A 2014 study conducted at the University of Chicago showed improved circulatory function following 30 minute Swedish massage sessions given to study groups. The groups consisted of relatively sedentary adults who were divided in three groups – those who performed exercises and received massage, those who exercised and received no massage, and those who only received massage.
If you would like to read the technical biochemistry of the results, they can be found at this Massage Today summary of the study. The gist was that there was improved circulation from the massage which hastened the inflammation response and lessened any tissue damage. Also a likely factor is the well-documented increase in parasympathetic (stress-reducing) function from massage treatments.
These types of studies add little by little, and with painstakingly specific conclusions, to the evidence that massage therapy is an excellent and extremely safe and non-invasive approach to overall health, preventative and rehabilitative care. And note that this study used Swedish massage technique. Even more specific benefits can be expected with more technical varieties of massage therapy,