As a massage therapist or bodyworker as I prefer to be called (massage insinuates one modality whereas bodywork is compromised of multiple modalities which means the therapist has extensive training), I am often shocked at how many people still think it's a luxury. It is not a luxury. It's a necessity. Particularly if you plan on using your body or your horse's or you dog's body for anything other than laying around. The more you are going to demand from the body, the better you need to take care of it. Let me explain...
Professional athletes get massages like they eat meals. They treat it like fuel for their body because it is! Case in point from Bill Romanowski's book..."German athletes are more meticulous in their training. Their philosophy is to get a massage every day like Americans eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's part of the workout, part of the recovery. It's called taking care of yourself." - Udo Magel
We must realize that the mere act of training causes soreness. Causes of post-exercise soreness vary from overuse injuries to minor strains to tears in the individual muscle fibers. When a workout is over done, you will find that the damaged muscle fibers become swollen, fatigued, and sore over the next 24 hours. Furthermore, another culprit of soreness is lactic acid. It is produced during intense levels of exercise when the oxygen demands of the muscle fibers increase beyond what the blood is capable of delivering.
Massage eliminates the lactic acid, the trauma from over use strains and tears, adhesion's and knots in the muscles, and re-balances the musculature system. Which equals faster recovery time and fewer injuries.
Point blank, corrective massage is going to hurt. It hurt to create these dysfunctions in the body, so don't expect it to be a song and dance to fix it. The more dysfunction in the body, the less pleasant it will be. However, if you do not correct it, you will experience lack of performance, slow recovery time, incorrect movement patterns, and eventually serious injury.
Simply put, muscles are the motor of the body. They must act synergistically (Definition: combined action or functioning) to produce optimum results. If they do not, the skeletal system and joints will become stressed and unable to function properly. I often see this and in attempt to fix the issues the joints are treated or the skeletal system is treated but never the muscles. That is like putting new tires on your car and wondering why it doesn't run! You are throwing money down the drain and who wants to throw money down the drain?