Women's health isn't just about serving women. For Catherine, it goes beyond caring for women in various stages of life: the female athlete, women who are child-bearing and child-rearing, menopausal and post-menopausal. It's about taking a stand for half of the population that has been largely ignored in Western Medicine. She enjoys helping women (and underserved populations in general) to become both physically stronger and also strengthen their voices in claiming the right to a higher level of care. The epidemic of incontinence in the elderly and the problem of poor recognition and management of chronic pelvic pain are other examples of people who are typically under- or mis-treated that Catherine feels called to advocate for.
While women, older adults, and those who have suffered childbirth or sexual trauma are known to have a higher risk for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, anyone can be affected, as we all have a pelvic floor. If we are lucky, it supports multiple systems: core stability, sexual health, gastrointestinal mobility, voiding and continence. Dysfunction can cause problems in any or all of these areas, which means it can really decrease your quality of life.
As the pelvic floor is generally considered a taboo topic, many people are lacking quality information about how to keep theirs healthy. Catherine loves to bring awareness to pelvic floor health, and she is continually humbled by the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Catherine works with female, male, and transgender clients to improve their pelvic health. She is honored to help people integrate this area of the body into their wholeness.
For more on Catherine's thoughts about pelvic floor and women's health, you may want to her interview with Katlin Robinson for Life Transitions radio show.
To explore your own pelvic floor from the comfort of your home, check out out Catherine's blog post on how to do your own functional pelvic floor self-exam.
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
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.
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 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.
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.