New Tips to Better Mental Wellness

By Kelly McCarthy

January 21, 2013 Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Otsiningo Winter Farmers Market is always a popular spot on the first and third Saturdays of the month.

Trying a new health and wellness event gave shoppers more reason to stop by.

It's always a struggle to get back into a healthy lifestyle after the holidays.

The Otsiningo Winter Farmer's Market is looking to make it a little easier.

"You can get some great ideas of what you can do to just boost your spirits, just some small maybe habit changes. Something you can do just once a day ever or just once a week but things you can do to take care of yourself," said Niechelle Wade, Owner of Sunny Hill Farm in Whitney Point.

The health and wellness event brings those ideas right to local shoppers, offering free blood pressure tests, exercise demonstrations and even relaxation drums.

"When you have fun and you're laughing and you're having a good time there's a lot of biochemical things going on in your body and in your brain that reinforces it for you, so it can be a very holistic approach to wellness if you're looking for one," said Cindy Casterlin, recruiter at the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.

"I was doing the drums when nobody else was around I would go over and just hit my fingers just to hear the sound. Because the sound itself is healing," said Rev. Peggy Gaylord of Binghamton.

The Bishops came to get some of their regular items at the farmer's market, but made time for a free chair massage.

"I hope to get some shoulder work done, relieve some tension in the neck and shoulders so I'm looking forward to that," said Jessica Bishop, of Barton.

"You don't have to have a mental health diagnosis to participate, this is about your own health and wellness for everyone," Casterlin said.

Some of the regular shoppers are hoping this big turnout continues for future Saturdays at the Farmer's Market.

"Having things that are free-range and organic and some raw food here, and vegan food is kind of a new concept for this area but it's a healthy concept and one that I like," said Teri Bishop, of Barton.

The Otsiningo Winter Farmers Market runs through April each first and third Saturday of the month.

It's held inside the Metro Center from 9 a.m. to noon. Parking in the Metro Center lot is free.

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