Frances Reed, LMT
Chest Binding & Top Surgery Specialist
Cultural Competency in Transgender Health Educator
Business Consultant, LGBTQIA+ Issues
Owner, Freed Bodyworks Holistic Wellness Center
Licensed Massage Therapist, Washington, DC
Frances Reed, LMT is passionate about making holistic therapies safe for transgender clients by teaching therapists the interpersonal and technical skills to meet the unique needs of transgender clients. They’ve been a licensed massage therapist since 2011, using a structural integration framework to support people at all stages of gender transition. Based on over a decade of work with transmasculine clients, Frances has developed a set of techniques for assessing and treating chronic pain and discomfort in people who bind their chest as well as protocols for pre- and post- top-surgery care. They are the author of a forthcoming book on binding health and pain management, which is the first of its kind.
Frances teaches practitioners cultural competency skills that they need to provide affirming care to transgender clients. Since the January 2022 closing of their trans- and queer-centered wellness center, Frances is in private practice doing transition-related bodywork in Washington, DC. Frances is a graduate of Smith College and the Potomac Massage Training Institute and founder of Freed Bodyworks Wellness Center and HealthyBinding.com.
To register for classes visit Frances' Eventbrite page
Continuing Education Courses
Serving Transgender Clients in Holistic Health Parts I and II (2-hour/2 CEU* each)
Transgender identity is becoming more visible in our culture. As a result, more individuals are feeling comfortable disclosing their identity and living as their true gender expression in their daily lives. For service providers in the helping professions, this means that more transgender clients are seeking massage and other forms of therapeutic touch and holistic healthcare. Transgender clients need culturally competent providers who are aware, affirming, and empowering of their transgender identity as well as knowledgeable in how to address the unique health issues related to their gender non-conforming body.
Part one of this lecture and discussion course will discuss the responsibilities of providing transgender-affirming care and teach the interpersonal skills needed to be respectful and affirming of transgender clients' identity.
Part two will identify some of the unique health issues of transgender clients and explore techniques that support them in making medical and non-medical transitions from their gender assigned at birth to their true gender identity.
Queer Practitioners Serving Transgender Clients in Holistic Health
(2-hour/2 CEU* each)
Open to LGBTQIA and NB practitioners in all types of holistic, medical, movement, mental health, etc.
This course is an adapted version of the introductory for practitioners who are already have extensive experience in their personal and/or professional life with transgender and non-binary identities. The format is faciliated discussion.
We will discuss the responsibilities of providing transgender-affirming care and strategies of creating inclusive practices and affirming transgender and non-binary clients' identity. Discussion will address unique health issues of transgender clients and explore techniques that support them in making medical and non-medical transitions.
This also serves to seed a network of queer providers that will hopefully be able to create a richer referral network to support the trans and non-binary community.
Bodywork Techniques for Transgender Clients Who Wear Chest Binders
(8-hour/8 CEU* and 16-hour/16 CEU* formats)
Open to professionals who do hands-on work with clients on physical pain and/or movement. CEUs limited to licensed massage professionals
This course is designed to give massage therapists (and other professionals in other related fields) a basic understanding of chest binding and key techniques to mitigate the chronic pain and specific complications often experienced by people who wear chest binders in order to flatten their chest as a means of aligning their internal gender identity and their outward gender expression.
This lecture and discussion section of the course will discuss the responsibilities of providing transgender-affirming care and establish basic interpersonal skills essential to creating safety for trans clients. Brief explanation of the fascial system and the thoracic anatomy will be given but participants should have basic proficiency in anatomy and some prior exposure to the fascial system.
The majority of the class is hands-on teaching focused on myofascial release techniques to mitigate chronic chest, shoulder, rib and back pain which are the effects of chest binding. Participants will learn to identify warning signs and contraindications of serious complications in the musculoskeletal system and when myofascial massage is well equipped to intervene. Focus of the class will be practices which can have the most significant impact on the quality of life & health outcomes of sustained chest binding.
The 16-hour format includes more techniques and a chance to apply the skills with in-class community volunteers who have chronic pain from binding.
*all CEUs awarded through NCBTMB
Non-Continuing Education Courses
Gender Identity Decoded
Open to all who are open-minded
Two things that are hard for most people: unlearning habits and learning languages. Join Frances in a compassion-filled environment where you can get your questions answered about gender identity, learn the ins and outs of how to talk about gender in affirming ways, and walk away with concrete strategies to practice your new language (because we all know that new languages are ‘use it or lose it’!)
This is a class for parents, teachers, grandparents, ministers, yoga instructors, health providers, school bus drivers, day care providers, baristas, HR professionals, siblings, best friends, spouses, bosses, and… and… and….
Healthy Binding from the Start
Open to people who bind, are considering binding, providers and friends and family
Chest binding is an essential part of battling dysphoria and feeling seen in the world as a gender non-conforming person. It also taxes the body and comes with real health risks. Frances is a trans*-identified, non-binary massage therapist who binds and understands both this liberation and these limitations. The class covers: choosing your binder, best binding practices, advice for binding with chronic pain conditions and suggestions for binding in special circumstances (swimming, working out, manual labor, etc)
Self-Massage for Binding
Limited to individuals who currently bind or have bound in the past
Binding (using a special garment or tight sports bra to flatten the chest) is a vital tool for many of gender non-conforming people. Unfortunately, it can have serious impacts on the body because of breath constriction, muscle tightness, and alignment. The class addresses chest opening, breathing expansion, upper back & neck release, and rib cage pain relief by teaching a variety of tools for mitigating the impacts of binding through self-massage, stretching and fascial release.
To book Frances for a training or speaking gig, email email@example.com
Services for group practices, small businesses, and corporations include:
Gender audit (assess a process or a product to report areas for improvement in gender inclusivity)
Guide businesses in implementation of gender-inclusive practices
Cultural competency training regarding transgender and/or LGBTQIA community
Advisor on inclusive and transgender affirming care in the wellness industry
Speaker for diversity, equity and inclusion events
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Services for solopreneurs and sole practitioners include:
One-on-One coaching to achieve practitioner goals regarding transgender and LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness
general questions that you have about gender
deeper discussions on topics covered in a class
detailed questions about how to provide gender affirming care in your unique practice
consult about a specific client's needs
how to reach gender expansive clients and market to the community
anything else about gender affirming care.
Book a 30 min or 60 min session: calendly.com/francesreedlmt
About Frances Reed, LMT
7 People Leading LGBTQ Health in Tagg Magazine
Business of Pride 2018 Award Winner (article & video) in Washington Business Journal
Scar Tissue Release Treatment: Restore Range of Motion, Relieve Pain and Discomfort in Hill Rag Magazine
About Freed Bodyworks
Freed Bodyworks: A Space For All Bodies in Tagg Magazine
Every Body Welcome in Metro Weekly
Best Massage for Freaks, Queers, and Non-Conforming Bodies in Washington City Paper
Films, Podcasts, Webinars, Blogs
Queer MEDucation Podcast
Episode 27: The Basics of Chest Binding
Episode 144: Affirming Transgender Individuals in a Bodywork Setting
MALEFEMALE documentary short film about Frances’ gender identity and founding of Freed Bodyworks
Reproaction Webinar: Body Image and Sexuality featuring Frances as panelist
We See You, We’re Here for You on Freed Bodyworks blog
Frances Reed, LMT uses a combination of the following in their bodywork practice:
Trigger point massage
Scar tissue release
Frances describes their bodywork practice in the following way:
"Our bodies reflect the lives we live and the bodywork I do centers around the main sources of pain in the body: postural problems, scar tissue, and trauma. Supporting clients in the journey of releasing the things that do not serve them is my main objective. I use structural intergration-style myofascial release which addresses full body postural misalignment that can have dramatic effects on chronic pain. Scar tissue release frees up residual scar-tissue that is left over after surgery or injury and often impedes full range of motion or causes pain. My work is trauma-informed and I welcome people with complex relationships to touch and those who are looking to explore re-connecting with their bodies during and after traumatic experiences. I have nearly 8 years of experience specializing in techniques for relieving pain caused by chest binding and top surgery. As a non-binary transgender human, I welcome transmasculine, transfeminine and non-binary clients on my table for managing the bodily changes of medical and non-medical transition."
Specifically to address pain of chest binding and top surgery,
Frances does myofascial massage to address the pain, constriction, and postural patterns that develop from first years of hiding ones chest by slumping forward and then binding chest tissue.
Frances assists transmasculine people getting top surgery with pre- and post- surgery massage, using myofascial techniques, techniques to increase circulation and lymph flow, and scar tissue release to assist people in getting the results of healthy scarring and maximum range of motion.