Used for over 2,000 years, yoga has all the same benefits of exercise, but is often much gentler on the body. When combined with meditation, as yoga originally was, it works wonders.
Meditation (or prayer) has been recently shown to be beneficial for many physical ailments. It is able to decrease stress, blood pressure, pain, inflammation, and increase healing.
While not fully understood yet, research shows that the meditating brain is different than the awake brain. There is increased healing, transition between short-term and long-term memory happening near instantaneously, and alternative pathways for different processes forming.
In a novel program, John Hopkins University Hospital attempted to teach stroke patients meditation to help relieve the stress of not having a functioning side of their body. While the program succeeded, a side effect was a noticeable increase in use of the damaged side of the body much faster than average. They suspected during meditation, the brain literally rewired itself to be able to use the parts of the body it was missing.