It seems that there are real clinic benefits to all this too. I spotted this report of a new study on massage which explains :
While massage is well accepted as a therapy for relieving muscle tension and pain, the researchers delved deeper to find it also triggers biochemical sensors that can send inflammation-reducing signals to muscle cells.
In addition, massage signals muscle to build more mitochondria, the power centres of cells which play an important role in healing.
"The main thing, and what is novel about our study, is that no one has ever looked inside the muscle to see what is happening with massage, no one looked at the biochemical effects or what might be going on in the muscle itself," said Crane.
"We have shown the muscle senses that it is being stretched and this appears to reduce the cells' inflammatory response," he said. "As a consequence, massage may be beneficial for recovery from injury."
Really interesting stuff - cellular effects from massage which extend to generating more mitochondria.
As ever of course, Alex at Sweat Science got here first and has a much more detailed analysis of the research.