LANCASTER, Pa. (WTAJ) — Brain injuries can be among the most life altering injuries someone can suffer, but a former athlete and Penn State graduate knows first hand how bad the side effects can be.
Matt Roda suffered a concussion while playing hockey in high school and he had lingering effects for many years.
“I had headaches and vision problems for years,” said Roda. “I had to miss at least three months of schooling back in high school where I was on and off in a couple classes and so very severe situation for my case –but having gone through that personally taught me what the extreme end of it looks like and gave me a lot of knowledge in starting Reflexion.”
His company Reflexion, based out of Lacaster, PA focuses on brain health and gives athletes ways to retrain their brain, protect it, and heal it in a way that medicine would never be able to help. Roda says head injuries can lead to a loss in communication between some areas of the brain and that the brain will try to overcompensate to restore it.
“In a concussion that pathway might be blocked and so the brain will rather than stopping the communication entirely will create a divergent path and will take a longer route around the injured area to still be able to communicate,” Roda said. “But even after the injury is healed, the brain doesn’t change its new longer more efficient route.”
That’s where Reflexion comes in. The program will design multiple hands on exercises to help retrain the brain.
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“All of the exercises look like usually around 30 to 60 second drills where you’re interacting with different targets and colors,” said Roda. “So it could be a whole bunch of things from memorizing patterns, reacting quickly before a target blows up. Anything like that where we’re looking at cognitive challenges.”
In turn the brain is forced to re-learn paths of communication, sometimes even those that were lost.
“Lights and patterns will interact and you’re trying to either chase a target or hunt down certain objects and interact with them before something happens or it could even be a memory drill where patterns appear repeat the pattern after its disappeared.”
Despite being based out of Lancaster, Reflexion is able to help all sorts of clients throughout the world and you don’t need to be in Lancaster to join the program. You can get equipment sent to your home to do the exercises.