (Ozias-Akins et al., 1988 Shirzadegan et al, 1991 Vitart et al, 1992). This observation provided the first indication that the in vitro growth conditions could permit amplification of rearrangements already existing in low abundance within the plant, and the observed DNA rearrangements are less random than was initially surmised.

Naturopathic Approach To Treating Pain

In the naturopathic tradition, in some instances, pain and disease may be the result of such factors as inadequate diet, improper care of the body (sedentary lifestyle), and other lifestyle overindulgences and excesses. This is based on the concept that an organism is more likely to be healthier than one that is deprived in some fashion. A healthier organism also will be able to resist disease and pain better even if both come from external causes. In addition, the early naturopathic doctors prescribed fresh air, sunshine, proper diet, exercise, scientific relaxation,'' (i.e., an early form of Western meditation designed to relax the mind), constructive thinking, and a positive mental attitude, with prayer and meditation to create a sound mind in a sound body. These extremely simplistic recommendations provide the basic framework for health but striving for health when one has poor lifestyle habits is self-defeating at best. Thus, people need additional treatment using botanical...

Cardiovascular System

Arginine is best known for its effects on the cardiovascular system. It is a substrate for nitric oxide synthase, which converts arginine into nitric oxide (NO) in the vascular endothelial cells. NO is also known as endothelium-derived relaxation factor that causes vasodilation in the vasculature. Many of arginine's effects are thought to be the result of this effect. NO itself is a vastly important molecule in several vascular-related conditions including maintenance of blood pressure44 and proper myocardial function.45

Results of the studies

This was best illustrated by work on two New Zealand essential oils Manuka and Kanuka. The former was largely composed of sesquiterpenes and produced a relaxation in the gut, while the latter was composed largely of monoterpenes and produced a contraction (Lis-Balchin et al., 1996a). Further, work on over seventy essential oils suggested that there was a considerable correlation of contraction of the small intestine with a high percentage of monoterpenes (but not sesquiterepenes) (Lis-Balchin et al., 1996b 1998). As before, the correlation broke down if 1,8-cineole was involved, for example, in mixtures with rosemary or E. globulus. There is no easy explanation for this discrepancy. It is also of interest that if E. globulus, containing 95 of 1,8-cineole is presented to the smooth muscle preparation it will cause a relaxation, whereas if 1,8-cineole alone is presented it causes a contraction.

Research findings on psychological effects of lavender

These considerations suggest that the time course of effects needs to be examined in lavender since initial perceptual effects may be replaced or accompanied by later pharmacological effects. The hedonic aspects also need to be carefully accounted for since variations in concentration may account for many of the effects observed. Furthermore, in real-life circumstances, through repeated use by someone the characteristic smell of lavender at moderate concentrations may 'signal' the later sedative effects, and thus the smell might acquire, through classical conditioning, a calming effect by itself, for example, Schiffman and Siebert (1991) claim that an apricot fragrance paired with a relaxed state after progressive relaxation later 'triggers' the relaxed state by itself.

Proposed Mechanisms for q E Quenching

Xanthophyll Cycle

The excited state properties of photosynthetic carotenoids. Solid horizontal lines represent states that are involved in the strong visible light absorption of carotenoids (solid vertical line). Absorption from the ground state to several intervening states (horizontal broken lines) are formally forbidden. However, radiative transitions from both the S2 (allowed) and S, (forbidden) states account for the very weak fluorescence of carotenoids (dashed vertical lines). The major process accounting for the decay of carotenoid excited states is vibrational relaxation (thermal emission, wavy vertical line) between the states. Fig. 6. The excited state properties of photosynthetic carotenoids. Solid horizontal lines represent states that are involved in the strong visible light absorption of carotenoids (solid vertical line). Absorption from the ground state to several intervening states (horizontal broken lines) are formally forbidden. However, radiative transitions from both the S2...

Role Of Pomegranate Fruit Phytochemicals In Bioactivity

In a recent study on arteriogenic erectile dysfunction done in a rabbit model, animals consuming PJ showed increased blood flow to the penis compared to control animals.70 In addition, the time to maximum pressure (maximum erection) decreased compared to controls, and nitric-oxide (NO)-mediated smooth-muscle relaxation was improved in the treatment animals. The authors attributed the effects to the antioxidant phytochemicals present in pomegranates.

General introduction to the genus Lavandula

Lamiaceae) are mainly grown for their essential oils, which are used in perfumery, cosmetics, food processing and nowadays also in 'aromatherapy' products. The dried flowers have also been used from time immemorial in pillows, sachets etc. for promoting sleep and relaxation. Numerous lavender plants are also sold as ornamental plants for the garden these include L. latifolia, L. pinnata, L. lanata, L. dentata and L. stoechas and their numerous cultivars. Aromatherapists consider the oil from L. angustifolia as the most beneficial, together with wild-grown cultivars at high altitude as yet scientific evidence is lacking for this and all the numerous medicinal claims made, other than for a possible general relaxing effect after inhalation, produced via the Limbic system. Pharmacological studies have shown a relaxation of smooth muscles in vitro using animal tissues, with an initial small contraction exhibited by L. angustifolia the spasmolytic action...

The Role of LHCII in Nonphotochemical Quenching

In the light reaction of photosynthesis, the consumption of excitation energy to trigger charge separation in the reaction center will lead to a decrease of chlorophyll fluorescence quantum yield, a phenomenon termed photochemical quenching. When the light intensity exceeds the photosynthetic capacity, the excess excitation energy has to be dissipated non-radiatively as heat so that its potential damaging effects can be avoided. The non-radiative dissipation (NRD) can be detected as non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ), a regulatory mechanism consisting of feedback de - excitation quenching (qE) and photoinhibition (qI) 30, 57 . qE responds rapidly to the light intensity change and is regulated by the transmembrane pH gradient (ApH) across the thylakoid membrane. Under high - light conditions, the continuous operation of photosynthetic light reaction will result in the acidification of thylakoid lumen and the low pH in the lumen will activate violaxanthin...

Protein Interaction Networks

Recently, a method has been introduced for solving this problem that is based on spectral graph theory. Such method partitions the graph into clusters by considering the random walk formulation on the graph, and analyzing the perturbations to the stationary distribution of a Markov relaxation process. This is done by looking at the eigenvectors of the Markov transition matrix. A detailed explanation of the technique is beyond the scope of this review, and we refer the interested reader to the work of Paccanaro et al. (2003, 2006). When this algorithm was tested on difficult sets of proteins whose relationships were known from the SCOP database (Structural Classification of Proteins, http scop ) the method correctly identified many of the family superfamily relationships. Results obtained using this approach were much better than those obtained using other methods on the same datasets. On average, when quantifying the quality of the clusters using a measure that...

Diagnosing Adrenal Dysfunction

Tests, a functional adrenal condition may be present in the absence of abnormal laboratory findings. In fact, a recent plethora of medical literature points to the seemingly error-prone assessment that results from measuring thyroid function solely via laboratory tests. The main cause of adrenal fatigue is continual low-level stress, which taxes the adrenal glands, limiting their ability to adapt to acute stressors. This low-level stress may be caused by emotional or physical upsets or loss of sleep. Clinically, this manifests in the development of exhaustion that does not become resolved with standard rest and relaxation.

Problems arising in aromatherapy studies

What could be achieved by using aromatherapy as an adjunct to clinical medicine especially in hospitals and general practice So far there have been many 'successes' in various areas, notably hospices. There are no miracle cures, but an alleviation of suffering and possibly pain, mainly through touch, relaxation due to gentle massage and the presence of someone who cares and listens to the patient. This is probably also the case in geriatric wards, in general wards, in the treatment of severely physically and mentally-challenged children and adults.

Benzodiazepinelike side effects of honokiol Muscle relaxation with 2 20 mg kg honokiol nor seven daily treatments with 0.1 2 mg kg honokiol caused significant change in the traction performance. These results indicate that, in contrast to diazepam, honokiol has less liability to producte muscle relaxation after acute or chronic administration at the doses that produce the anxiolytic effect.

Lavender oil and its supposed functions

'Lavender helps balance the mind and emotions' (Westwood, 1991) and has 'immunity' as its key word it is indicated for over-analytical, anxiety, fear of failure, hyperactivity, hysteria, imbalance, immune system, impatience, insecurity, insomnia, irritation, irrationality, mood swings, overwork, panic, paranoia, possessiveness, greed for power, feeling pressurized, lack of relaxation, stage fright, tension, poor time-management, lack of tolerance and tranquillity, workaholic, worry. The physical conditions indicating its use are baldness, immune system, sore throats, stiffness, dermatitis, eczema, itchy or scarred skin and general first aid.

Lov Domains In Other Systems

Irradiation is short compared to the dark recovery time of the photoreceptor system (see Palmer et al., 1993a and Figure 4) every photoreceptor molecule will have been activated only once. As a consequence there is no longer an auxin gradient and therefore no longer a bending response. However, with longer irradiations, even at very high fluence rates, the rate of re-excitation of phototropin molecules on the shaded side of the organ will be less than the rate of re-excitation on the lighted side. Dark relaxation rates (return to a photoreceptor pool in the unphosphorylated ground state by whatever means) determine the pool of photoreceptors available for reexcitation and involve a chemical reaction(s) that is temperature sensitive. These rates will be similar on the two sides of the organ, but the rates of re-excitation will be different, leading to the maintenance of a phosphorylation gradient (see Salomon et al., 1997c). The coupling of differential phototropin photoexcitation to...

Pathophysiology And Associated Conditions

Transient LES relaxation is the primary mechanism of GERD. It results from a vaso-vagal reflex triggered by stretch receptors of the proximal stomach. Studies have indicated that most reflux episodes are acidic. However, according to one study, 28 of episodes were only weakly acidic and 10 of episodes were weakly alkaline.15 Numerous factors may influence the symptoms of GERD. Delayed gastric emptying, volume of gastric content, quantity and acidity of refluxed contents, ability of the esophagus to clear this material, LES function, and the resistance of the esophageal tissue can influence reflux symptoms.16 Some researchers have proposed that patients with GERD can be categorized further as having erosive esophagitis, nonerosive reflux disease, and Barrett's esophagus.17

A A Chlorophyll Fluorescence Fundamentals

Sures the efficiency of active PSII RCs. Both qN and NPQ describe non-photochemical quenching. However, NPQ is the preferred measure, as it does not require knowledge of minimum fluorescence (Fo) and measures photoprotective mechanisms that are used to dissipate excess energy. A rapid decrease in Fm' is usually linked to the build-up of a proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane, while the proton gradient is lowered by ATP synthase, which produces ATP to be consumed in the Calvin cycle. NPQ can be separated into 3 components based on the speed of relaxation these are energy-dependent quenching (qE), state transition quenching (qT) and photoin-hibitory quenching (qI) (Horton and Hague 1988). The dynamics of the NPQ components are presently unknown for seagrasses, and once this is understood we will be better able understand how they utilize the available irradiance and maintain photosynthesis under variable light climates. qE is generally directly related to the activity of the...

Effects Of Rp Isoflavones On Blood Vessels And Coronary Circulation

The total isoflavonoid fraction of RP and a pure puerarin preparation were shown to cause significant relaxation in normal and experimentally induced constricted coronary blood vessels. Intravenous injection of the total isoflavonoid fraction (30mg kg) to normal dogs increased coronary blood flow (CBF) by 40 per cent and decrease vessel resistance (VR) by 29 per cent. When injected directly into the coronary artery (1 mg kg), isofla-vonoids increased CBF by 92 per cent and decreased VR by 42 per cent (Fan, 1977). Both effects were dose-dependent. Similar results on CBF reduction and VR increase have also been shown by other investigators using pharmacological models simulated with vasopressin (Yue and Hu, 1996).

Central depressive effects of Magnolia extracts 4421 Muscle relaxant effect

Muscle weakness in 2-3 min, followed by cessation of breathing and heart beat in a few minutes. In contrast, no marked behavioral symptoms, except for a slight decrease in spontaneous motor activity for a short period, were produced by oral administration of the water extract (2 g kg). In the case of the ether extract, however, both oral and intraperitoneal administrations resulted in strong muscle relaxation and disruption of clinging to a steel net for up to 90-120 min, without death. The ED50 values for the muscle relaxant effect of intraperitoneally administered ether extract of Magnolia and its alkaline soluble fraction were estimated to be 582 mg and 580 mg, respectively (Watanabe et al., 1975). The ethanol extract showed an intermediate effect between those of the water and ether extracts. These results indicate that the strong lethal effect of intraperitoneally injected water extract is caused by the peripherally mediated curare-like muscle relaxant action of magnocurarine and...

AGEs and Cardiovascular Disease

AGE accumulation is associated with cardiovascular dysfunction and diseases such as atherosclerotic plaque formation, decrease in vascular and cardiac elasticity, endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension.10 More specifically, AGEs have been shown to quench nitric oxide (NO) which is an endothelium-derived relaxing factor in smooth muscle. Quenching NO impairs this relaxation and is associated with the pathology seen with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.11 AGEs also interact with specific cell receptors, such as RAGE, leading to chronic activation of these receptors. Studies indicate that RAGE activation may lead to an increase in inflammatory markers and cellular injury.12


Microscopic models of lipid-protein interactions, based on the hydro-phobic matching principle, have been used to study some generic aspects of lipid membrane compartmentalization. Dispersion and activity of integral membrane proteins is found to be simulated by conformational changes governed by an external drive, such as receptor binding. Relaxation is controlled by interaction of the protein with its lipid surroundings (Seabra and Mouritsen, 1998). For instance, activation of protein kinase by the specific lipids surrounding the protein in oat root membranes was studied by Schaller et al. (1992). Because of previously observed ethylene (C2H4) methyl jasmonate (MJ) interactions by Phisalaphong and Linden (1999) in terms of secondary metabolite formation in plant cell cultures (optimally at 7.5 L L C2H4 + 200 M MJ), it was hypothesized that MJ might influence the binding of C2H4 to the membrane bound receptors, as suggested in Fig. 1.

Native Herbs

Using our knowledge about stress relaxation, let us turn to the work by Ferris and Taylor (1994a), who used the thermocouple psychrometer technique of Cosgrove et al. (1984) to see the effects of elevated levels of CO2 on the water relations and cell wall extensibility of young growing leaves of four chalk downland (i.e., southern) herbs in England. The plants were Sanguisorba minor Scop. (common name burnet, a plant of the rose family) Lotus corniculatus L. (birds-foot trefoil, in the legume family) Anthyllis vulneraria L. (kidney vetch or woundwort from its ancient use in healing wounds, also in the legume family) and Plantago media L. (hoary plantain in the plantain family). Elevated CO2 has contrasting effects on leaf growth when the four plants are grown together. The leaves of herbs such as S. minor show large, positive responses to CO2 and may increase at the expense of some legumes such as A. vulneraria, a species for which they found only small effects of elevated CO2 on leaf...

Trap Function

The trap is brought into action when a small aquatic animal brushes by one of the sensitive trigger hairs around the opening, or when the trap is otherwise severely disturbed. Stimulation of the hairs apparently releases an electrical action potential that in turn causes relaxation of the velum and thus frees the larger door to suddenly flip back into the interior of the trap be

Thermal Radiometry

There are several techniques to probe the amount of energy stored by plants by measuring the heat evolved upon illumination (Malkin and Canaani, 1994). In general, these techniques can be termed thermal radiometry, though the details of each techniques are quite different. The principles involved in assaying the energy storage from heat emission are very similar to those for the fluorescence measurements (see sections IV. A, B, C and D). When photosynthetic centers are in their active states, they can convert a fraction of the energy in absorbed photons into stored electrochemical work, but when they are blocked, the energy of the absorbed photons is lost via several competing pathways, e.g. fluorescence, non-radiative relaxation (heat), triplet formation, recombination.


Theanine is an amino acid found in high concentrations in green tea. Theanine can pass through the brain-blood barrier and may play an agonist or an antagonist of some receptors. Research has shown that L-theanine supplementation does provide some relaxing effects possibly by increasing levels of GABA and serotonin.60 A small study showed that administration of 200 mg of L-theanine increased alpha brain wave activity and induced a sense of relaxation.61 L-theanine is also known to block the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain. A double-blind placebo-controlled study showed that L-theanine intake resulted in a reduction in the heart rate and salivary immunoglobulin A responses to an acute stress task compared to the placebo group, likely attributable to an attenuation of sympathetic nervous activation suggesting anti-stress activity of theanine.62 Using animal models, L-theanine has been shown to cause dopamine release from dopaminergic neurons and may...

Energy Transfer

Be able to resolve the subsequent inter-pigment energy-transfer steps. Information on these different energy-transfer processes has followed the progress in the development of ultra fast laser technology. The energy-transfer reactions take place on the femtosecond to picosecond time-scale. Now, with the advent of laser systems with excitation pulses as short as a few femtoseconds, it is possible to time-resolve the individual energy- transfer events that occur between absorption of a photon by LH2 and the arrival of that energy at the RC. Figure 14.6 shows a model for the photosynthetic unit of a typical purple bacterium with the times of all of the Bchl a to Bchl a energy transfer steps indicated. When a Bchl a molecule absorbs a photon, the excited singlet state can last for 1-2 ns before the energy is lost and the Bchl a molecule returns to the ground state. The energy-transfer reactions must be faster than the relaxation to the ground state to be efficient. When a B800 molecule in...

Natural Progesterone

Progesterone is commonly prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms, abnormal uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, endometrial hyperplasia, and infertility. Progesterone causes uterine smooth-muscle relaxation.57 Low levels of progesterone can cause a relative estrogen excess excessive estrogen is implicated in endometriosis. Thus, a clinical trial of progesterone therapy in conjunction with immunologic and inflammatory modulation of the internal biochemical milieu appears to be a rational approach to treating endometriosis.

The Physiology Of No

NO has several physiologic functions. One particularly significant role concerns the relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. Endothelium-derived relaxing factor, which is either identical or closely related to NO, is produced by the endothelial cells. Rapid blood flow through the arteries causes induction of the enzyme, increasing NO availability. The presence of NO activates the enzyme guanylate cyclase, causing an increase in cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This leads to relaxation of the vascular smooth muscle and, thus, vasodilation. Bradykinin and acetylcholine also can stimulate NO release from the endothelial cells. The ability of NO to decrease platelet aggregation and adhesion is also significant for cardiovascular health.5 New studies have suggested that NO also plays a role in lipid metabolism regulation.6


Magnesium and calcium play various roles in pulmonary structure and function. A magnesium deficiency leads to an enhanced action of calcium being that magnesium acts as a calcium antagonist. This is notable in patients with asthma as a result of an intracellular influx of calcium causing bronchial smooth-muscle contraction with magnesium deficiency.26 Myo-genically induced action potentials and autonomic neurotransmitters can alter cytosolic calcium concentration. Increased action potentials will lead to higher cytosolic calcium concentrations, causing greater cross-bridge activity. Likewise, intracellular magnesium can modulate smooth-muscle contractions and inhibit calcium uptake directly, allowing for smooth-muscle relaxation. Magnesium works as a smooth-muscle relaxant, of which the micromusculature surrounding the bronchioles is comprised. Theoretically, inadequate magnesium levels may contribute to asthma exacerbations.27 It is of interest to note that, while overall calcium...

Rapid Light Curves

Basically, using RLCs, the fluorometer determines the effective quantum yield at the end of a series of short (10 s) actinic light exposures. As light increases, the effective quantum yield decreases as NPQ increases. Since qE, the major component of NPQ (see above) is related the activity of the xantho-phyll cycle (Demmig-Adams and Adams, 1993) the RLC will depend on the light history (Hader et al., 1998) and genetic type of the tissue studied. Shade plants tend to entrain the xanthophyll cycle less actively than sun plants. In turn, sun plants take a period of up to several hours to entrain the xanthophyll cycle. Thus, the degree to which an RLC will reflect xanthophyll cycle activity (and NPQ) will depend on the type of tissue used, its previous light history and the (dark) relaxation time of the xanthophyll cycle in the given tissue. Care also has to be taken to avoid effects of state transitions, which fortunately are fairly small in higher plants (Larkum, 2003).


Theanine is an amino acid found in high concentrations in green tea. Theanine can pass through the brain-blood barrier and may act as an agonist or an antagonist of some receptors. Research has shown that L-theanine supplementation does provide some relaxing effects, possibly by increasing levels of GABA and serotonin.15 A small study showed that administration of 200 mg of L-theanine increased alpha brain wave activity and induced a sense of relaxation.16 L-theanine is also known to block the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that L-theanine intake resulted in a reduction in heart rate and salivary immunoglobulin A responses to an acute stress task, compared to the placebo group, likely attributable to an attenuation of sympathetic nervous activation suggesting antistress activity of theanine.17 Using animal models, L-theanine has been shown to cause dopamine release from dopaminergic neurons, and may...

Botanical Medicines

Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) is a botanical used for mild relaxing properties and is used traditionally for addressing symptoms such as insomnia, depression, restlessness, and nervousness. Preparations of Lavender are frequently derived from the plant oil for inhalation, and internal ingestion is contraindicated. The constituents of lavender oil lead to relaxation and decreased alertness when inhaled.38 Inhalation of lavender oil may decrease symptoms of anxiety in manic patients.


It has been recognised since the late 1980s that the climate changes being experienced in parts of Antarctica are likely to lead to clear responses in these simple terrestrial ecosystems (Roberts 1989 Smith and Steenkamp 1990 Voytek 1990). As has happened globally, this recognition has encouraged the development of a predictive literature (e.g. Adamson and Adamson 1992 Wynn-Wil-liams 1994, 1996 Kennedy 1995a Convey 1997 Walton et al. 1997 Bergstrom and Chown 1999 Smith 2003 Frenot et al. 2005), addressing potential consequences for microbial groups, invertebrate fauna, flora, colonisation and ecosystem level processes. As a very broad generalisation, changes in two of the three major environmental variables (temperature, water) lead to predictions of positive responses in indigenous Antarctic biota, essentially through relaxation of current abiotic constraints on biological activity (Kennedy 1995a Convey 2003). However, they are also predicted to lead to an increase in colonisation by...

Electron Transfer

Finally, protein dynamics also play a role in the electron transfer process, although direct measurement of the dynamics has been experimentally difficult. By monitoring the tryptophan absorption change, which is a marker of protein relaxation in the reaction center, the dynamics associated with the initial transfer of the electron from the bacteriochlorophyll dimer to the bacteriopheophytin have been shown to modulate the initial rate of electron transfer 61 .

Relaxation Audio Sounds Autumn In The Forest

Relaxation Audio Sounds Autumn In The Forest

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