Meet Team Freed
Freed Bodyworks embraces the many ways that people's bodies are non-conforming: gender identity, body modification, weight, culture, sub-culture, race, employment, ability, illness, age, and more. Our bodyworkers, energy workers, counselors, and instructors understand the barriers of judgment that have kept many people out of healthcare & healing practices of all types. We practice radical inclusion - all are welcome in our space.
Astra Rooney, LMT
Over the past 14 years I have been studying and practicing Thai massage. The techniques and theory have inspired me to pursue a variety of modalities to help people alleviate pain and assimilate relaxation into their daily lives. I am constantly learning and trying new things in an effort to give my clients the best experience possible. I use comprehensive listening skills to assess appropriate treatments and execute therapeutic massage. Integrating acceptance, non judgement, and compassion into each session has become inherent in my work after delving into Thai element theory with Nephyr Jacobson and studying Thai acupressure with Noam Tyroler. Being able to witness balance and imbalance in terms of this medical modality has created a depth to my understanding of treatment options for massage therapy and a variety of techniques unique to the country of Thailand.
I relocated to DC three years ago from Ithaca, NY, home to my alma mater Finger Lakes School of Massage (FLSM) The demand for quality bodywork here has inspired me to deepen my study and practice in medical Thai massage and perinatal massage. Studying pregnancy massage with Carol Osbourne and moving through pregnancy and into motherhood myself has deepened my passion to work with a diverse population of clients supporting families before, during, and after pregnancy.
Special Interest: Injury rehabilitation, Thai Acupressure for orthopedic disorders, Thai medical theory, postnatal care, perinatal yoga
Modalities Practiced: Integrative Massage for pain relief & relaxation, Thai massage & acupressure, Pre/Postnatal Massage, Myofascial release, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot stone, Reiki
Senior Tier Therapist
Aviva Pittle, LMT
Massage has been a life-long calling for me, the thing I wanted to do with my life from the moment I realized it was a career option. I love using my hands to bring healing and release tension, and working with people to increase their ease in and comfort with their bodies. I graduated from the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy in New York, where I also studied reflexology.
Special Interests: Neck and shoulder pain, Hip and low back, Systemic relaxation, pre-natal massage and stress relief.
Modalities Practiced: Reflexology, Pre-Natal, Swedish & Deep tissue Massage.
Senior Tier Therapist
Duewa "Kaya" Spicer, LICSW
Therapy can be a rich and powerful experience of personal growth and change. Perhaps you lack compassion towards your "sexual self", you are self-conscious, or maybe you're unsure about the future of your relationship(s). An important aspect of therapy is looking at our interactions, relationships, and your feelings in the present moment or "here and now" with me. A positive therapeutic relationship itself promotes healing. I aim to create an environment where the client feels safe and free to express themselves.
I am a sex-positive, body-positive, LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist. My goals are to provide a safe, judgment-free space for individuals, couples, and other relationship configurations to successfully work to reduce stress, anxiety and depression; to strengthen friendships and relationships at work and at home; to resolve grief, past traumas, and internal conflict; to modify negative thinking and self-destructive behaviors; to build self-esteem; to enhance intimacy and sexual desire/well-being; to foster self-discovery, self compassion; and to help improve one’s overall quality of life experiences.
I obtained a MSW from the University of Southern California with a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. I am honored to work with LGBTQIA service members and veterans. My approach is holistic and integrative and includes mindfulness-based interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, Interpersonal and Narrative Therapy and more. I am currently working toward sex therapy certification and have a special interest in couples new to ethical non-monogamy, self-care and boundary setting, trauma recovery, and those living with chronic pain and scarring. I am happy to speak with you prior to scheduling an appointment to ensure we are a good fit.
Special Interests: Ethically non-monogamous relationships, folks new to ethical non-monogamy, poly break-ups (effective communication with partners), coming out LGBTQIA, poly, poly POC, and multicultural relationships, intimacy and sexuality, sacred sexuality, love and intimacy as/with older adults, work-related stress, grief and loss (particularly loss of limbs, permanent scarring, body changes), and resilience training.
I first came to massage as a client with a repetitive stress injury. I first came to building a mindfulness practice as a stressed-out person with a repetitive stress injury and chronic health condition. By working with incredible practitioners, I was able to not only relieve thepain in my back but also develop a new relationship with my body and mind. Those therapists inspire my daily work to provide each individual with personalized, therapeutic bodywork that meets their specific needs in the moment. I belive strongly in the power of touch.
As a mindfulness coach, I provide people with tools and techniques that can be used in everyday life to manage stress - emotional, physical, and mental. These strategies encourage an integrated, supported relationship between mind and body - strategies I use myself, too.
I have a BA from Smith College and graduated from the Potomac Massage Training Institute. I completed training with the NMT Center, Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, and Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
Special Interests: Athletic injury and performance, repetitive stress injuries and chronic conditions, surgical rehabilitation, nervous system disorders, headaches/migraines, stress management.
Modalities Practiced: Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy (trigger point release), positional release.
Senior Tier Therapist
Elizabeth Goldberg, LMT
Massage was a game changer for me, in that receiving bodywork connected me to my own body in ways that I did not anticipate. I initially pursued massage therapy as a career having been drawn to it since childhood, not truly understanding the vast positive impact it can have on your health, your mood, your state of being. My personal experience has been one of preventative care and management of stress and anxiety. As a practitioner, I wish to provide, for all bodies, the space to truly relax and recharge, to take the healing breath they may need. Coping with physical and emotional stress can leave us exhausted in many ways and it is my hope to alleviate that through bodywork and mindfullness, with an eye on full body awareness as the end game.
I graduated from the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage in 2010, where my instructors and classmates shared with me their knowledge and experience.
Special Interests: people who identify as LGBTQIA, sciatic pain, neck and shoulder pain, coping with depression and anxiety
Modalities Practiced: Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, trigger point release
Apprentice Tier Therapist (Mentor: Miriam Pérez)
Photo credit: Ashley Mathieu
Emily B. Brown, LMT
I have 10 years experience cultivating an integrative approach to bodywork wherein I employ a variety of techniques to facilitate functional change for my clients. I am known to offer tips to nurture wellness and manage stress in daily life using aromatherapy, breath-work, and stretching. My sessions are a fluid blend of relaxing and muscle specific bodywork. As a former roller derby skater, I am especially fond of working with athletes in recovery from all kinds of injuries. I am a fresh transplant to DC, have been practicing in Seattle since 2005, and when I am not teaching Yoga or doing massage, I enjoy roller-skating, bicycling, organic gardening and making collages.
Special Interests: Injury Rehabilitation, Roller Derby Athletes, Large Bodies
Modalities Practiced: Therapeutic Relaxation, Deep Tissue, Pre/Post-Natal, Myofascial Release, Reiki, Aromatherapy, Injury-Specific Therapeutic Massage
Senior Tier Therapist
Emma Kupferman, LICSW
As a therapist I use a strengths-based approach to empower clients in creating the change they seek to live their most full, authentic lives. I believe strongly in the power of a therapeutic relationship to promote healing. Since completing my MSW in 2004 my focus has been on trauma recovery for survivors of domestic violence and sexual trauma. In my practice now I’m interested in working with individuals and couples on body positivity, exploration of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy, challenges with sexual desires and gender identity. I have a long history of working with adolescents and teenagers, including teaching sexual health education, and I am particularly invested in providing non-judgmental support to young people who are struggling with issues related to their body, gender and/or sexuality.
Special Interests: sex therapy, adolescents/teens, LGBTQIA identity, BDSM, ethical non-monogamy, alternative lifestyles, trauma recovery, depression, anxiety, grief/loss
Please contact Emma if you are a new client interested in her services but her wait list is currently full.
Eva Shpak, LMT
As a recent graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute, the modalities I currently specialize in are Swedish and deep tissue. The space I hold is open and nurturing and my work combines nurturing touch with focused muscle tension release. In our sessions, I create a judgement-free space where all aspects of your identity are welcomed and where we will collaborate to create a session that meets your evolving needs. My favorite aspect of this work is listening - start to finish, I listen to you and am curious about what I hear through your language and your body.
In my work, I use a variety of influences from other modalities, including biodynamic craniosacral therapy, Trager, and myofascial release. I recently became certified in prenatal and postpartum massage, and am excited to gain more experience offering affirming services to clients in all stages of pregnancy and postpartum. My knowledge of anatomy and interest in the mind-body connection shine through in each session.
My work is fueled by my curiosity of embodied healing for generational trauma. I believe that when we feel safe enough to relax and release the psycho-emotional and physical tensions that our bodies hold, we can slowly heal and integrate new ways of existing in the world.
Special Interests: stress management, nervous system disorders, coping with depression and anxiety, people who identify as LGBTQIA, neck & jaw pain
Modalities Practiced: Swedish, deep tissue, pre/postnatal massage
Apprentice Tier Therapist (Mentor: Astra Rooney)
Frances Reed, LMT
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 integration-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.
Special Interests: gender transition, postural misalignment, scars, psoas release, neck & jaw pain, hip pain
Modalities Practiced: Structural integration, myofascial release, trigger point massage, scar tissue release, trauma-informed bodywork
Senior Tier Therapist
Photo by Erika Kapin Photography
J Sheffield, LMT
My path to becoming a bodyworker was encouraged by the need I witnessed for healing and community care in organizing and activist spaces. I strive to make massage therapy accessible and affirming to queer and trans folks and folks of color in general. I am committed to offering bodywork as a form of self and community care to help sustain us in our daily lives and movements. I strive to offer work that is trauma-aware, fat/body positive, and comfortable in a way that honors how, when, and where clients want to, and don’t want to, receive touch, at their level of comfort of undress (under a sheet) or clothed.
Special Interests: I specialize in working with folks who bind their chests through promoting relief from pain, restricted movement, and trouble breathing, and I work to release restrictions that scars create post top surgery. I offer focused care as it relates to anxiety, depression and trauma and to trans/non-binary folks in general.
Modalities Practiced: I have training and experience in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release and Scar Tissue Release
Please email me at J@freedbodyworks.com if posted prices are not financially accessible but sliding scale work would make bodywork possible for you. In order for me to offer sliding scale work, I call on clients who have the financial privilege to donate to my sliding scale fund at checkout in order for resources to be redistributed.
Professional Tier Therapist
I am a queer, trans, nonbinary/genderqueer person of Tagalog ancestry. I graduated from the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine in 2015. In 2020, I studied with Rev. Apu Adman Aghama and Rev. Lakay Alsent Magbaya Aghama. I became a certified hilot binabaylan through the Hilot Academy of Binabaylan. I value practicing medicine that encompasses physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and mental well being. I also look at how cultural, political, and environmental factors impact health. It is a goal of mine to support patients in having an active role in their healing and assisting them in shifting towards behaviors and choices that better serve them. Please email me at Jamee@freedbodyworks.com if posted prices are not financially accessible. I offer a limited number of slots for sliding scale and trade patients. For those with more financial privilege, please consider donating to my sliding scale fund at checkout in order to support an equitable redistribution of resources.
Areas of interest: supporting QTBIPOC health and wellness, surgery recovery, HRT support, digestion, trauma, insomnia, acute injuries, pain
Modalities Practiced: Japanese Meridian Therapy, Chinese Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zheng Gu Tui Na, Moxibustion, Hilot Binabaylan
she/her or they/ them
Katie Wagner, PhD
Psychotherapy can help you make sense of complicated feelings, gain insight into relational patterns,and begin to move forward in areas of your life where you feel stuck. My focus is to help you untangle struggles, set meaningful goals, revise narratives about yourself that have become problematic, and re-orient you toward your life values. I am interested in getting to know all of you – your past struggles,present concerns, and hopes for the future. My radically-inclusive and integrative approach is informed by psychodynamic, feminist, multicultural, relational, and behaviorist theories. My practice is non-judgmental and centered on meeting your needs. I especially invite those who have felt rejected in more traditional therapy spaces. I am also trained to provide psychological evaluations for trans and gender non-conforming folks seeking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS). I require a minimum of two sessions for HRT and GRS evaluations.
I hold a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in LGBTQ Healthcare at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, MA. In my years as a clinician, I have worked in a variety of settings, including university counseling centers, medical hospitals, and outpatient psychotherapy clinics. I am trained to provide both short and long-term individual psychotherapy, partners and family therapy, and psychological and neuropsychological assessments. Although I have specialized population interests, I am open to meeting folks from all walks of life and willing to meet in advance to determine whether the fit works for you. Email is the best way to reach me.
Specialized Population Interests: LGBTQIA; gender non-conforming; alternative lifestyles; d/Deaf and HOH; persons with disabilities; university students; veterans
Specialized Treatment Areas: trans-affirming care and assessment; trauma (PTSD and cultural); sexual trauma; marital/relationship distress; depression; anxiety; bipolar disorder; ADHD; obsessive compulsive disorder; substance use issues; and characterlogical (personality) difficulties.
Therapy Modalities: individuals, partners, and families
Please contact Katie if you're a new client interested in her services.
Kelli Suffecool, LMT
Our bodies can hold stress and tension in painful, distracting ways, sometimes for years. It takes self-awareness and courage to bring these issues to someone else. I am already so impressed by you, lovely human who is reading this, for seeking to improve your health and wellness—whether it’s for pain relief, relaxation, or a bit of both. I’m here to listen, I’m here to help, and it’s a privilege to do so.
I’ve been an LMT here in D.C. since 2015, specializing in therapeutic massage for the upper back, neck, TMJ issues, migraines, and chronic illness. I also enjoy giving scalp, head, and/or face massage, and if you happen to experience ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), we can discuss using some ASMR elements in our session.
Special interests: Migraines, Insomnia, Anxiety and Depression Relief, TMJ issues, Chronic Pain (i.e. Fibromyalgia, Connective Tissue Disorders), Autoimmune Diseases (i.e. Lyme’s, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis), Face massage, Scalp massage, Cranial work
Modalities Practiced: Deep tissue, Swedish, Trigger Point Therapy, Inner-Jaw massage
Professional Tier Therapist
Laura Wurst, LMT
The use of healing touch through massage has shaped my own life as both a client and a practitioner. I enjoy making every effort to deliver improved well-being by incorporating a wide range of techniques that address deeper health and wellness needs for my clients. I came to massage as a client with a history of back pain. With the addition of massage therapy, acupuncture, and exercise, back pain was relieved and I felt empowered to better heal myself and others. Thus, Massage Therapy certification was pursued and gained from the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage in 2011. My sessions are often a mix of relaxation coupled with targeted massage and muscle release.
Special Interests: alternative lifestyles, gender non-conforming people, pre/post-natal, neck & shoulder pain
Modalities Practiced: sports, deep tissue, myofascial, pre- and post-natal, swedish, hot stone, aromatherapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Professional Tier Therapist
Mariasha Sussman-Hall, LMT
she/her or they/them
It is my life’s work to heal dysfunction and manifest ease amongst dis-ease. As a bodyworker, my approach combines mindfulness, hands-on healing, and intuitive skills to encourage the manifestation of our most vibrant selves. I believe in the body’s incredible capacity to heal. In my practice, I leverage this innate ability using therapeutic bodywork and transformative energetic techniques.
I invite those who seek release, relief, and restoration through healing touch. I begin each session with deep breathing and establish intentions to create uplifting vibrations and the best of results. Identifying stress patterns and pathways of tension in the body, I utilize intuitive energy work, deep release techniques, acupressure, reflexology, and a number of additional modalities to facilitate holistic wellbeing.
We have the most to offer ourselves and to one another when our bodies are aligned, our minds at rest, our souls at peace, and when all our energies are in balance. I seek to create this reality within and among our global community.
Special Interests: Working with Deaf folks and interpreters (fluent in ASL), service industry workers, and queer people of color; promoting healthy body awareness; championing self care
Modalities Practiced: Transformative Reiki, Deep Tissue Massage, Acupressure, Myofascial Release Therapy, Reflexology, Breath Coaching
Professional Tier Therapist
Miriam Zoila Pérez, LMT
Photo by Emily Goodstein
My approach to bodywork is very similar to my approach to past work as a doula: you know what’s best for you, and your intuition is crucial to our work together. My work as a massage therapist is a compliment to the many other types of work I’ve done—writing, teaching, training—but all with a focus on how I can best contribute to the world around me. In my writing, I’ve focused on the ways in which race and gender shape our bodies and our world, and in my bodywork practice, I get to interface with those things on an individual level. As a graduate of Potomac Massage Training Institute, I love working in partnership with clients to improve body awareness, relieve stress, and address physical challenges. I combine Swedish, deep tissue and myofascial techniques to create a session tailored to your needs each time you come to see me.
Special Interests: therapeutic massage, stress relief, gender non-conforming, queer and trans folks, lower back and hip pain, psoas release
Modalities Practiced: Swedish and deep tissue massage, Cupping
Professional Tier Therapist
The practice(s) of mindfulness and movement; attending to your sensations; awakening body awareness.
The process through which energies, feelings, thoughts, and sensations circulate and cycle through the physical body.
The practice enhances the process.
What practices and processes in your life shape your existence? Inform your beliefs/decisions/actions? Contribute to your mental/emotional/physical health? As a student and recipient, intentional [un]learning, breathing, and movement - through bodywork & energy work - were (and continue to be) transformative for my existence. As a practitioner of bodywork and energy work, I support and partner with people in their healing and wellness through these mediums. My work is rooted in holistic, integrative, intuitive, and trauma-informed care for all bodies and their unique inhabitants. I believe in and am passionate about accessibility, inclusion, practical/tactical self care, radical love, and therapeutic touch. Non-judgmental listening and observation of the way humans move, present, and are [or are not] energetically in their bodies influences my approach to crafting sessions tailored to the individual.
Special Interests: body image/awareness, community & self care, harm reduction, LGBTQIA+ identity and black/indigenous/latinx PoC, mental health (anxiety & depression), trauma processing & recovery, underserved & misrepresented populations
Modalities Practiced: integrative therapeutic, Swedish, and deep tissue massage; special population focused work (geriatric, oncology, medically frail/palliative/end-of-life stage); Reiki; trauma-conscious bodywork
Senior Tier Therapist
Vanessa Crowley, LMT
Sunny Shaw, LMT
Vanessa Crowley, LMT
I am a skilled therapeutic massage practitioner, a working-class queer trans woman, and an intuitive energy healer. I draw from both deep anatomical work and luscious relaxation techniques according to clients' individual needs. I believe that each of us has a physical, emotional and spiritual body and that it is possible to address all of these simultaneously. Both in life and in practice I strive for radical authenticity, and connect with healing as a purposeful spiritual vocation. I believe that massage can be a vehicle for deep bodily listening, for becoming aware of and releasing outmoded and harmful patterns, and for embracing the self-care that our communities need to flourish.
I am passionate about working with clients outside of conventional body standards. Radical inclusion, anti-oppression, and harm reduction are foundational ideals for my practice, which builds on my experiences in social justice movements. My background as an activist includes supporting trans people and the broader LGB community, advocating for domestic workers’ rights, environmental justice, and fighting wage theft. I intrinsically believe that every body deserves to feel safe and secure, and to experience the possibilities of health within their lived experience. To this end, I bring special focus to the embodied aspects of trauma and the experience of living with chronic pain. By combining both spiritual tools and therapeutic bodywork, I can work together with my clients to release and recover.
Special Interests: Deep tissue, myofacial release, prenatal, active isolated stretching, trauma recovery, chronic pain
Professional Tier Therapist
Victoria Stubbs, LICSW
Discovering and embracing your true identity is a part of your soul's development and often comes with its own set of stressors. As a social worker since 2002, I understand the significance of the therapeutic process and I can help you navigate those stressors. I will guide you through the journey of transforming your mind, freeing yourself from old patterns of behavior and standing in your own truth. I specialize in helping people who feel generally out of balance-emotionally, spiritually, mentally-as well as those feeling disconnected from their authentic selves. I offer an empathic, welcoming space for personal exploration with an affinity for working with people of color and members of the LGBTQIA community.
I also specialize in working with women grappling with their sexual identity later in life. Coming to terms with your sexual identity, either through the coming out process or owning your sexuality in general, can be a challenge. You are not alone! I can assist you in dealing with those challenges as you move towards personal and spiritual alignment.
Special Interest: depression, anxiety, LGBTQIA identity, couples counseling, ethical non-monogamy, spirituality
Please contact Victoria if you're a new client interested in her services.