Freed Bodyworks: A Space For All Bodies

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Jessica VonDyke and Frances Reed

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Following the business model of radical inclusion and openness, Freed Bodyworks provides massage therapy and wellness services for LGBTQ and gender non-conforming individuals, who will no longer have to explain, defend, or educate their health practitioners about their body, lifestyle, or ability.

The company was the brainchild of local resident Frances Reed. While in massage school, Reed met many people with great compassion for body inclusion, but not everyone day after I graduated massage school I founded Freed Bodyworks with the notion that it would be a space for non- conforming bodies to receive massage.”

What started out as a solo massage practice has now evolved into a full wellness center, thanks in large part to business partner Jessica VonDyke, a queer sex positive sex educator. Realizing there weren’t many resources in Washington, D.C. where individuals could access inclusive sex education for adults, VonDyke opened up The Garden, which focused on bridging that gap in education. “This incorporate together the education program and Freed,” explains VonDyke. The focus of the educational program is to provide whole body wellness, which includes sexual health as well as other important topics of study.

“We have lots of different services at Freed Bodyworks,” says VonDyke. From energy work to holistic health coaches, to herbal medicine and aromatherapy, Freed Bodyworks provides services for the mind, body, and soul. A shaman in residence offers integrative energy healing and runs a free open meditation every Monday night. Three talk therapists are available and focus on body positive, sex positive, kink- aware, poly informed, and trans-inclusive counseling services. Freed Bodyworks also offers prenatal massage services to all pregnant bodies.

“We offer a number of other types of bodywork modalities that broaden our toolboxes,” explains Reed. “The goal is to continue growing our services. When we moved into our new location, we were able to reach for our vision for a comprehensive holistic center that would provide all of the services under one roof that would be committed to radical inclusion.”

Reed and VonDyke want clients to feel comfortable with all practitioners and referrals, knowing the level of cultural competency has been safely vetted.

“My constant dream has been for Freed Bodyworks to be marginalized in industries connected to the beauty myth— can be accepted,” says Reed, who adds that they hope that marginalized communities with higher incidents of trauma and physical attacks can receive this type of care.

With such a strong referral network and 21 practitioners, Freed Bodyworks is continuing to grow and expand its services.

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