Peace is an abstract concept; at least I think it's better to think of it that way until you finally acheive it. There can be little or no reference to what peace is or feels like until you have felt it's exact opposite.
Stress is something we're generally used to. I don't mean the pressure of a stressful, nerve wracking event or a bad day. I'm talking about a low level stress that's always there. It's there when you unwind from the day or even when we do the things that give us pleasure. We aren't aware of it. This kind of stress is also an abstract concept, until you experience the opposite.
This is exactly what happens on the massage table. You get the concept; sometimes you get it the second your head hits the table. I'm pretty sure every person who gets on the table leaves with a reference for peace. Once you get familiar with the concept of peace you begin to recognize your stress. When you leave the office you are out of stress, at least the kind of stress that we carry day to day.
What makes the table unique is that deep relaxation and a senes of peace and well being happens immediately without any effort. To maintain that peace you must practice by finding meditation or a yoga teacher, but massage can and will open the door. It is a silver bullet. Whatever you bring to the table your massage will improve it.
I've enjoyed a simple visualization in my work. I imagine that the treatment is a drop of water that hits the surface of your stress, rippling it out, smoothing it over. There is at least a drop of peace with you, effecting the ocean of your being. And now when you leave the office you are a drop of peace rippling out into the ocean of the world. If it lasts five seconds then it has done some good but it can last all day.
There are biological names for these abstract concepts of stress and peace and there are many physiological things that take place between the two but I will talk about that another time. For now it's enough that you know peace and stress cannot exists together and that you can choose on or the other. It takes practice to learn to choose and massage can help.