Trauma, stress and emotional turmoil can take a toll on the body in many ways:
dissociation from the body as a whole
disconnection from a specific area of the body, often involved in a past trauma
pain or numbness in an area of the body, which may also be related to a physical trauma like a car accident
tension held in an area of the body (e.g. exhalation pattern with collapsed chest, tight muscles for armor)
memories stored in the body
overall health impacted by low immune function, depression, adrenal fatigue
there may be a lower threshold for the activation of adrenaline/fight or flight/freezing response, which feels like getting more sensitive, angry, or in more intense and easily activated emotions in general, or feeling numb
Massage can help you reconnect with your body, release areas of tension that can have a reciprocal relationship with your mood, release memories from the body to be processed consciously, return you to a better emotional baseline and lower anxiety or stress. All of this can restore health that has been hindered by trauma.
Massage, craniosacral, abdominal therapy, structural integration, Reiki, acupressure, breathwork and other gentle modalities can be helpful in combination with counseling therapy modalities like: shamanic soul retrieval, EFT, EMDR, and Hakomi. My primary means of doing this work is Visionary Craniosacral, which creates space for the body to unwind and in a sense, reenact the body's response to trauma with physical and emotional release and nurturance. Often talk therapy may feel incomplete without some kind of somatic work and bodywork may activate emotional processing that can be helped along with counseling. The mind-body connection is quite real and often needs to be integrated.
Some helpful books on the topic are: Full Catastrophe Living The iRest Program for Healing PTSD Acupressure for Emotional Healing Waking the Tiger The Complex PTSD Workbook The Body Keeps the Score Trauma and the Body