Firm Touch Therapeutic: Using massage to heal body and soul

Jen Watson points out different muscles of the back. (Photo by Kelli Caplan)

Jen Watson’s happy place is a purple room with ambient low lights. It’s a space where she heals, helps and finds great joy in making people feel better. 

Watson owns Firm Touch Therapeutic. She works her magic in her Oyster Point office, which is nestled in a suite of businesses off Thimble Shoals focused on wellness. For the past 15 years, Watson has been a massage therapist, using skillful touch to work out people’s kinks and stresses. She started at DeStress Express and after many years, decided to forge her own path and open her own place. She did and has not regretted it for a minute.

“I love it,” says Watson, 35. “The freedom and independence is great. Flexibility is the best.” 

Most of Watson’s clients come from referrals. She has a large group of loyal clients who have trusted her for years to make them feel renewed and refreshed. “Because of the results, I have proven I can help, so clients send other people to me,” she says.

Watson went to massage school in 2006. She just knew massage was her passion and her calling. “I have a natural knack for touching,” she says.

A fitness buff, Watson works out a lot. She does crossfit and powerlifting. In fact, many of her clients come from gyms, and she is known to be able to help athletes recover and continue their ability to exercise free of pain and injury.

When Watson hurt her neck, she found relief from a therapist who practiced neuro-muscular therapy. It was a game changer, and at that point, Watson knew how she wanted to expand her skill set. “She fixed me and I realized then that I need to do this,” Watson says.

She pursued a certification in neuro-muscular massage therapy, and in 2016, that became one of her primary specialties. Not many people have such a focus, she says, and that makes her even more in demand.

“I wanted to have skills that not everyone had,” she says. “I have always been more drawn to anatomy-based therapy.”

Being a neuro-muscular massage therapists allows Watson to dig a little deeper into people’s injuries and plans to help them recover. “I teach people to be more aware of their body and space,” she says. “It is more specific, detail oriented on the body and global aspects of the person.” This means that she not only massages a client, but also delves into their habits, such as nutrition and sleep, to help them get better. “I work you, I just don’t rub you,” she says.

Watson goes to Florida four times a year and helps teach neuro-muscular classes. “I really get excited to show people how to be better therapists for their people,” she says. “I love showing someone something I do all the time.”

When Watson is working with a client, she uses her curiosity and heartfelt concern to get to know the person and his or her situation. She looks at many aspects of their lives to see what may be contributing to be their problems.

“This job has helped me to be more inquisitive,” says Watson, who says touch tends to trigger conversation. “People tell her their stories. It’s fun to get to know them.”

“I love seeing different people,” she says. “Being the highlight of someone’s day is just really cool.”

Watson grew up on the Virginia Peninsula. She graduated from Bethel High School in 2004. Living in York County, Watson is the proud owner of four cats and is currently “learning to be a homeowner.” Her focus is growing her business, and she is excited to see what the future holds. She hopes to keep making people feel better. Watson plans to continue learning and expanding her skill set and her knowledge of neuro-muscular massage.

“I feel very grateful that I’m able to do something for people that works and helps them,” she says. “I am thankful to be as busy as I am in this economy.”  

Firm Touch Therapeutic
Address: 732 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste. 906, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Jen Watson, owner
Phone: 757-567-6997

About Kelli Caplan 74 Articles
Kelli Caplan is mother of three children and a friend to all who know her. She use to spend a lot of time in her SUV, driving to schools and pediatricians, but her children have graduated from high schools. Now she can be found at WalMart and Harris Teeter, playing pickleball or cycling. She loves to try new recipes and new authors’ books. Her favorite foods are green (lettuce, broccoli, pickles). A former crime reporter for the Daily Press, Kelli has been writing for Oyster Pointer as long as she has been able to hold a pencil.