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Ian O’Dwyer Introduces SOMA and the LEAD System.


Ian O’Dwyer is one of the most forward thinking professionals in our industry. While the industry moves toward a more holistic approach to fitness, Ian O’Dwyer is ahead, in the distance, exploring new approaches that will likely be considered obvious in the next 5 – 10 years. In this article, Ian introduces his new SOMA course, run in conjunction with Rodney Corn. If it resonates, check the upcoming course details below.

SOMA is a fresh approach to enhancing the quality and performance of nerve, muscle, bone, and fascia tissues through hydration, mobilization, and activation techniques that allow for more effective communication between the body and brain!

SOMA is a holistic client-centered methodology for promoting regenerative health. Regenerative health is about reestablishing an internal state of balance.

SOMA accomplishes this through the use of self-applied applications that include:

  • Osteofascial Release™ (OFR) – An innovative and original tool-based application developed for engaging tissue around the more boney regions of the body
  • Myofascial Release (MFR) – The traditional tool-based application with a fresh approach for engaging the muscular regions of the body
  • Functional Reconnecting™ (FR) – A practically applied  isometric-contraction application focusing on reconnecting the brain to the body
  • Fascial Mobilizers™ (FM) – The use of subtle, rhythmical movement focusing on freeing the fascial aspects of tissue to enhance body-brain communication

Each application is used to help regenerate tissue health. This provides better movement recovery to allow you to train smarter.

SOMA will empower you as a Sport, Fitness, and Health Professional with a refreshing and personalised enhancement to your business through the innovative
LEAD system. The LEAD system provides you with a dynamically flexible and organised process to apply practical skill-sets.

The LEAD system consists of four key areas:


ASK the person and their body to move, LISTEN for answers. Movement is the interconnection between motion and emotion. SOMA seeks to listen to the emotion and mechanics of a person’s movements.


ENGAGE the person and their tissues with the specific applications that best match them and their movement. Each person is uniquely different, and different each day. The way the person and their tissues are engaged should be tailored to who they are and how they are each day.


APPRAISE how the person and their body responded to the selected applications. Different days bring different challenges. We as professionals must be able to humbly and systematically look at our interactions with our athletes, clients, and/or patients each session to ensure we have met them where they were that day.


DESIGN the appropriate Personalised Regeneration Program (PReP™). On the foundation of Listen, Engage, and Appraise, we can build a thoughtful and appropriate programming strategy that empowers a person and their tissues to reestablish a better internal state of balance.

Ultimately SOMA is about engaging and equipping others with a unique blending of
movement philosophies in a manner that empowers them to MOVE better, FEEL better, LIVE better.

A Practical Example:

Fitness Client who had been a high-level tennis player at a local tennis club was unable to play tennis due to a knee issue. He was experiencing bouts of depression and frustration with his inactivity and lack of enjoyment with a sport he loved. He stated that he didn’t think he would ever play tennis or other racquets sports again.

After 3 weeks of SOMA he began to play Pickleball – a newer outdoor racquet sport. He was amazed and elated.

His base program consisted of:

Osteofascial Release for the pelvic and knee rings – 10 min total

Pelvic Ring

  • Posterior pelvis / sacrum
  • Lateral pelvis – Iliac crest
  • Greater trocahnter
  • Pubic bone
  • Anterior hip capsule

Knee Ring

  • Lateral knee
  • Anterior knee – patella & ischial tuberosity
  • Medial knee

Myofascial Release for knee ring – 5 min total

  • Short head of Biceps femoris
  • Lateral thigh – Vastus lateralis

Functional Reconnecting for pelvic ring – 5 min total

  • Rotation
  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Adduction
  • Abduction

Fascial Mobilizers – 5 min total

Sit and Reach – varied foot positions and reaches

The SOMA Immersion 1 is the first level of the SOMA educational experience
consisting of 3 days of intensive hands-on learning. The focus of the SOMA Immersion 1 is to identify and experience the power of Listening and Engaging with the human being, the first two letters of our acronym “LEAD”, which defines our system. Learn more.


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