Meet Daniel Wonnocott – AMT Board Member

Today we meet new AMT Board member, Daniel Wonnocott. Dan is no stranger to anyone who attended the last two AMT Conferences or to regular AMT blog readers. Dan kindly sat down with the blog to tell us about himself and how he wants to represent his fellow massage therapists.

Tell us about your journey to massage

I used to get occasional treatment growing up. I had a shoulder injury when I was 18 and found the benefits of massage extremely helpful for pain and movement during rehab (but I still had to do the rehab) and came to appreciate biomechanics throughout the process.

My original motivation to study massage was to use it as a source of income and travel and I thought I may one day study Physio.

I started working in a clinic in 2007 whilst studying the Diploma and fell in love with the work, and never went on a cruise ship.

I still love what I do and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

Is there a time you were proud of your work as a massage therapist?

As a favour to a former employer, I took on one of their original clients whose goal was to complete an Ironman. The catch was they had a high-flying corporate job, a young family and had had several unsuccessful attempts at this over the years.

The first few months this guy had me pulling my hair out and had it not been for taking them on as a favour, I probably would have called an end to the working relationship.

But over the following 18 months of navigating numerous challenges, I shed a tear as I watched him cross the finish line on the live feed.

As far as complex presentations go, this was a very mundane, run of the mill, journey (less one small toe fracture and some rib fractures after being cleaned up on a ride) of keeping things moving and feeling well. 90% effleurage and the occasional MET and MOB combined with lots of general chat about why his body was responding in certain ways whilst keeping him focused on the long-term goal. He would often joke that he wouldn’t be able to do any of it without his regular treatment. 

It wasn’t until we caught up after the event that it really hit me how much he had changed over the time we had worked together.

  • No longer a smoker
  • Knew how to self-treat and listen to his body
  • Put huge boundaries down with his employer
  • Complete shift in body composition and nutrition habits 
  • Self-confidence and discipline through the roof
  • New found appreciation for his family time.

Through lending an ear, some well-intentioned body work and regular doses of encouragement, I had become a fundamental piece of someone’s life transformation. And consequently, they can now call themself an Ironman. 

Most therapists have plenty of these stories. This is one of mine and it makes me proud of the service we provide, irrespective of how it is viewed by other professions, because, for our clients, it can be life changing. But the reason I will never forget this one is because I’m in part embarrassed by it. Had it not been as a favour to a colleague – I would have quit on this guy.

It really reminded me of how important the ongoing relief, support and work I do isn’t offered in full by any other profession.

When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?

Hanging out with my wife and 2 boys (9 + 5). Renovating our 100+ year old Queenslander home.  And we just bought a 4WD to give us more options for getting away camping throughout the year.  

What’s something not many people know about you?

I got straight A’s for sewing at high school – thanks Mum! 

What will you bring to the AMT Board? 

Just a varied perspective. I’m always up for a new challenge and an opportunity to give back. I’ve been very lucky, with the opportunities I have had so far over my career, to see the inner workings of many facets of our sector. 

I have worked as a sub-contractor, done mobile work, therapist training in both RTO and large clinic settings, practice management and elite sport, and now I’m back as a solo practitioner. Every area has a lot of diverse challenges and I have no doubt that joining the board of AMT will open my eyes to a whole new perspective – I want to see therapists thrive no matter where they are positioned. 

Give us some pearls of wisdom for all massage therapists

  • Learn to play the long game. 
  • Focus on personal and professional growth. 

A TV show you love?

Outlander – took a while to get into it but I’m hooked. Also a huge fan of Vikings!

A movie we need to watch?

Romeo + Juliet

A book you enjoyed?

The World is Flat – The globalized world in the twenty-first century by Thomas L. Friedman

Need more of Dan? Read all of his contributions to the blog:

Do I Have to Stand Up Straight

Mythbusting: Massage Removes Lactic Acid

Mythbusting: Massage Reduces Cortisol

It Depends

Adding Value

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