Larissa Stewart, LAc
1. After Acupuncture treatment to feel relaxed, calm is a very normal reaction. Some patients describe it as tired and sluggish.
2. After 2-3 treatments later most of patients describe they feel very relaxed but not sluggish anymore. Hope it helps.
That is, due to long hours, overwork, insomnia, late nights etc. we "owe" our bodies rest so that it can heal and rejuvenate. Sometimes after an acupuncture session you feel tired because in order to heal, your body is giving you notice that your sleep debt is "due".
You are simply resting so that you can heal and the tiredness should go once you just let yourself rest thoroughly.
Acupuncture also has a very high influence on the vagus nerve (CN 10) which will also allow the body to enter a 'lethargic' state.
So to answer your question, yes it is absolutely normal (and not a bad thing) for your body to feel tired after the treatment.
This is why it is important to not engage in any physical activity or mentally draining though processes after a treatment. As stress relieving acupuncture may be, it is best to just go home and rest after your treatment and begin the next day feeling great!
Acupuncture will NOT always make you feel lethargic. It depends on how long the treatment is, which points were selected, and the setting of the treatment. All of these factors play a role on how lethargic one may be post-treatment. Please keep this in mind and let your acupuncturist know if this may bother you!
If having a little food around treatment time doesn't clear the issue up, have a conversation with your provider about what you're experiencing. Acupuncture treatment is often also diagnostic. It's important to provide feedback on your experience so your provider can make any adjustments that might be necessary.
Basically, this is your body telling you to take it easy for a little while. Allow yourself to rest and you'll be fine soon.