The scientists scanned the brains of 50 American men and women who regularly meditated and 50 non-meditators. The scans were fed into a computer program that analysed the images and provided an age for each brain based on its physical condition.
The results were striking. In general, the non-meditators’ brain age and actual age were the same, so a 55 year old’s brain looked like it was 55. However, the meditators’ brains were younger than their years, with the average 50-year-old having a brain that belonged in a 42 or 43 year-old’s body.
But not always an unmitigated good:
But while many swear by the technique, others warn it can produce unpleasant side-effects – ranging from twitching and trembling to hallucinations, depression and even breakdowns. They say that although emptying the mind as being cathartic, it can actually let ‘scum’ rise to the surface.