Every person's experience in the treatment room is unique. The level of comfort that one experiences in the treatment room is something that I, as practitioner, do my best to maximize, but it's not completely within my realm of control. I check in and interact with them during the treatment, and they ultimately are in control of what's being done, of what's ok. I like to call acupuncture elective medicine, because patients are empowered in my treatment room. They provide feedback, they help us make decisions in partnership, and they contribute to what each specific treatment is focused on.
In my experience, the biggest hinderance to the treatment experience is the fear of needles hurting. If a person has a fear of needles, I do my best to help quell that fear. I will remove one of the single use, sterile needles from its packaging, and they can touch it to see how thin it is. We will use breath to prepare and time the insertion of a needle. Often their fears are alleviated quickly, but if it is too much of a hinderance to a treatment, I can offer stimulation of the acupuncture points with tuning forks or palpation with fingertips. Both are effective at getting things moving in the body.
Patients that are resistant to treatments are often nervous on the table, which often shows up as tension in the body. They are often unwilling to take on responsibility for their actions that may be affecting them negatively, which in turn makes treatments less effective or not effective at all.
Patients that are open to the treatment are often completely relaxed and comfortable on the treatment table. They are willing to discuss changes to aspects of their lifestyle that may aid them in their quest to regain their well-being. They take on "homework" between treatments and are active in the process.
With all this in mind, any patient can experience a big shift as a result of a treatment, and any patient may leave a treatment without a sense of a change taking place. Sometimes a big shift doesn't hold very long; sometimes a shift occurs a few hours or days after a treatment. It's a part of the mysterious nature of the medicine.