Frances Reed, LMT

Chest Binding & Top Surgery Specialist       
Cultural Competency in Transgender Health Educator   

Owner, Freed Bodyworks Holistic Wellness Center

Founder, HealthyBinding.com                              

Licensed Massage Therapist, Washington, DC

About

Frances owns body-positive and queer-focused holistic wellness center in DC, Freed Bodyworks, Frances has been specializing in transition-related bodywork for TGNC folks for 8 years and has recently launched HealthyBinding.com to promote healthy binding practices to TGNC people and health providers.

Frances is a licensed massage therapist, seeing many transmasculine clients for massage who are experiencing a variety of upper body pain from chest-binding and/or top surgery.

Frances teaches courses to transgender people about self-massage, stretching, and self-care to maintain health, minimize harm, and manage pain while binding.

Frances teaches courses for other holistic providers to become more knowledgeable in cultural competency in order to work with trans clients as affirmatively and knowledgeably as possible.

Frances speaks in a variety of venues on providing trans-affirming and other body-affirming health care.

To book Frances for a training, speaking event or consulting project, email frances@freedbodyworks.com

Courses

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.

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. 

The Language of Gender: Help! I want to get it right!

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 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….

*All CEUs issued through NCBTMB

To book Frances for a training, speaking event or consulting project, email frances@freedbodyworks.com

2019 & 2020 

Classes &

Speaking Engagements

Stay turned for training dates to be announced in...

Pittsburgh, PA 

Dallas, TX

Durham, NC

Ashville, NC

Austin, TX

Self Massage for People Who Bind 

Friday July 26 11:15-12:15

Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference

Self-Care strategies for Trauma and Anxiety in Trans and Non-Binary Bodies

Friday July 26 1:45-2:45

Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference

Healthy Binding from the Start

Saturday July 27 10:00-11:00

Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference

Self-Massage for People Who Bind

June 8 9:00-11:00

July 13 9:00-11:00

Aug 3 9:00-11:00

Freed Bodyworks, Washington DC

 

Media

 

Films, Podcasts, Webinars, Blogs

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

Coming soon...

Queer MEDucation podcast

Bodywork

 

Frances Reed, LMT uses a combination of the following in their bodywork practice: 

  • Structural Integration

  • Myofascial massage

  • Trigger point massage 

  • Scar tissue release

  • Deep Tissue

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.