Stress is not always bad. Stress boosts your heart rate and the cortisol levels in your blood sugar, and diverts energy away from your digestive system and immune responses. This was need by prehistoric humans to fight or flee attackers. And it is still handy when you need jump back to the curb to avoid a negligent driver. But problems arise when stress levels are sustained for long periods of time.
Virtually every symptom listed by the American Psychological Association can benefit from massage. Research has shown that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, your body's natural "feel good" chemical. Serotonin and dopamine are also released through massage, and the result is a feeling of calm relaxation that makes chronic or habitual as well as acute or short-term stress much easier to overcome.
This deeper level of relaxation improves the individuals' personal outlook, and their emotional status. Deep relaxation has also been shown to promote a deeper, more restorative night's sleep as well, which makes you feel more refreshed upon awakening.