Frequently Asked Questions

Osteopathy is a complete system of medicine, and is therefore applicable to almost all diseases, whether as a primary treatment or complement to other modalities. In hospitals, it is used to treat infections, speed post-operative recovery times, facilitate weaning from breathing machines, and more.

In an outpatient setting, people most often come in for pain:

  • Back and neck pain – new or longstanding, sciatica, bulging discs, pinched nerves, lifting injuries, muscle strains
  • Headaches – migraines, tension headaches, post-concussion symptoms
  • Arthritis – knees, hips, hands, shoulders, etc
  • Rheumatologic conditions – rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia
  • Connective tissue disorders – Ehlers Danlos

It can also be very helpful in pregnancy

  • Low back pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Pelvic and round ligament pain
  • Acid reflux

And in treating babies and children

  • Torticollis
  • Colic, reflux, and other GI issues
  • Plagiocephaly  
  • Latching/sucking problems
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Scoliosis
  • Toe-walking
  • Strabismus and amblyopia
  • Asthma 
There are two degrees in the United States which confer full practice rights to physicians. These are Medical Doctor (MD) and Doctor of Osteopathy (DO.) The training is almost identical, and the residency system is shared, so there are DOs in all specialties from pediatrics to brain surgery. DOs tend to think more holistically and are about twice as likely as MDs to do primary care. The only significant difference in our schooling is that DOs get 100+ hours of training in Osteopathic Philosophy and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), how to diagnose and treat disease with our hands. However, after medical school, only about 20% of DOs continue to use those skills, and a smaller fraction will focus exclusively on this “manual medicine.” 

Chiropractics is an approach to musculoskeletal problems which focuses primarily on the spine, and the alignment of the vertebrae to regulate the nervous system. Osteopathy is a comprehensive system of medicine based on the removal of strain and restriction in all the tissues and organs of the body to allow the inherent forces of health (breath, arterial supply, lymphatic drainage, etc) to do their work. Chiropractors most commonly use “high velocity” thrust techniques (“cracking”) while DOs tend to use more gentle techniques. Chiropractors complete 4 years of chiropractic school. DOs are fully licensed physicians who complete 4 years of medical school and 3+ years of residency caring for patients in hospitals and outpatient settings. 

As one of my patients put it, “Chiropractors are like an X-ray, and DOs are an MRI.” I like this because sometimes all you need is an X-ray, in which case you can save yourself the time and expense of an MRI. Other more complex issues require higher levels of care and diagnostic detail.

I practice Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, which Craniosacral Therapy is derived from.

William Garner Sutherland, DO developed the idea that the bones of the skull have palpable motion and can be subject to osteopathic principles of treatment. He  developed courses to propagate his ideas which he always contextualized within osteopathy and the treatment of the whole body, calling it  “Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.”

John Upledger trained in these courses and then began his own institute to train non-physicians in protocol-based treatments of the head and sacrum, calling it “Craniosacral Therapy.” Some DOs are very salty about this. I am not one of them. Given that CST practitioners are much more numerous (and affordable) than DOs who use cranial techniques, I am grateful to them for making a form of this potent treatment more accessible.

I also believe that people with more complex problems or multiple medical conditions can benefit from practitioners with more comprehensive training like DOs.

I’m flattered, but unfortunately no. Because there are many doctors doing primary care, and so few doing this kind of work, I decided to become a specialist and devote myself entirely to manual medicine.
Sadly, for-profit private insurance companies make it almost impossible for small private practices to get reimbursed for their services. I therefore do not accept any insurance. I instead offer a very wide sliding scale, and give my patients an invoice for each treatment which can be submitted to their insurance companies for reimbursement, credit toward a deductible, or use of FSA/HSA funds. See my rates page for more information, Also consider joining Put People First or other organizations fighting for Medicare for All.
Great question! Check out my services page for information.