"Each of us encounters difficult moments in life. What to do?
White pills, red pills, blue pills?
Do nothing and hope that everything passes?
We are free to choose between these and dozens of other possibilities.
I walk ”
Behind the term " walk-therapy " hides one of the essential actions for the human being, who plays from the age of about a year for the rest of his life: walking .
To date, Caminotherapy is carried out essentially through the Walking Groups, that is groups of people who meet twice or three times a week to walk, guided by physical activity teachers, people with a degree in physical education or a walking leader within the group formed to lead his fellow walkers.
The benefits of Camotherapy
Let's see what happens to our body when we take a walk: our endocrine system produces serotonin and endorphins, the respiratory and circulatory systems are stimulated - there is a greater exchange of oxygen in the body compared to when we perform sedentary activities -, the muscles of the musculoskeletal system work by strengthening, in addition, we correct our posture.
These are some of the aspects that are making western medicine interested in the preventive, therapeutic and beneficial effects that a simple walk can produce on the whole organism.
As for circulation, it can prevent arteriosclerosis and varicose veins and, in general, is recommended for those with heart problems.
As explained by Salvatore Endrio Oleandri - Head of the Departmental Structure of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism ASL CN1 Savigliano - this activity is very effective in the control of diabetes, overweight, high blood pressure in combination or not with a drug therapy, but it is equally effective as a means of prevention in those subjects potentially at risk for cardiovascular diseases or metabolic diseases ".
Even according to holistic medicines, walking produces many benefits. If we think of plantar reflexology, we immediately understand what the advantages of a good walk can be: if each area of the sole of the foot corresponds to an organ, each step corresponds to massaging and reactivating a part of the body.
Barefooting or, more simply, walking barefoot
Advice on walking
Walking should not be reduced to a mechanical action that we perform inside the house or on a gym on a treadmill, perhaps while we are watching our favorite series or reading emails. In order to constitute an all-round therapeutic experience, it must be performed with a view to fully involving our self : body, mind and emotions in unison.
We do not walk only with the legs, but with all the organs of our body: with the sense organs to capture the sounds, the smells, the colors and the flavors of the world we pass through; with the skin to experience the effects of the sun and shadow, wind and water on our emotions; with the brain to remember, reflect and wander with the imagination.
The benefits of walking therapy, if done according to these precautions, go far beyond those mentioned so far, extending to the sphere of psychological well - being . The walker, doctor and psychotherapist Guido Ghidorzi has recently begun to explore walking as a psychotherapeutic tool able to establish a dialogue with ourselves, with our body, with others and with the environment that surrounds us.
The Way Groups in Italy
In various Italian regions interesting initiatives have been created that have made the walk a tool to be used in combination with pharmacological treatments and, in general, to improve the quality of life.
Since 2008, in several municipalities in Piedmont, the ASL Structures of Endocrinology and Diabetology, in collaboration with the FAND - Italian Diabetic Association - and the instructors of the Scuola del Cammino di Saluzzo have been organized various activities of walking groups in the field of care and prevention of dysmetabolic diseases, including diabetes.
In the Lazio region several groups have been set up organized by elderly centers, parishes and cooperatives . In 2015, in the Tuscany region, the Pathways Groups already present in the territory have become the largest project The journey as a therapy, promoted by the Municipality of Arezzo, the ASL 8 Prevention Department, the Città Sane network, the International Society of Doctors for Environment (Isde) and the Italian Sport for All Union (Uisp). This project, which will last three years, will take place in Arezzo during the first year, while in the following two years it will extend to other municipalities in the province.
Other groups of the Way are also active in Veneto, Lombardy, Abruzzo, Campania and Calabria.
If there is no Way Group in your city, you can organize it. To learn more, you can consult Walking together. Handbook for Groups of Way