Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? 

Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

Do you know what you don’t know? What if you could find out what you don’t know?

We can be confident about the things we have experienced with. Things we know. And there’s always another tier of experience just over the horizon that we are not sure how to get to. What do we have to do to move to that next plateau?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect states that people with the minimal amount of training and experience think they’re much better than they actually are. And they also realize that they’re not quite as good as people who actually are good. They know that “better” exists but they aren’t even sure what it takes to be “better.” The DK effect suggests that there is an experiential learning curve to this awareness.

There is a phrase “little do they know how little they know.” It describes my journey as a massage therapist.

Here’s my story. When I finished human massage school I thought I knew how to give a good and thorough medical massage; and I did, in a perfunctory robotic way. I performed all the skills in the right order, chapter and verse, just as I was taught. Each session was essentially the same. A client would come in with muscle or joint tightness that needed to be resolved. They’d be in different orders of magnitude and different places; and with the massage I had learned, they were summarily dispatched. I was efficient and as effective as I thought I could be (DK). I hadn’t yet realized that massage had the potential for spectacular complexity. There are multiple ways to access and treat. There are multiple depths to every trauma. It took continuing education for my massage to become a high value event rather than a routine exercise like the massage of other similarly trained therapists’.

One afternoon I was trading practice sessions with another massage therapist. I was lying face down. She undraped one side of my body and using her forearm did a long slow deep stroke beginning on my ankle and moving all the way to my shoulder. Prior to that I had always massaged the body in sections. The shoulders were a section, then the back, then the hips, the legs, the ankles, the feet. This stroke connected the entire length of my body. It was a unifying stroke! It opened my eyes.  It expanded my awareness to new possibilities. I felt conflicted. I felt thrilled to experience something new. I felt embarrassed that I had considered the massage I’d been giving to be professional and complete. I realized firsthand (pun) on several levels, how little I knew!

I soon discovered there were many other techniques that I could use to augment-and often replace-the Swedish massage I had learned. The approaches and techniques I gathered were from cultures all over world. They  came together beautifully, integrating into a world-class service/product.

I had thought that I knew as much as I needed. The more I learned, the more I realized I didn’t know. There is more to know. And even more than that!

Soon, my clients were experiencing fresh, unexpected and unintended possibilities. Massage became transformative. This was the spiritual/life-affirming therapy I had dreamt of providing! Every session was exciting, fresh, fascinating, fulfilling, and for me, fun!

The DK application in the context of canine massage is that there are many people who feel that minimal training is all they need to perform at effective levels in massaging dogs. They believe that observing a session or two, watching a couple PetMassage YouTube videos, and reading one of my books is sufficient training for a professional level practice.

Au contraire, mon ami. Even the PetMassage Foundation Level Program is really just the beginning of your training. It’s very extensive. It covers everything you need to know to begin a career in canine massage.  By definition it is the “foundation.” It’s the beginning; the fundamental content upon which you can then build your skills.

For those who’ve completed the Foundation Program and earned your Certification it is an accomplishment to be proud of. However, if you have completed the first level of training, there is the likelihood that perhaps you aren’t the expert you thought you might be. Like me, you thought you were good enough and knew as much as you needed. Now, like me, you realize there is more to canine massage than you know. This is where the Dunning-Kruger Effect comes in: With more experience, we get an inkling of what we don’t know. And that is a lot.

The next step is a big leap. Decide now to attend the PetMassage Advanced Level Program. This is the training program that reviews the fundamentals taught in the Foundation workshop and then expands your horizons; that shows you what you hadn’t known about, exists. It transports your level of canine massage to “better.”

This is the part where you tap your hands on your head, splay your fingers and as you pull them away, exclaim, “Whoa!”

Yes, there is some serious depth to the practice of canine massage. Please allow me the opportunity to:

  1. Be your instructor for your initial training in the PetMassage Foundation Level Program. foundation-level-program/
  2. Introduce you to and teach you to apply a range of canine massage skills you may not realize exist in the PetMassage Advanced Level
  3. Continue to help you mature as your practice evolves.

There are more ways than you know to achieve the practice and confidence you need to help more dogs, more dog owners, and yourself. Let’s work together to expand your canine massage skill set.

Please follow the [links] throughout the text or the following links to find out more about

  1. PetMassage Training https://petmassage.com/petmassage-workshops/petmassage-foundation-level-program/
  2. PetMassage Refresher Course https://petmassage.com/foundation-level-refresher/
  3. PetMassage Media https://petmassage.com/product-category/petmassage-media/

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