FAQs About Osteopathy

What is an osteopathic physician and what type of training do they receive?

Doctors of osteopathy (DOs) are licensed in all 50 states to practice the full spectrum of medical and surgical specialties. DO training includes four years of osteopathic medical school—the same curriculum of basic sciences and clinical medicine as an allopathic (MD) medical education. In addition, osteopathic medical students complete 500 hours in anatomy and manual medicine.

What is osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM)?
Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) is what differentiates DOs from MDs. It’s our specialty at OHM. OMM is a hands-on treatment approach that addresses restrictions in all of the body’s tissues, fluids, organs, and physiologic systems. It’s gentle, safe, and effective for all types of patients, including newborns and young children; the elderly; patients with debilitating illnesses; and those who have suffered significant trauma, including recent surgery.
What conditions can osteopathic manipulative medicine treat?
OMM can help with numerous conditions, including chronic ear infections, irritable bowel disease, high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, as well as many immune system, obstetric, and pediatric issues.
What is cranial osteopathy?
The key to cranial osteopathy, as described by William Garner Sutherland, DO, is that within each person is a presence he called the “breath of life,” a potent and intelligent force that guides the living human mechanism. Treatment in this model involves a gentle hands-on approach to free areas of the body in which motion has become restricted, including the cranium, to allow this innate healing presence to express its “unerring potency.”
What is biodynamics?
The biodynamic view of osteopathy in the cranial field, developed by James Jealous, DO, is based on the principles of embryology, in which the forces of growth and development, as well as those of healing, originate in embryologic development. This insight has opened the door for osteopaths to more easily recognize and perceive this living mechanism and to more fully cooperate with its intention in the moment.
What is the difference between a DO and an MD?

DOs and MDs are licensed physicians. DOs are guided by the principles of osteopathy. MDs are guided by those of allopathic medicine. The difference between MDs and DOs is that in addition to four years of medical school, DOs receive training in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). Osteopathic physicians work in a wide range of specialties, including emergency medicine, neurosurgery, cardiology, and psychiatry. Many, like the physicians at OHM, choose to specialize in OMM for which board certification became available in 1990.

What is the difference between a DO and a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are not fully licensed medical doctors, and are not required to have completed residency training in a hospital. Chiropractors and DOs practicing hands-on osteopathy differ in many ways—level of training, scope of practice, and approach to treatment. While chiropractors focus exclusively on spinal alignment, DOs are concerned with systemic movement and restoration of health.
What is the difference between cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy?

There are significant differences between osteopathy in the cranial field (OCF) and craniosacral therapy (CST). Cranial osteopaths are licensed physicians, trained in anatomy, physiology, health, and disease states. OCF is a modality for diagnosis and treatment provided as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of light-touch bodywork developed by an osteopath as a tool for massage therapists and other bodyworkers. CST courses are open to anyone—medical background or not—and there are no national standards or regulations. The technique can be practiced with as little as four days’ training.

FAQs About Treatment

What will happen during my initial and follow-up appointments?
On your initial visit we’ll take a history, and you’ll receive a targeted physical exam, as well as an osteopathic structural and functional exam. Your first appointment may last up to one hour and follow-up visits up to 30 minutes.
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. You may enter a deep state of relaxation. 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, including your feet, tailbone, or head, that you do not associate with your injury or pain.
What should I expect after a treatment? Are there side effects?
Typically, patients feel very relaxed and peaceful after a treatment. Some patients experience one or two days of feeling tired or mildly sore. This is normal and can indicate that the treatment process is continuing. Any symptoms should respond easily to conservative measures such as heat, rest, and fluids.
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 loose, comfortable clothing. For women, loose-fitting pants or leggings are preferred. Please refrain from wearing perfumes and strong fragrances.
Do you recommend therapeutic exercises?
Exercise is often a crucial factor in a patient’s ability to realize their fullest healing potential. Our physicians commonly recommend home exercise programs, tailored to patients’ needs.
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 doctor may recommend dietary changes or nutritional supplements as part of your overall treatment plan.

FAQs About Our Practice


Please email your completed questionnaire to studentrotations@osteohealthme.com.

Does your office accept insurance?
We participate, as specialists, with most major insurance companies. We do not accept Medicaid or MaineCare.
Are you accepting new patients?

Yes. The practice naturally goes through cycles in which the waiting time for your first appointment can fluctuate. We will make every effort to schedule your appointment as soon as possible

Can you be my primary care physician?

No. OHM is a subspecialty practice, providing osteopathic manipulative treatment. Our physicians, while fully licensed, do not perform routine annual examinations or primary management of medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. We work with primary care physicians and other specialists to provide you with a coordinated, comprehensive treatment plan.

Are there educational opportunities at your office?

Yes. Our physicians are active in continuing studies, as well as teaching OMM principles and insights into non-invasive healthcare. We welcome our osteopathic and allopathic colleagues (medical students, residents, and attendings) who wish to pursue these principles in their practice.