Contact Information

Company Name : Northwest Center for Structural Integration
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Location : 5331 SW Macadam Ave Portland OR 97239 United States
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Year Established : 2005
Accepted Forms of Payments : Cash, check, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard
Credentials : IASI endorsed School of Structural Integration
More About Larry Kaufman

We are a small (but mighty) school located in Portland, Oregon. You might wonder what sets the NW Center apart from the larger SI schools across the USA. We keep our classes small so that we can create an atmosphere of community and mentorship. We cap our classes between 8 and 10 so that our students can feel free to ask questions and experience the answers through hands-on practicum. Our staff includes a Structural Integration practitioner and teacher of 40 years, a structural integrator with extensive midwifery and pelvic knowledge, and a psychologist who are committed to each students journey of manual therapy and structural integration. Many of our classes have first, second and third year SI students who bring a wealth of experience from different modalities to each class. We often draw from the massage, naturopathic, movement, and Chinese medicine community in our classes. What a wealth of perspective! 

We believe in mentorship and are committed to each student’s unique experience of structural integration. Last but not least, we see movement! Movement in physical and emotional transformation through structural integration work. Interested in more information? Contact us to speak with a faculty member!

Founder Larry Kaufman

Larry Kaufman has practiced integrative bodywork since 1978. He holds Basic and Advanced certifications from the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a degree in psychology from Antioch College. He is a former member of the Integrative Medicine Center at St. Mary’s Hospital (Grand Junction, Colorado) and past Director of the Weber Street Center for Process Oriented Body Work and Conflict Resolution.

As a “second generation” practitioner of Dr. Ida Rolf’s method of Structural Integration, Larry has developed his own interpretation of the work. Much like a martial artist must leave his sensei’s dojo to let his own style emerge, Larry has developed a unique perspective of this work. He blends classical SI techniques with understandings from process-oriented and developmental psychology, Chinese medicine, restorative physical therapy and movement dynamics.

A former professional river guide, Larry has synthesized his intimate understanding of the forces of nature and the movement in our bodies. The best river guides, he points out, don’t see the rocks – they see where the river wants to go and place themselves in that line of intention. Larry sees a similar line of intention – a “main current” or “line of motion” – flowing in a vertical pathway through the body. He uses that current as an organizing principle to navigate through the twists and blocks in the body resulting from trauma, disease, repetitive motion and stress.

Learning to feel motion through the body like the current on a river – or blocks to the motion like rocks and obstacles – is the single most powerful awareness Larry offers his students. That perceptiveness coupled with Dr. Rolf’s bio-mechanical insights is what makes Larry’s framework Structural Integration so powerful.

Meet some of our Graduates

Structural Integration

Enrolling now for the 2019 Practitioner Intensive Training in Structural Integration!

We are now registering for the next Structural Integration Practitioner Intensive Training that begins in March, 2019. For details and a registration packet, please call us at 503-984-8200, complete the “contact us” form,  or email northwestcenter@gmail.com.Our next Intensive Practitioner class begins in March 2019 and runs through December, 2019.  Based on student requests and the needs of those who can’t leave town (or work) for five weeks, we have taken the IPT and formatted it to “a one-weekend, once a month, for 10 months format.”This training covers the ten session series developed by Ida P Rolf, the founder of the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Participants spend two days (one weekend a month) on each of the ten sessions. Mornings include 3 hours of lecture and demonstration. After lunch and some restorative time, participants spend 4 hours in the afternoon working on guided practicum while giving and receiving the ten session series.This training is structured for a total of 180 hours of continuing education (CEU’s) however it is our experience that students receive far more hours of instruction based on class dynamics and momentum. To allow for ongoing supervision between classes, we set up a mid-month live supervision (via video conferencing for out of town students) and always offer a clinic supervision opportunity the Friday afternoon before the training weekend. To support and encourage our graduates, we are now offering open access to ongoing Practitioner Intensive classes once a student completes the Practitioner Intensive for no additional fee. Our students have a 1:4 instructor to student ratio during the training as well as training discussions related to support via essential oils and homeopathy and the neurobiological and interpersonal process of change. Unlike many other training programs, our students experience a high level of engagement from day one by giving and receiving the 10 sessions series with direct supervision.All Intensive Practitioner Classes take place at our teaching space in inner Southeast Portland at 4160 SE Division St, Portland Oregon 97202. A spacious large studio space in the vibrant SE Richmond area allows for easy access to wonderful restaurants and coffee shops as well as city transportation. The dates for the next ten-weekend Practitioner Intensive for 2019 will be March 16-17, April 20-21, May 18-19, June 8-9, July 27-28, August 24-25, September 15-16, October 12-13, November 9-10, and December 8-9, 2019.  A light breakfast, healthy snacks and beverages, and a comprehensive training manual are included in the cost of the training as well as open access to any Practitioner Intensive after graduation for ongoing training and support. The total cost of this training is $6500. A deposit of $500. is requested at the time of registration. We accept check or cash as a form of payment. Payment plan options are available.Space is limited to eight participants ~ please contact us for a registration packet or if you would like more information for upcoming trainings! This class fills quickly so please contact us if you are interested in joining us! 

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Notes from the Clinic – Moving Through the Core. Larry Kaufman

by Larry Kaufman | Apr 23, 2018In Sessions Eight, Nine and Ten of Dr. Rolf’s Ten Session Recipe, our primary focus is on supporting the vertical and radial alignment of all the body’s weight-bearing segments, and the transfer of movement through the body’s structural core.There are, of course, many things that can affect radial and vertical alignment, which in turn affect the transfer of motion. Most obvious is the radial alignment of the arms and legs, and torsion between the spine and the girdles. But rotation and torsion between the body’s outer sleeve and its inner core can also have a significant impact on the body’s alignment, structural stability and transfer of motion through the spine and core.As more and more of the body’s weight-bearing segments are mobilized and aligned, it becomes easier to see and feel where movement through the spine and core is blocked or forced to rotate. And to see how mobilizing and aligning one area can support mobilization and alignment in another.For example, we have observed in class and clinic that with the easing of rotation and strain between the legs and pelvis, strain between the SI joints and sacrum has also eased. And as rotation and side-to-side imbalance between the legs and pelvis are eased, the spine is freer to extend, and it becomes easier for breath and motion to transfer between the pelvis and lower spine.Easing rotation between the arms, shoulder girdle and thorax helps the cervical and thoracic spine extend, which then makes it easier for breath and motion to transfer through and between the cervical and thoracic spine. And of course, with the easing of rotation and torsion between the upper and lower halves of the body, it becomes easier for the entire spine to flex and extend fully, and for breath and motion to transfer through it.As the body’s inner diaphragms and fascial linings are freed to move within their bony container, it becomes easier to see the transfer of breath between these diaphragms and through the core. And of course, the freer the core is to move independently from its bony container, the easier it is to see and to feel those places where the core remains adhered to the bony torso.In these final three sessions, we focus on releasing any remaining adhesions that impede movement of the structural core, and on easing rotation between the inner core and its outer myofascial sleeve. Just as a tailor fits the lining of a suit to its outer layers, we attempt to fit the body’s inner core comfortably within its bony container, as well as to its outer myofascial sleeve. That ability to create balance between the body’s inner core and outer sleeve is the greatest challenge in these final sessions.Achieving radial and vertical alignment of the body’s weight-bearing segments supports physical balance and long-term stability. Supporting the transfer of breath and movement through the inner core supports our ability to build an energetic charge and dissipate emotional strain locked within the body.And, after several decades of teaching and practicing Structural Integration, I’ve observed that easing rotation and torsion between the body’s inner core and outer sleeve also supports greater congruence between one’s beliefs and actions!Link to original article

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Notes from the Clinic – Falling Upward. Larry Kaufman

by Larry Kaufman | Apr 4, 2018The structural integrity of the spine and the mobility of its secondary curves are intimately related to the musculature and non-elastic connective tissue layers that surround and suspend it. As SI practitioners, we see the spine with its secondary spinal curves more like the mast on a sailboat. And the girdles and connective tissue system more like the ‘spreaders’ that lie perpendicular to the vertical mast and the ‘standing rigging’ that suspend the spine and lift the core.We acknowledge the importance of the pelvis as a base of support for the spine. Its ability to pivot freely and rest in a horizontal plane, perpendicular to the vertical spine, defines the most basic objectives of the entire Structural Integration process. We see how a pelvis that is locked in an anterior tipped position forces the body’s vertical center forward of its gravitational center, straining the cervical and lumbar spine, and forcing the knees to hyperextend. We see that if pelvis is locked in a posterior tipped position, the body’s vertical center will be forced to shift backwards of its gravitational center, flattening the lumbar and cervical curves and collapsing body’s vertical center!The ability of the pelvis to pivot freely at the femoral heads will, of course, affect the ability of the sacrum to move with the spine, and the core’s ability to move with the breath. The collapse of the secondary spinal curves will leave clients feeling physically unsupported from within, and the inability of the core to move and ‘breathe’ will limit clients’ ability to build an emotional charge in their core and to dissipate tension through the core.The structural integrity of the spine and mobility of the core are also supported by the mobility and balance between the transverse myofascial diaphragms contained within the pelvic, abdominal and thoracic cavities. Release of the fascial layers that line these internal cavities and the body’s transverse diaphragms contained within them will thus have a major impact upon the spine and its ability to move and lift the core.The importance of the pelvis’ ability to pivot, the spine’s ability ‘lift’ the core and the mobility of the body’s transverse diaphragms cannot be overstated. These are the movements that have the potential to radically affect our clients’ physical and emotional health and well-being, and these will be our focus when working with clients in class and in clinic from now on.Link to original article

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Notes from the Clinic – Shifting Sands. Larry Kaufman

by Larry Kaufman | Apr 4, 2018Of the many challenges facing students of Structural Integration, learning to work beyond individual muscles to affect whole body fascial envelopes and myofascial continua can be the most challenging.In the early sessions, we have focused upon the space between layers of muscles, on differentiating the fascial envelopes that bind muscles together and on releasing these fascial envelopes. Students have learned to use two hands – one to anchor a muscle layer in place while attempting with the other to separate and move other muscles away from the anchored muscle.And though it may have initially seemed a strange concept, it’s now apparent that most often if we simply anchor one muscle in place as the client rotates and moves away from the muscle we are anchoring, layers will separate.This is also the point where we learn to work in partnership with clients and to use their movements to help separate the fascial adhesions that glue muscles together. We work slowly and ask clients to make ‘micromovements’ as we wedge and wiggle between muscles and tendons, and between muscles and bones they have adhered to.And we’re learning that – perhaps counterintuitively – using too much pressure will generally compress layers together and limit clients’ ability to move, rather than enhance it.Before accessing the body’s more intrinsic muscle and fascial envelopes, we’ve learned to differentiate and mobilize the body’s outer layers of muscle and fascia. And to do this using only enough downward pressure to anchor a layer in place before moving laterally. This understanding of when to use downward pressure and when to change direction and move obliquely is critical to future work.In later sessions, we’ll expand our awareness and focus on the mobility of the body’s bony structures and of the structural core, because it is adhesion of muscles and facial envelopes to these bony structures that keep these structures from moving freely and shifting position.We’ll also address fascial adhesion between tendons, and near their attachments at the edges of joints, because those radically affect the alignment between joints and therefore clients’ movement patterns. This means that to affect the alignment of a joint, and the radial alignment between joints, adhesion between tendons will need to be released and bilaterally balanced.As more and more muscles and tendons are released and mobilized, the body’s larger myofascial continua and movement patterns are revealed, and we see that all these muscles, tendons and fascial layers are connected and continuous. Our ability to assess the mobility of these larger myofascial ‘chains’ and to mobilize and bilaterally balance them is what determines our ability to affect great change in our clients’ gait and movement patterns.Our ability to feel beyond where our hands are working as our clients move helps us become aware of these larger interconnections. And our ability to anchor a muscle or fascial envelope at one end of a continuum as the client moves the other end, is what will make it becomes possible to ease rotation and strain throughout the entire body.As more and more of the muscular attachments and fascial layers that surround the body’s structural components are freed, the alignment of these components and the translation of movement through the body’s vertical center, will also be radically affected.Learning to differentiate the body’s structural components and the fascial envelopes that surround and contain them is our first challenge. Learning to organize them once they have been freed to move and shift position will be our next challenge. And learning to support the transfer of breath and movement through the core will be our greatest challenge!Link to original article

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Notes from the Clinic – What is Connective Tissue?

by Larry Kaufman | Jun 15, 2018I have always struggled to explain Structural Integration and what it is that I do. When pressed, I say that I affect the mobility and structural integrity of the body’s connective tissue system.And – surprise! – people look confused since most are not even aware that they have a connective tissue system.So, I explain that the body’s connective tissue matrix is much like a fishing net. That it is not elastic like muscles, but more like the nylon filament a fishing net is made from. And that the connective tissue of the body surrounds, suspends and contains everything in the body, just as a net surrounds, suspends and contains a haul of fish.Supporting the overall integrity of the connective tissue system and its ability to contain and distribute strain is a primary goal of SI. Because like tangles in a net, adhesion anywhere within the system radically affects the body’s mobility and alignment. And these, in turn, affect a person’s ability to transfer breath and motion through their body.Which is why, as SI practitioners, we work to release the adhesions between connective tissue layers and mobilize the connective tissue system to support our clients’ mobility, alignment and ability to transfer breath and movement.Thinking of connective tissue as a system – and as separate from the musculature, organs and bones that it surrounds and contains – can be confusing at first. It is something of a paradigm shift for many students. But it also provides us with valuable insights into how the body really works. How things in the body are connected and interrelated. And how we understand alignment, balance and the optimal functioning of the body.

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Notes From Clinic - The Emotional Body

It has never been my goal as a practitioner of Structural Integration to ‘fix’ my clients’ bodies. Nor to perfectly align their backs.My personal journey has been to better understand and address the underlying emotional patterns that drive my own physical issues. And that personal focus on the correlation between physical and emotional patterns has, in turn, altered my focus as a practitioner and teacher.by Larry Kaufman | Jun 13, 2018I have always seen SI as a process that is both physically and emotionally supportive. A process that supports physical stability and the ability to build and dissipate emotionally-based tension. And a process that supports a person’s ability to feel pleasure and transfer breath and motion through their vertical center to the ground.What I have learned over these many years is that it is not enough for clients to simply gain greater physical integration and awareness, and to release emotional tension held within their bodies. They must also be able to move that strain through their core and stay grounded physically and emotionally in the larger world.What I needed to address my own back issues was physical help unlocking my pelvic floor. And help to learn to ground and center myself in stressful situations. What I needed and received in my own SI sessions was the physical release that came from unlocking my pelvic floor and the emotional support that allowed me to keep my core open and continue to transfer breath and motion through it.In these last few years, I’ve really begun to understand just how broad-based Dr. Rolf’s vision and working intent really were. I now believe her focus was well beyond the simple physical alignment of the body, and well beyond the dissipation of emotional strain in clients’ bodies.I believe that her real focus was upon personal evolution, and on helping us move as a community in a direction that reflects a higher level of integrity, and a greater congruence between our core beliefs and outer actions.

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Northwest Center for Structural Integration

Classes in Structural Integration @ the NW Center

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Northwest Center for Structural Integration

Structural Integration Practitioner Training - Intensive

North West Centre for Structural Integration, Practitioner Training,

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5331 SW Macadam Ave