By Lisa Bakewell
Nanette Ginise was one of the winners of ABMP’s Massage is for EveryBody 2022 contest, and we wanted to share more of her story, which exemplifies the inclusive values of this campaign. Please join us in celebrating Nanette!
Nanette Ginise, owner of Self-Care for Recovery, has literally made it her Mission (with a capital “M”) within the field of addiction recovery to be sure she reaches everyone who needs her, whether it be as an MT, an educator, or just someone who relates to those in recovery. Being in long-term recovery herself, Ginise says she “learned the value of giving back to others” on her own journey. And for more than two decades, she’s been doing just that.
As a massage therapist for the past 24 years, Ginise’s mission has been to help others through touch. “Substance abuse and alcoholism do not discriminate, but unfortunately, health care does,” she says.
“As a massage therapist and a woman in recovery, I understand the value of safe and peaceful touch to restore mental and physical balance. I wanted to bring massage therapy to women in recovery who do not have the financial security to experience complementary and alternative health care. The road to wellness comes with challenges and lots of personal work. One of the first things in recovery is to become willing to change. One change is learning positive self-care.”
In 2019, Ginise began volunteering in a women’s transitional house, where she donated over 100 hours of massage therapy for residents in the facility. “My connection with these women has inspired me so much that I recently expanded into another facility for women and families.”
Ginise founded Self-Care for Recovery, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2021, to carry her message: “Massage therapy is a healthy option for everyone dealing with physical and psychological discomfort for recovery.” Self-Care for Recovery has continued to bring massage therapy to women in recovery and has been successful in collecting needed resources to continue to expand its services.
In 2022, Ginise wrote an essay for ABMP’s “Massage is for EveryBody” campaign, which honors 10 practitioners living its principles, with $1,000. “The recognition my essay received from ABMP encouraged me to propose presenting ‘Massage Therapy as a Non-Medical Adjunct to Recovery’ at the Multiple Pathways to Recovery Conference this past January in Punta Gorda, [Florida],” she says. “The event organizers accepted my proposal, and I attended the conference and gave my presentation.”
After her presentation, Ginise was granted an interview on the Recovery Matters podcast, and a local acupuncturist, who recently downsized, donated two tables, table warmers, and eight sets of sheets to Ginise. And “we recently connected with a social worker specializing in drug and alcohol use disorders,” she shares.
In addition, the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Dependency, in Westchester, New York, awarded Ginise a scholarship to become a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). “I have completed the classes,” she says, “and after I take the state exam for New York, I will continue to expand my ‘Mission’ in the recovery field. I plan to continue growing my nonprofit and massage therapy's importance in mental and physical pain management. We are planning a community education event for Mental Health Awareness month in May.”
Ginise says her next step is learning the art of grant writing to bring in other therapists to expand into other facilities. “I am covering three places presently, and I donate my time. [Although] I do not expect other LMTs to work for free.”
But her plans don’t stop there. “I look forward to creating education for LMTs to work with them in the recovery field. I want rehabs to view massage therapy not as a luxury add-on but as an integral approach to health and wellness; this will also include continuing to educate public health-care awareness.”
According to Ginise, there’s a saying in the recovery rooms: “From Park Avenue to park bench; from Yale to jail.” And her Mission is to help them all.
• Massage is for EveryBody is ABMP’s annual celebration of massage therapy and the philanthropic efforts of our members. Read more about the event, and the guiding principles that drive it.
• Read the winning essays from 2022’s Massage is for EveryBody celebration.