September marks the 118th anniversary of the first chiropractic practice, originating in Davenport, Iowa.

For chiropractic doctor Arthur Klein, this month also marks the 20th anniversary of his New Milford business, Family First Chiropractic & Wellness Center.

Located in Lore's Plaza on Danbury Road, the center is staffed by Klein and his wife, Hillary Stern, the office manager and food counselor.

Klein said he doesn't treat conditions like asthma or psychiatric disorders.

He does claim, however, that through chiropractic adjustments, he has helped patients diagnosed with asthma reduce their inhaler use and young patients diagnosed with attention deficit disorder to avoid taking Ritalin.

"Chiropractic care does not treat illness or disease," Klein said. "It helps to normalize and maximize nerve and brain function so the body's natural healing abilities can function at their best.

"It is a health care, not a sickness care."

Klein holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from City College of New York's York College and a doctor of chiropractics degree from New York Chiropractic College.

He practiced in New York for 13 years before opening his New Milford office.

Klein treats "weekend warriors to high school athletes."

Many start coming to him because of a malady, then continue with regular sessions to optimize their performance, he said.

"Because chiropractic care prevents injuries, optimizes performance and uses no medications, it is widely used by Olympic athletes," Klein said. "Chiropractors have been required to be part of the U.S. Olympic health care team since 1970."

Linda Malarkey, a marathon runner and New Milford mom of four children, started going to Klein to "maintain efficiency" in running.

When Klein learned of the asthma condition of her son, Zachary Belisle, he suggested working with the then 12-year-old.

"Prior to going to Dr. Klein, Zachary was taking medication twice a day and was on an inhaler," Malarkey said. "That was over a year ago and now he doesn't need either."

Stern attended a natural gourmet cooking school in New York City specializing in "health-supportive cuisine," she said. Her studies included nutrition as well as meal preparation.

"I help people pick, plan and prepare delicious foods for a healthier lifestyle," said Stern, a vegetarian. "I encourage people to eat more plant-based foods. I focus on plant-based because most people already know how to prepare animal-based protein sources.

"A lot of diseases can be minimized or reduced by healthy eating. Think of your plate as a painter's pallet and make a beautiful color arrangement."

Family First Chiropractic & Wellness Center is at 145 Danbury Road Route 7 South in New Milford.

Office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information or appointments, call 860-350-2225.

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