I found a copy of (full title) The Windhover Tapes: Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets. The passage I was thinking of that was similar to the question is soon after the protagonist, Gerard Manley, joins the Gabriel Ratchets (a military group.) To start with, after going for a run, which makes his muscles sore, he's rubbed down with some kind of healing oil (Chapter 6):
As he tried to compose his thoughts, he was distracted by a sweet pungent
odor coming from his skin. He was lying naked on his pallet, his skin tacky
with smelly oil. Why, he wondered? After pulling himself into a sitting
position, it occurred to him that his muscles should be stiff and sore.
Instead, they only ached mildly. Was the oil responsible for that?
And who had rubbed him down with it?
Then, some days later, his fellow Gabriel Ratchets (his string, in the jargon of the Ratchets) make a mock attack on him, but it soon turns into another massage and rubdown (Chapters 6-7):
Gerard turned and shut the door. While his back was still turned,
the rest of the string jumped on him and beat him with rhythmic blows
that drove him to the floor.
In the middle of the beating Gerard realized they were pulling
their punches just enough so that he wasn't severely injured.
It was a strange sensation to be beaten up and know that he
wasn't really going to be hurt.
As suddenly as the attack started, it stopped. Brunnel picked Gerard up
and carried him gently to a pallet, where he was stripped of his clothes
then generously coated with the healing oil and rubbed down by each member
of the string, starting with Brunnel. As they massaged the healing liniment
into his aching body they chanted softly.
(Although the text doesn't say it was a "tactical massage", the use of the oil must have helped his muscles.)