One other advantage of massage is relaxation. After an intense work out, lots of athletes feel a great deal of pressure in their joints and muscles. Not only does this cause increased stress in the body, but it can reduce circulation to the muscles, decrease muscle strength, and even slow down the recovery procedure. By massage, the pressure is loosened and flow improves. This loosening of tension promotes better overall blood circulation, which improves the overall health of the muscles, joints, and entire body.