"Massage can decrease the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms such as indigestion and stomach problems."
Do you ever notice how your body feels when you have been in a distressing situation? In addition to your normal stress symptoms kicking in, you can also lose sleep over it, your stomach may get upset, and you can just get overall feeling like 'Yuck'. Specific situations can fall under the category of stress, but it is different than the regular stress you feel every day, so it can affect your body differently.
A specific situation differs than regular stress in that it is usually forefront of your ming, and may need to be dealt with immediately, so the body kicks in not only the regular stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline), but because the body is focused on the one event, these hormones don't disperse the way they usually do when hit with stress. Plus the mind is more focused on the distressing event, so the body tenses up in ways that it doesn't usually tense. They linger and settle, giving the body a sense of more unease, causing other issues such as a lack of sleep or indigestion because the body can't settle and therefore relax.
While a distressing situation usually does require somewhat immediate attention and often doesn't allow for extra free time, taking a little bit of time for yourself to get away from the situation can be greatly beneficial. Stepping back or away can help clear your mind, getting away from the situation and allowing you to think more clearly and rationally can help calm your emotions over the situation. A calming massage can help calm the body symptoms by calming the Central Nervous System, therefore helping the body, including the digestive system, and other muscular and visceral systems, to relax, and helps balance hormones, helping you to sleep. Since time is of the essence when there is something going on, the massage doesn't have to be long to be effective - a short treatment, even just focused on the "high tension areas" such as the neck and shoulders may be enough to calm the body down and give you some space and time to feel better, therefore allowing you to deal with the situation better and more calmly, and with less long-term repercussions.