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 a natural teacher. When I take her yoga class it is as if she is talking to me personally (even when the room is full). She is so in-tune with how the body works – or isn’t working. Catherine tells us to be gentle to our bodies. She eases us into the class with gentle pranayama and then takes us through asanas that always magically warm us up to the climax of the class (modified for different levels always). But this is where her Physical Therapy expertise shines through: Catherine knows the body so well. Her knowledge of the body as well as the anatomy of the pose means that you will experience asana in a new way, every time.
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
I took a course from you a couple years ago about using pilates/yoga with geriatric patients. You presented the material in a smooth, understandable, and engaging way. I was just getting into yoga at the time, and you helped spur me onward into that wonderful realm. I am currently going over, again, the workbook from that course. Just wanted you to know that you helped to re-energize an old physical therapist’s practice of his profession, and continue to influence in a very positive way the outcomes of all my patient interactions. I offer you my sincere gratitude.
This instructor is great! I will be taking more courses with her. She has the ability to communicate information in an interesting manner. I think this is the best instructor I have ever taken a (continuing education) class with!
– Janet L
As a 60-year-old, I want to keep my body strong and moving freely for many years to come. The core work I’ve done as a student in Cat’s class has changed my body, made me stronger, increased my body awareness, and reduced my back pain. She brings a sparkly energy and creative approach to every class, and always seems to find a great balance between work hard and feel good. When I needed to do a round of physical therapy, it was great to be able to see Cat, a highly trained and caring physical therapist that already knew my body, and could keep an eye on me in class once my PT was over.
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!
If you are looking for a solid, intense workout lead by a positive, passionate, and totally well-informed instructor, you need to attend Catherine Lewan’s classes. As a dedicated yoga student of Catherine’s for over 5 years, I can attest she has positively changed my life. She shows you the way to think about your body in a different perspective and provides the instructions on how to make it better. She has variety in each class, gives excellent queues, hands-on adjustments (at your discretion), and insightful thoughts to help you with truly understanding the practice of yoga. Best of all, she loves life and it shows.
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 worked with Catherine when I broke my collar bone. She treated me for the muscles and movement around the break, but also helped me recover areas of strength that I had neglected because I was protecting the area around my collar bone. She helped me discover that I wasn’t using my back muscles properly to carry my baby. Her method incorporated pilates, yoga asana and strengthening exercises in addition to manual therapy. I was very worried about returning to yoga and never thought I would be able to do down-dog again. She helped me feel confident in my body again.