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The benefits of the Camino de Santiago could be more therapeutic than we imagine, and so is being investigated by the group of psychologists of the Proyecto Ultreya
More and more people are deciding to begin the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Any of the routes that exist to reach this destination are an authentic experience, where physical effort, mental reward and social encounter coexist.
The benefits of the Camino de Santiago could be more therapeutic than we imagine. This is being researched by the group of psychologists of the Proyecto Ultreya who, through an online questionnaire, seek answers to questions related to the physical and mental well-being of the pilgrim before, just at the end, and three months after the experience.
This group of Spanish researchers set out to investigate what effects the Camino de Santiago had on the health of those who travel it. In a study that has been active for three years, and in which they gather information on the potential therapeutic effects that the ‘Camino’ could have, whatever the route chosen to reach Santiago.
According to the information provided by Galiwonders.com, a travel agency specialising in the Camino de Santiago, it is very common for pilgrims to get in touch once their journey is over, to tell how it has changed their lives. We are told that some pilgrims seek vital answers on the ‘Camino’, interior reflections, find themselves, while others want to feel the tranquility of northern Spain, integrate into the forests and deal with the locals. When they finish the route, everyone arrives in ecstasy at Santiago de Compostela.
The pilgrims feel extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to walk, and happy to have completed a stage that has no end. The ‘Camino’ continues with each pilgrim after he has walked it. It is as if it were a summary of life, a lesson to continue integrating new or old values that had been forgotten.
The fact of walking so many days in a row, of continuing the ‘Camino’ enduring a series of inconveniences that almost become imperceptible, and of going through each stage connecting with the local people and sharing the route with other pilgrims, produces feelings of collaboration, tolerance and happiness.
Far from being a tourist route, the ‘Camino’ is a process of inner transformation that more and more people practice every year. And it is that with the stress that society suffers in this century in which everything advances so quickly, it is necessary to find an escape route that many people discover through this millenary pilgrimage route.
The team of psychologists continues with this research, which will undoubtedly be a key to scientifically ratifying the healthy benefits of the Camino de Santiago. An international route that attracts more pilgrims every year who are in search of a healthy and environmentally friendly tourism.