Functional Training Institute

Exploring Tensegrity and Emotion in Motion with Ian O’Dwyer

Host Vanessa welcomed special guest Ian O’Dwyer, the founder of Feel SOMA, an educational program about Self Osteo Myofascial Applications (SOMA), which empowers the body to prepare, condition, perform, recover, and re-condition effectively. 

The two engaged in a conversation about human movement, emotions and tensegrity in relation to overall wellbeing.

What is Tensegrity?

Tensegrity, often exemplified by structures like the Golden Gate Bridge, is the integration of tension and integrity. Now envision the human body as an intricate network of “struts” and “rubber bands”, where the struts are the human bones, and the rubber bands symbolise the fascia.

These elements work together to create a dynamic system that adapts to external forces.

Imbalances in the Body

One key revelation is that the body is primarily composed of water, with muscles, bones, skin, and fascia all containing a significant water content. Understanding this biological tensegrity unit as a hydraulic system that operates multidimensionally is crucial. 

When the body experiences imbalances, such as too much tension in specific areas due to prolonged activities like desk work, it can lead to postural issues and discomfort. This underscores the importance of maintaining even tension throughout the body for optimal functioning.

Balanced Muscle Engagement

The discussion also touches on the importance of balanced muscle engagement, especially in areas like the glutes and inner thighs. While many people focus on strengthening the glutes, it’s equally vital to ensure that the inner thigh muscles and other related tissues work harmoniously to prevent issues like sciatic pain.

Emotion is Motion, and Motion is Emotion

Ian and Ness also explore the quote Ian has shared often, which is, “Emotion is motion and motion is emotion.” This statement underscores that our emotions are not isolated within our minds but are intricately linked to our bodily movements. When we experience emotions such as happiness, joy, or excitement, our body responds with dynamic, flowing, and expressive motions. 

Conversely, when we are burdened by negative emotions like stress, sadness, or anxiety, our body tends to restrict, tense up, or even freeze. This concept highlights the idea that our emotional wellbeing profoundly influences our physical health and the way we move through life. Understanding this relationship allows us to appreciate the significance of maintaining a harmonious balance between our emotions and our physicality, promoting overall wellness and vitality.

Take a listen to the episode now for a deep dive into the profound world of tensegrity, the mind-body connection, and how our emotions affect our clients’ fitness journeys. Challenge your conventional beliefs about strength and movement, and explore new dimensions of you and your clients’ physical wellbeing. You’ll walk away with techniques and tools to add to your training toolkit, to better the lives of your clients – and you.

Our favourite quotable moments:

“Emotion is motion and motion is emotion.” – Ian O’Dwyer

“Sometimes the systems don’t fit the human beings.” – Ian O’Dwyer

“[During covid pandemic], we actually got to spend more time together as family, which I think was beautiful.” – Ian O’Dwyer

“If we can change their frequency, if we can change the way they feel, it will change the way they move.” – Ian O’Dwyer


Feel Soma Website

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Facebook – @feelsoma

YouTube – @feelsoma

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About Ian:

Ian (OD) is an accomplished fitness professional with a 30-year career spanning diverse roles, such as Movement Coach, Personal Trainer, Author, and Mentor. For 24 years, he owned and operated the renowned OD on Movement Performance Studio on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, and has made significant contributions to the fitness industry through ventures like PT on the Net and PTA Global. Currently, as the Co-Founder of Feel SOMA, Ian’s innovative approach focuses on guiding and coaching the whole person, encompassing emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects to create positive solutions. His remarkable ability to connect, observe, and facilitate instant change in individuals, groups, and teams is highly esteemed by a global community of clients, friends, family, and colleagues, emphasising his inclusive, practical, and enjoyable approach.

About Your Host:

Vanessa is a seasoned Movement Therapist with a vast array of skills and experiences in the industry. Her goal is to help as many people find betterment in their lives. She is known as a hybrid trainer, attaining high levels of education, and delivering a quality presenting experience in both group fitness and personal training streams. Attaining betterment drives her knowledge and pursuit for further education for herself and everyone she encounters. Vanessa continues training clients and trainers all over the country and presenting at the International Fitness Conference. Vanessa’s ethos is doing things BETTER.

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