Chicken & Rice Soup

This simple and healthy Chicken & Rice Soup recipe was shared with me from my beautiful soul of a friend and fellow Yoga Teacher, Alicia Montoya from Los Angeles. It's one of her family's favorites and now it is one of mine. Sometimes nothing else does the trick to make you feel better on a cold or sniffly day that slurping up some wholesome goodness.


- 1 (2-lb) cooked rotisserie chicken (organic if possible)

- 3 celery ribs

- 1 medium onion, quartered and left unpeeled

- 6 fresh parsley sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

- 2 fresh thyme sprigs

- 1 bay leaf

- 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth (80 fl oz)

- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

- 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed 


1. Remove meat from chicken, reserving skin and bones.
2. Coarsely chop 1 celery rib and put in a 6-8 quart pot along with chicken bones and skin, onion, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and chicken broth.
3. Simmer, partially covered, 1 hour.
4. While broth is simmering, shred about half of chicken meat into 1-inch-long pieces (about 1/4 inch thick) to yield 1 1/2 cups meat, reserving remaining meat for another use.
5. Cut remaining 2 celery ribs into 1/4-inch dice.
6. Pour chicken broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on solids with back of a ladle and then discarding them. Skim fat from surface of broth.
7. Return strained broth to pot, then add carrots, diced celery, and rice and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and rice is very soft, about 30 minutes.
8. Stir in shredded chicken and chopped parsley.

Serve hot and enjoy! Can be frozen in air-tight container.

Well wishes,

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Benefits of Massage: Interview with Tye Burrell

I have been receiving massage therapy off and on for the last 17 years. In addition the extreme relaxation it brings me, massage has been a great source of pain relief. Tension in my back, neck and shoulders as well as TMJ in my jaw have caused bouts of chronic headaches and migraines throughout the years. Deep tissue and neuromuscular massage therapy treatments have allowed me to prevent use of pain medication in many cases and reduced the occurrence of headaches significantly.

Since I moved to Newburyport, MA last Summer, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Tye Burrel, a local massage therapist and owner of Sankofa Massage. Tye is absolutely lovely. She is as kind as she is knowledgeable and skilled. After receiving my first massage from Tye, I vowed to be back as much as possible! Tye is amazing at getting deep into the muscle tissue in a way that is not painful but incredibly effective. Her space is beautiful, warm, welcoming, peaceful and smells fantastic. The experience was such a treat. 

Tye was generous to answer some questions I had about her career as a massage therapist and the benefits of massage...

working registered nurse, what motivated you to embark on a career as a massage therapist?

Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist wasn't even on my radar until a work related injury occurred. Prior to that, I'd only received monthly massages as a nursing student to help with stress and anxiety. I thought people would get a massage to just relax. Boy, was I wrong.

During my first year as a nurse, I injured my back while on the job. The injury was so severe that doctors expected that I'd be out of work for months and possibly an end to my nursing career. Out of everything that they prescribed, including medications, massage therapy was the only treatment that worked. When I told my massage therapist what had happened, he said, "I will get you back to work in 1 month".

My massage therapist placed me on a very strict treatment plan and as promised, in one month, I was pain free and able to go back to work with no restrictions. The doctors were quite amazed. Seeing what massage could do, I decided that through massage therapy, I was going to help people who were experiencing pain and stress to live a more productive, stress and pain free life. First, I needed to finish paying off my nursing loans!

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. Even though my injury was devastating to me at the time, the injury and the recovery experience paved the way for what I love and do today.

What are some of the ways you have experienced clients benefiting from massage as an
alternative treatment? And to what level have you seen massage relieve chronic pain?  

I've been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2007 and I'm still amazed and excited of the results of what frequent massages can do. When I first see a client, I have a thorough intake form process in which we review medications and health history. Some of my clients are on multiple blood pressure, anti-anxiety and anti-depressants medications. I always have the client inform their doctor(s) that they are receiving frequent massages. Because massage therapy has been proven to lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduce stress as well other endless benefits, it is important that their doctor is following the progress so that they can adjust the clients medication dosage appropriately once treatment has started. So, through massage therapy, I've helped clients who were taking multiple medications decrease dosage or get completely off their medications.

And when I work with clients that have been experiencing pain for years with no relief from medications, physical therapy and/or other alternative treatments become pain free, it's exciting and proof that massage does work!  I love when clients leave my studio after their session(s) with a smile on their face or tears in their eyes and say, "I can move and I'm not in any pain." or "I can put my socks on without any help." For me, that's what it's all about.

I have been told by some people that they have back pain but are afraid to try massage in fear it will make it worse. What would you say to them?

I would tell them about my own story and how massage has helped me.  

For someone new to massage, what is the best way for them to begin?

Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for what you want! It's important that the therapist listens to you. If they are doing what they want instead of what you want, that is not a good sign. Ask about their credentials? Are they licensed? At a minimum, they should have LMT after their name. How long have they been in practice? What is their expertise? Read reviews and get referrals. Start off with a 30 minute session just to see if it's a good match and go from there. 

Of all the different massage techniques you offer, what has been the most popular and why?

I specialize in chronic back, neck and shoulder pain relief so deep tissue and sports massage is what I focus on the most in my practice.  Basically, everything I do is to help relieve acute and chronic pain as well as stress relief. It really depends on the need of the client and what problematic area they may have at the time of their visit. Each client session is different.

Also, incorporating a variety of massage techniques and drawing from over 13 years of medical knowledge, I'm able to give clients the results they need. When my clients are happy, I'm happy. When I first started out, I worked alongside a chiropractor who worked with semi pro and pro athletes, mainly football players. That experience allowed me to really sharpen my deep tissue and sports massage techniques and made it possible for the work that I do now.

Sankofa is a beautiful name for your massage business, what does it represent?

The literal translation of Sankofa is "go back and get it." Sankofa teaches us that "we must go back to our past in order to move forward". That we should take all experiences from the past, build upon and learn from them, so we can improve ourselves to become better people.

Thank you Tye for all the helpful info! Sankofa Massage offers a wide variety of massage options. I highly recommend a massage with Tye if you are in the area! Check her out at

Well wishes,

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