For some getting a massage is the ultimate way to relax, a treat for a special occasion. In this post, we would like to recommend you indulge in this treat during your Camino de Santiago to help you reach your goal safely and without any pains. Our partner Angel Antelo specialises in repairing and restoring massages for pilgrims during and after their Camino de Santiago.
Based in Caldas de Rei, on the Portuguese Way, his company offers services on the last 112km of the French Way from Sarria and the Portuguese Way from Baiona or Tui as well as services in Santiago de Compostela. If you are staying in a spa hotel, he can book a massage in their dedicated space or bring the equipment to your room. His staff are all professional Quiromassage Therapist and speak several languages.
Why get Massages on the Camino de Santiago
In many ways, walking the Camino de Santiago is similar to running a marathon even though there is less strength on your body on a daily basis, the routine of walking several kilometres per day is a challenge for most.
Even if you are planning to walk only 6 days with reasonable distances, your luggage transferred from hotel to hotel, our local support and even if you exercise, you need to prepare beforehand and take the right steps in order to protect yourself from any injury and repair any damage done to your body as soon as possible.
- training regularly in the months prior to the departure
- breaking in your gear at home and ensuring it is right for you and the adventure you have planned
- stretching before and after each walking day and taking small walks in the evenings with different shoes to keep your body moving
- resting properly each night and taking breaks long enough to rest your body during the day
- drinking a lot of water during the day – when you are thirsty it is already too late
- AND getting help as soon as you feel an unusual pain!
According to a 2012 report from the “British Journal of Sports Medicine”, around 45% of all sports-related injuries derive from muscle strains and muscle trauma. Yet although skeletal muscle can repair itself, healing can be slow and injuries may recur.
To help avert skeletal muscle injuries and accelerate recovery from them, it is essential to train before the Camino, make sure you stretch properly before and after each walking day, ensure you enjoy enough repairing sleep and watch you diet .
But anecdotal evidence shows the value of massage therapy, which includes relief of muscle tension and stiffness, faster healing of muscle strains and ligament sprains, reduced muscle pain and enhanced flexibility.
About Angel Antelo – The Massage Therapist for Pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago
Angel Antelo is Galician and was born in Camariñas, a fishing village located near Finisterre, the land at the end of world where the Camino de Santiago ends and we find the KM0.
Life has given him the opportunity to live in several countries in Europe, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and different places in Spain, where he worked mostly at 4 star spa hotels.
He has always been passionate about human anatomy, especially the locomotor apparatus, bone, joints, muscles and tendons, and the vertebral. So he trained as an advanced Quiromassage Therapist in Barcelona, at Dr Lino Ferrándiz’ school, who is considered the father of Quiromassage after collecting and learning different massage techniques from Switzerland, Germany and the USA to perfect this new technique.
After several years working in Barcelona in hotels and spa, he decided in 2015, to return home to Galicia to help pilgrims achieve their goal of reaching Santiago de Compostela.
For Angel, this means using his knowledge of Quiromassage to offer restoring and repairing massages to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
He firmly believes that his massages are an essential part of fully enjoying the journey for his clients. In particular, he recalls many occasion when he was called urgently to give a restoring massage to pilgrims who could not continue their journey because of their legs and back pains. But after an hour with Angel’s magic hands, they were able to reach the Plaza del Obradoiro in the following days!
He takes great care and dedication to each massage, and is proud to know that his service can make the difference for a pilgrim between enjoying the experience of walking the Camino to the fullest or suffering from it.
He tells us that he learns from each massage, each massage is a test, a challenge and believes that this is reflected in the results he gets for his clients. His training is never ending as he is always studying innovate massage techniques and ways to improve himself.
Thanks to his travels, he can communicate in Spanish, Galician, English, German, French, Italian and Portuguese. Each one of his therapist are required to be able to maintain a conversation in English and be able to discuss the needs of each client prior to the massage.
Quiromassage and Post-competition Sports Massages
Angel recommends a post-competition sports massage for pilgrims while they are walking or once they reached Santiago. This is a slow, deep, continuous massage, with the aim of unloading tension muscles and eliminating metabolites of muscular combustion.
The therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. It is quite similar to Swedish massage but adapted to the needs of pilgrims.
It is not a relaxing massage but the day after, you will notice great improvement and that your legs feel much lighter and strong!
Before the massage the therapist will ask you about any symptoms, medical history, and desired results to ensure the massage is right for you. They may also perform an evaluation through touch, to locate painful or tense areas and determine how much pressure to apply and use oil or lotion to reduce friction on the skin.
During the massage, they will regularly ask if the intensity, strength and rhythm is adequate.
Benefits of a Post-competition Sports Massages include:
– Reducing or eliminating pain.
– Improving joint mobility.
– Improving circulation.
– Improving lymphatic drainage.
– Reducing muscular tension.
Side effect of a Post-competition Sports Massages include:
If performed by a properly trained therapist and if appropriate cautions are followed there are very few risks or side effects of massage therapy. But you might experience temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy to massage oils.
We recommend avoiding massages in the following cases:
– Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
– Massage should not be done in any area of the body with blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis ), or where there has been a recent surgery.
– Although massage therapy appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should consult their oncologist before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure. Any direct pressure over a tumor usually is discouraged.
– Pregnant women should consult their health care provider before using massage therapy.
How to book your massage while you walk the Camino de Santiago?
Angel and his teams work with the best hotels and rural houses on the French and Portuguese Way. You can talk to our team at Ultreya Tours, ask the owner of the place you are spending the night to arrange for the massage or contact Angel directly.
His team includes Ana (Customer Service), Conchi (Administration) and a network of massage therapists, distributed at different points along the Way, so they can quickly access the accommodation where their services are required.
One of his top Therapist is Rosana. She considers herself a lover of Nature. She started her career in the tourism industry, but she felt that she lacked something in her life to feel complete. So in 2008 she followed her heart and trained in sports, aesthetic and stretching Quiromassage. She says she is now found what was missing in her life and is happy helping pilgrims get to Santiago by giving them repairing massages.
Rates and contact information
The rates for a repairing massage Post-competition Sports Massages in your hotel (including transportation for the Therapist to the place where you are staying) are:
- €50 for 60 minutes
- €30 for 30 minutes
Other types of massages including relaxing massages or massages in their facilities in Caldas de Rei can be arranged.
For further information or to book a massage contact your Camino Planner at Ultreya Tours or call Angel Antelo on +34 618 092 860 or +34 665 863 743.
You can also visit their website www.quiromasajeangelantelo.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org