Hello! I’m Catherine, and I'd like to welcome you to my homepage.
I first became fascinated with the human body when I noticed mine wasn’t working so well. I was 12, and hip pain was keeping me from participating in the dance lessons I loved. The many rounds of PT in my teens were interesting and I saw a lot of potential for the profession, but my experience left me feeling far from rehabilitated. When my PT’s told me they had done all they could and I would need to stop dancing, I was beyond disappointed.
I now like to say that physical therapy is a misnomer-- we can’t treat a body as just a physical part. Anyone with physical symptoms will have thoughts and feelings about those symptoms, and we need to address those in the process of recovering from an injury or condition. For me, yoga, meditation and Pilates addressed the mind-body connection that was lacking from my rehab experience in the 1990’s. I eventually resumed dancing, and even though I had to modify a bit, it helped me feel alive again.
Current research has confirmed that our minds have the ability to either contribute to a pain experience or set us up for recovery. The same neurotransmitters that dampen pain signals are the ones that keep us from becoming depressed, and we produce these neurotransmitters by moving and doing things we love.
So I don’t treat hips, shoulders, spines, tempromandibular joints, or pelvic floors. I treat people. I find out what they love and I help them get back to those activities. I listen to their thoughts about their symptoms and give them tools to improve their situation and feel empowered.
I like to think of unwanted symptoms as your body’s primitive way of crying out “something has to change!” As such, injuries are often catalysts for incredible growth. My own injuries have motivated me to not only takes steps to improve my health, but to offer guidance to others as an advocate, Pilates and yoga instructor, physical therapist, and continuing education provider.
I love the process of taking challenges and transforming them into opportunities.
So I ask, what is it in your life that is crying out for a change? In what ways are you ready to learn from the challenges you currently face? Take a breath, dig deep, and let’s enjoy the alchemy. I look forward to learning and growing with you!
Catherine is very engaging, passionate about getting her message across, and has a good sense of humor. Her course was fun and useful.
Catherine kept the material fun to learn throughout the whole day! She is an impressive presenter! The whole course was well organized and had great handouts.
– Anna L
I was in a lot of pain with mobility issues. Catherine Lewan, DPT, was very understanding and made me feel comfortable about discussing all the ways that the pain was interfering with my daily activities. Cat employed several modalities to address my pain as well as muscle weaknesses (and areas of tightness!) that I hadn’t noticed before but to which my body was reacting. Cat provided me with options to consider regarding my plan of care and included my goals in each step of the treatment. She listened well and came up with a plan tailored to my needs. I now am more knowledgeable about my body and if my pain returns, I have some tools to use to try to address it. I know too that she is available in case my pain persists, and I need a re-evaluation. Working with Cat has convinced me that physical therapists can address the whole patient, not just a joint or limb that is in pain. Finally, Cat was always positive and encouraging. I could not have achieved my great results without her!
Kim– student PTA and experienced personal trainer and exercise instructor
I have taken classes, workshops, and private sessions with Catherine, and find her to be very knowledgable, present, and sincerely interested in helping each student to reach their own potential. Her teaching is clear, based on science as well as experience. She has a strong ‘body sense’ and loves to challenge her own limits and will challenge you to be your own best self!
Catherine and her class (the environment she creates) are great examples of warmth and competence in action. Catherine is open, kind, gracious, generous, smart and very good at what she does.
I’ve been seeing Dr. Cat for about 5 months for pelvic floor physical therapy (after working for ~2 years on and off with other physical therapists previously). Dr. Cat truly has taught me so much about my whole body and the power of the mind-body connection. I had been living with pelvic floor dysfunction/vaginismus for basically my entire life, and it wasn’t until seeing her that I felt like I could play an equal role in my own treatment. Dr. Cat always listened to my priorities and needs in our sessions. She helped me notice so many smaller “wins” and did a great job connecting those changes to my long-term goals. I have such a deeper understanding of the factors that can influence pain in my pelvic floor (as well as other parts of my body that are directly connected, like my hips, back, abdominals, glutes, and thighs). My treatment has consistently felt personalized, dynamic, and unique to my individual needs as a patient. Dr. Cat has encouraged me to honor my own body and focus on the work that kept me motivated and feeling positive toward my treatment outcomes. She also provided me with recommendations to other specialists when issues came up that felt outside of her scope of practice, which played a huge role in my success as a patient. Pelvic floor therapy is a treatment that really relies on trusting and respecting your therapist, and I would highly recommend Dr. Cat as a member for anyone’s pelvic floor team. My pain during sex/sexual activities has decreased significantly since I started working with Dr. Cat, and I feel so much more in control of my body and choices thanks to my treatment with her!
Catherine has a very effective style, and is open to questions. She is very knowledgable, with good visuals, hands-on instruction, and example exercises. Great course! Thank you!
Catherine is very approachable, friendly and is there to help you on your path. With her background in dance, Pilates, yoga, and the fact that she is a physical therapist, you really could not get a more knowledgeable teacher. I have been her student for years and absolutely love her! And I know you will too.
Catherine tailors her classes to the needs of participants of all ages and conditions. She uses props to enhance each movement, and modifications that offer me the opportunity to take care of my body using weekly Pilates and Yoga group classes. I also see her in the clinic for treatment of my arthritis, and I have found her expertise, respect for the human body and her personal centeredness to be an extraordinary resource.
I have worked with Catherine after each of my vaginal births, and also during one of my pregnancies. Her knowledge of the body’s systems is unparalleled. Each time I met with Catherine, I had multiple new tools and realizations about myself to work with on my own. She helped me heal from a mild bladder prolapse and reduce my diastasis recti to a subclinical level. I refer patients to Catherine on a weekly basis because I know she will have some ideas and skills to impart to just about anyone imaginable! Thank you, Catherine!
– Lela Beem, studio owner Grateful Yoga of Evanston, co-founder of The Amala School of Prenatal Yoga