Our Story. Our Mission. Our Philosophy.
- SCHOOL OF -
Integrative Psycho Structural Bodywork
Our mission is to train sensitive, self-aware bodyworkers who use creativity and self-knowledge to transform basic skills into an artistic form that deeply touches the lives of others.
Exciting News For IPSB - September 2023
On September 1, 2023 Gary and Tracy passed the IPSB torch to Cyndi and Sabrina Ortolano, long time teachers, administrators, and IPSB community members.
Cyndi and Sabrina are honored and thrilled to be carrying on the mission of IPSB. We can't wait to share all the beautiful things we have planned to support our community. Including plans for a clinic and community center.
We are currently crowdfunding to raise money for the clinic and community center building, learn more about it here:
Cyndi & Sabrina Ortolano
IPSB has been the single through line in both our lives for many years. This program and the broader IPSB community have been our grounding point, our touchstone, as we have developed our practices and grown, both personally and professionally. This community supported us during Cyndi’s battle with cancer, and gave us a point of connection through the pandemic, and we are honored to return that support, as we lead IPSB into its newest iteration.
IPSB is unique. Founded on the idea of self-knowledge, personal exploration, and understanding as the root of healing, IPSB has been training bodyworkers since 1979.We are proud to say that IPSB has an unprecedented record of producing injury-free practitioners with decades-long careers. This can be credited to an emphasis on proper body mechanics that dates back to the original work of our founders, Barry Green and Eileen Hamsa Henry. Integrating the training they received in Tai Chi from Abraham Liu (student of Chen Man Cheng) IPSB’s founders created a style of bodywork that remains as innovative and creative as it was when they began over 40 years ago.
It is not just the work we do, but the people that make IPSB so special. Consistently, in our years as teachers, we have found that our students are extraordinary people who value human connection, community and mutual aid. This is reflected in our volunteer program,.and also in the lifelong friendships that our students form while at IPSB. Being able to hold space for these profound interactions is one of the most beautiful gifts we have received as teachers.
Over the next year we will be opening up a clinic and creating a new anchor space for our community. Our focus will be on supporting our students, alumni, and the people they love by offering bodywork, movement, stretching and other resources, making it easier than ever to care for ourselves the way that we care for so many others.
For decades we have been dreaming of a space where our colleagues, students, family, and friends, can be wholistically supported, and it is so exciting to see our dream finally become a reality. Please be sure to add yourself to our mailing list to stay updated on our progress,and to learn about upcoming events. Thank you for all that you have done as part of IPSB’s wonderful community. We look forward to spending time with you all in the coming years.
- Cyndi & Sabrina
A Note From
Gary & Tracy
(Previous IPSB Stewards)
We can still remember our first contact with IPSB back in the mid ‘80’s. It was a very fresh moment in the burgeoning bodywork healing arts field. It was refreshing to find people with similar values. From the beginning our relationship with IPSB and its community was always rewarding. IPSB would become our sister school and through the years we would symbiotically evolve and grow in our ability to serve our community.
We always thought that IPSB was an oasis in the Southern California urban landscape. This school helped people to reconnect with their mind body and souls. It was as Club Med once professed to be the antidote to civilized living.
IPSB helped people come back to themselves and find health and well-being in a region where it is easy to disconnect and get lost in the concrete jungle. IPSB was the first and is the longest standing school/center of mind body health wisdom wrapped in a body-work healing modality approach. It has been nurturing the mind, body and soul of the bodywork entrepreneur and community of people looking to add balance back into life for close to 40 years.
Thank you IPSB community for all these years – the best is yet to come!
- Gary and Tracy
The Four Tenants
Of IPSB Philosophy
All bodies are good bodies. Because everyone’s body is different, we tailor our work to your body and its unique needs. Bodies change over time and we honor these changes. All bodies deserve good care and that includes good bodywork. This work is meant for everyone.
Our primary purpose as practitioners is to hold space for the client to connect in a positive way with their physical self, and through that integration create change together. Cyndi always says "I will work from the outside in, you work from the inside out. Where we meet in the middle is where the magic happens."
We do not believe in healing trauma by creating more trauma in the body. This means our approach is consent-focused, and a substantial part of what IPSB emphasizes in its training is how to approach collaborative bodywork with healthy boundaries and respect.
“You don’t have to know everything, but you should learn how and where to find the things you need and want to know”
- Sophonisba P. Breckinridge
Our practitioners are some of the most creative bodyworkers in the world. We know that the traditional approach to learning has excluded far too many. Creativity, ingenuity, and brilliance take on many forms, and we don’t want to lose out on great bodyworkers by making our training inaccessible or exclusionary. Because we know everyone learns differently we are committed to training knowledgeable, skilled practitioners, inclusive of all learning styles.
We know that learning is most robust when integrating as many senses as possible. Because of this, we incorporate movement, laughter, play, and sensory experiences as often as possible. We approach the material in multiple ways, adding repetition into the mix, in order to help strengthen the retention of new knowledge and skills. This means that we revisit and layer information over the course of the program, giving people ample opportunity to master anything they may find challenging.
A heart-centered practice is focused on being present first with ourselves and where we are in the moment. This requires time spent understanding ourselves, what we need, and how we want to show up in the world. This means that we need to learn about healthy boundaries, how to communicate from a place of neutrality, how to mirror back what we are hearing in order to ensure we understand what is being shared, and how to care for ourselves, so that we are resourced enough to show up for others.
A heart-centered practice also means showing up to a session without judgment or agenda, and working to meet the person as they are in the moment. For us, touching the body touches the soul.
More than ever it is clear that the healthiest and happiest people are part of a connected community. Shared resources and connection, in a diverse and inclusive space, are why so many wonderful people have been drawn to IPSB over the years. While many of our students are at IPSB for professional reasons, roughly 30% of our students take classes simply to learn about themselves, have new experiences, and broaden their world in an environment of like-minded people. Many of our students go on to form lifelong friendships with their classmates, because. learning to touch with an open heart and consent-informed intention creates an environment of trust that cultivates deep understanding and lasting connection.
We know that community extends beyond the walls of the classroom, so we have developed a robust volunteer program where staff, students, and alumni can identify and support various causes that have meaning to them. Giving back and sharing resources helps us all thrive.
Bodywork can be lonely over time, especially as a solo practitioner. The mentorship, resources, volunteer events, and community gatherings at IPSB help support both the physical and mental health of our community by supporting practitioners throughout their lives. Tutoring, professional development, personal enrichment, and community events are among the many resources we offer to all alumni and their families.
Custodian of Records
IPSB at School of Integrative Psycho-Structural Bodywork is now the official Custodian of Records for Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing (IPSB) students who attended the school prior to July 1, 2016.
We are honored to continue the legacy of the IPSB style of massage therapy in the greater Los Angeles area.
CAMTC - California Massage Therapy Council
BPPE - Bureau of Private Post-secondary Education
NCBTMB - National Council of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
Board of Registered Nursing
BPPE School Code 98908029
CAMTC School Code SCH0077
AMTA - 109403
ABMP - LEI 781796
Board of Registered Nursing CEP 15379