F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL:
What is an Osteopathic Physician and what type of training do they receive?
What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)?
What conditions can Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine treat?
What is Cranial Osteopathy?
What is Biodynamics?
What is the difference between a DO and an MD?
What is the difference between a DO and a Chiropractor?
What is the difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy?

TREATMENT:
Does Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine have a role in the treatment of infants, children, pregnant women, and the elderly?
What will happen during my initial and follow-up appointments?
What happens during an Osteopathic Treatment?
What should I expect after a treatment? Are there side effects?
What should I do/not do after a treatment?
What should I wear to my appointment?
Do you recommend therapeutic exercises?
Do you discuss nutrition and the use of natural supplements?
Are there any contraindications to the use of Osteopathic treatment?

PRACTICE:
Does your office accept insurance?
Do you accept patients with workman’s comp or motor vehicle injuries?
Are you accepting new patients?
Can you be my Primary Care physician?
Are there educational opportunities at your office?
What are your office hours?
How do I contact your office?
How do I find your office?

 

GENERAL (top)

What is an Osteopathic Physician and what type of training do they receive?

DO’s are fully licensed in all 50 states to practice the full spectrum of Medical and Surgical specialties. Their training includes the completion of 4 years of Osteopathic medical school, covering the same standard training in the basic sciences and clinical medicine as is found in an MD medical education program. In addition, DO medical students complete another 500 hours of training and study in anatomy and manual medicine.

Successful completion of this curriculum leads to a Doctor of Osteopathy degree (D.O.). After medical school, the DO can pursue Internship and Residency training in any of the medical or surgical specialties.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Osteopathy page.

 

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)?

To clarify, OMM is referred to by a number of different terms by Osteopathic physicians, such as Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) and Osteopathic Diagnosis and Treatment (ODT). Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) refers to the manual modalities used in applying the principles of OMM. The term Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (NMM) refers to the Osteopathic board which certifies DO’s in OMM.

After medical school, the DO can pursue Internship and Residency training in any of the medical or surgical specialties, as well as in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine. After a 3 year NMM residency, the DO can apply for Board Certification by the American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine. This process is one of the most comprehensive board exams in either profession, including written, oral, and practical examinations.

OMM involves the use of a hands-on approach to treating healthcare issues. One of the underlying Principles involved is that as the structure of the body approaches its normal state of balance and freedom of motion, it will also approach its optimal ability to function normally. OMM addresses restrictions in all of the tissues, fluids, organs, and physiologic systems of the body.

There are a wide variety of modalities of OMM, which range from very gentle to more vigorous approaches, but all are applied with very little force. Whatever techniques are used, we are still looking for the Health within our patients and are working to support their innate capacity for healing. Therefore, we will always apply treatment with respect for your comfort and for the needs of your system.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Osteopathy page.

 

What conditions can Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine treat?

Osteopathic care addresses the full spectrum of a patient’s Healthcare concerns. This means that OMM is intended to be used as an integral part of the Osteopathic physician’s treatment program in the management of any Healthcare issue. These may include chronic ear infections, Irritable Bowel Disease, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, asthma and all issues related to care of pregnant women and newborns.

OMM can often play a significant role in helping a patient to achieve their optimal state of healing. In many situations, OMM is an important factor in a patient’s healing process. Sometimes, it is “the” crucial intervention necessary for Healing.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Treatment page.

 

 What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial Osteopathy was discovered by William Garner Sutherland, DO, a student of Andrew Taylor Still. The key concept was that there is, within each person, a presence he called the Breath of Life, something potent and Intelligent, which guides the living human mechanism within us.

Treatment in this model involves a gentle hands-on approach to free the areas of the body in which motion has become restricted, including the cranium, to allow this innate healing presence to express its “Unerring Potency”.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Cranial Osteopathy page.

 

What is Biodynamics?

The Biodynamic View of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field was developed by James Jealous, DO. This model is based upon the principles of embryology, where Dr. Jealous found that the forces of growth and development, as well as those of healing, originated in the forces of embryologic development. This insight opened the door for the Osteopath to more easily recognize and perceive this living mechanism and to more fully cooperate with its intention in the moment. These treatments also involve a gentle approach which respects the fact that treatment is the prerogative of a perfect and loving Intelligence within the patient.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Biodynamics page.

 

What is the difference between a DO and an MD?

Osteopathic training includes the study of all branches of medicine and surgery that are part of an MD’s training, as well as up to 500 hours of additional training in manual diagnosis and treatment. Today, there are more than 50,000 osteopathic physicians in the United States whose practices cover the entire range of specialties, such as emergency medicine, neurosurgery, cardiology, and psychiatry.

Although all DO’s are trained to use Osteopathic Diagnosis and Treatment, they can also choose to specialize in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine for which Board Certification became available in 1990. For specialists in OMM, advanced training is offered by various organizations within the profession.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the DO’s Vs MD’s page.

 

What is the difference between a DO and a Chiropractor?

The primary differences between an Osteopathic physician and a chiropractor are their level of training and the scope of their practices. A chiropractor is not a licensed physician and has not completed residency training in a hospital. The scope of chiropractic practice is defined by statute as “including the diagnosing and locating of misaligned or displaced vertebrae and, through manual manipulation and adjustment of the spine and other skeletal structures, treating disorders of the human body. The practice of chiropractic does not include the use of drugs or surgery, or the practice of osteopathy, obstetrics, or any other branch of medicine”.

Chiropractic is primarily concerned with normalizing the alignment of the spine to influence the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is based upon the principle that the human body possesses self healing/self regulating mechanisms that are the source of true healing. The focus in treatment, therefore, goes beyond simple spinal alignment, to deal directly with the abnormal body physiology using an array of direct and indirect techniques.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the DO’s Vs DC’s page.

 

What is the difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy?

The primary and most significant difference between the practice of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field and Craniosacral therapy is the level of training of the practitioner. William Garner Sutherland, DO, introduced his Cranial Concept in 1929. Dr. Sutherland saw Cranial Osteopathy as a modality of diagnosis and treatment to be provided by licensed physicians as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. As such, it is not merely a therapy, but an integral part of the physician’s overall management of their patient’s Healthcare.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is described as a “light touch therapy” that can be provided by a practitioner with as little as 8 days of training by the Upledger Institute.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the DO’s Vs CST’s page.

 

TREATMENT (top)

If you would like to learn more about these topics, please see the Treatment page

Does Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine have a role in the treatment of infants, children, pregnant women, and the elderly?

Osteopathic treatment is gentle, safe, and, most importantly, effective. It is appropriate for all patients, including children, the elderly, patients with debilitating illnesses and those who have suffered significant trauma, including recent surgery.

 

What will happen during my initial and follow-up appointments?

Initial visits can last up to one hour and follow-up visits up to 30 minutes. After a thorough history is obtained, the patient receives an Osteopathic structural and functional examination. The patient is then usually treated while lying on their back and occasionally in a seated position. Accommodations are always made to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

 

What happens during an Osteopathic Treatment?

Treatment involves a gentle hands-on approach to free the areas of the body in which motion has become restricted. During the treatments, patients may sense a deep state of relaxation.
Since Osteopathy is a holistic science that recognizes the inter-relatedness of all body structures and systems, your physician may make contact with areas of your body that you do not associate with your injury or pain. These may include your feet, your tailbone, your head, or any area which is revealed to be part of the Healing process.

 

What should I expect after a treatment? Are there side effects?

Typically, patients feel very relaxed and peaceful after a treatment. Occasionally patients experience one or two days of feeling tired or mildly sore. This is normal and can indicate that the treatment process is continuing. These symptoms typically are mild and respond easily to conservative measures such as heat, rest, and fluids. In the unlikely event that they are severe or persistent, we recommend that you contact our office or the covering physician. 

 

What should I do/not do after a treatment?

Because Osteopathic treatment alters the dynamics of tensions held by the tissues and fluids, we recommend that patients “take it easy” for the first two to three days after each treatment.

 

What should I wear to my appointment?

Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, or bring some with you, when possible. For women, pants are preferred. Please refrain from perfumes and strong fragrances.

 

Do you recommend therapeutic exercises?

Yes. Each of our physicians recognizes the importance of therapeutic exercise in healing and commonly recommends home exercise programs, although each physician’s program may vary in its emphasis and features. Participating in an exercise program is often a crucial factor in a patient’s ability to realize their fullest healing potential.

 

Do you discuss nutrition and the use of natural supplements?

Proper nutrition is essential in allowing our systems to reach their full potential in growth and development, as well as in healing. Your osteopath may also recommend any of a variety of other complementary healthcare modalities as part of your overall treatment plan, such as dietary changes, nutritional supplements, homeopathy or therapeutic exercises.

 

Are there any contraindications to the use of Osteopathic treatment?

There are rarely, if ever, contraindications to the use of Osteopathic treatment, even though there may be a particular technique that might not be appropriate for an individual patient based upon their condition or their preferences. Even patients with serious illnesses or structural instabilities can be treated effectively and safely.

PRACTICE (top)

If you would like to learn more about these topics, please see the Our Practice page .

 

Does your office accept insurance?

We participate, as specialists, with most major insurance companies. We do not accept Medicaid or Maine Care.

 

Do you accept patients with Workman’s Comp or Motor Vehicle injuries?

Yes, we do treat patients with these types of injuries. Please see the Our Practice page for further information about our policies regarding these appointments.

 

Are you accepting new patients?

We are accepting new patients. The practice naturally goes through cycles when the waiting time for getting a first appointment can be shorter or longer, which makes it difficult to predict how long you might have to wait for the appointment. We do have a waiting list and 4 physicians so, if you are flexible, the waiting time can often be minimized.

Once a patient is established in the practice, follow up appointments are usually easier to schedule. We make every effort to find appointments in a timely fashion, however, acute trauma patients, pregnant women, and children, especially newborns, are given priority.

 

Can you be my primary care physician?

No. Our practice is a subspecialty practice devoted to consultations for the use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in the management of the full spectrum of a patient’s Healthcare concerns. Although we are fully licensed physicians, our practice does not include the performance of routine annual examinations or the primary management of medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or the prescription and supervision of medications traditionally used for their treatment. We do work with PCPs and other specialists and will communicate with them to provide you with the most comprehensive and coordinated treatment program.

 

Are there educational opportunities at your office?

We are active in the study and teaching of Osteopathy and its insights into non-invasive health care. We welcome our Osteopathic and Allopathic colleagues, whether students, residents or attendings, who have demonstrated initiative in pursuing the principles and practice of traditional Osteopathic practice through advanced study and course work. We generally prefer to limit rotations at OHM to several half days over a 1 – 2 week period. Month long rotations are available on a limited basis.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Rotations at OHM page.

 

What are your office hours?

Our usual office hours are 8- 5:30, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are also occasionally open on Wednesday mornings.

 

How do I contact your office?

Appointments may be scheduled by contacting us at (207) 781-7900. Our address is 98 Clearwater Drive Falmouth, ME 04105.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please see the Contact page.