Leslie R. Gass, D.O. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens during a visit?

Initial visits are one hour. During this time a full history (medical history, allergies, medications, etc.) is taken followed by a traditional physical exam, as well as an osteopathic structural exam. Follow-up visits last for 30 minutes. Dr. Gass is trained in all forms of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments. While she may use forceful, yet safe, movements (“cracking”) when necessary, her treatments are usually subtle and gentle. Patients often feel relaxed and you may even fall asleep during the treatment.


Typically during a visit diagnosis and treatment will occur at the same time. After a gross physical and structural exam, the patient is often asked to lie down on the table. Dr. Gass may place her hands on your feet, head or lower back area for an extended period of time. She is feeling the movements and restrictions of the inherent motions and restrictions of the tissues (muscles, bones, tissues, etc.) in the body. You may or may not feel the subtle changes/releases in the body during the treatment.


How long will it take to get better?

There is no specific answer to this question. Every problem is different and every person, even with the same problem reacts and responds differently. Each person is evaluated and treated on a case-by-case basis.  A full history and palpatory evaluation, guided by your inherent healing mechanisms, allow Dr. Gass to diagnose and formulate a treatment plan. Some problems, often acute injuries, are resolved in one to two treatments. However, more complex problems often take longer.


There is no set number of treatments. At each visit you will be reevaluated and diagnosed. Different people have different goals for treatment. Some people want to get out of immediate pain; others want to treat immediate problems, as well as older injuries. Others choose to come for preventative or maintenance treatment to prevent recurrences.


In general, the longer you have had a chronic condition and the more health problems you have, the longer it may take the body to respond. Sometimes, it may take between three or four treatments to see if the body will respond or not. At other times, people may feel better after one or two treatments.


If you are not improving after three to four treatments separated by one week intervals, then another treatment modality may be recommended.


Are there side effects?

Osteopathic manipulation is a safe modality of treatment. Side effects may include muscle achiness, fatigue or some emotional changes for a day or two after treatment.

If symptoms persist for more than a few days, contact the physician.


What should I do or not do after an Osteopathic treatment?

A treatment may go on actively for several days or even weeks after you leave the office. In general, drink plenty of water to help the body to flush out toxins that are being released from the system.


Allow yourself rest if you need it. You may be more fatigued and want more sleep or naps. Do not work out the day of the treatment. Going for relaxing walks is usually fine.


Is it covered by insurance?

Typically, there are no insurance reimbursement issues with Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. It is one of the many procedures provided by physicians. As with all procedures, please review your individual policy for the details of your coverage.

We participate with most insurances, as well as Medicare. Currently, we do not participate with Mainecare.


How are Osteopaths trained and how do they differ from MDs?

Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) are fully licensed physicians who graduate from a four-year Osteopathic medical school.  DOs and MDs often train side by side during their internships and residencies. They may be found in every specialty. In addition to covering all branches of conventional medicine and surgery, Osteopathic medical students and residents also receive 200-500 hours of training in manual diagnosis and treatment. Thus, in addition to using all standard methods of diagnosis and therapy, they also use a system of manual techniques to diagnose areas of structural dysfunction and to assist the body in receiving normal motion and balance in all its tissues and fluids. Rather than merely treating specific symptoms, DOs are more concerned with determining what is causing the imbalance and why. The foundation of their training differs from allopathic (MD) physician in its emphasis on making use of the patient’s own healing mechanisms by working with the principles of nature’s repair systems. Once the underlying causes have been diagnosed and treated, the body is then free to repair itself or to respond to other appropriate treatment.



What is the difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Cranio-Sacral treatment?

The largest difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Cranio-Sacral treatment is the training of the practitioner.


 A Cranial Osteopath is a licensed physician who has completed four years of medical school, residency training (1 to 6 years) and numerous years of additional training in this specialty. They are required to complete 120-150 hours of continuing medical education every three years.


A Cranio-Sacral therapist may have limited or no medical background. They may receive a certificate after completing one 24 hour course. No licensing or continuing education is required. 


What is the difference between an Osteopathic Physician and a Chiropractor?

 The largest difference between an Osteopathic physician and a chiropractor is the training of the practitioner.


An Osteopathic physician is a licensed physician who has completed four years of medical school, residency training (1 to 6 years) and numerous years of additional training in this specialty. They are required to complete 120-150 hours of continuing medical education every three years.


A chiropractor is not a licensed physician and has not completed residency training in a hospital.


In addition, the philosophies are different. Traditionally, chiropractic is oriented more toward manipulating specific vertebrae and making sure the spine is aligned. Osteopaths believe that it is more than just vertebral movement. Osteopaths believe that structure and function are interrelated. They work with the muscles, bones ligaments, nervous system, fluids of the body, and innate healing forces. They strive to treat the patient as a whole unit of structure and function.


66 Leighton Road Suite 1 

Falmouth, Maine 04105

Phone: (207) 773-7330, Fax: (207) 773-7340