Calcium uptake by mitochondria makes heart beat harder in fight-or-flight response

In a life-threatening situation, the heart beats faster and harder, invigorated by the fight-or-flight response, which instantaneously prepares a person to react or run. Now, a new study by researchers at Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) shows that the uptick in heart muscle contractility that occurs under acute stress is driven by a flood of calcium into mitochondria–the cells’ energy-producing powerhouses.

Researchers have long known that calcium enters mitochondria in heart muscle cells, but the physiological role of that process was unclear. “The function of mitochondrial calcium uptake during stress generally was linked to the collapse of energy production and cell death,” explained John W. Elrod, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and at the Center for Translational Medicine at TUSM, and senior investigator on the new study, which appears June 25 in the journal Cell Reports.

“We show, however, that in periods of acute stress, increased calcium uptake by mitochondria in the heart functions in ways that are good and bad: during the fight-or-flight response, it provides the necessary energetic support for the heart, but during a heart attack, it leads to the death of large numbers of heart cells,” Dr. Elrod said.

Timothy S. Luongo et al. The Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Matches Energetic Supply with Cardiac Workload during Stress and Modulates Permeability Transition. Cell Reports, June 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.06.017

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“Gate of Heaven”: The Point on Your Body That Erases Stress and Headaches - Women Daily Magazine
You can solve indigestion, headaches, insomnia and nervousness with simply pressing this point on your body. This point is called “Shen Men” and by pressing it you’ll make your stress and headaches disappear. “Shen Men” is actually a Chinese method of acupressure that stimulates your body to relax and to relieve stress. Pressing this anti-stress point on your body will increase your energy, reduce stress, boost your immune system and reduce pain. The “Shen Men” point is located on the upper part of the inner ear and with the slight rubbing it becomes active. Instruction for The “Shen Men” Massage

FREE HORTICULTURAL THERAPY FOR STUDENTS LIVING WITH MENTAL HEALTH STRESS IN TORONTO

RyeACCESS and the Good Food Centre are holding a free community gardening and outdoorsy support group this summer at Ryerson University! 

Who we are: RyeACCESS is the equity centre for students with disabilities at Ryerson, challenging ableism, sanism, and audism on campus. The Good Food Centre works to reduce the impacts of food insecurity for all Ryerson community members.

What the program offers: Gardening, creative arts, meditation, discussions, and workshops depending on what participants want.

Who can participate: Any Toronto student who lives with mental health stress. We recognize the following terms: mad, consumer/survivor/user, mentally ill, crazy, neurodivergent, brainweird, and other similar terms.

What students will get: a place to de-stress, connect with each other and resources, learn skills, and chill out. Meals and TTC tokens will be provided.

Our first session is this Saturday. We will be developing community guidelines for a safer space together. All locations will be wheelchair-accessible and sober scent-free spaces. If you’d like to know more, please contact access@rsuonline.ca. And please signal boost <3

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Adult Coloring Books.

These are coloring books that are made to relax, relieve stress, and get your mind started to help creativity. They’re all $14.99, without shipping and tax as that will depend on where you live. Here is a page from each of the books that the website mombooks shows of the books.

Anti-Stress Coloring Book Page:

Art Therapy Coloring Book Page:

Creativity Therapy Coloring Book Page:

Here are the links:

Art Therapy Coloring Book

Creativity Therapy Coloring book

Anti-Stress Coloring Book

I have the anti-stress coloring book and it’s great! I love the drawings. Many of the pages already have a bit of color printed on, but there is still plenty of room to color. They leave some large empty spaces on a few pages to let you draw out things that you’d like. The front and back cover of the book are very thick and hard to help with coloring, so the page won’t warp on a soft surface like a bed or couch. They did a really good job on the books, and they are made like drawing books with the front and back covers, so I’d have to say it’s a great product!

Maternal Stress Alters Offspring Gut and Brain through Vaginal Microbiome

Changes in the vaginal microbiome are associated with effects on offspring gut microbiota and on the developing brain, according to a new study published in Endocrinology, a journal of the Endocrine Society.

The neonate is exposed to the maternal vaginal microbiota during birth, providing the primary source for normal gut colonization, host immune maturation, and metabolism. These early interactions between the host and microbiota occur during a critical window of neurodevelopment, suggesting early life as an important period of cross talk between the developing gut and brain.

“Mom’s stress during pregnancy can impact her offspring’s development, including the brain, through changes in the vaginal microbiome that are passed on during vaginal birth,” said one of the study’s authors, Tracy Bale, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “As the neonate’s gut is initially populated by the maternal vaginal microbiome, changes produced by maternal stress can alter this initial microbe population as well as determine many aspects of the host’s immune system that are also established during this early period.”

In this study, researchers utilized an established mouse model of early maternal stress, which included intervals of exposure to a predator odor, restraint, and novel noise as stressors. Two days after birth, tissue was collected from the moms using vaginal lavages and maternal fecal pellets and offspring distal gut were analyzed. Offspring brains were examined to measure transport of amino acids. Researchers found stress during pregnancy was associated with disruption of maternal vaginal and offspring gut microbiota composition.

These findings demonstrate the important link between the maternal vaginal microbiome in populating her offspring’s gut at birth, and the profound effect of maternal stress experience on this microbial population and in early gut and brain development, especially in male offspring.

“These studies have enormous translational potential, as many countries are already administering oral application of vaginal lavages to c-section delivered babies to ensure appropriate microbial exposure occurs,” Bale said. “Knowledge of how maternal experiences such as stress during pregnancy can alter the vaginal microbiome is critical in determination of at-risk populations.”

Dynamics of rock arches
Ambient vibration and deformation monitoring

“Rock arches are dynamic natural features that bend, sag, sway and shake in response to a variety of environmental forcings. We measure the ambient resonance of prominent arches, as well as daily and seasonal deformation at select sites. Our goal is to understand how arches respond to changes in their environment (e.g. thermal stresses), and ultimately discern changes in internal strength over time.”

Don’t Let The Stress Get To You. Step Back, Refresh, and Begin Again.

Turn off the lights. Close the door. Light a candle if you have one. 

Leave your phone in another room. Silence it. Minimize or exit out of all your Internet tabs. Either go on 8tracks and search for a good, relaxing playlist or try this Ocean Meditation Music and/or Chill playlist I’ve been loving these days. 

Now, lay a blanket or yoga mat out on the floor. Align your body at the center. Take a DEEP breath in through your nose, and exhale with a loud sigh out through your mouth. Reach your hands above your head, and stretch out like you’re trying to grab the wall. Point your feet out at the same time, and stretch them towards the opposite wall. Hold this pose for 5-7 seconds, then release all at once as if your body’s just snapped back like a rubber band. Stay in this stillness for 15-20 seconds. 

Place your hands on your torso. One on your stomach, the other on your heart. See if you can feel your heart beating. Notice how your diaphragm rises and falls. Focus on this momentarily as you take deep, long breaths. You might be worried about a deadline (or multiple deadlines), concerned about all the errands you need to run, or stressed out about all the things you “should” do, but for this moment, focus on your breath. Inhale slowly, then exhale slowly and count one. Take another breath in. Count two as you exhale. Continue this until you’re on your fourth exhale. Then start over. Your mind will want to wander, but bring it back to the counting. If you don’t like the counting, focus on the rise and fall of your chest or the music as it fills the room. The important thing is that you allow yourself to experience the present moment as it is. 

Even if your mind wanders, don’t get agitated with yourself. It will wander. You will find yourself thinking about past events or future concerns. Gently bring yourself back to your breath and body. 

How long should you continue this exercise? That’s entirely up to you. I like to do anywhere between 7 - 30 minutes. Why 7? Well, the first few minutes are usually a struggle, especially when I’m super tense and stressed out. You’ll want to quit, but give yourself the chance to adjust to the stillness. 

One last word: You are more likely to squirm and fidget if you tell yourself, “I must be still.” You will feel relaxed, calm, refreshed, and lifted after the exercise, but only if you give yourself the space to get there. 

Rock and roll

When I look at a rock like this I find that I almost can feel the motion within. It’s like a snapshot, an action photograph that catches exactly what was happening to this rock. Can you feel the movement, the rolling of this grain?

This is a classic texture found in metamorphic rocks – this one from the Ailao-shan Red River shear zone on the edge of Tibet. As the Himalayan Mountains grew, the rocks of eastern Asia were out of the way, forming large strike-slip faults. 20 million years ago these rocks were buried deep within one of those strike-slip faults where they were warm and ductile.

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