Empowered Health Physical Therapy
My approach to physical therapy is as unique as you are.
There isn't a one-size-fits-all template for reclaiming health. There are SO many tools and strategies that can be used to reach your goals. I keep current on relevant evidence so that you can decide which strategies will best fit your life, your priorities, your goals. I am actively involved in research and I'll be happy to investigate available evidence that may be relevant to your area of concern.
Your feedback is important so that we can decide together whether a strategy is working or needs to be adjusted. It is a process that is worth the investment so that you get the most out of your efforts.
While each course of therapy is individualized, a few things will remain consistent with the care I provide:
- Your voice matters. It is your body, and you are the foremost expert on it. I provide options for moving forward and support your agency and autonomy as you make informed decisions regarding your health.
- This is an opportunity to learn how to listen to and care for your body, which are useful skills for a lifetime! I aim to empower you with tools and strategies that will help with your current health concern, as well as help you feel more confident about anything that may come up in the future.
- I use a variety of tools to help you better understand what is going on in your body-- and how to work with it skillfully. Your body is trying its best in each moment to serve you and keep you safe. When you learn to identify the underlying needs and provide adequate support, you can feel more at peace with your body. It isn't failing you, it is just trying its best to let you know what it needs.
- We will set realistic short-term goals that help you move toward your long-term goals. The bigger the goal, the more it needs to be broken into smaller steps that are achievable so that you can celebrate wins along the way. We will create a plan that helps you feel confident in your ability to move closer to your goals.
- What do you enjoy? We all know that movement has health benefits, so how can we get you moving in ways that feel good? In ways that are sustainable so that you can continue to reap the collective health benefits over time? The best exercise program is the one that you enjoy enough that you will keep doing it!
- I'll do my best to adapt our approach to meet your needs, but if there is a need I can't meet I will be happy to refer you to someone who can. Your questions are always welcome and if I can't answer them, I'll help you find someone who can. Sometimes it takes a village! I'm happy to connect with others on your team if it would help with continuity of care.
I am currently offering virtual sessions. You will be surprised how much we can do through a screen! I'm happy to work with your local resources so that we can offer any hands-on treatment you need as a team.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about booking sessions. If you are local to the Charleston area, contact me if you are interested in mobile PT onsite at your home. Pricing for mobile PT varies based on location.
Why go out-of-network for physical therapy?
A cookie-cutter approach to PT is often driven by insurance limitations. People are sent to do exercises with an aide with a high school diploma due to declining insurance reimbursements. This isn't fair to patients or the physical therapists who have far more skill than what this model allows them to offer. A cash-based, out-of-network practice allows me to offer the highest quality care.
PT is often reimbursable through insurance when functional impairments are present that warrant treatment. I am out of network for all insurances. Upon request, I offer a superbill that clients can submit to their insurance. Please check with your insurance about your out-of-network PT benefits and steps you will need to take to submit for reimbursement.
I am licensed to see patients in Illinois and South Carolina, so my patients need to be physically present in IL or SC. Direct access to physical therapy is available in IL and SC, which allows you to see a PT without MD referral, with some restrictions. Some insurance companies require MD referral to reimburse for PT, so please check your benefits.
If you are not located in IL or SC, please see more information about Consulting and Health Coaching.
Dr. Catherine Lewan is very knowledgeable about EDS/POTS, and is always furthering her education on the subject. This makes her a wonderful physical therapist and an excellent problem solver for patients like myself. She teaches me so much about being hypermobile, no other physician has been able to help me like she has. I am better able to manage my symptoms now. I am so thankful for Dr. Catherine.
Catherine has literally changed my life. I was very limited physically, dealing with chronic pain in multiple parts of my body– I felt stuck, lost, weak, and powerless. Catherine introduced me to pain science, which has opened the door for me to a completely new world– one in which I’m strong and capable, where I understand what is happening in my body and the amazing ways in which our bodies can change and adapt.
Catherine always listens to everything I have to say and works as a “detective” trying to find clues that will help inform my treatment and what my body needs. She has empowered me by giving me multiple sources of information to understand chronic pain and tools to self-manage my symptoms and be independent. She encourages me to work towards specific goals-which keeps me super motivated- and I love how she is very dedicated to making sure I achieve them.
Catherine is extremely smart, committed, and compassionate. I feel so very grateful I found her, and wish every person dealing with chronic pain had access to her gentle, wise, and empowering approach!
“Thank you so much for your incredible patience, kindness, and expertise. I know that I am in good hands.”
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.