Massages for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago

We tell you everything you need to know to go to a massage centre on the Camino de Santiago, as well as all the benefits that this can bring to pilgrims.

Masajes en el Camino De Santiago - Envato Elements

Masajes en el Camino De Santiago - Envato Elements

The adventure of walking the Camino de Santiago is the most rewarding. Reaching the goal after days of effort, walking for hours and visiting those places that are in our path, is the best reward a pilgrim can have. And while it is true that this will be a moment to remember, it is possible that our body needs a recovery after so much work. Therefore, going to a specialised centre to receive a massage may be one of the options that will help us the most at this stage.

Why is it good to get a massage at the end of the Camino de Santiago?

Walking more than 20 kilometres a day for several days can cause various discomforts in our body, especially if we are not too used to it. For this reason, pass through the hands of a masseur at the end of the Camino de Santiago can help us to improve different aspects.

First, it will help us to reduce inflammation in those muscles and joints that have made more effort during the Camino, such as calves and knees. In addition, it is likely that these are very tired, and the massage will help us to accelerate their recovery.

Both inflammation and fatigue of our muscles could cause pain, either in the form of overloa or stiffness. A massage can also relieve this pain, as well as improve the flexibility of the stiffest muscles.

Something that can also happen at the end of the Camino de Santiago is that our body is so tired that we can not sleep well. A massage will help us to accelerate the recovery of our body, allowing us to sleep better after the session, which in turn will influence a faster recovery from fatigue. 

What to consider when choosing a massage centre?

If we decide to go to a massage centre to recover after our trip, it is important that we take into account certain points so that our experience is safe and we leave satisfied. We must not forget that this is a health issue, so we must look for a place that meets certain requirements. 

The first thing to do is to make sure that it is a safe place, that it has the required certificates and that it is clean and comfortable. Likewise, the masseur who attends us must be a professional, as we will be putting our body in his hands and he must know how to treat us.

It is also important that we give the masseur certain indications about what we are looking for, thus avoiding receiving a treatment that is not adapted to our needs. In addition, during the massage we must also maintain communication, letting them know at all times if we feel uncomfortable or excessively sore.

In order to choose a treatment according to our needs, it is important that we inform ourselves beforehand and let ourselves be advised by a professional. We must not forget that there are different types of massages, and each one is focused on a different objective. To start getting into the subject, here is a summary of the massages that could help us according to our situation.

Clínica de fisioterapia - Envato Elements

Clínica de fisioterapia - Envato Elements

As you can imagine, the Camino de Santiago does not produce a similar physical wear on all pilgrims or all routes. Those walkers with more experience may arrive in better condition, but may also have certain recurring injuries. On the other hand, first-time pilgrims are more likely to have pain and greater fatigue at the end of the Camino. Therefore, it is important to choose a type of massage that helps us specifically in what we have problems.

If what we want is to relieve our muscle and joint pain, the best option is to choose a sports massage. This type of massage will focus specifically on the areas that are most affected after our trip, helping us to relieve the pain and speed up recovery. In addition, it can also help us to improve our body posture, something we may have neglected to do when carrying a backpack for several days. In short, sports massage is the best choice for recovery if we have various aches and pains.

On the other hand, it is possible that we arrive in Santiago in good physical condition and without pain, but with a lot of fatigue. In this case, the best option would be a relaxing massage. Instead of focusing on improving specific areas with discomfort, this one seeks the general relaxation of our body, and for this reason it is carried out with gentle movements. At the end we will feel much better and our rest will be more effective.

Something that can also happen is that we have a recurring health problem and that at the end of the Camino de Santiago we are affected by it again due to the effort made for several days. If we find ourselves in this situation, the best thing to do is to choose a therapeutic massage, as it can help us with diseases of the locomotor system, as well as rheumatic and psychological.

We should not forget that massages not only improve our physical health, but also our mental health. By acting positively on our nervous system, a massage can help us to improve our mood, as well as to prevent stress and anxiety, making it a highly recommended option to perform at the end of the Camino de Santiago.

Other treatments in massage centres

While it is true that the muscles and joints suffer while walking the Camino de Santiago, other of the big losers are usually the feet. And although it is best to train with the footwear that we are going to use before starting our journey to ensure that we do not suffer discomfort, sometimes we also get wounds with the passage of the stages.

For this reason, some massage centres also offer services to cure our feet. These treatments consist of cleaning and disinfecting blisters, as well as treating chafing so that we can continue our journey or return home. In addition, in some cases we can also find chiropody treatments that will offer us a more complete care. 

Tratamiento para pies en el Camino De Santiago - Envato Elements

Tratamiento para pies en el Camino De Santiago - Envato Elements

Where to find a massage centre

As the destination of one of the most important pilgrimage routes in the world, the city of Santiago is prepared to meet all the needs of the pilgrims who arrive there each year, with more than 400,000 pilgrims in 2022 alone. This includes numerous physiotherapy and massage clinics, scattered both in the old town and in the new area of the city. Without going any further, just a few metres from the Cathedral we can find a massage centre where we can start our recovery.

However, as it is possible that our discomfort may start before arriving in Santiago, we will have to consider whether we need a massage session to be able to continue. If we are in Galicia, we will have no problem, as many of the towns along the different routes have places where we can be treated and finish our walk in better condition.

On the other hand, if we are at any other point on our route, we must find out beforehand. And although smaller towns may not have these services, those larger places that are the end of the stage are usually prepared to help pilgrims in this matter. Of course, large cities such as León, Oporto, Oviedo or Santander, will also have numerous clinics to which you can go.


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