My approach to physical therapy is person-centered and evidence-informed. I listen to my clients and consider not only the nature of their symptoms, but also their concerns, lifestyle, preferences, and habits in order to find the treatments that will have the most impact. Partnering with my clients, we create a plan for both short-term relief of symptoms and long-term support of wellness.

I have found a mindful approach that engages awareness regarding symptoms assists in the process of determining triggers and the effectiveness of treatment strategies. Journaling, meditation, yoga, and or any mindful movement may be helpful toward this end, but I don't require anyone to use these particular mind-body tools. If your favorite way to focus your mind and move your body is gardening, cleaning, or sports, I simply ask my clients to take note of how they are feeling before, during, and after activity in order to determine if bodily sensations or symptoms are providing clues that will guide us to find what it is that your body is asking for-- and ultimately help you reclaim ease and joy in your favorite activities.

I have a variety of tools that I use to help my clients reach their goals. With my training in exercise science, Pilates and Yoga Therapy, I can adapt many forms of exercise, including yoga and Pilates to meet the needs of the individual.  For example, Pilates, yoga, and many forms of exercise can be adapted by a trained professional so that:

  • a person with a fracture can continue to exercise without bearing weight on the healing bone, keeping up bone density, strength and mobility in other areas.
  • someone with orthostatic challenges (dizziness upon standing, dysautonomia/POTS) can appropriately challenge their heart and develop strength in a recumbent position, decreasing the adverse effects of orthostatic stress during exercise and improving their symptoms over time.
  • a person with chronic pain or fatigue can move and pace themselves in ways that allow them to gain the many benefits of exercise (including better sleep, less depression/anxiety, and decreased pain and more energy over time) with guidance and decreased fear of flaring up symptoms.
  • a person who is hypermobile can improve their sense of proprioception (where the body is in space) and learn to support and control excessive motion to reduce pain and risk of injury.
  • someone who thought they would never again be able to garden, pick up their kids/grandkids, attend school, or go for a walk on a nice day can get there in small steps, with the right exercise program expertly chosen, paced, and progressed.

Manual (hands-on) therapy is large component of my Physical Therapy practice, and I am grateful to have training and expert mentoring in a variety of techniques, including joint mobilization/manipulation, soft tissue massage, trigger point release, myofascial release, nerve gliding, and dermoneuromodulation.

 

Physical Therapy

I offer PT services in-person, to individuals with medical diagnoses with a medical need for care. This generally makes PT eligible for insurance reimbursement, but each individual policy is unique. For more information, please call your insurance to learn more about your individual policy and contact the clinic where I offer PT services: Chicago Physical Therapists. 

Direct Access to Physical Therapy in Illinois means that you can see a Physical Therapist first without getting a referral from a physician. However, some insurance companies require this step in order to cover PT charges, so please check your benefits.

If you are not able to see me in-person, but would like to set up a consult by phone or video session, please see more information about Consulting and Health Coaching.

Testimonials

Very clear, inspirational and motivational. Passionate about her subject. Great teacher and course!

-Beth B

I have been a client of Dr. Cat’s over the past 10 years and can highly recommend her for sports injuries, pain associated with traveling weekly for work and just getting a bit older.
Dr. Cat has not only provided me with quick pain relief without medication but has also taught me how to prevent those injuries from reoccurring. She provides exercises to do at home between PT sessions that help me heal and also provide great relief.    Her knowledge of the body along with her ability to clearly explain what has caused my pain is peerless.
If you have any kind of injury or discomfort I would absolutely recommend Dr. Cat.  You will not be disappointed!
Eugene, 50-year-old traveling executive and weekend warrior

Excellent speaker with a nice balance of lecture, lab, and shared case scenarios.

-Julie D

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 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!

-MS

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

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.

– Stan

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.

-Carolyn S

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.

-MaryPat

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.

-JL