There are lots of aspects to recovery and healing.... 
There are lots of aspects to recovery and healing, be it for injury, aches and pains, or psychological stress/trauma etc and the preferences for one person may be different to another in terms of a method of treatment, but many people do seek a form of hands on therapy as part of their recovery or management of pain, and I think there are several reasons for this. 
It’s normal for most people to seek help in one way or another when they feel like something isn’t feeling quite right or they have a specific ache or pain and they don’t feel like they can sort out on their own, and in some cases an individual may book in for some treatments of sports massage simply because of the feeling of well-being that they experience in the days after their treatment, as well as the feeling of more suppleness in their movement, and so, in some ways a sports massage can act as a gateway or window of opportunity that facilitates a persons recovery, by simply making them feel better and giving their body and mind a ‘reset’, which can break the cycle of discomfort and be the trigger that gets them back in the game! 
Hands on therapy from a skilled and capable practitioner will also reach parts of muscles in ways that you can’t do with a foam roller, massage ball or massage gun etc (even though those tools can be useful to have at home) and in particular, I’ve always found that by having quite strong thumbs, fingers, and tendons in my hands, I can be very specific and pin point in locating areas of tightness or discomfort which can make a big difference to your recovery and the value you will get from my work. 
It’s also important to note that a skilled sports massage therapist will have a ‘feel’ for other areas of muscles that are tight, (or a bit weaker than they should be) which is something that can only really be determined by having actual human contact hands on therapy, and then the course of action that is taken after that, be it a recommendation of strength and conditioning, or flexibility and mobility work can be decided more efficiently when combined with skilled muscle tissue therapy. 
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