Every culture and religion embraces the practice of meditation. People have used meditation as a means of self-discovery since the beginning of recorded time. Beyond the metaphysical aspects of meditating, there is scientific evidence that the regular practice of meditation helps slow the aging process.
One study measured a group of adults for three variable pertaining to biological age. They monitored blood pressure, actueness of hearing, and near-point vision. All three steadily deteriorate as the body ages. What was discovered was that meditators, as a group, were significantly younger biologically than they were chronologically. The best score was gotten by a female who was fully twenty years younger than her chronological age.
What happens when we meditate? For one thing, our blood pressure is lowered and our heart rate slows down. When we meditate, we go into the "ALPHA", state. This state is associated with "WAKING SLEEP," when our brain is producing waves in the alpha range (four to eight cycles per second) as opposed to our regular awake (beta) state of ten to fifteen cycles or more persecond.
In the alpha state, we feel calmer and more relaxed and our bodies work more efficiently. Our internal healing mechanism is activated, and our brain's ability to produce neurotransmitter activity is improved.
These activities partially explain some of the claims made for meditation such as that it increases intelligence and boosts self-healing. It is, in reality, our mind and body working at their highest potential that is doing all this. This is part of our inherent "MAGICAL" ability. It is by quieting our minds and eliminating the mental 'chatter' that we normally experience that we can begin to hear what is referred to as the 'still small voice,' that quiet within that may appear as an intuition or flash of insight.
As an added benefit, the more we practice inducing this alpha state through meditation, the more our brain produces these frequencies on its own. This is one reason why meditation results in an overall reduction of stress.