Control Yourself and Get Healthy

May 13, 2013 Updated May 13, 2013 at 8:07 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
May 13, 2013 Updated May 13, 2013 at 8:07 AM EDT

Lewiston, N.Y. (WKBW) - Jim Abbondanza has been developing a method of changing the way your brain functions through a method he calls "biofeedback".

"Your brain and neurons can learn and re-learn on many different levels," Abbondanza said.

Abbondanza is a former Psychology Professor in Lewiston. He said the brain is changing all the time as you learn new things. For years, he has been developing a method of altering parts of your brain that function automatically, such as blood pressure.

"We have instruments that would evaluate exactly what you are doing when you are hooked up to the instruments," Abbondanza said.

Once you know your blood pressure or temperature, for example, then the computers track when it goes up or down with different activities. Jim hooked me up to what they call a biofeedback computer. It showed my temperature rising, which means I was relaxed. As soon as they asked me a difficult math question, my temperature started to drop, showing I was getting a bit stressed. Then, I calmed myself down by making a joke about my poor math skills. Jim says that I did, in fact, control my blood flow.

"You'd be able to control the various elements that you couldn't before because you didn't have any feedback or conscious feedback," Abbondanza said.

This research has help people with migraines stop the onset of their headaches.

"We train an individual to increase the flow of blood into their hands, that decrease the amount of blood flowing in to their head," Abbondanza said.

A lot of Jim's research has been with children. Biofeedback has been shown to improve behaviors in children with Attention Deficit Disorder. It he said it also helps with children's overall mindset.

"Having control over these disorders gives the children a sense of confidence," Abbondanza said.

Abbondanza said these changes take time. Those involved could practice months before seeing results. He said once you can control these parts of your brain, you will see an overall improvement in your health.