After ten and a half years, Freed Bodyworks is closing on January 16th 2022. For more information please click here.
Thank you so much for putting your trust and your bodies in our hands. It has truly been a great honor to serve this community.
Find Team Freed
Freed Bodyworks embraced 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. While they have all moved on to different practices, 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. All are welcome in their spaces.
Angela Gabriel, L.Ac., MSOM, C.H.
I hold two MS degrees, in Biochemistry from Moscow State University and in Oriental Medicine from New York College for Holistic Health. Both have inspired my deep interest in Integrative Medicine. After several years in biology research followed by three years of studying Acupuncture (TCM, Japanese meridian Therapy, Matsumoto-Nagano style) and Chinese herbal Medicine, I started seeing patients in my private practice in NYC in 2005. I moved to Takoma Park, Maryland in 2007 and the GW Center for Integrative Medicine in D.C. has become my work family. Despite my long-time interest in herbs, plants and chemistry, I discovered that my true passion is therapeutic touch and bodywork. I always spend a good amount of time with my patients discussing food, herbal remedies, daily rhythms, exercise, breathing, qigong and meditation.
I studied extensively with Kiiko Matsumoto and Jeffrey Yuen, who greatly influenced my approach which combines Japanese styles and Classical Chinese Acupuncture. My needling technique is nearly always painless, light and flowing, making it comfortable to very sensitive people and kids. Some special techniques can employ needling without insertion, moxibustion, cupping and gua sha.
I have also been in The Somatic Experiencing® Training since 2017 and will be completing my full SEP certification in the fall of 2021. The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders based on multidisciplinary study of stress physiology (Stephen Porges Poly-Vagal theory, work of Peter Levin), psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, and indigenous healing practices. Since I started integrating SE methods into my acupuncture practice, I have been in awe every time I saw how profoundly trauma-informed bodywork impacted the healing process. I am a sex-positive, body-positive, LGBTQIA+ affirming body therapist.
Special interests: chronic pain, trauma, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, chronic disorders, stress.
Modalities practiced: Chinese Acupuncture, Japanese Acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Somatic Experiencing
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 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
Claudia Lagos, LMT
My interest in health goes back to early childhood, when I wanted to be a nurse and help others on their journeys. Although, I did not pursue a career in nursing, in 1988, I joined the healthcare field as a Radiologic Technologist. The knowledge and experience I gained prepared me for my next and current path, studying Massage Therapy at the Baltimore School of Massage in 2002. After being on the responsive side of healthcare, I realized I wanted to have a more “hands on” role in preventative care by helping clients with stress relief and self-care. The field of Complementary Medicine felt more in alignment with how I wanted to contribute to wellness as a caretaker. In 2010, I studied Chakra Balancing at The Braided Way Healing Arts. It enhanced my practice into having a more “wholistic” approach, as I was able to not only work with the muscles, but also connect to mind-energy-body. Practicing energy work is what I gravitate towards and I’m thrilled to share it with my clients.
Furthermore, in 2014, I started studying with a consciousness teacher to delve deeper into self discovery, the phrase “change starts from within”, as cliché as it may sound, holds so true. My practice is ever expanding, evolving, as is my own personal growth and what I offer to the world.
The opportunity for healing and growth is in the “now” and through Chakra Balancing, I help clients learn how to connect to “self”. The chakra system, the energy centers within our body, reveals what might be causing anger, anxiety, frustration or other emotions that keep us ungrounded or “in our heads”. We often view these emotions as temporary and we don’t know what to do with them, instead, we internalize or think that they are going to go away. Over time, it creates dis-comfort, dis-ease in the body.
Learning how to connect and not dismiss those emotions will allow you to start looking more inwardly and address the deeper underlying truths.
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.
Elizabeth Goldberg, LMT
Senior Tier Therapist
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.
Emilie Toler, 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
Photo credit: Ashley Mathieu
Professional Tier Therapist
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
Photo by Erika Kapin Photography
Senior Tier Therapist
J Sheffield, LMT
My path to becoming a bodyworker was encouraged by the burnout in organizing and activist spaces, and I am committed to offering bodywork and embodiment support in service of encouraging self and community care. I believe in every client’s own body wisdom and ability to create more space and capacity in the nervous system; I am here to support that, to witness, create a container, and hold space for anything that comes up and wants to be acknowledged. I am a white, queer, non-binary human and I strive to offer work that is accessible and affirming to queer and trans folks, and Black and Indigenous folks and People of Color. Please email me at J@freedbodyworks.com if posted prices are not financially accessible, but sliding scale work would make bodywork possible for you. QTBIPOC will be prioritized. I strive to offer work that is consent-based, trauma-informed, race-informed, fat and body affirming, and comfortable in a way that honors how, when, and where clients want to, and don’t want to, receive touch. I provide touch at the client's comfort level of undress or clothed (while some or all of the body remains draped, meaning under a sheet). Please know that I consider receiving client feedback a gift to better my understanding and practice. If you book a massage, any and all of my modalities can be woven together to create sessions based on your needs and desires.
Modalities Practiced: Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release, Scar Tissue Release, Trauma-Informed Somatic (Body) Grounding Practices, Movement, and Breathwork
Special Interests: anxiety, depression, trauma, touch aversion, gender-affirming physical transitions, chest binding care, post surgery scar release, especially top surgery
In order to provide sliding scale work, I rely on folks who have the financial privilege to donate to my sliding scale fund in order for resources to be redistributed. You may do that by purchasing a Freed Bodyworks gift certificate for any amount, and please use my info for who it’s for (J Sheffield, email@example.com) and in the message, please put "sliding scale." Thank you so much!
Professional Tier Therapist
Jasper Werntz, LMT
Apprentice Tier Therapist
I believe that health for everyone is much more complete when it is holistic, and bodywork is a central part of a holistic mind-body connection. I came to massage with chronic pain and trauma, and I have personally felt how healing bodywork can be when a practitioner takes time to really see, understand, and hold space for their client. I bring this into my work by truly listening to your needs and goals, and making sure that people of all body types feel welcome and comfortable. I am a recent graduate of Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage. I specialize in is Swedish massage and I integrate techniques of myofascial release, trigger point release, energy work, and deep tissue.
As a nonbinary transgender person, I welcome clients of all genders and expressions, and anyone with a complex relationship to their physical body. I strive to create a space that is safe, consent-based, affirming, and accessible to all by centering fat liberation, Black and Indigenous people, people of color, harm reduction, and folks with disabilities. I bring my experience with trauma support, as a peer counselor and support person, to my trauma-informed massage therapy approach of fostering safety, choice, collaboration, trust, and empowerment with my clients.
Special Interests: LGBTQIA+ people, gender transition, trauma, touch aversion, depression and anxiety, stress management, chronic pain
Modalities Practiced: Swedish, trauma-informed bodywork
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.
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
Senior 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.