Even though Yoga, meditation, and acupuncture have been around in use for hundreds of years...
its important to realize that these ancient rituals have been repeatedly supported by contemporary, conventional scientific measures.
All three therapies have several studies supporting abilities to improve hormone balance, endorphin levels and neurotransmitter functions. These biochemical pathways lead to improvements in energy, mood, sleep, pain, and resilience to stress.
Most amazingly are the neuroimaging studies which support these findings. For example, meditation has been found to change and re-organize the neuronal pathways that guide or thought processes and resultant feelings and behaviors.
"...the brain is an active participant in shaping & conditioning (our) perceptions...
(and this) plays a critical part in determining our state of mind."
~Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living
These neurological studies, along with those provided by the field of psychology support the integration of this process into any plan to improve health and wellbeing. While a meditation practice can contribute to emotional wellbeing, physical health benefits exist as well: "studies confirm that just 20 minutes per day can contribute to the reduction of stress, whose harmful effects on general health are well established". These include immune support, decreased blood pressure, and reduced cancer risk. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Why Meditate