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by Dr. Mallika Marshall
BOSTON (WBZ) ¯
During softball games, Newton freshman Sophie Bell focuses on getting her opponents out. But just a few years ago, she couldn't concentrate on that or anything else.
"School was getting more difficult and she was having a harder time keeping up," said mother Megara Bell.
Sophie started taking medication, the most accepted treatment for attention deficit disorder. But there were side effects.
"All I remember was being really shakey," said Sophie.
Sophie's family wanted an alternative so they turned to Dr. Martin Rosen, a Wellesley chiropractor.
Rosen believes ADHD can start with a misalignment in the spine which affects the body's balance and ultimately how the brain functions.
"It's irritating, so they start to move and they start to fidget in their seat. The system starts to fire off nerve endings and the constant firing will look very much like hyperactivity," said Dr. Rosen.
In many patients, chiropractic adjustments can solve the problem.
"Just clearing out the nervous system imbalance will allow the brain to reboot itself," adds Rosen.
Megara Bell noticed a difference immediately.
Within months of starting chiropractic treatment, Sophie was able to stay focused on homework and stop taking her medication completely.
"I was on task and doing things...and I felt really great," said Sophie.
More studies are now being done on this alternative treatment.
Best-selling author and ADHD expert Ned Hallowell says he's open to new options.
"What I say to my patients is look, I'll learn along with you. As long as it's safe and it's legal, let's look into it," said Dr. Hallowell.
Sophie and her family can't believe the results.
"It was not just the difference in school, it was the difference in all the other things that she does. She does have her guitar and practices every day which I think is amazing," said Megara.
Treatments vary from patient to patient but they usually start with several sessions a week for six weeks. Sophie only needs periodic maintenance adjustments.
Chiropractic treatment is covered by health insurance.
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